Improved understanding of Greenland ice sheet hydrology is critically important for assessing its impact on current and future ice sheet dynamics and global sea level rise. This has motivated the collection and integration of in situ observations, model development, and remote sensing efforts to quantify meltwater production, as well as its phase changes, transport, and export. Particularly urgent is a better understanding of albedo feedbacks leading to enhanced surface melt, potential positive feedbacks between ice sheet hydrology and dynamics, and meltwater retention in firn. These processes are not isolated, but must be understood as part of a continuum of processes within an integrated system. This letter describes a systems approach to the study of Greenland ice sheet hydrology, emphasizing component interconnections and feedbacks, and highlighting research and observational needs.
- ice sheet