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Rivers flowing under Greenland ice traced
by Staff Writers
Bristol, England (UPI) Mar 12, 2013


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Scientists say artificial gas tracers pumped into water at the surface of the Greenland ice sheet revealed a hidden network of rivers flowing beneath it.

Tracking the flow of water underneath giant ice sheets may give clues about the ways in which Greenland and Antarctica's enormous ice masses are reacting to our changing climate and how they might contribute to sea-level rise, the researchers said.

"Before we started this project five years ago, nobody really knew if and how water flowed at the bed of ice sheets," Jemma Wadham of the University of Bristol in Britain, one of the study's authors, said.

A team working nearly 40 miles inland pumped a fluorescent liquid and a traceable gas into water at the surface, while another team waited at the ice-sheet margins on the Greenland coast, waiting for the tracers to appear.

'It's quite a tense time -- you're sort of sampling in the dark because you don't know for sure where and when the tracers will come out," Wadham said.

The speed with which the tracers appeared suggested they had been carried in fast-flowing rivers beneath the ice, she said.

The study results will be fed into computer forecasts of ice-sheet responses to our warming climate, the researchers said.

This could have important consequences for understanding the overall stability of the ice sheets, a release from Britain's Natural Environment Research Council, which funded the study, said.

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Glaciers will melt faster than ever and loss could be irreversible warn scientists
London, UK (SPX) Mar 11, 2013
Canada's Arctic Archipelago glaciers will melt faster than ever in the next few centuries. Research by European funded scientists has shown that 20 per cent of the Canadian Arctic glaciers may have disappeared by the end of this century which would amount to an additional sea level rise of 3.5cm The results of the research, part of the EU funded ice2sea programme, will be published in Geop ... read more


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