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Greenland is melting at record speed

12.10.2007
The inland ice on Greenland is vanishing much faster than scientists previously believed. This can be seen from new research results from the Danish National Space Center at the Technical University of Denmark.

Each year, in the south eastern part of Greenland alone, the glaciers produce a mass of icebergs which is equivalent to a gigantic ice cube measuring 6½km on all sides. And the reduction of the inland ice is accelerating. At the moment, four times as much inland ice is disappearing compared to the beginning of the decade.

”If this development continues, the melt water from the inland ice will make the world’s seas rise by more than 60 cm this century”, says senior researcher Abbas Khan of the Danish National Research Center, who was responsible for the research project. The results were obtained in co-operation with the University of Colorado and have just been published in the international research magazine Geophysical Research Letters.

The researchers have measured the rate of melting with special, highly sensitive GPS stations placed on the mountains along the inland ice. When a quantity of inland ice disappears, the pressure on the surrounding mountains eases and they therefore rise slightly. This can be measured by the GPS stations. The measurements show that the mountains along the fast glaciers in south east Greenland are rising by 4-5 cm a year. Meanwhile, the rim of this inland ice will be 100 m thinner a year.

Sune Nordentoft Lauritsen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.agu.org/journals/pip/gl/2007GL031468-pip.pdf

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