The Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet
The Arctic region as a whole is warming up much more rapidly than the globe at large. It has been well established that this warming is at least partially responsible for the Greenland Ice Sheet losing mass at an alarming rate in recent years, raising concern worldwide. It is an absolute must to quantify the Greenland Ice Sheet mass loss in order to be able to give projections for the potential environmental, social and economical implications around the globe, and to provide the decision-makers with a firm knowledge base.
In 2007, the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy
launched the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) as an ongoing effort to assess changes in the mass budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet. PROMICE is operated by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
in collaboration with the National Space Institute (DTU Space)
and the Greenland Survey (Asiaq).
The two major contributors to the Greenland Ice Sheet mass loss are a negative surface mass budget through enhanced surface melt and a larger production of icebergs through larger ice velocities. PROMICE is focused on both these processes. The surface mass budget is monitored by a network of weather stations
in the melt zone of the ice sheet, providing measurements that feed into a model calculating spatial melt distributions. Changes in ice dynamics are tracked using satellite imagery. In order to translate this into the mass of ice lost at the many Greenland calving glaciers, information on ice thickness in required as well, which is obtained by airborne laser and radar surveys of the entire ice sheet margin. Also changes in the extent of the ice sheet and the many local ice caps and glaciers in Greenland are monitored through remote sensing. For more information on the programme please read "A new programme formonitoring the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet
More recent additions to PROMICE engage detailed investigations of the dynamics of Greenland outlet glaciers using GPS and high-resolution time-lapse photography; information can be found in the descriptions of the projects listed on this site.
If you have questions about PROMICE, please contact Andreas Ahlstrøm
(general inquiries) or Dirk van As
(weather station inquiries).