PROMICE - Monitoring the mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Andreas Peter Ahlstrøm, Dirk van As, John Peter Merryman, Michele Citterio, René Forsberg, Steen Savtrup Kristensen, Signe Bech Andersen, Jørgen Dall, Lars Stenseng, Dorthe Petersen, Erik Lintz Christensen, Robert Schjøtt Fausto

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/rapport/konferenceproceedingsAbstract i proceedings


The Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at an increasing rate during recent years, raising political concern worldwide due to the possible impact on global sea level rise and long-term climate dynamics. The Arctic region as a whole is warming up considerably faster than the global mean; it is necessary to quantify these climatic changes in order to assess the potential consequences and to provide the decision-makers with a firm knowledge base. To cover this need, the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy has launched the Pro-gramme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) in 2007, designed and op-erated by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) in collaboration with the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark and the Greenland Survey (ASIAQ). The aim of the programme is to quantify the annual mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet and track changes in the extent of the glaciers, ice caps and ice sheet margin in Greenland.

The two main mechanisms responsible for the mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet are surface melting and iceberg calving. To quantify mass loss by melting, a network of auto-matic mass-balance stations is being deployed in the low-lying, melting part of the ice sheet, covering every distinct regional climatic zone around Greenland. Each station meas-ures the climate factors causing melt as well as the subsequent local mass loss. In the past two years ten stations have been deployed by PROMICE, filling the gaps between the more than 20 additional Danish, US and Dutch stations already in place on the Greenland ice sheet and independent glaciers. Two more stations are scheduled to be deployed in sum-mer 2009, followed by two more in 2010 completing the geographical coverage. Once in place, the observations will feed into a melt model to calculate surface melt – and changes/trends on a year-to-year timescale – over the entire ice sheet. The measurements will also provide a direct way to check the performance of climate models over Greenland, potentially improving accuracy of future-climate scenarios. Currently, live observations are transmitted to serve as input for weather predictions, as well as to inform people of the Greenland climate worldwide.
TitelThe Dynamics and Mass Budget of Arctic Glaciers
UndertitelExtended abstracts Workshop and GLACIODYN (IPY) meeting, 16 -19 February 2009, Kananaskis (Canada). IASC Network on Arctic Glaciology
RedaktørerA.P. Ahlstrøm, M. Sharp
Antal sider3
StatusUdgivet - 2010
BegivenhedIASC Network on Arctic Glaciology, Workshop and GLACIODYN meeting - Kananaskis, Canada
Varighed: 16 feb. 200919 feb. 2009


NavnDanmarks og Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Rapport


KonferenceIASC Network on Arctic Glaciology, Workshop and GLACIODYN meeting


  • Programområde 5: Natur og klima


Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om 'PROMICE - Monitoring the mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.