Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



2004 by the American Geophysical Union


Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L23208, doi:10.1029/ 2004GL021048.


Data from 34 Greenland firn cores, extending from 1982 to 1996, are used to identify spatial accumulation variability patterns and their associated atmospheric circulation and cyclone frequencies. The first principal component, representing west-central Greenland accumulation, is correlated to NAO variability, having increased southwesterly (northeasterly) flow over that area during high (low) accumulation winters. The flow is linked to a relative increase in cyclone activity on the west central region of the ice sheet during high accumulation periods. The second principal component represents accumulation over southeastern Greenland where strong westerly flow leads to high accumulation and an increase in lee cyclones on the east and southeast coast. The study provides evidence that increased cyclone activity occurs over, or immediately adjacent to, areas experiencing anomalously high accumulation and it is important to distinguish lee cyclones from ‘‘Icelandic’’ cyclones, as they produce opposite precipitation effects over the ice sheet.