Ice-Shelf Melting Around Antarctica

  title={Ice-Shelf Melting Around Antarctica},
  author={E. Rignot and Stephen Jacobs and J{\'e}r{\'e}mie Mouginot and Bernd Scheuchl},
  pages={266 - 270}
Major Meltdown The ice shelves and floating ice tongues that surround Antarctica cover more than 1.5 million square kilometers—approximately the size of the entire Greenland Ice Sheet. Conventional wisdom has held that ice shelves around Antarctica lose mass mostly by iceberg calving, but recently it has become increasingly clear that melting by a warming ocean may also be important. Rignot et al. (p. 266, published 13 June) present detailed glaciological estimates of ice-shelf melting around… 
Ocean-driven thinning enhances iceberg calving and retreat of Antarctic ice shelves
  • Yan Liu, J. Moore, F. Hui
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2015
It is suggested that thinning associated with ocean-driven increased basal melt can trigger increased iceberg calving, implying that iceberg calve may play an overlooked role in the demise of shrinking ice shelves, and is more sensitive to ocean forcing than expected from steady state calving estimates.
Volume loss from Antarctic ice shelves is accelerating
Satellite data is presented showing that ice shelves in many regions around the edge of Antarctica are losing mass, which increases concern about how fast sea level might rise as climate continues to warm.
Melting and freezing under Antarctic ice shelves from a combination of ice-sheet modelling and observations
ABSTRACT Ice-shelf basal melting is the largest contributor to the negative mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet. However, current implementations of ice/ocean interactions in ice-sheet models
Antarctic icebergs distributions 1992-2014: ANTARCTIC ICEBERG
Basal melting of floating ice shelves and iceberg calving constitute the two almost equal paths of freshwater flux between the Antarctic ice cap and the Southern Ocean. The largest icebergs ( 100
Calving fluxes and basal melt rates of Antarctic ice shelves
Almost half of the ice-sheet surface mass gain is lost through oceanic erosion before reaching the ice front, and the calving flux is about 34 per cent less than previous estimates derived from iceberg tracking, suggesting that basal mass loss is a valuable metric for predicting future ice-shelf vulnerability to oceanic forcing.
Antarctic icebergs distributions 1992 – 2014
Basal melting of floating ice shelves and iceberg calving constitute the two almost equal paths of freshwater flux between the Antarctic ice cap and the Southern Ocean. The largest icebergs (>100 km)
Basal Melt and Freezing Rates From First Noble Gas Samples Beneath an Ice Shelf
A climatically induced acceleration in ocean‐driven melting of Antarctic ice shelves would have consequences for both the discharge of continental ice into the ocean and thus global sea level, and
Impacts of warm water on Antarctic ice shelf stability through basal channel formation
The Antarctic Ice Sheet is buttressed by floating ice shelves. Remote sensing data show extensive basal channels, particularly in West Antarctica, which grow quickly in response to warm water
Basal melting of Ross Ice Shelf from solar heat absorption in an ice-front polynya
Ice–ocean interactions at the bases of Antarctic ice shelves are rarely observed, yet have a profound influence on ice sheet evolution and stability. Ice sheet models are highly sensitive to assumed
Arctic Ice Shelves: An Introduction
Ice shelves are relatively thick ice masses that are afloat but attached to coastal land rather than adrift. They form by the seaward extension of glaciers or ice sheets or by build up of multiyear


Melting of ice shelves and the mass balance of Antarctica
We calculate the present ice budget for Antarctica from measurements of accumulation minus iceberg calving, run-off and in situ melting beneath the floating ice shelves. The resulting negative mass
Antarctic ice-sheet loss driven by basal melting of ice shelves
Satellite laser altimetry and modelling of the surface firn layer are used to reveal the circum-Antarctic pattern of ice-shelf thinning through increased basal melt, which implies that climate forcing through changing winds influences Antarctic ice-sheet mass balance, and hence global sea level, on annual to decadal timescales.
Basal melting and freezing under the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica
Abstract The basal melting and freezing rates under the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, are evaluated, and their spatial distributions mapped. Ice velocity, surface elevation and accumulation rate
Circulation and melting beneath George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Introduction George VI Ice Shelf, sandwiched between the western coast of Palmer Land and the eastern coast of Alexander Island, is the largest and most studied of the west Antarctic Peninsula ice
A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance
There is good agreement between different satellite methods—especially in Greenland and West Antarctica—and that combining satellite data sets leads to greater certainty, and the mass balance of Earth’s polar ice sheets is estimated by combining the results of existing independent techniques.
Antarctic Ice Sheet melting in the southeast Pacific
The first oceanographic measurements across a deep channel beneath the calving front of Pine Island Glacier reveal a sub-ice circulation driven by basal melting of 10–12 m yr−1. A salt box model
Variability of basal melt beneath the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica
Abstract Observations from satellite and airborne platforms are combined with model calculations to infer the nature and efficiency of basal melting of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West
Twenty-first-century warming of a large Antarctic ice-shelf cavity by a redirected coastal current
It is shown that a redirection of the coastal current into thefilchner Trough and underneath the Filchner–Ronne Ice Shelf during the second half of the twenty-first century would lead to increased movement of warm waters into the deep southern ice-shelf cavity, which would boost average basal melting from 0.2 metres to almost 4 metres per year.
Impact of Antarctic ice shelf basal melting on sea ice and deep ocean properties
An approximation of Antarctica's rocky and icy coastline normally forms the southern boundary in global climate models. Such a configuration neglects extensive ice shelf areas where ocean‐ice
Ice and ocean processes in the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica
[1] In the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula observations show diminishing sea ice and a rapid warming of atmosphere and ocean. These changes have led to the collapse of ice shelves and retreat,