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Major modes of climate variability dominate nonlinear Antarctic ice-sheet elevation changes 2002-2020
  • Matt A King,
  • Poul Christoffersen
Matt A King
University of Tasmania

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Poul Christoffersen
University of Cambridge
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We explore the links between elevation variability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and large-scale climate modes. Using multiple linear regression, we quantify the cumulative effects of El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) on gridded AIS elevations. Cumulative ENSO and SAM explain a median of 29% of the partial variance and up to 85% in some coastal areas. After spatial smoothing, these signals have high spatial correlation with those from GRACE gravimetry (r~=0.65 each). Much of the signal is removed by a model of firn densification but inter-model differences exist especially for ENSO. At the lower parts of the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers, near their grounding line, we find the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL) explains ~90% of the observed elevation variability. There, firn effects explain only a small fraction of the variability, suggesting significant height changes have a climatological ice-dynamic response.