I am a PhD candidate and NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow in the Polar Science Research Laboratory of the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University. My present research focuses on the Antarctic cryosphere-climate system and employs remote sensing, ground observations, and climate models to study the variability, intensity, and drivers of ice sheet surface melt.
We have just published a paper in Geophysical Research Letters where we present novel, satellite-based estimates of Antarctic surface meltwater production. To accomplish this task, we calibrated radar backscatter measurements during melt from the QuikSCAT satellite with melt determined from robust ground-based surface energy balance modeling. Over most ice sheet and ice shelf areas, our satellite-based results significantly agree with surface meltwater production simulated by the state of the art regional climate model, RACMO2.1. Across inner Larsen C ice shelf (LCIS) on the Antarctic Peninsula (AP), our satellite results indicate persistent and intense melting consistent with the influence of warm föhn winds descending from the nearby AP mountains. Further, the pattern of melt we observed on LCIS is spatially consistent with recently reported LCIS thinning, affirming the importance of surface melt to firn compaction and associated height lowering.
Abram, N. J., R. Mulvaney, E. W. Wolff, J. Triest, S. Kipfstuhl, L. D. Trusel, F. Vimeux, L. Fleet, and C. Arrowsmith (2013), Acceleration of snow melt in an Antarctic Peninsula ice core during the twentieth century, Nature Geoscience, 6, (5), 404-411 doi:10.1038/ngeo1787.
Trusel, L. D., K.
E. Frey, and S. B. Das (2012), Antarctic surface melting
dynamics: Enhanced perspectives from radar scatterometer
data, Journal of Geophysical
Research - Earth Surface, 117, F02023, doi:10.1029/2011JF002126.