U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Increased Freshwater Runoff Projected for a Greenland Ice Sheet Fjord
Published: March 31, 2011
Posted: April 06, 2011

Net mass balance from the Greenland Ice Sheet has an important influence on global sea level rise, ocean salinity and density, and thermohaline circulation. The ice sheet is an indicator of ongoing climate changes. Impacts have already been observed for the entire ice sheet and over individual drainage basins, for example, at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland. In a DOE-supported model study, surface mass balance and freshwater runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet and from the Kangerlussuaq drainage area were simulated until 2080, using a projected climate-warming scenario. Mean annual surface air temperatures and precipitation in the Kangerlussuaq area were simulated to increase by 3.4°C and 95 mm water equivalent, respectively, and the 2080 spring runoff season is projected to begin approximately three weeks earlier than currently. These simulations project that the average 2070–2080 Kangerlussuaq runoff will be nearly doubled compared to the present day with expected impacts on hydropower production and sensitive ecological systems in the Kangerlussuaq Fjord region and on the transport of freshwater to the ocean.

Reference: Mernild, S. H., G. E. Liston, C. A. Hiemstra, J. H. Christensen, M. Stendel, and B. Hasholt. 2011. “Surface Mass-Balance and Runoff Modeling Using HIRHAM4 RCM at Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord), West Greenland, 1950–2080,” Journal of Climate, 24, 609–23, doi: 10.1175/2010 JCLI3560.1.

Contact: Renu Joseph, SC-23.1, (301) 903-9237, Dorothy Koch, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0105
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)