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We present the first use of enhanced resolution Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) data to identify melt on an Antarctic ice shelf
The analysis extends the Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) melt record on Larsen C Ice Shelf from 1999–2009 to 2017
1999 to 2017 open-shelf melt decreased by 1 or 2 days/year2, while western inlets saw a similar rate of melt increase
Plain Language Summary
Antarctic ice shelves form where ice flows from the land and goes afloat on the sea. In recent decades, ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula have been disintegrating. Loss of an ice shelf allows faster flow of the land-based ice to the oceans and adds to sea-level rise. One possible cause of ice shelf breakup is increased surface melting; it is therefore important to monitor melt and the best way to do this is from space. We can detect melt from space using microwaves which are scattered back to the spaceborne instrument from the surface. A wet snow surface produces much lower backscatter than a dry one. We investigate trends in the number of days per year when Larsen C Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula experiences surface melting, using data from a new microwave instrument. On most of the ice shelf, the number of melt days each year has fallen by 1 or 2 days per year since 1999, consistent with decreasing summer air temperatures in this region. However, close to the mountains where the ice shelf is formed the number of melt days is increasing. These locations are where mountain winds known as föhn produce localized increases in surface temperatures.
- Antarctic ice shelves
- surface melt trends
- C-band microwave depth penetration
- QuikSCAT and ASCAT
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Decline in Surface Melt Duration on Larsen C Ice Shelf Revealed by The Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 1 Finished
Hubbard, B., Luckman, A. J. & Kulessa, B.
07 Apr 2014 → 06 Apr 2017
Project: Externally funded research