Campus Map

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

Greenland ice sheet elevation change: Direct observation of process and attribution at Summit

Hawley, R.L., T.A. Neumann, C.M. Stevens, K.M. Brunt, and T.C. Sutterley, "Greenland ice sheet elevation change: Direct observation of process and attribution at Summit," Geophys. Res. Lett., 47, doi:10.1029/2020GL088864, 2020.

More Info

28 Nov 2020

Greenland Ice Sheet surface elevation is changing as mass loss accelerates. In understanding elevation change, the magnitudes of physical processes involved are important for interpretation of altimetry and assessing changes in these processes. The four key processes are surface mass balance (SMB), firn densification, ice dynamics, and isostatic adjustment. We quantified these processes at Summit, Greenland, where monthly Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) snowmobile traverses measured elevation change from 2008 to 2018. We find an elevation increase of 0.019 m a-1. The sum of the effects of the four processes reproduces the measured elevation time series, in linear trend and in intra-annual variability. The short-term variability in elevation is primarily explained by the variability in SMB. Since SMB has not changed significantly over the last century, and the other processes change over longer time scales, the elevation change likely has been ongoing for at least the last 100 years.

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.

More Info

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.

More Info

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.

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