Peter Kuipers Munneke
Polar scientist

NEW PAPER! Estimating Larsen C SMB

Using a lot of field data from several measurement campaigns between 2008 and 2015, we reconstruct spatial patterns of surface mass balance over the Larsen C ice shelf. We assimilate RACMO2 SMB to the available observations to show that SMB is highly variable: from 200 mm w.e. per year in the northeast to over 700 mm w.e. in the southwestern inlets.

Updated Greenland mass loss

Using the mass budget method, our new study in The Cryosphere shows that mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has been 12 ± 6 mm since 1991, making it a major contributor to global mean sea level rise.

About me

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the field of glaciology and polar meteorology at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU), part of Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

Firn modelling using IMAU-FDM

Firn is the transitional product as snow compacts into ice. Knowledge about firn processes is important to convert a change in ice sheet volume to a mass change. Also, firn acts as a buffer for meltwater, retarding the contribution of meltwater to sea-level rise. We investigate changes in the firn using IMAU-FDM, a comprehensive firn model that has successfully been used in altimetry, and to explain observations of firn. ---->

Ice-shelf stability

In the past decades, 20% of Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves have disappeared in abrupt disintegration events. The leading hypothesis for these events is called hydrofracturing: meltwater collects in crevasses and its pressure makes the crevasses penetrate to the ice shelf base, causing it to break up. The firn layer overlaying the ice shelves plays an important modulating role in this process, an idea that I have elaborated upon in an important 2014 paper. ---->

Snowmelt in Antarctica

My colleague Luke Trusel from Woods Hole Oceanographic Instition (USA) published a great paper on future snowmelt in Antarctica in 2015. If greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed, snowmelt will increase eightfold by 2100. ---->

Larsen C 2011

In January 2011, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) conducted a large glaciometeorological experiment on and around the Larsen C ice shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula. The 4-week experiment goes by the name of OFCAP (Orographic Forcing and Climate on the Antarctic Peninsula). The IMAU contributed with instruments for measuring the radiation budget, turbulent fluxes, and the liquid water content of the snow, in a stationary camp on the Larsen Ice Shelf. A field report is available. ---->

Summit (SURE07)

In June and July 2007, we carried out an experiment about radiation and snow cover at Summit Camp, a research station on the Greenland ice sheet. The experiment goes by the name of SURE 07, which stands for Summit Radiation Experiment 2007. Read more -->

Snow and ice albedo

The albedo of a particular surface is defined as the fraction of incoming solar radiation that is reflected by that surface. Snow has a very high albedo, and therefore, small changes in snow albedo have a profound effect on the net radiation budget of the snow surface. ---->

Radiative transfer

Long ago, I developed a model that calculates radiative transfer of solar radiation through the atmosphere, clouds and snow. ---->