Ruth Mottram

Ruth Mottram
Danish Meteorological Institute | DMI · Danish Climate Centre

PhD Glaciology

About

74
Publications
27,138
Reads
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3,007
Citations
Citations since 2016
51 Research Items
2411 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
Additional affiliations
March 2009 - present
Danish Meteorological Institute
Position
  • Climate Scientist
January 2008 - December 2008
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
Position
  • Glaciology Researcher
June 2006 - September 2006
University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)
Position
  • Visiting PhD student
Education
August 2003 - October 2007
University of St Andrews
Field of study
  • Glaciology
September 2000 - September 2001
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • Geosciences
September 1996 - June 2000
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • Geography

Publications

Publications (74)
Article
We calculate a regional surface “melt potential” index (MPI) over Antarctic ice shelves that describes the frequency (MPI-freq, %) and intensity (MPI-int, K) of daily maximum summer temperatures exceeding a melt threshold of 273.15 K. This is used to determine which ice shelves are vulnerable to melt-induced hydrofracture and is calculated using ne...
Article
Full-text available
The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is subject to amplified impacts of climate change and its monitoring is essential for understanding and improving scenarios of future climate conditions. Surface temperature over the GIS is an important variable, regulating processes related to the exchange of energy and water between the surface and the atmosphere. Fe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ice losses from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets have accelerated since the 1990s, accounting for a significant increase in global mean sea level. Here, we present a new 29-year record of ice sheet mass balance from 1992 to 2020 from the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE). We compare and combine 50 independent estimates...
Article
Full-text available
Our ability to improve prognostic modeling of the Greenland Ice Sheet relies on understanding the long-term relationships between climate and mass flux (via iceberg calving) from marine-terminating tidewater glaciers (TWGs). Observations of recent TWG behavior are widely available, but long-term records of TWG advance are currently lacking. We pres...
Article
Full-text available
Regional climate models compute ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB) over a mask that defines the area covered by glacier ice, but ice masks have not been harmonised between models. Intercomparison studies of modelled SMB therefore use a common ice mask. The SMB in areas outside the common ice mask, which are typically coastal and high-precipitatio...
Preprint
The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is subject to amplified impacts of climate change and its monitoring is essential for understanding and improving scenarios of future climate conditions. Surface temperature over the GIS is an important variable as it regulates processes related to the exchange of energy and water between the surface and the atmosphere...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal areas are highly diverse, ecologically rich, regions of key socio-economic activity, and are particularly sensitive to sea-level change. Over most of the 20th century, global mean sea level has risen mainly due to warming and subsequent expansion of the upper ocean layers as well as the melting of glaciers and ice caps. Over the last three...
Article
Full-text available
The future rates of ice sheet melt in Greenland and Antarctica are an important factor when making estimates of the likely rate of sea level rise. Global climate models that took part in the fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) have generally been unable to replicate observed rates of ice sheet melt. With the advent of the sixth Coup...
Preprint
Regional climate models compute ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB) over a mask that defines the area covered by glacier ice, but ice masks have not been harmonised between models. Intercomparison studies of modelled SMB therefore use a common ice mask. The SMB in areas outside the common ice mask, which are typically coastal and high precipitatio...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) is largely determined by precipitation over the continent and subject to regional climate variability related to the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and other climatic drivers at the large scale. Locally however, firn and snowpack processes are important in determining SMB and the total mass balance of Antarctica an...
Article
Full-text available
We compare the performance of five different regional climate models (RCMs) (COSMO-CLM2, HIRHAM5, MAR3.10, MetUM, and RACMO2.3p2), forced by ERA-Interim reanalysis, in simulating the near-surface climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of Antarctica. All models simulate Antarctic climate well when compared with daily observed temperature and pressur...
Article
Full-text available
The Arctic climate system is rapidly transitioning into a new regime with a reduction in the extent of sea ice, enhanced mixing in the ocean and atmosphere, and thus enhanced coupling within the ocean–ice–atmosphere system; these physical changes are leading to ecosystem changes in the Arctic Ocean. In this review paper, we assess one of the critic...
Preprint
Full-text available
The future rates of ice sheet melt in Greenland and Antarctica are an important factor when making estimates of the likely rate of sea level rise. Global climate models that took part in the fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) have generally been unable to replicate observed rates of ice sheet melt. With the advent of the sixth Coup...
Preprint
Full-text available
Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) is largely determined by precipitation over the continent and subject to regional climate variability related to the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and other climatic drivers at the large scale. Locally however, firn and snow pack processes are important in determining SMB and the total mass balance of Antarctica a...
Article
We provide an updated analysis of instrumental Greenland monthly temperature data to 2019, focusing mainly on coastal stations but also analysing ice‐sheet records from Swiss Camp and Summit. Significant summer (winter) coastal warming of ~1.7 (4.4) °C occurred from 1991‐2019, but since 2001 overall temperature trends are generally flat and insigni...
Preprint
Full-text available
In a warming climate concise knowledge of the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet is of utter importance. Speculations that current warming will increase the snow accumulation and mitigate mass balance losses are unconstrained as accumulation data across large regions of the northern ice sheet are scarce. We reconstructed the accumulation from...
Preprint
Full-text available
The future rates of ice sheet melt in Greenland and Antarctica are an important factor when making estimates of the likely rate of sea level rise. Global climate models that took part in the fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) have generally been unable to replicate observed rates of ice sheet melt. With the advent of the sixth Coup...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Arctic climate system is rapidly transitioning into a new regime with a reduction in the extent of sea ice, enhanced mixing in the ocean and atmosphere, and thus enhanced coupling within the ocean-ice-atmosphere system; these physical changes are leading to ecosystem changes in the Arctic Ocean. In this review paper, we assess one of the critic...
Article
Full-text available
Observations and models agree that the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface mass balance (SMB) has decreased since the end of the 1990s due to an increase in meltwater runoff and that this trend will accelerate in the future. However, large uncertainties remain, partly due to different approaches for modelling the GrIS SMB, which have to weigh physic...
Article
Full-text available
Perennial snow, or firn, covers 80 % of the Greenland ice sheet and has the capacity to retain surface meltwater, influencing the ice sheet mass balance and contribution to sea-level rise. Multilayer firn models are traditionally used to simulate firn processes and estimate meltwater retention. We present, intercompare and evaluate outputs from nin...
Article
Full-text available
Observed ice-sheet losses track the upper range of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report sea-level predictions, recently driven by ice dynamics in Antarctica and surface melting in Greenland. Ice-sheet models must account for short-term variability in the atmosphere, oceans and climate to accurately predict sea-level rise.
Article
Full-text available
We use remotely sensed ice velocities in combination with observations of surface elevation and glacier area change to investigate the dynamics of Hagen Bræ, North Greenland in high detail over the last 35 years. From our data, we can establish for the first time that Hagen Bræ is a surge-type glacier with characteristics of both Alaskan- and Svalb...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Perennial snow, or firn, covers 80 % of the Greenland ice sheet and has the capacity to retain part of the surface meltwater, buffering the ice sheet’s contribution to sea level. Multi-layer firn models are traditionally used to simulate the firn processes and estimate meltwater retention. We present the output from nine firn models, forc...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, the Greenland Ice Sheet has been a major contributor to global sea-level rise1,2, and it is expected to be so in the future³. Although increases in glacier flow4–6 and surface melting7–9 have been driven by oceanic10–12 and atmospheric13,14 warming, the degree and trajectory of today’s imbalance remain uncertain. Here we compare...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Antarctic ice sheet mass loss is currently equivalent to around 1 mm year<sup>−1</sup> of global mean sea level rise. Most mass is lost due to sub-ice shelf melting and calving of icebergs. Ice sheet models of the Antarctic ice sheet have thus largely concentrated on parameterising sub-shelf and calving processes. However, surface mass ba...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) mass loss has been accelerating at a rate of about 20 ± 10 Gt/yr<sup>2</sup> since the end of the 1990's, with around 60 % of this mass loss directly attributed to enhanced surface meltwater runoff. However, in the climate and glaciology communities, different approaches exist on how to model the different s...
Article
Full-text available
The abrupt deceleration of accelerated Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) melting since 2013, after a period of acceleration previously noted, is studied here. It is shown that the deceleration of GrIS melting since 2013 is due to the reduction in short‐wave solar radiation in the presence of increasing total cloud cover, which is driven by a more persiste...
Article
Full-text available
The Greenland ice sheet is a major contributor to sea level rise, adding on average 0.47 ± 0.23 mm year − 1 to global mean sea level between 1991 and 2015. The cryosphere as a whole has contributed around 45% of observed global sea level rise since 1993. Understanding the present-day state of the Greenland ice sheet is therefore vital for understan...
Article
Full-text available
The Greenland Ice Sheet holds 7.2 m of sea level equivalent and in recent decades, rising temperatures have led to accelerated mass loss. Current ice margin recession is led by the retreat of outlet glaciers, large rivers of ice ending in narrow fjords that drain the interior. We pair an outlet glacier–resolving ice sheet model with a comprehensive...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is affecting sea level and, through increased freshwater and sediment discharge, ocean circulation, sea-ice, biogeochemistry, and marine ecosystems around Greenland. Key to interpreting ongoing and projecting future ice loss, and its impact on the ocean, is understanding exchanges of heat, freshwa...
Article
Full-text available
The ability of state-of-the-art regional climate models (RCMs) to simulate the trends of intense cyclone activity in the Arctic is assessed based on an ensemble of 13 simulations from 11 models from the Arctic-CORDEX initiative. Some models employ large-scale spectral nudging techniques. Cyclone characteristics simulated by the ensemble in winter a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Greenland ice sheet is a major contributor to sea level rise, adding an estimated 0.47 +/− 0.23 mm/yr to global mean sea level between 1991 and 2015 (van den Broeke et al., 2016). Making sea level rise projections for the future and understanding the processes controlling current observed rates of sea level rise are crucially dependent on under...
Article
Full-text available
With nine southern Greenland ice sheet ablation area locations, the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) “Q‐transect” is a source of snow accumulation and ice ablation data spanning 17 years (2000 to present). Snow water equivalence measurements below equilibrium line altitude enable resolving the location and magnitude of...
Article
Full-text available
Using regional climate-model runs with a horizontal resolution of 5.5 km for two future scenarios and two time slices (representative concentration pathway [RCP] 4.5 and 8.5; 2031-2050 and 2081-2100) relative to a historical period (1991-2010), we study the climate change for the Qeqqata municipality in general and for Kangerlussuaq in particular....
Article
Full-text available
The ability of state-of-the-art regional climate models to simulate cyclone activity in the Arctic is assessed based on an ensemble of 13 simulations from 11 models from the Arctic-CORDEX initiative. Some models employ large-scale spectral nudging techniques. Cyclone characteristics simulated by the ensemble are compared with the results forced by...
Article
Full-text available
HARMONIE-AROME is a convection-permitting non-hydrostatic model that includes the multi-purpose SURFEX surface model. It is developed for high resolution (1–3 km) weather forecasting and applied in a number of regions in Europe and the Mediterranean. A version of HARMONIE-AROME is also under development for regional climate modelling. Here we run H...
Article
Full-text available
Surface ablation of the Greenland ice sheet is amplified by surface darkening caused by light-absorbing impurities such as mineral dust, black carbon, and pigmented microbial cells. We present the first quantitative assessment of the microbial contribution to the ice sheet surface darkening, based on field measurements of surface reflectance and co...
Article
Full-text available
A simulation of the surface climate of Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, carried out with the regional climate model HIRHAM5 for the period 1980–2014, is used to estimate the evolution of the glacier surface mass balance (SMB). This simulation uses a new snow albedo parameterization that allows albedo to exponentially decay with time and is surface tem...
Article
Full-text available
Surface mass balance (SMB) is the builder of the Greenland ice sheet and the driver of ice dynamics. Quantifying the past, present and future state of SMB is important to understand the drivers and climatic processes that control SMB, and to both initialize and run ice sheet models which will help clarify sea level rise, and how likely changes in i...
Article
Full-text available
A simulation of the surface climate of Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, made with the Regional Climate Model HIRHAM5 for the period 1980–2014, is used to estimate the evolution of the glacier mass balance. A new snow albedo parametrization is used for the simulation that describes the albedo with an exponential decay with time and is surface temperatu...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial freshwater runoff strongly influences physical and biogeochemical processes at the fjord scale and can have global impacts when considered at the Greenland scale. We investigate the performance of the HIRHAM5 regional climate model over the catchments delivering freshwater to Tyrolerfjord and Young Sound by comparing to the unique Green...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the drivers of recent change at Greenlandic tidewater glaciers is of great importance if we are to predict how these glaciers will respond to climatic warming. A poorly constrained component of tidewater glacier processes is the near-terminus subglacial hydrology. Here we present a novel method for constraining near-terminus subglacia...
Article
Full-text available
To improve Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance (SMB) simulation, the subsurface scheme of the HIRHAM5 regional climate model was extended to include snow densification, varying hydraulic conductivity, irreducible water saturation and other effects on snow liquid water percolation and retention. Sensitivity experiments to investigate the effect...
Article
Full-text available
During two exceptionally large July 2012 multiday Greenland ice sheet melt episodes, nonradiative energy fluxes (sensible, latent, rain, and subsurface collectively) dominated the ablation area surface energy budget of the southern and western ice sheet. On average the nonradiative energy fluxes contributed up to 76% of daily melt energy at nine au...
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Full-text available
We review the findings of approximately 60 years of in situ and remote sensing studies of glacier crevasses, as well as the three broad classes of numerical models now employed to simulate crevasse fracture. The relatively new insight that mixed-mode fracture in local stress equilibrium, rather than downstream advection alone, can introduce nontriv...