Observing Greenland meltwater from space

Understanding the meltwater from the Greenland Ice Sheet is essential to gain insight into how the ice sheet changes will affect local and regional ecosystems and contribute to global sea-level rise in a future warming climate.

Using Earth Observation data, this project works on determining each of the three major parts of meltwater: surface melt processes, supraglacial storage and drainage, and subglacial melt, drainage and lakes. 

My contribution to 4DGreenland focused on the subglacial melt: the water that is generated at the bed of the ice sheet.

Using methodology described in my publication Karlsson et al., Nature Comm. (2021), we calculated the basal meltwater production from different basins of the ice sheet.

Combining the calculations with models of surface melt and ice calving, it is now possible to consider each glacier basin separately. The results are published in Karlsson et al. (2023).

The 4DGreenland project is funded by the European Space Agency and led by DTU Space.

See the project website for more details and results from project partners.

Logo of the European Space Agency, ESA.