PhD defense by Sofie Louise Sandberg Sørensen – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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PhD defense by Sofie Louise Sandberg Sørensen

Changes of the Greenland ice sheet - derived from ICESat and GRACE data

Abstract

The Greenland ice sheet is responding to the changing climate, and satellite observations are crucial in mapping these changes. The melting of the large ice sheet contributes to the global sea level rise, and it is important to determine the present-day contribution.

In this thesis, the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet is derived from two very different remote sensing data sets. Laser altimetry (2003-2008) from NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) reveals large coastal thinning of the ice sheet, and a small interior thickening.

Data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) shows a negative trend (2002-2010) in the gravity field over Greenland, indicating a mass loss of the ice sheet.
The analysis of both ICESat and GRACE data reveal an annual mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet, which is greater that 200 Gt.

Supervisor: Carl Christian Tscherning, University of Copenhagen
Co- supervisor: René Forsberg, DTU Space