Northeast Greenland, where the glacier is found, is of particular interest as numerical model predictions have suggested there is no significant mass loss for this sector, leading to a probable underestimation of future global sea-level rise from the region.
An international team of scientists, including Professor Jonathan Bamber from the University of Bristol, studied the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream which extends more than 600 km into the interior of the ice sheet: much further than any other in Greenland.
Professor Bamber said: "The Greenland ice sheet has contributed more than any other ice mass to sea level rise over the last two decades and has the potential, if it were completely melted, to raise global sea level by more than seven metres.
"About half of the increased contribution of the ice sheet is due to the speed up of glaciers in the south and northwest. Until recently, Northeast Greenland has been relatively stable. This new study shows that is no longer the case."
The researchers analysed a large collection of historical aerial photography, radar measurements and satellite data that measure the surface elevation, ice speed and bed elevation of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream.
They found that the glacier started to speed up and lose mass around 2003 as a consequence of a localised increase in temperatures. Their results also showed that mass loss has continued up to the most recent observations in 2012 despite regional temperatures falling back to more typical values.
Professor Bamber said: "Most projections of the future behaviour of the ice sheet have no, or little, contribution from this part of Greenland but these new results suggest that this region is sensitive to changes in climate and has the potential to contribute significantly now and in the future."
'Sustained mass loss of the Northeast Greenland ice sheet triggered by regional warming' by Shfaqat A. Khan, Kurt H. Kjær, Michael Bevis, Jonathan L. Bamber, John Wahr, Kristian K. Kjeldsen, Anders A. Bjørk, Niels J. Korsgaard, Leigh A. Stearns, Michiel R. van den Broeke, Lin Liu, Nicolaj K. Larsen and Ioana S. Muresan in Nature Climate Change
Hannah Johnson | EurekAlert!
Carbon dioxide fertilization greening Earth, study finds
27.04.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Researchers discover fate of melting glacial ice in Greenland
26.04.2016 | University of Georgia
Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.
In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...
Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid
Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...
Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This work is about avoiding costly and unstable fullerenes.
Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences...
As one of the leading R&D partners in the development of surface technologies and organic electronics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP will be exhibiting its recent achievements in vacuum coating of ultra-thin glass at SVC TechCon 2016 (Booth 846), taking place in Indianapolis / USA from May 9 – 13.
Fraunhofer FEP is an experienced partner for technological developments, known for testing the limits of new materials and for optimization of those materials...
Liquid water is a very good heat storage medium – anyone with a Thermos bottle knows that. However, as soon as water boils or freezes, its storage capacity drops precipitously. Physicists at the University of Bonn have now observed very similar behavior in a gas of light particles. Their findings can be used, for example, to produce ultra-precise thermometers. The work appears in the prestigious technical journal "Nature Communications".
Water vapor becomes liquid under 100 degrees Celsius – it condenses. Physicists speak of a phase transition. In this process, certain thermodynamic...
27.04.2016 | Event News
15.04.2016 | Event News
12.04.2016 | Event News
28.04.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
28.04.2016 | Materials Sciences
28.04.2016 | Life Sciences