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Combined remote sensing and modelling approach to assess the past, present and future evolution of Alaska/Yukon glaciers (northwest North America)

Objective

"The arctic regions are expected to experience the most profound impacts of the ongoing global warming. Some alarming observations have recently been reported by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group, such as reduced sea ice cover or freshening of the Arctic Ocean. One of the most striking features is the rapid wastage of glaciers and ice caps. Improved knowledge of the evolution of these glaciers toward the end of this century is crucial as they significantly contribute to water resources, sea level r ise. We propose in this project to use a combined modelling and remote sensing approach to assess the past, present and future evolution of the glaciers and icefields of northwest North America with special emphasis of those in the Yukon (Canada) and Alask a (USA). This goal will be achieved through the development and validation of a new Regional land Ice Dynamics Model (RIDM). A two-step approach is planned:The first step of the project is the development and validation of the RIDM under the well known 20t h century climate forcing and glacier response. Remote sensing measurements will play a major role by providing:1. Boundary conditions for the model. In particular, we will develop a method to retrieve the subglacial topography in regions that are currentl y ice-covered using satellite-derived velocity fields.2. Tight constraints on model performance. We will test the capability of the model to reproduce the present day ice cover and ice flow dynamic.In a second step, we will run the RIDM under different cli mate condition. First, we will force our model with surface temperature and precipitation fields derived from paleoarchives, including ice-core climate records from Mt. Logan (5960 m asl) to study the evolution of the Yukon/Alaska glaciers during the Holo cene (past ~10000 yr). Then, we will use scenarios of greenhouse gas induced global warming to assess the mass loss and associated sea level rise contribution of these glaciers."

Call for proposal

FP6-2004-MOBILITY-6
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Coordinator

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
Address
Michel Ange, 3
Paris
France

Participants (1)

THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Canada
Address
2075 Wesbrook Mall, Attention To: 103-6190 Agronomy Road,
Vancouver, British Columbia