A new present-day temperature parameterization for Greenland

Robert S. Fausto, Andreas P. Ahlstrøm, Dirk van As, Carl E. Bøggild, Sigfus J. Johnsen

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81 Citations (Scopus)


Near-surface air temperature (2 m) over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is parameterized using data from automatic weather stations located on land and on the ice sheet. The parameterization is expressed in terms of mean annual temperatures and mean July temperatures, both depending linearly on altitude, latitude and longitude. The temperature parameterization is compared to a previous study and is shown to be in better agreement with observations. The temperature parameterization is tested in a positive degree-day model to simulate the present (1996-2006) mean melt area extent of the GrIS. The model accounts for firn warming, rainfall and refreezing of meltwater, with different degree-day factors for ice and snow under warm and cold climate conditions. The simulated melt area extent is found to have reasonable agreement with satellite-derived observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Issue number189
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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