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Greenland’s coastal ice slowly melting away

Some of Greenland’s coastal ice will be permanently lost by 2100, Glaciers and ice caps can no longer capture meltwater, Science Daily ,March 31, 2017

Source
Ohio State University
Summary:
The glaciers and ice caps that dot the edges of the Greenland coast are not likely to recover from the melting they are experiencing now, a study has found.

The glaciers and ice caps that dot the edges of the Greenland coast are not likely to recover from the melting they are experiencing now, a study has found.

Researchers report in the current issue of the journal Nature Communications that melting on the island passed a tipping point 20 years ago. The smallest glaciers and ice caps on the coast are no longer able to regrow lost ice.

The current study suggests that the melting of Greenland’s coastal ice will raise global sea level by about 1.5 inches by 2100.

The find is important because it reveals exactly why the most vulnerable parts of Greenland ice are melting so quickly: the deep snow layer that normally captures coastal meltwater was filled to capacity in 1997. That layer of snow and meltwater has since frozen solid, so that all new meltwater flows over it and out to sea.

It’s bad news, but not immediate cause for panic, said Ohio State University glaciologist Ian Howat, part of the international research team that made the discovery.

The findings apply to the comparatively small amount of ice along the coast only, he explained — not the Greenland Ice Sheet, which is the second largest ice cache in the world………

The Greenland Ice Sheet is subject to the same danger, Howat said, but to a much lesser degree than the isolated bits of ice on its edges.

The real value of the study is that provides “more evidence of rapid change and how it happens,” he added.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170331120333.htm

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April 1, 2017 - Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change

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