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TitleRecent changes in mass balance of Meighen Ice Cap, Canada
AuthorBurgess, D OORCID logo; Gray, L
SourceLiving Planet Symposium, 2016, Prague, Czech Republic; 2376, 2016.
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20160137
MeetingLiving Planet Symposium; Prague; CZ; May 9-13, 2016
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
NTS560B/02; 560B/03; 69H/11; 69H/12; 69H/13; 69H/14
AreaMeighen Island
Lat/Long WENS-101.0000 -98.5000 80.2500 79.7500
SubjectsNature and Environment; icefields; climate, arctic; climate effects; remote sensing; satellite geodesy; CryoSat-2
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience Essential Climate Variable Monitoring
Released2016 01 01
AbstractMeighen ice cap (79N, 80W) is a small stagnant ice mass occupying ~60km2 of eastern sector of Meighen Island, Nunavut, Canada. Despite its low elevation profile (maximum height reaches 270m a.s.l.), the Meighen Ice Cap has maintained a relatively healthy mass balance since measurements began the early 1960's with 6 out of 10 years experiencing growth prior to 2005. The persistence of this low elevation ice cap has been attributed to its proximity to the Arctic Ocean from which frequent fog events suppress summer melt. Since 2005 however, the Meighen Ice Cap has experienced rapid shrinkage in both area and thickness due to a sharp increase in the magnitude and duration of summer warming. This presentation will integrate results from in-situ glacier measurements and airborne laser altimetry in order to validate and independently assess seasonal and inter-annual changes in mass of the Meighen Ice Cap as measured from the CryoSat-2 radar altimeter since its launch in 2010.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Small stagnant ice caps are rapidly disappearing from the Canadian high Arctic landscape in response to a recent increase in summer air temperatures. In this study, we use 2 methods of remote sensing, validated with in-situ measurements, to document changes in mass balance and geometry to the Meighen Ice Cap, Arctic Canada over the past 20 years. Results indicate that the Meighen Ice Cap has responded rapidly to post 2005 summer warming with melt rates up to 5 times more negative than the long term average. Remote sensing techniques used in this study are an effective means to measure broad scale to glaciers and ice caps in order to quantify the impacts of climate change on the high Arctic landscape.

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