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Recently, scientific attention has focused on estimating Greenland's dynamic mass loss through changes to flow speeds, thickness, and length on its marine outlet glaciers. For the ice sheet outlet glaciers, dynamic mass loss has been found to be highly sensitive to changes in climate and individual glacier geometry. For the ice-sheet-independent marine glaciers around Greenland's periphery, dynamic mass loss is presently overlooked. Here, we apply an open-source, automated method of measuring glacier length changes using satellite imagery, to produce highly detailed records of length changes for 135 peripheral marine glaciers in southeast Greenland. We find evidence for anomalous retreat across 56 glaciers coincident with elevated surface melt in 2016, with melt 22% above the 2013–2019 average. Our detailed observations resolve the widespread, rapid, and synchronous response of these independent marine glaciers to increased meltwater input in 2016, indicating that their dynamics may be more sensitive to atmospheric warming than currently thought.


Related Dataset

Liu, Julia "Jukes"; Enderlin, Ellyn; Khalil, Andre; and Marshall, H.P. (2021). Dataset for Time Series of Terminus Position for Glaciers Along the Periphery of Southeast Greenland [Data set]. Retrieved from

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License