Melt model


Research focuses on assessing and modeling the effects of climate change on glaciers on scales ranging from individual glaciers to global. Models are used to assess the response of glacier mass balance and discharge to future climate change based on the latest projections given by climate models. The overall goal is to model the effects of future glacier changes on sea-level and streamflow.

Ongoing projects and grants:

  • 8/2017-7/2020
    21st century regional sea level projections due to land ice mass losses and geodynamic adjustments using 3-D Earth models
    R. Hock (PI), J. Freymueller, A. Aschwanden, funded by NASA

  • 9/2016-08/2019
    High Mountain Asia and Beyond: Regional Changes in Climate, Glaciers and Water Resources
    (PI), Collaborative project with B. Osmanoglu (Lead PI, NASA) and R. Lammers (UNH) and others, funded by NASA

  • 09/2016-08/2019
    Collaborative Research: Refreezing in the firn of the Greenland ice sheet: Spatiotemporal variability and implications for ice sheet mass balance
    (PI), Collaborative project with A. Rennermalm (Rutgers Univ), M. Tedesco (Columbia Univ.), funded by NSF

  • 04/2016-03/2019
    Collaborative research: Present and projected future forcings on Antarctic Peninsula glaciers and ice shelves using the Weather Forecasting and Research (WRF) Model
    (PI, collaboration with M. Fahnestock and J. Zhang), funded by NSF

  • 1/2016-12/2016
    Summer School in Glaciology (PI), funded by NASA (ROSES-2015/Topical Workshops, Symposia, and Conferences
    More information

  • 07/2013 - 07/2017
    What role do glaciers play in terrestrial sub-arctic hydrology?
    (Co-I; A. Liljedahl PI), funded by NSF.
    More information

Completed projects:

  • 4/2013-3/2017
    Engaging a New Generation of Arctic Researchers
    (PI V. Alexej, UAF), funding by NSF
    Grant funded the Glaciology Summer School in 2014

  • 9/2010-8/2015
    Collaborative Research: Crops, climate, canals,and the cryosphere in Asia changing water resources around the Earth’s third pole
    (PI Steve Frolking, New Hampshire), funded by NSF.
    Undergraduate student: Aurora Roth
    Abstract: This project is generating an integrated assessment of the impacts of climate-, and human-driven changes in hydrology on agricultural production and land use in Central, South, East, and Southeast Asia, and the implications for regional food security and economic welfare in the coming decades. It combines future climate projections, remote sensing and hydrological data together with hydrological, geophysical, agroecosystem and economic modeling to characterize the relative importance of local precipitation, runoff, groundwater mining, interbasin water transfers, and agricultural and non-agricultural water use for the region's water supply-demand balance. The project goal is to estimate how effects of climate change on high-elevation snow, ice, and permafrost hydrology will affect downstream water resources and food production, and through scenario analyses with regard to e.g. dam construction and other large-scale water engineering efforts. At UAF we model the response of all High Mountain Glaciers to future climate change and quantity the runoff from the glaciers as input for hydrological models.
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  • 6/2012-6/2015
    Future glacier and runoff changes in the Susitna drainage basin (collaborators G. Wolken (DGGS), A. Liljedahl (INE UAF) and others, funded by Alaska Energy Authority through DGGS.
    Research professional: Juliana Braun; postdoc Andy Bliss

  • 2/2011-2/2015
    Mass budgets of Alaskan glaciers: an assessment of the dynamic contribution to sea level rise (collaborators A. Arendt, M. Braun), funded by NASA.
    PhD students: A. Cody Beedlow, Christian Kienholz
    : We study the current mass budget of all glaciers in Alaska/southwestern Yukon/northwestern British Columbia with the ultimate goal of discriminating between the climatic (surface mass balance) and dynamic component (calving including submarine melting at calving fronts) of the total glacier mass budget. The climatic mass balance is modeled with temperature-index mass balance models while ice discharge into the ocean is quantified using SAR derived ice velocities and approximations of ice thicknesses close to glacier termini.

  • 6/2011-9/2014
    Contribution of Western Antarctic Peninsula glaciers to sea level rise: separation of the dynamic and climatic components (collaborator: M. Braun), funded by NSF
    Postdoc: Batuhan Osmanoglu
    Abstract: We study the current mass budget of glaciers on the Western Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding sub-Antarctic islands with the ultimate goal of discriminating between the climatic (surface mass balance) and dynamic component (calving including submarine melting at calving fronts) of the total glacier mass budget. We focus on King George Island and Livingston Island and use SAR remote sensing to estimate ice velocities and ice discharge into the ocean.
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  • 7/2011-8/2014
    Mass budget closure on the global inventory of mountain glacier and ice caps: Past and future sea-level rise and streamflow variability (collaborators J. Box (U Ohio), R. Lammers (U. New Hampshire), funded by NASA.
    Postdoc: Andy Bliss
    Abstract: This work will quantify recent and future glacier mass balances of all glaciers on Earth (excluding the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets) in order A) to estimate and predict their contribution to sea-level for the last decade and until the end of this century in response to climate change, and B) to quantify the impacts of glacier wastage on regional-scale watershed hydrology in terms of regionally differentiated runoff quantities and seasonality using a global hydrology model.
  • 6/2010-5/2014
    Present and future contribution of glacial runoff to freshwater discharge into the Gulf of Alaska. Collaborators Eran Hood (UAS), Jing Zhang (ARSC). funded by NSF
    Grad student: Robert McNabb
    Abstract: We study the effects of future climate change on the runoff and associated biogeochemical fluxes from glaciers that drain to the Gulf of Alaska. We estimate the current magnitude and timing of runoff from glaciers that drain to the Gulf of Alaska using a regional-scale glacier runoff model, project how annual and seasonal glacial runoff along the GOA will change by 2100 in response to future climate scenarios in Alaska downscaled by a regional climate model, and assess potential changes to the biogeochemical fluxes (C, N, and P) into freshwater and marine ecosystems associated with the projected changes in glacier runoff.
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  • 6/2012-5/2013
    Estimating future flood frequency and magnitude in basins affected by glacier wastage (collaborators: A. Arendt, A. Liljedahl (INE UAF), funded by Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • 5/2009-4/2013
    Improving surface mass balance scheme of PISM for Greenland. Part of NASA project: A high resolution Parallel Ice Sheet Model including fast, sliding flow: advanced development and application (PI Ed Bueler), funded by NASA

  • 2006-2009: Energy balance and mass balance of Vestfonna, Svalbard.
    The project is part of the IPY project 'Kinnvika'

  • 2007-2010
    'Climate and Energy Systems'
Last update: October 2016