The motivation for our research is the need for better prediction capabilities of global sea level changes. The aim of our project is to extend the current knowledge of interaction and processes that are changing the Greenland Ice Sheet, its properties and its dynamics. This particularly requires a much better understanding of the linkages between the North Atlantic, the Arctic Ocean, the atmosphere and ice sheet, as well as the peripheral glaciers in Greenland.
The focus of GROCE is a coordinated study of the 79°N Glacier and the surrounding ocean (see adjacent figure). This glacier is the most important outlet of one of the largest glacial streams of the Greenland Ice Sheet, but at the same time, it is located in the difficult to access and so far barely studied northeast of Greenland. As there is growing evidence that the 79°N glacier could retreat significantly over the next few years, an interdisciplinary case study of this critical location is overdue. The results of this study will be used to obtain regional estimates of Greenland's freshwater input, and do better projections of global sea-level rise in the future.
In our project, we closely investigate the following key research questions: