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Tyler Sutterley

Postdoctoral Scholar





Department Affiliation

Polar Science Center


B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of California, San Diego, 2008

M.S. Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, 2012

Ph.D. Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, 2016


2000-present and while at APL-UW

Continuity of ice sheet mass loss in Greenland and Antarctica from the GRACE and GRACE follow-on missions

Velicongna, I., and 10 other including T. Sutterley, "Continuity of ice sheet mass loss in Greenland and Antarctica from the GRACE and GRACE follow-on missions," Geophys. Res. Lett., 47, doi:10.1029/2020GL087291, 2020.

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28 Apr 2020

We examine data continuity between the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and GRACE Follow‐On (FO) missions over Greenland and Antarctica using independent data from the mass budget method, which calculates the difference between ice sheet surface mass balance and ice discharge at the periphery. For both ice sheets, we find consistent GRACE/GRACE‐FO time series across the data gap, at the continental and regional scales, and the data gap is confidently filled with mass budget method data. In Greenland, the GRACE‐FO data reveal an exceptional summer loss of 600 Gt in 2019 following two cold summers. In Antarctica, ongoing high mass losses in the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica, the Antarctic Peninsula, and Wilkes Land in East Antarctica cumulate to 2130, 560, and 370 Gt, respectively, since 2002. A cumulative mass gain of 980 Gt in Queen Maud Land since 2009, however, led to a pause in the acceleration in mass loss from Antarctica after 2016.

Mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2018

Shepherd, A., and 87 others including B. Smith, I. Joughin, and T. Sutterley, "Mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2018," Nature, 579, 233-239, doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1855-2, 2020.

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12 Mar 2020

The Greenland Ice Sheet has been a major contributor to global sea-level rise in recent decades and it is expected to continue to be so. Although increases in glacier flow and surface melting have been driven by oceanic and atmospheric warming, the magnitude and trajectory of the ice sheet's mass imbalance remain uncertain. Here we compare and combine 26 individual satellite measurements of changes in the ice sheet's volume, flow and gravitational potential to produce a reconciled estimate of its mass balance. The ice sheet was close to a state of balance in the 1990s, but annual losses have risen since then, peaking at 345 ± 66 billion tonnes per year in 2011. In all, Greenland lost 3,902 ± 342 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2018, causing the mean sea level to rise by 10.8 ± 0.9 millimetres. Using three regional climate models, we show that the reduced surface mass balance has driven 1,964 ± 565 billion tonnes (50.3 per cent) of the ice loss owing to increased meltwater runoff. The remaining 1,938 ± 541 billion tonnes (49.7 per cent) of ice loss was due to increased glacier dynamical imbalance, which rose from 46 ± 37 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 87 ± 25 billion tonnes per year since then. The total rate of ice loss slowed to 222 ± 30 billion tonnes per year between 2013 and 2017, on average, as atmospheric circulation favoured cooler conditions and ocean temperatures fell at the terminus of Jakobshavn Isbrae. Cumulative ice losses from Greenland as a whole have been close to the rates predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their high-end climate warming scenario, which forecast an additional 70 to 130 millimetres of global sea-level rise by 2100 compared with their central estimate.

Self-consistent ice mass balance and regional sea level from time-variable gravity

Sutterley, T.C., I. Velicogna, and C.-W. Hsu, "Self-consistent ice mass balance and regional sea level from time-variable gravity," Earth Space Sci., 7, doi:10.1029/2019EA000860, 2020.

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1 Mar 2020

Measurements of time‐variable gravity from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and the GRACE Follow‐on (GRACE‐FO) missions are an invaluable tool for monitoring changes in the mass of the Earth's glaciated regions. We improve upon estimates of glacier and ice sheet mass balance from time‐variable gravity by including instantaneous spatiotemporal variations in sea level. Here, a least squares mascon technique is combined with solutions to the sea level equation to iteratively correct the GRACE/GRACE‐FO data for the induced sea level response on a monthly basis. We find that variations in regional sea level affect ice sheet mass balance estimates in Greenland by approximately 4% and in Antarctic by approximately 5%. Since 2002, the Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at an average rate of 263 ± 23 Gt/yr, and the Antarctic ice sheet has been losing mass at average rates between 90 ± 52 and 122 ± 53 Gt/yr depending on the rate of glacial isostatic adjustment. The mass losses from both ice sheets represent an increase of 15.6 ± 2.0 mm to global mean sea levels since 2002.

More Publications

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center