Supraglacial Meltwater on the Greenland Ice Sheet
About the talk
Meltwater runoff is now the leading process by which the Greenland Ice Sheet is transferring mass to the global ocean. Southwestern Greenland, in particular, experiences extensive melting each summer, creating a transient drainage pattern of supraglacial streams, rivers, lakes, and moulins on the ice sheet surface. This little-studied hydrological system, which is largely unrepresented in current climate/surface mass balance models, interacts with surface mass balance and ice motion in significant ways. This talk presents some recent observational discoveries about Greenland supraglacial hydrology, and their broader implications for modeling ice sheet meltwater runoff and short-term ice dynamics.
About the speaker
Laurence C. Smith is the John Atwater and Diana Nelson University Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences (DEEPS) at Brown University. Previously, he was Professor and Chair of Geography at UCLA. His research interests include the Arctic, water resources, and remote sensing technologies. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, essays and books including in the journals Science, Nature, and PNAS, and won more than $16M in research funding from NASA and the National Science Foundation. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). His research appears prominently in Assessment Reports of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has received coverage in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, The Financial Times, Discover Magazine, NPR,CBC Radio, BBC and others. He is a frequent invited speaker for the World Economic Forum in Davos.
His general-audience book THE WORLD IN 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future, synthesizing cross-cutting trends in natural resource demand, demographics, globalization, and climate change with emphasis on northern countries was winner of the Walter P. Kistler Book Award and a NATURE Editor's Pick of 2012. His second book, RIVERS OF POWER about rivers and civilization was published in 2020.