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Wind causes Totten Ice Shelf melt and acceleration


Greene, CA and Blankenship, DD and Gwyther, DE and Silvano, A and van Wijk, E, Wind causes Totten Ice Shelf melt and acceleration, Science Advances, 3, (11) Article e1701681. ISSN 2375-2548 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1126/sciadv.1701681


Totten Glacier in East Antarctica has the potential to raise global sea level by at least 3.5 m, but its sensitivity to climate change has not been well understood. The glacier is coupled to the ocean by the Totten Ice Shelf, which has exhibited variable speed, thickness, and grounding line position in recent years. To understand the drivers of this interannual variability, we compare ice velocity to oceanic wind stress and find a consistent pattern of ice-shelf acceleration 19 months after upwelling anomalies occur at the continental shelf break nearby. The sensitivity to climate forcing we observe is a response to wind-driven redistribution of oceanic heat and is independent of large-scale warming of the atmosphere or ocean. Our results establish a link between the stability of Totten Glacier and upwelling near the East Antarctic coast, where surface winds are projected to intensify over the next century as a result of increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctica, melting, Totten Glacier, ice shelf, wind
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes
UTAS Author:Gwyther, DE (Dr David Gwyther)
UTAS Author:Silvano, A (Mr Alessandro Silvano)
UTAS Author:van Wijk, E (Ms Esmee van Wijk)
ID Code:122141
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:47
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2017-11-02
Last Modified:2018-05-25
Downloads:88 View Download Statistics

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