Greenland Climate
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The Greenland ice sheet gains mass at high elevation through snowfall accumulation, and loses mass at low elevation through iceberg calving, evaporation, and melting. Satellite imagery are used to see where the ice melts, and climate models can estimate how much ice melts as a result of energy originating from the sun and the atmosphere. But the error in satellite data and weather models always need to be assessed so their data can possibly become of confident use. Within PROMICE, about 20 automatic weather stations are installed on the ice sheet. These measure all important meteorological parameters, but also ice ablation, snow accumulation, ice temperatures, ice movement, and more (see measurements in our Weather Archive). Whereas the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net) is focused at higher elevations, in the accumulation zone, the PROMICE network targets the lower melt area. Our combined measurements indicate that melt in recent years has set records for large areas of the ice sheet, and that this can be attributed to multiple causes directly measured by PROMICE: atmospheric warming and ice sheet darkening. Ice ablation data can be downloaded from our weather station and historical mass balance archives.

A PROMICE automatic weather station

Weather station KAN_L taking measurements on top of a melting ice surface.