Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Enhanced melting of Northern Greenland in a warm climate

Date:
November 9, 2012
Source:
University of Bergen
Summary:
Scientists show how the northern part of the Greenland ice sheet might be very vulnerable to a warming climate.

Simulated ice thickness for the Greenland ice sheet for the last interglacial period (~126 thousand years before present). This was the most recent period with relatively warm temperatures at high northern latitudes, not unlike what is expected for the 21st century from projections of global warming. Circles show locations with ice core data.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Bergen

In a new study from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, scientists show how the northern part of the Greenland ice sheet might be very vulnerable to a warming climate.

The study is based on simulations with a state of the art global climate model and a dynamic ice sheet model of the last interglacial warm period. This period (~126 thousand years before present) is the most recent in Earth's history with temperatures warmer than present in the Arctic region, and has frequently been used as an analogue for a future greenhouse climate. During this period we know that the Greenland ice sheet was significantly reduced in size compared to today.

The model simulations show an extreme retreat of the northern part of the Greenland ice cap in response to the warm interglacial climate, a climate not unlike what we expect on Greenland in the very near future. This result is surprising, as temperatures on the north part of Greenland are colder than in the south. However, increased precipitation compensates for much of the increased melting of the southern part of the ice sheet in a warmer climate.

Today, most scientists expect that the southern part of the Greenland ice sheet is most vulnerable to a changing climate. In particular, there are several studies monitoring ice streams and fjord temperatures along the coast of southern Greenland. However, the new results indicate that the northern part of Greenland, at the fringe of the Arctic Ocean, should be particularly closely. In this area part of the ice sheet is grounded below sea level, and can respond rapidly once it starts receding.

If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt completely, it would result in an increase in mean global sea level by about 7 meters. However, the sea level impact of the observed recent accelerated melt of the ice sheet, as well as future projections of melt from the ice sheet, are not implemented by the current generation of climate models included in the IPCC effort.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Born, K. H. Nisancioglu. Melting of Northern Greenland during the last interglaciation. The Cryosphere, 2012; 6 (6): 1239 DOI: 10.5194/tc-6-1239-2012

Cite This Page:

University of Bergen. "Enhanced melting of Northern Greenland in a warm climate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121109084055.htm>.
University of Bergen. (2012, November 9). Enhanced melting of Northern Greenland in a warm climate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121109084055.htm
University of Bergen. "Enhanced melting of Northern Greenland in a warm climate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121109084055.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. 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