Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Changes of mean annual net accumulation at the surface on the grounded ice sheets of East Antarctica, West Antarctica and Greenland in response to variations in sea ice extent are estimated using grid-point values 100 km apart. The data bases are assembled principally by bilinear interpolation of remotely sensed brightness temperature (Nimbus-5 ESMR, Nimbus-7 SMMR), surface temperature (Nimbus-7 THIR), and surface elevation (ERS-1 radar altimeter). These data, complemented by field data where remotely sensed data are not available, are used in multivariate analyses in which mean annual accumulation (derived from firn emissivity) is the dependent variable; the independent variables are latitude, surface elevation, mean annual surface temperature, and mean annual distance to open ocean (as a source of energy and moisture). The last is the shortest distance measured between a grid point and the mean annual position of the 10% sea ice concentration boundary, and is used as an index of changes in sea ice extent as well as of mean concentration. Stepwise correlation analyses indicate that variations in sea ice extent of ± 50 km would lead to changes in accumulation inversely of ± 4% on East Antarctica, ± 10% on West Antarctica, and ±4% on Greenland. These results are compared with those obtained in a previous study using visually interpolated values from contoured compilations of field data; they substantiate the findings for the Antarctic ice sheets (±4% on East Antarctica, ±9% in West Antarctica), and suggest a reduction by one half of the probable change of accumulation on Greenland (from ±8%). The results also suggest a reduction of the combined contribution to sea level variability to ±0.19 mm a-1 (from ±0.22 mm a-1).
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