Greenland ice sheet rainfall is expected to increase under a warming climate. Yet, there have been no active long-term in-situ rainfall records on the ice sheet due to observational difficulties. Here, we utilize the state-of-the-art 5 km polar non-hydrostatic regional climate model NHM-SMAP to evaluate the ice sheet’s rainfall over 40 years (1980–2019). The largest trends include a fourfold increase in annual rainfall for the northwestern ice sheet; 3.1 Gt year−1 or 12 mm m−2 year−1. September ice-sheet-wide rainfall amount and intensity increase by 7.5 Gt month−1 and 20.8 mm h−1 year−1. In the last two decades, the increasing September maximum hourly rainfall rate exceeded 50 mm h−1 six times. The increased surface water delivery has numerous implications, including for snow metamorphism and ice flow dynamics.
- climate change
- Greenland ice sheet
- numerical modeling
- polar regional climate model
- Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate