Chris Dr. Christopher Harig is an associate research scholar in the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University. His research covers areas of geodesy and geodynamics. His current work studies the melting of Earth's ice sheets due to climate change measured by satellite gravimetry. In previous work, Chris studied the dynamics of the lithosphere and upper mantle using geodynamic computer models, placing constraints on the rheology of these layers. Frederik
Dr. Frederik J. Simons is an Associate Professor of Geosciences at Princeton University. His research encompasses various aspects of solid-earth geophysics. More specifically, he studies the physical properties of the lithosphere, focusing on the elastic and thermomechanical properties of the continents, by seismic tomography and the spectral analysis of gravity and topography. With his colleagues, Frederik has developed mathematical methods for the analysis of processes on the sphere, for geodesy, geomagnetism, and cosmology, designed wavelet-based signal processing methods for seismology, and developed oceanic instrumentation to close the seismic coverage gap over the Earth's oceans.
EPSL Harig, Christopher and Frederik J. Simons. Accelerated West Antarctic ice mass loss continues to outpace East Antarctica gains. Earth Planet. Sci. Let., 415, 134-141, 2015. Reprint (pdf)

Abstract: While multiple data sources have confirmed that Antarctica is losing ice at an accelerating rate, different measurement techniques estimate the details of its geographically highly variable mass balance with different levels of accuracy, spatio-temporal resolution, and coverage. Some scope remains for methodological improvements using a single data type. In this study we report our progress in increasing the accuracy and spatial resolution of time-variable gravimetry. We determine the geographic pattern of ice mass change in Antarctica between January 2003 and June 2014, accounting for glacio-isostatic adjustment using the IJ05_R2 model. Expressing the unknown signal in a sparse Slepian basis constructed by optimization to prevent leakage out of the regions of interest, we use robust signal processing and statistical estimation methods. Applying those to the latest time series of data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) we map Antarctica's mass loss in space and time as well as can be recovered from satellite gravity alone. West Antarctica is losing ice mass at a rate of -121 +- 8 Gt/yr and has experienced large acceleration of ice mass losses along the Amundsen Sea coast of -18 +- 5 Gt/yr^2, doubling the mass loss in the past six years. The Antarctic Peninsula shows slightly accelerating ice mass loss, with larger accelerated losses in the southern half of the Peninsula. Ice mass gains due to snowfall in Dronning Maud Land have continued to add about half the amount of West Antarctica's loss back into the continent over the last decade. We estimate the overall mass losses from Antarctica since January 2003 at a rate of -92 +- 10 Gt/yr.

Ice loss in west Antarctica is speeding up, by John Abraham, The Guardian, 05/11/2015 (web)

Melting Antarctic: Failure to act now on emissions could rause oceans by metres, by Graham Readfearn, The Guardian, 05/05/2015 (web)

Sea level: Past and present melting rates point to 3m by end of century, by Jayalakshmi K, International Business Times 05/05/2015 (web)

Scientists horrified by speed of glaciers melting, by Russell Jackson, The Scotsman 05/04/2015 (web)

Gravity data shows Antarctic ice sheet is melting much faster, Delhi Daily News 05/02/2015 (web)

Antarctica is melting ever faster, by Jenna Iacurci, Nature World News 05/01/2015 (web)

Satellite data helps pinpoint Antarctic ice loss, by Bob Berwyn, Summit County Voice 05/04/2015 (web)

Gravity data show that Antarctic ice sheet is melting increasingly faster,
by Morgan Kelly, News@Princeton, 04/30/2015 (web)
Also reported in,, 04/30/2015 (web)
Science 2.0, 05/01/2015 (web)
e Science News, 05/01/2015 (web)
Daily News and Analysis, 05/01/2015 (web), 05/01/2015 (web)
R & D Magazine, 05/01/2015 (web)
Sierra Leone Times, 05/01/2015 (web)
Web India, 05/01/2015 (web)
Deccan Herald, 05/01/2015 (web)
Reporting Climate, 05/03/2015 (web), 05/04/2015 (web, in Spanish)

Climat: la Terre perd son congelateur, by Sylvestre Huet, Liberation 04/02/2015 (web)

EOS Harig, Christopher, Kevin W. Lewis, Alain Plattner, and Frederik J. Simons. A suite of software analyzes data on the sphere.
Eos, 96, 2015.
Print: Reprint (pdf)

Description: The software improves data analysis over small portions of a spherical planetary surface. Among other applications, it has helped track Greenland's ice loss over time.

Figure 01 pdf png, Figure 02 pdf png, Figure 03 pdf png, Magazine Art pdf

Figures files (code):
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PNAS Harig, Christopher and Frederik J. Simons. Mapping Greeenland's mass loss in space and time. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sc., 109(49), 19934-19937. doi:10.1073/pnas.1206785109, 2012. Reprint (pdf) Supporting Information (pdf)

Abstract: The melting of polar ice sheets is a major contributor to global sea-level rise. Early estimates of the mass lost from the Greenland ice cap, based on satellite gravity data collected by the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE), have widely varied. While the continentally and decadally averaged estimated trends have now more or less converged, to this date there has been little clarity on the detailed spatial distribution of Greenland's mass loss, nor on how the geographical pattern has varied on relatively shorter time scales. Here we present a spatially and temporally resolved estimation of the ice mass change over Greenland between April 2002 and August 2011. While the total mass loss trend has remained linear, actively changing areas of mass loss were concentrated on the southeastern and northwestern coasts, with ice mass in the center of Greenland steadily increasing over the decade.

Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fifth Assessment Report (AR5-WG1), 2013

New science upsets calculations on sea level rise, climate change, by Lewis Page, The Register, 11/28/2012 (web)

El hielo de Groenlandia no se derrite tan rapidamente como se habia estimado,, 11/28/2012 (web, in Spanish)

Embracing data `noise' bring Greenland's complex ice melt into focus, by M. Kelly, News@Princeton, 11/27/2012 (web)

Anderungen in der Schwerkraft verraten Eisschmelze,, 11/24/2012 (web, in German)

Le Groenland fond avec gravite, by Sylvestre Huet, Liberation, 11/22/2012 (web, in French)

De rafelranden van de ijskap, by Elmar Veerman,, 11/21/2012 (web, in Dutch)

Eisschild schrumpft jahrlich um 200 Mrd. Tonnen,, 11/20/2012 (web, in German)

Schwerkraft-Messung zeigt massive Eisschmelze, Die Welt, 11/20/2012 (web, in German)

Greenland ice loss is accelerating, by Sunanda Creagh,, 11/20/2012 (web)

Greenland ice is melting at ever faster rates, by Laura Sinpetru,, 11/20/2012 (web)

Geoscientists report Greenland ice sheet melting rate is increasing, by Bob Yirka,, 11/20/2012 (web)

Greenland ice melt accelerating, by Larry O'Hanlon,, 11/20/2012 (web)

Coste della Groenlandia sempre piu povere di ghiacci, Sciolti 200 miliardi di tonnellate in 10 anni, Meteoleontinoi, 11/20/2012 (web, in Italian)

Degelo na Gronelandia mapeado, CienciaHoje, 11/20/2012 (web, in Portuguese)

Groenlandia ha perdido 200.000 millones de toneladas de hielo en la ultima decada,, 11/20/2012 (web, in Spanish)

Wechselnde Schwerkraft zeigt Schmelzen des Gronlandeises,, 11/19/2012 (web, in German)

Eispanzer Gronlands schmilzt ungleichmassig ab,
Reported in,, 11/19/2012 (web, in German), 11/19/2012 (web, in German)

Greenland ice melt is accelerating, by Douglas Main,
Reported in,, 11/19/2012 (web), 11/19/2012 (web)

Greenland is losing 200 billion tons of ice every year, by Randy Astaiza,, 11/19/2012 (web)

Greenland loses 200 billion tons ice per year, by Larry O'Hanlon,
Reported in,, 12/03/2012 (web), 11/19/2012 (web), 11/19/2012 (web)

Other Relevant Publications:

Christopher Harig, Shijie Zhong & Frederik J. Simons Constraints on upper-mantle viscosity from the flow-induced pressure gradient across the Australian continental keel
Geochem., Geophys., Geosys., 2010, 11, Q06004 doi:10.1029/2010GC003038

Frederik J. Simons & F. A. Dahlen Spherical Slepian functions and the polar gap in geodesy Geoph. J. Int., 2006, 166 (3), 1039-1061 doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03065.x