Faculté des sciences et de médecine

Firn data compilation reveals widespread decrease of firn air content in western Greenland

Vandecrux, Baptiste ; MacFerrin, Michael ; Machguth, Horst ; Colgan, William T. ; As, Dirk van ; Heilig, Achim ; Stevens, C. Max ; Charalampidis, Charalampos ; Fausto, Robert S. ; Morris, Elizabeth M. ; Mosley-Thompson, Ellen ; Koenig, Lora ; Montgomery, Lynn N. ; Miège, Clément ; Simonsen, Sebastian B. ; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas ; Box, Jason E.

In: The Cryosphere, 2019, vol. 13, no. 3, p. 845–859

The perennial snow, or firn, on the Greenland ice sheet each summer stores part of the meltwater formed at the surface, buffering the ice sheet’s contribution to sea level. We gathered observations of firn air content, indicative of the space available in the firn to retain meltwater, and find that this air content remained stable in cold regions of the firn over the last 65 years but... More

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    Summary
    The perennial snow, or firn, on the Greenland ice sheet each summer stores part of the meltwater formed at the surface, buffering the ice sheet’s contribution to sea level. We gathered observations of firn air content, indicative of the space available in the firn to retain meltwater, and find that this air content remained stable in cold regions of the firn over the last 65 years but recently decreased significantly in western Greenland.