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TitleEstimating synoptic scale surface mass balance of ice caps in the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canada: 1960-2050
AuthorBurgess, DORCID logo
SourceIASC Workshop on the dynamics and mass budget of Arctic glaciers, abstracts and program; 2014; by Copland, L (ed.); Tijm-Reljmer, C H (ed.); 2014 p. 16-17
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130437
MeetingIASC Workshop & Network on Arctic Glaciology annual meeting,; Ottawa; CA; February 3-5, 2014
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; doc
ProvinceNunavut; Northwest Territories
NTS39; 48; 49; 58; 59; 68; 69; 78; 79; 88; 89; 99
AreaQueen Elizabeth Islands
Lat/Long WENS-128.0000 -72.0000 84.0000 74.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; Nature and Environment; ice; icefields; analytical methods
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience
Released2014 01 01
AbstractSince 2005, ice caps in the Canadian high Arctic have become among the most important contributors to global sea level rise apart from the ice sheets of Antarctic and Greenland (Gardner et al, 2011). Providing longer term context to these changes is thus of interest for understanding the impacts of accelerated glacier shrinkage in this region on relative sea level rise and other effects associated with freshening of the ocean waters. In this study, annual estimates of climatic surface mass balance for the years 1960-2013 are derived across ice caps in the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canada, from a simple model driven by NCEP 850mb air temperatures and in-situ mass balance records collected from the Devon and Agassiz ice caps since 1961 and 1977 respectively. Good overall agreement with independent satellite and model data gives confidence that this model provides a reasonable estimate of mass change for the region. As such, estimates of predicted mass change for the QEI ice caps to 2050 were computed based on global temperature warming scenarios (IPCC5) modified to account for arctic amplification. Methodology and preliminary model results will be presented.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
In this study, annual mass balance values are modeled for all major ice caps in the Queen Elizabeth Islands using upper temperature data (NCEP) and in-situ stake data collected as part of the GSC high Arctic glacier monitoring program. Model results provide an assessment of the total ice mass lost from this region over the past 60 years, and an estimation of the amount of ice to be lost between present and 2050. In addition, modeled mass balance anomalies (relative to 1963-2000) provide insight into the spatial pattern of unloading from the land surface over this 90 year time period. These results provide baseline data for estimating rates of freshwater flux to oceans, and for modeling spatial variations of relative sea-level rise across this region.

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