Environmental Science

Professor Alex Gardner

Alex Gardner, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Geography
Graduate School of Geography
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Email: agardner@clarku.edu
Phone: (508) 793-7325

Curriculum Vitae
Research Website


Professor Alex Gardner earned a B.Eng. in Civil Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the University of Alberta. Prior to joining the Clark Graduate School of Geography, he was a NSERC research fellow in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan.

Gardner studies the Earth's cryosphere (frozen Earth) with a particular focus on glaciers and their impacts on sea level rise and water resources. He is interested in how glaciers and ice sheets respond to natural and human induced forcings as well as how changes in the reflectivity of snow and ice modify the Earth's climate. To answer such questions he integrates remote sensing observations and Earth system modeling. Using this approach, Gardner recently showed that glaciers in the Canadian Arctic have become the largest contributor to sea level rise outside of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

Professor Gardner is now focused on assessing glacier wastage on a global scale and is a contributing author of the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report.

Areas of Research

  • Climate-Cryosphere Interaction
  • Remote Sensing of Snow and Ice
  • Global and Polar Climate Change
  • Arctic Climatology
  • Snow & Ice Reflectance
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Earth-System Modeling

Recent Publications

  • Pfeffer, W.T., Arendt, A.A., Bliss, A., Bolch,T., Cogley, J.G., Gardner, A.S., Hagen, J-O., Hock, R., Kaser, G., Kienholz, C., Miles, E.S., Moholdt, G., Moelg, N., Paul, F., Radic, V., Rastner, P., Raup, B., Rich, J., Sharp, M.J. and the Randolph Consortium, submitted. The Randolph Glacier Inventory: a globally complete inventory of glaciers. Journal of Glaciology.
  • Donnellan, A., B. Bills, J.J. Green, R. Goullioud, S. Jones, R. Knight, M. Underhill, J. Goguen, E. M. De Jong, A. Ansar, T. Scambos, P. Morin, B. Hallet, L. Thompson, A.S. Gardner, J. Ekholm, submitted: Studying Mountain Glacier Processes Using a Staring Instrument. 2003 IEEE Aerospace Conference. Paper number: 2221-1.
  • Gardner, A.S., G. Moholdt, J.G. Cogley, B. Wouters, A.A. Arendt, J. Wahr, E. Berthier, R. Hock, W.T. Pfeffer, G. Kaser, S.R.M. Ligtenberg, T.Bolch, M.J. Sharp, J.O. Hagen, M.R. van den Broeke, and F. Paul, 2013: A reconciled estimate of glacier contributions to sea level rise: 2003 to 2009. Science, 340, 852-857. (Featured Article)
  • IPCC. 2013. Working Group 1 Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Chapter 4: Observations: Cryosphere. Co-ordinating Lead Authors: D.G. Vaughan, J.C. Comiso; Lead Authors: I.Allison, J.Carrasco, G.Kaser, R.Kwok, P.Mote, T.Murray, F.Paul, J.Ren, E.Rignot, O.Solomina, K.Steffen, T.Zhang; Contributing Authors: A.A.Arendt, D.B.Bahr, M.van den Broeke, R.Brown, J.G.Cogley, A.S.Gardner, S.Gerland, S.Gruber, C.Haas, J-O. Hagen, R.Hock, D.Holland, M.Huss, T.Markus, B.Marzeion, R.Massom, G.Moholdt, P.P. Overduin, A.Payne, W.T.Pfeffer, T.Prowse, V.Radic, D.Robinson, M.Sharp, K.Shiklomanov, S.Smith, S.Stammerjohn, I.Velicogna, P.Wadhams, A.Worby, L.Zhao. 102pp.
  • IPCC. 2013. Working Group 1 Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Chapter 13: Sea Level Rise. Co-ordinating Lead Authors: J. A. Church, P.U. Clark; Lead Authors: A. Cazenave, J.M. Gregory, S. Jevrejeva, A. Levermann, M.A. Merrifield, G.A. Milne, R.S. Nerem, P.D. Nunn, A.J. Payne, W.T. Pfeffer, D. Stammer, A.S. Unnikrishnan; Contributing Authors: D. Bahr, J.E. Box, D.H. Bromwich, M. Carson, W. Collins, X. Fettweis, P. Forster, A.S. Gardner, W.R. Gehrels, R. Giesen, P.J. Gleckler, P. Good, R.G. Graversen, R. Greve, S. Griffies, E. Hanna, M. Hemer, R. Hock, S.J. Holgate, J. Hunter, P. Huybrechts, G. Johnson, I. Joughin, G. Kaser, C. Katsman, L. Konikow, G. Krinner, A. Le Brocq, J. Lenaerts, S. Ligtenberg, C.M. Little, B. Marzeion, K.L. McInnes, S.H. Mernild, D. Monselesan, R. Mottram, T. Murray, G. Myhre, J.P. Nicholas, F. Nick, M. Perrette, D. Pollard, V. Radi?, J. Rae, M. Rummukainen, C. Schoof, A. Slangen, J.H. van Angelen, W.J. van de Berg, M. van den Broeke, M. Vizcaíno, Y. Wada, N.J. White, R.Winkelmann, J. Yin, M. Yoshimori, K. Zickfeld. 124pp.
  • Arendt, A., Luthcke, S., Gardner, A.S., O'neel, S., Hill, D., Moholdt, G., and Abdalati, W., 2013: Analysis of a GRACE global mascon Solution for Gulf of Alaska Glaciers, Journal of Glaciology, 59, 913-924.
  • Lenaerts, J.T.M., J.H. van Angelen, M.R. van den Broeke, A.S. Gardner, B. Wouters, and E. van Meijgaard, 2013: Irreversible mass loss of Canadian Arctic Archipelago glaciers. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 1-5.
  • Gardner, A.S., G. Moholdt, A. Arendt, and B. Wouters, 2012: Accelerated contributions of Canada's Baffin and Bylot Island glaciers to sea level rise over the past half century, The Cryosphere, 6, 1103-1125, 10.5194/tc-6-1103-2012.
  • Moholdt, G., B. Wouters, and A.S. Gardner, 2012: Recent mass changes of glaciers in the Russian High Arctic. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L10502.
  • Gardner, A.S., G. Moholdt, B. Wouters, G.J. Wolken, D.O. Burgess, M.J. Sharp, J.G. Cogley, C. Braun, and C. Labine, 2011: Sharply increased mass loss from glaciers and ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Nature, 473(7347), 357-360. (Cover Feature)
  • Kuipers Munneke, P., M.R. van den Broeke, J.T.M. Lenaerts, M. G. Flanner, A.S. Gardner, and W.J. van de Berg, 2011: A new albedo parameterization for use in climate models over the Antarctic ice sheet. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, D05114.
  • Sharp, M., Burgess, D.O., Cawkwell, F., Copland, L., Davis, J.A., Dowdeswell, E.K., Dowdeswell, J.A., Gardner, A.S., Mair, D., Wang, L., Williamson, S.N., Wolken, G.J. and Wyatt, F., in press. Recent glacier changes in the Canadian Arctic. In Global Land Ice Measurements from Space: Satellite Multispectral Imaging of Glaciers. Kargel, J.S., Bishop, M.P., Kaab, A., Raup, B.H., and Leonard, G. Eds. Springer-Praxis. 20ms.
  • Gardner, A.S. and M.J. Sharp, 2010: A review of snow and ice albedo and the development of a new physically based broadband albedo parameterization. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, F01009.
  • Gardner, A.S., M.J. Sharp, R. M. Koerner, C. Labine, S. Boon, S. J. Marshall, D. O. Burgess, and D. Lewis, 2009: Near-surface temperature lapse rates over Arctic glaciers and their implications for temperature downscaling. Journal of Climate, 22, 4281-4298.
  • Gardner, A.S. and M.J. Sharp, 2009: Sensitivity of net mass balance estimates to near-surface temperature lapse rates when employing the degree-day method to estimate glacier melt. Annals of Glaciology, 50, 80-86.
  • Gardner, A.S. and M. Sharp, 2007: Influence of the Arctic Circumpolar Vortex on the mass balance of Canadian High Arctic glaciers. Journal of Climate, 20, 4586–4598.
  • Gardner, A. S., G. Moholdt, A. Arendt, and B. Wouters. 2012: Long-Term Contributions of Baffin and Bylot Island Glaciers to Sea Level Rise: An Integrated Approach Using Airborne and Satellite Laser Altimetry, Stereoscopic Imagery and Satellite Gravimetry. The Cryosphere Discuss. 6, no. 2. 1563-610.
  • Lenaerts, J. T. M., J. H.  van Angelen, M. R. van den Broeke, A. S. Gardner, B. Wouters, and E. van Meijgaard, in review: Irreversible Mass Loss of Canadian Arctic Glaciers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Moholdt, G., B. Wouters, and A. S. Gardner, 2012: Recent mass changes of glaciers in the Russian High Arctic. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L10502.
  • Gardner, A. S., G. Moholdt, B. Wouters, G. J. Wolken, D. O. Burgess, M. J. Sharp, J. G. Cogley, C. Braun, and C. Labine, 2011: Sharply increased mass loss from glaciers and ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Nature, 473(7347), 357-360. (Cover Feature)
  • Kuipers Munneke, P., M. R. van den Broeke, J. T. M. Lenaerts, M. G. Flanner, A. S. Gardner, and W. J. van de Berg, 2011: A new albedo parameterization for use in climate models over the Antarctic ice sheet. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, D05114.
  • Sharp, M., D. O. Burgess, F. Cawkwell, L. Copland, J. A. Davis, E. K. Dowdeswell, J. Dowdeswell, Gardner, A. S., D. Mair, L. Wang, S. N. Williamson, G. J. Wolken and F. Wyatt. In press. Recent glacier changes in the Canadian Arctic. In Global Land Ice Measurements from Space: Satellite Multispectral Imaging of Glaciers. Kargel, J.S., Bishop, M.P., Kääb, A., Raup, B.H., and Leonard, G. Eds. Praxis-Singer. 34ms.
  • Gardner, A. S. and M. J. Sharp, 2010: A review of snow and ice albedo and the development of a new physically based broadband albedo parameterization. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, F01009.
  • Gardner, A. S., M. J. Sharp, R. M. Koerner, C. Labine, S. Boon, S. J. Marshall, D. O. Burgess, and D. Lewis, 2009: Near-surface temperature lapse rates over Arctic glaciers and their implications for temperature downscaling. Journal of Climate, 22, 4281-4298.
  • Gardner, A. S. and M. J. Sharp, 2009: Sensitivity of net mass balance estimates to near-surface temperature lapse rates when employing the degree-day method to estimate glacier melt. Annals of Glaciology, 50, 80-86.
  • Gardner, A. S. and M. Sharp, 2007: Influence of the Arctic Circumpolar Vortex on the mass balance of Canadian High Arctic glaciers. Journal of Climate, 20, 4586–4598.
  • Gardner, A. S., M. J. Sharp, R. M. Koerner, C. Labine, S. Boon, S. J. Marshall, D. O. Burgess, and D. Lewis, 2009: Near-surface temperature lapse rates over Arctic glaciers and their implications for temperature downscaling. Journal of Climate, 22, 4281-4298.
  • Gardner, A. S. and M. J. Sharp, 2009: Sensitivity of net mass balance estimates to near-surface temperature lapse rates when employing the degree-day method to estimate glacier melt. Annals of Glaciology, 50, 80-86.
  • Gardner, A. S. and M. Sharp, 2007: Influence of the Arctic Circumpolar Vortex on the mass balance of Canadian High Arctic glaciers. Journal of Climate, 20, 4586–4598.