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Long melt seasons on ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula: an analysis using satellite-based microwave emission measurements

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We have examined the record of melt-season duration on the Antarctic Peninsula using two techniques for detecting the presence of a melt signal in microwave-emission time series covering the period 1978-2000. We have obtained similar estimates of melt-season length using the cross-polarized gradient ratio (XPGR) technique and calibrations previously applied in Greenland and a technique which detects the jump in emission caused by melt without using a sensor- and frequency-dependent threshold value. The close correspondence between results from the two techniques on peninsula ice shelves suggests that the XPGR analysis can be used over the length of the time series. The results show that the long melt seasons of 1992/93 and several later years were exceptional occurrences on the northern parts of the Larsen Ice Shelf. These melt seasons were followed by disintegration events, supporting a possible cause-and-effect relationship.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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