Articles | Volume 1, issue 2
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 497–518, 2020
Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 497–518, 2020

Research article 29 Sep 2020

Research article | 29 Sep 2020

A Lagrangian analysis of the dynamical and thermodynamic drivers of large-scale Greenland melt events during 1979–2017

Mauro Hermann et al.

Data sets

ERA-Interim European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts


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Short summary
We find, by tracing backward in time, that air masses causing extensive melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet originate from further south and lower altitudes than usual. Their exceptional warmth further arises due to ascent and cloud formation, which is special compared to near-surface heat waves in the midlatitudes or the central Arctic. The atmospheric systems and transport pathways identified here are crucial in understanding and simulating the atmospheric control of the ice sheet in the future.