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NCoE SVALI - Stability and Variations of Arctic Land Ice

Focus: Reduce the uncertainty in measurement and estimation of current and future volume changes of land ice in the North-Atlantic Region, Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia and Svalbard.

The recent warming of the Earth has led to changes in the cryosphere - the part of the Earth System where water occurs in its frozen form - causing an increased flux of meltwater and icebergs from glaciers, and a rising sea level. Increased freshwater discharge to the oceans also impacts ocean circulation as well as the Arctic Hydrological Cycle.


These changes are happening more rapidly than predicted. In order to be able to foresee future sea level rise, it is necessary to strive for a better understanding of glaciological processes, and to include them in Earth System Models.


The NCoE SVALI takes on the task to answer these key questions:

 

  • How fast is land ice volume in the Arctic and North-Atlantic area changing, and why?
  • Will these processes continue to accelerate?
  • What are the consequences for sea-level and ocean circulation
  • What are the implications for society?

 

Nordic researchers are uniquely positioned to play a leading role in this research, and NCoE SVALI will constitute a platform for joint process studies, analyses, sharing of methods, researcher training and outreach activities to spread information about the scientific results.


The researchers will study basic processes using remote sensing, airborne and in-situ measurements, and carry out advanced Earth System Modelling with focus on glaciers in the Arctic/North-Atlantic area. Ultimately, the center will form a common foundation for international collaboration of Nordic scientists in cryospheric research.

 

Result summary

 

SVALI has focused its research on reducing the uncertainty in measurement and estimation of current and future volume changes of land ice in the North-Atlantic Region, Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia and Svalbard. The changes in mass are a result of increased melting at the surface and changing dynamics with increased calving of ice.

 

The results are based on direct field measurements and remote measurements from planes and satellites. The project team has improved modelling of future changes by improving parameterisation of processes, particularly in relation to refreezing of melt water in the snow and changes in Albedo.

 

The mass loss is not surprisingly dominated by Greenland with an average value of 234 Gt/year in the period 2003-2011, Iceland 9,5 GT/year and Svalbard 5 Gt/year, but with large variations.

 

Research within SVALI is largely conducted through the joint Nordic PhD School established, currently funding 10 PhDs and 7 post-docs. The school also has 14 associated PhD students. The PhD programme includes approximately 20 courses, and moreover a range of thematic work meetings has been held.

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More information

Check out the NCoE SVALI website

Click here for a list of NCoE SVALI publications

 

Participating organisations

 

 

Project leader

 

Jon Ove Methlie Hagen, Professor

Universitetet i Oslo, Norge

j.o.m.hagen@geo.uio.no

+47 228 54 038 / +47 906 47 908


Project participants

 

  • Jon Ove Methlie Hagen, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Tómas Jóhannesson, Iceland Meteorological Office, Iceland
  • Andreas P. Ahlstrøm, GEUS, Denmark
  • Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, University of Iceland, Iceland
  • Heikki Järvinen, Helsinki University, Finland
  • René Forsberg, DTU, Denmark
  • Anna Sinisalo, University of Oslo, Norway

 

Programme report

Summarizes the programme Interaction between Climate Change and the Cryosphere (ICCC) and highlights the international quality research carried out in three Nordic Centres of Excellence (NCoE).

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