Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




ICE WORLD
Research finds Greenland glacier melting faster than expected
by Staff Writers
Sheffield UK (SPX) Aug 22, 2011


illustration only

Dr Hanna, from the University of Sheffield's Department of Geography, was part of a team of researchers that also included Dr Sebastian Mernild from the Los Alamos Laboratory, USA, and Professor Niels Tvis Knudsen from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. The team's new findings present crucial insight into the effects of climate change.

The researchers found that Greenland's longest-observed glacier, Mittivakkat Glacier, made two consecutive record losses in mass observations for 2010 and 2011. The observations indicate that the total 2011 mass budget loss was 2.45 metres, 0.29 metres higher than the previous observed record loss in 2010. The 2011 value was also significantly above the 16-year average observed loss of 0.97 metres per year.

The 2011 observations further illustrate, even comparing the mass balance value against simulated glacier mass balance values back to 1898, that 2011 is a record-breaking glacier mass loss year.

Mittivakkat Glacier has been surveyed for mass balance and glacier front fluctuations since 1995 and 1931 respectively. In 2011 the glacier terminus has retreated about 22 metres, 12 metres less than the observed record of 34 metres in 2010, and approximately 1,300 metres in total since the first photographic observations in 1931.

These observations suggest that recent Mittivakkat Glacier mass losses, which have been driven largely by higher surface temperatures and low precipitation, are representative of the broader region, which includes many hundreds of local glaciers in Greenland.

Observations of other glaciers in Greenland show terminus retreats comparable to that of Mittivakkat Glacier. These glaciers are similar to the Mittivakkat Glacier in size and elevation range.

Local glacier observations in Greenland are rare, and the Mittivakkat Glacier is the only glacier in Greenland for which long-term observations of both the surface mass balance and glacier front fluctuations exist.

Since 1995, the general trend for the Mittivakkat Glacier has been toward higher temperatures, less snowfall, and a more negative glacier mass balance, with record mass loss in 2011. In 14 of the last 16 years, the Mittivakkat Glacier had a negative surface mass balance.

Principal Investigator on this summer's fieldwork, Dr Edward Hanna, commented: "Our fieldwork results are a key indication of the rapid changes now being seen in and around Greenland, which are evident not just on this glacier but also on many surrounding small glaciers. It's clear that this is now a very dynamic environment in terms of its response and mass wastage to ongoing climate change.

"The retreat of these small glaciers also makes the nearby Greenland Ice Sheet more vulnerable to further summer warming which is likely to occur. There could also be an effect on North Atlantic Ocean circulation and weather patterns through melting so much extra ice.

"An extended glacier observation programme in east Greenland for the next few years is clearly needed to improve understanding of the links between climate change and response of the glaciers in this important region."

The project marks an important practical collaborative venture of both the joint research centre of the Universities of Sheffield and Aarhus, and Los Alamos, with funding support provided by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme.

The findings include updated results from the following research paper: Mernild, S.H., N. T. Knudsen, W. H. Lipscomb, J. C. Yde, J. K. Malmros, B. Hasholt, and B. H. Jakobsen (2011) Increasing mass loss from Greenland's Mittivakkat Gletscher. The Cryosphere, 5, 341-348.

.


Related Links
University of Sheffield
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ICE WORLD
Polar climate change may lead to ecological change
University Park PA (SPX) Aug 17, 2011
Ice and frozen ground at the North and South Poles are affected by climate change induced warming, but the consequences of thawing at each pole differ due to the geography and geology, according to a Penn State hydrologist. "The polar regions, particularly the Arctic, are warming faster than the rest of the world," Michael N. Gooseff, associate professor of civil and environmental engineer ... read more


ICE WORLD
Man in the Moon Looking Younger

GRAIL Moon Twins are Joined to Their Booster

Moon younger than previously thought

GRAIL Launch Less Than One Month Away

ICE WORLD
New Rover Snapshots Capture Endeavour Crater Vistas

France, Russia talk of Mars mission

Possibility of Mars microbial life eyed

Arrival in the Arctic

ICE WORLD
NASA Selects XCOR to Participate in Suborbital Flight Contract

NASA Selects Seven Firms To Provide Near-Space Flight Services

NASA moves forward in manned spaceflight

Russia space chief regrets focus on manned missions

ICE WORLD
Chinese orbiter launch failure will not affect unmanned space module launch

Rocket malfunction causes satellite to not reach preset orbit

China satellite aborts mission after 'malfunction'

Pausing for Tiangong

ICE WORLD
First 3D video transmission live from space

Robotic Refueling Module, Soon To Be Relocated to Permanent Space Station Position

SpaceX plans November test flight to space station

Crew Stows Spacesuits, Completes Robotics Checkout

ICE WORLD
Russia loses contact with new satellite

China successfully launches maritime satellite

NASA selects Virgin Galactic for Suborbital Flights

Arabsat-5C is welcomed in French Guiana for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 launch

ICE WORLD
Hubble to Target 'Hot Jupiters'

Stellar eclipse gives glimpse of exoplanet

Alien World is Blacker than Coal

Strange planet is blacker than coal

ICE WORLD
HP surrenders as post-PC era beckons

Forecasting pipe fractures

Tests find thyroid radiation in Japanese children

First quantitative measure of radiation leaked from Fukushima reactor




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement