Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Greenland's Glaciers Losing Ice Faster This Year Than Last Year, Which Was Record-setting Itself

Date:
December 16, 2008
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
Researchers watching the loss of ice flowing out from the giant island of Greenland say that the amount of ice lost this summer is nearly three times what was lost one year ago. The loss of floating ice in 2008 pouring from Greenland's glaciers would cover an area twice the size of Manhattan Island in the US, they said.

Researchers watching the loss of ice flowing out from the giant island of Greenland say that the amount of ice lost this summer is nearly three times what was lost one year ago.

The loss of floating ice in 2008 pouring from Greenland’s glaciers would cover an area twice the size of Manhattan Island in the U.S., they said.

Jason Box, an associate professor of geography at Ohio State, said that the loss of ice since the year 2000 is 355.4 square miles (920.5 square kilometers), or more than 10 times the size of Manhattan.

“We now know that the climate doesn’t have to warm any more for Greenland to continue losing ice,” Box said. “It has probably passed the point where it could maintain the mass of ice that we remember.

“But that doesn’t mean that Greenland’s ice will all disappear. It’s likely that it will probably adjust to a new ‘equilibrium’ but before it reaches the equilibrium, it will shed a lot more ice.

“Greenland is deglaciating and actually has been doing so for most of the past half-century.”

Box, a researcher with Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Research Center, along with graduate students Russell Benson and David Decker, presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

The research team has been monitoring satellite images of Greenland to gauge just how much ice flows from landlocked glaciers towards the ocean to form floating ice shelves. Eventually, large pieces of these ice shelves will break off into the sea, speeding up the flow of more glacial ice to add to the shelves.

Warming of the climate around Greenland is believed to have added to the increased flow of ice outward from the mainland via these huge glaciers.

Using daily images from instruments called MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) aboard two of NASA’s satellites, Box and his team are able to monitor changes in 32 of the largest glaciers along Greenland’s coast.

They determined that during the summer of 2006-2007, the floating ice shelves at the seaward end of those glaciers had diminished by 24.29 square miles (62.9 square kilometers. But one year later -- the summer of 2007-2008 – the ice loss had nearly tripled to nearly 71 square miles (183.8 square kilometers). Much of this additional loss is from a single large floating ice tongue called the Petermann glacier

Late this summer, the Ohio State researchers were able to watch as a massive 11-square-mile (29-square kilometer) chunk broke off from the tongue of the massive Petermann Glacier in Northern Greenland. At the time, they also noted that a massive crack further up the ice shelf suggested an even larger piece of ice would soon crack off.

Box said that some findings may have confused the public’s views of what is happening around Greenland. “For example, we know that snowfall rates have increased recently in this region,” he said, “but that hasn’t been enough to compensate for the increased melt rate of the ice that we’re seeing now.”

Their research is supported in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Greenland's Glaciers Losing Ice Faster This Year Than Last Year, Which Was Record-setting Itself." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215091015.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2008, December 16). Greenland's Glaciers Losing Ice Faster This Year Than Last Year, Which Was Record-setting Itself. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215091015.htm
Ohio State University. "Greenland's Glaciers Losing Ice Faster This Year Than Last Year, Which Was Record-setting Itself." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215091015.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Rescuers were forced to suspend plans to recover at least two dozen bodies from near the summit of Mount Ontake in central Japan on Tuesday after increased seismic activity raised concern about the possibility of another eruption. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins