The dynamic response of Arctic glaciers to global warming (GLACIODYN)
Global warming will have a large impact on glaciers in the Arctic region. Changes in the extent of glaciers will affect sea level, and may lead to substantial changes in sediment and fresh water supplies to embayments and fjords.
What is GLACIODYN?
Previous assessments to estimate the runoff of all glaciers in the Arctic for a set of climate-change scenarios used a simple approach. Changes in the surface mass balance were calculated without dealing with the fact that glacier geometries will change. Estimations also assumed that the rate of iceberg production at calving fronts would not change.
To arrive at more accurate predictions, Glaciodyn aims to study the dynamics of Arctic glaciers and develop new tools to deal with this dynamic response. The key elements of this effort are:
(i) to make better use of observational techniques to assess the detailed dynamics of a key set of glaciers, and
(ii) to develop models that can be used to aggregate data and that are sufficiently robust to have predictive power.
A set of target glaciers has been identified for intensive observations (in situ and from space) for the period 2007-2010. This set covers a wide range of climatic/geographical settings and takes maximum advantage of prior long-term studies.
The is the (slightly modified) text from the Norwegian contribution to the IPY-37 Glaciodyn. GLACIODYN has been fully endorsed by the Joint Committee.