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Sensitivity of Greenland ice sheet simulation to the numerical procedure employed for ice-sheet dynamics

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The response of the Greenland ice sheet to global warming is simulated by two different numerical approaches, in order to evaluate the sensitivity of the analysis to the numerical structure employed. It is found that the thickness near the margin differs appreciably in these two simulations under identical conditions of modest warming, primarily due to a significant increase in the warming effect by an elevation–ablation feedback mechanism in one of the simulations. The change in ice-sheet volume differs by as much as a factor of two under strong climate-change forcing, demonstrating the need for care in interpreting the results of such climate-change analysis.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2005

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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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