Ice mass loss in Greenland, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Canadian Archipelago: Seasonal cycles and decadal trends

Christopher Harig, Frederik J. Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Over the past several decades mountain glaciers and ice caps have been significant contributors to sea level rise. Here we estimate the ice mass changes in the Canadian Archipelago, the Gulf of Alaska, and Greenland since 2003 by analyzing time-varying gravimetry data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. Prior to 2013, interannual ice mass variability in the Gulf of Alaska and in regions around Greenland remains within the average estimated over the whole data span. Beginning in summer 2013, ice mass in regions around Greenland departs positively from its long-term trend. Over Greenland this anomaly reached almost 500 Gt through the end of 2014. Overall, long-term ice mass loss from Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago continues to accelerate, while losses around the Gulf of Alaska region continue but remain steady with no significant acceleration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3150-3159
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 16 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Alaska
  • climate
  • Greenland
  • ice sheets
  • seasonality
  • time-variable gravity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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