Thousands of peripheral glaciers are melting in Greenland, raising sea levels

Thousands of small glaciers not connected to the main Greenland ice sheet They lose four times the ice they had in 2003, thus contributing significantly to sea level rise.

published in the magazine Geophysical Research Letters AGU is a new study focusing on “fringe” glaciers, which are glaciers with an area of ‚Äč‚Äčless than 0.05 km2 and do not receive ice flow or accumulation from the Greenland Ice Sheet.

There are about 20,300 distant glaciers in Greenland, and although they represent only four percent of Greenland’s ice-covered areas, they contribute to 11 percent of total ice loss from Greenland’s ice-covered areas. This enormous rate of melting contributes greatly to sea level rise.

Specifically, the study found that the melting of surrounding glaciers has increased by more than 50% over the past two decades, as recorded by altimeter data from ICESat and ICESat-2. On average, 42.3 gigatons of ice melted each year from October 2018 to December 2021.. By comparison, 27.2 gigatons melted each year from February 2003 to October 2009.

Ice loss is accelerating pixabay


They lose four times more mass per year

Distant glaciers are now losing four times more ice mass each year than in 2003, according to the new study.

“Ice loss from these small glaciers This is because they are more sensitive to ongoing temperature changes and therefore melt faster. “More than we’ve seen in many other places in the Arctic,” Shfaqat Abbas Khan, lead author of the study and professor at the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark, said in a statement. that and contributes significantly to global sea level rise.

“I think it’s really valuable to shed light on whether these glaciers exist and how they’re changing,” said Twila Moon, a glaciologist at the University of Colorado Boulder who was not involved in the study. “Many people want to know how much sea level will change in a given location and when that will happen. To answer these questions, we need to understand in great detail where we lost ice at different times, including the largest ice sheets and largest glaciers.” little ones.

melt water goes to sea

Global warming is causing significant overall melting of Greenland’s ice sheet and glaciers, but melting point and speed are not equal. This makes it critical to measure ice loss from even small glaciers to understand how much freshwater is flowing off the island.

Melting is accelerating the wall is here


“Many studies have documented the condition of the Greenland ice sheet over the past decade. But while ice loss from surrounding glaciers accounts for a very large proportion of Greenland’s total ice loss, few studies have documented the health of these environmental glaciers. National Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said study co-author William Colgan, a glaciologist.

Low rates of ice loss, such as those found in the high mountains of eastern Greenland that receive heavy snowfall, are offset by intense melting of peripheral glaciers in northern Greenland. While isolated glaciers are not part of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which is the focus of most Greenland-focused sea-level rise research, it is important to include them in the total Arctic melt budget in order to accurately calculate how much the region contributes to sea level. rise

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Environment department contact address:crisclimatica@prensaiberica.es

Source: Informacion

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