Welcome to the blog of the course and textbook Facing up to global warming: What is going on and what you can do about it. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Trinity Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Major Greenland glacier victim to global warming

Image time series of Greenland’s Zachariæ Isstrøm glacier as seen by the 
NASA/USGS Landsat satellite. Retreat of the glacier front is indicated by lines, 
color-coded from dark green (2003) to light green (2015).Credits: NASA/USGS
A NASA funded project has identified that the massive Zachariae Isstrom, that represents 5% of the total Greenland ice sheet, broke loose from a stable position in 2012 started a phase of  accelerated retreat. The glacier drains ice from an area of 35,440 square miles (91,780 square kilometers), that is enough water to raise global sea level by more than 18 inches (46 centimeters) if it were to melt completely. The bottom of Zachariae Isstrom is being rapidly eroded by warmer ocean water mixed with growing amounts of meltwater from the ice sheet surface. Currently it is now losing 5 billion tons of ice and water every year into the North Atlantic Ocean. Jeremie Mouginot, an assistant researcher in the Department of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine who has published this study in Science says that the result of this glacier breaking up and calving high volumes of icebergs into the ocean, will result in rising sea levels for decades to come. Full report Link

Adjacent to this is another large glacier Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden which is melting at a slower rate, but together they make up 12% of the Greenland ice sheet, so together they will raise sea levels by more than 39 inches (99 centimeters) if they completely melt.

NASA has a new project - Oceans Melting Greenland- which is monitoring ocean conditions around Greenland. https://omg.jpl.nasa.gov/portal/  
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1 comment:

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