Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




ICE WORLD
Greenland's current loss of ice mass
by Staff Writers
Potsdam, Germany (SPX) Jun 04, 2012


File image.

The Greenland ice sheet continues to lose mass and thus contributes at about 0.7 millimeters per year to the currently observed sea level change of about 3 mm per year. This trend increases each year by a further 0.07 millimeters per year. The pattern and temporal nature of loss is complex.

The mass loss is largest in southwest and northwest Greenland; the respective contributions of melting, iceberg calving and fluctuations in snow accumulation differing considerably. This result has been published by an international research group led by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in the latest issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1 June 2012.

The result was made possible by a new comparison of three different types of satellite observations: measurements of the change in gravity by changes in ice mass with the satellite pair GRACE, height variation with the laser altimeter on the NASA satellite ICESat and determination of the difference between the accumulation of regional atmospheric models and the glacier discharge, as measured by satellite radar data.

For the first time and for each region, the researchers could determine with unprecedented precision which percentage melting, iceberg calving and fluctuations in rainfall have on the current mass loss.

"Such an increase in mass loss in the northwest after 2005 is partly due to heavy snowfall in the years before", says GFZ scientist Ingo Sasgen, head of the study. "The previous mass gain was reduced in subsequent years. Similarly in eastern Greenland: In the years 2008 and 2009 there was even a mass increase".

As the researchers were able to show, this was not due to decreased glacier velocities, but because of two winters with very heavy snowfall. Meanwhile, the loss of ice mass continues here. For all studied regions the melting and calving periods between 2002 and 2011 are extraordinarily high compared to those of the last five decades.

The work was created in the framework of the Helmholtz Climate Initiative REKLIMof the Helmholtz Association and the EU project ice2sea. Due to the study, the researchers can get a little closer to understanding the current developments of the Greenland ice sheet.

Ingo Sasgen: "We now know very well how calving glaciers and melting contribute to the current mass balance, and when regional trends are largely caused by rainfall variations. And we also know where our measurements must be improved."

One such area is north-western Greenland, where the comparison of data indicates an abrupt increase in the calving rate, which was detected by the radar data inadequately.

The REKLIM/ice2sea scientists want to find out what causes this increase and if it has a continuous or episodic character.

A necessary prerequisite is a sufficiently long time series of measurements that is to be created by the continued precise gravity measurements in the context of the new satellite mission GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment - Follow On).

Ingo Sasgen et al., "Timing and Origin of Recent Regional Ice-Mass Loss in Greenland", Earth and Planetary Science Letters (EPSL), doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.03.033, Volumes 333-334, 1 June 2012, Pages 293-303

.


Related Links
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
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
Peru needs glacier loss monitoring: dire UN warning
Lima (AFP) June 3, 2012
Peru needs a permanent monitoring system to gauge Andean mountain glacier shrinkage caused by global warming, and its effect on people who depend on the ice for water, UN experts warned. "We have spoken with Peruvian government institutions, and there is no sufficient monitoring system to tell us the current trend in glacier shrinkage, and its consequences," said Anil Mishra, a UNESCO specia ... read more


ICE WORLD
Lithuania launches regional nuclear safety watchdog

Italy's quake-struck north tries to reassure tourists

Ferrari auction to raise money for Italy quake

Sandia Labs technology used in Fukushima cleanup

ICE WORLD
Microsoft links Xbox with smartphones, tablets

E3 to showcase big videogame titles, hot trends

Windows 8 to dominate Taiwan computer show

Commonly used painkillers may protect against skin cancer

ICE WORLD
Great Barrier Reef heading for danger: UNESCO

Syrian refugees draining water-poor Jordan dry

Marine reserves provide baby bonus to fisheries

US backs EU plan to barter fishing rights

ICE WORLD
Peru needs glacier loss monitoring: dire UN warning

Greenland's current loss of ice mass

Old aerial photos supply new knowledge on glaciers in Greenland

Discovery Of Historical Photos Sheds Light On Greenland Ice Loss

ICE WORLD
France to ban Swiss pesticide as bee threat

Brazil farmers in legal feud with Monsanto over GM soy

Livestock industry beefs up Illinois economy

Time is ticking for some crop's wild relatives

ICE WORLD
Japan city watches 'premonitory' signs for tsunami

Three dead, six missing as typhoon passes Philippines

US officials urge hurricane preparation

Autopsy of an eruption: Linking crystal growth to volcano seismicity

ICE WORLD
Somali soldiers train for urban combat in rural Uganda

Sierra Leone's gruesome civil war

Mali deserters in Niger face uncertain future

Gambia detains G.Bissau ex-army chief, ousted minister

ICE WORLD
Handful of genetic changes led to huge changes to human brain

Family values

Suspicion resides in two regions of the brain

Personality genes may help account for longevity




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