BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

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-33.1 Earth 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

Jan 11, 2022
No Honor Among Copper Thieves
Findings provide a novel means to manipulate methanotrophs for a variety of environmental and in [more...]

Dec 06, 2021
New Genome Editing Tools Can Edit Within Microbial Communities
Two new technologies allow scientists to edit specific species and genes within complex laborato [more...]

Oct 27, 2021
Fungal Recyclers: Fungi Reuse Fire-Altered Organic Matter
Degrading pyrogenic (fire-affected) organic matter is an important ecosystem function of fungi i [more...]

Oct 19, 2021
Microbes Offer a Glimpse into the Future of Climate Change
Scientists identify key features in microbes that predict how warming affects carbon dioxide emi [more...]

Aug 25, 2021
Assessing the Production Cost and Carbon Footprint of a Promising Aviation Biofuel
Biomass-derived DMCO has the potential to serve as a low-carbon, high-performance jet fuel blend [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)