Feb 14, 2017

Mass budget of the glaciers and ice caps of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canada, from 1991 to 2015

Romain Millan, Jeremie Mouginot, Eric Rignot
Environmental Research Letters
  • Finds that from 2005 to 2015, surface melt off ice caps and glaciers of the Queen Elizabeth Islands grew by an astonishing 900 percent, from an average of three gigatons to 30 gigatons per year
  • Presents a comprehensive mapping in Queen Elizabeth Islands (QEI), Canada of ice velocity using a suite of satellite data from year 1991 to 2015, combined with ice thickness data from NASA Operation IceBridge, to calculate ice discharge
  • Finds that ice discharge increased significantly after 2011 in Prince of Wales Icefield, maintained or decreased in other sectors, whereas glacier surges have little impact on long-term trends in ice discharge
  • Finds that during 1991–2005, the QEI mass loss averaged 6.3 ± 1.1 Gt yr−1, 52% from ice discharge and the rest from surface mass balance (SMB)
  • Finds that during 2005–2014, the mass loss from ice discharge averaged 3.5 ± 0.2 Gt yr−1 (10%) versus 29.6 ± 3.0 Gt yr−1 (90%) from SMB