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Posts Tagged ‘Greenland glacier’

Fresh Water, Anyone?

Posted by feww on August 7, 2010

Giant ice island calves off Greenland glacier

Greenland glacier calves ice island 4 times the size of Manhattan, UD  researcher reports

An “ice island” four times larger than Manhattan calved from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier on August 5, 2010, the biggest such event in the Arctic in 48 years, Andreas Muenchow, a researcher at the University of Delaware reported.

The new ice island is about 100 square miles (60 square km) with a thickness up to half the height of the Empire State Building (height 450m), Muenchow said.

“The freshwater stored in this ice island could keep the Delaware or Hudson Rivers flowing for more than two years. It could also keep all U.S. public tap water flowing for 120 days.”


Satellite image acquired on Aug. 5, 2010, shows the huge ice island calved from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier. Source: Prof. Andreas Muenchow, University of Delaware.

“Petermann Glacier, the parent of the new ice island, is one of the two largest remaining glaciers in Greenland that terminate in floating shelves. The glacier connects the great Greenland ice sheet directly with the ocean.” UDel reported.


Greenland’s Petermann Glacier in 2009. Source: Prof. Andreas Muenchow, University of Delawar

The ice island is expected to enter Nares Strait, a waterway between northern Greenland and Canada.

“In Nares Strait, the ice island will encounter real islands that are all much smaller in size,” Muenchow said. “The newly born ice-island may become land-fast, block the channel, or it may break into smaller pieces as it is propelled south by the prevailing ocean currents. From there, it will likely follow along the coasts of Baffin Island and Labrador, to reach the Atlantic within the next two years.”

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Posted in Ayles Ice Shelf, glacier, Mertz Glacier, Nares Strait, Ward Hunt Ice Shelf | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Greenland Glacier Slides Much Faster in Summer

Posted by feww on May 10, 2010

Greenland glacier slide 220 percent faster in summer: Study

In case anyone doubted the obvious, researchers in Scotland have quantified the differential in the rate of slide of Greenland glacier. The movement of ice sliding down toward the sea is 220 percent faster in summer than in winter, they said.


You think it’s fun to swim in slushy ice water instead of walking on firm ice? Photo Credit: Dan Crosbie (public domain). Click image to enlarge.

The researchers say recent observations of Greenland glacier movement highlighted significant seasonal differences.

Greenland, the world’s second biggest ice sheet after Antarctica, could raise sea levels globally by about 6.7  meters (22 ft) if it melted.

GPS satellite measurements of the glacier movement in south-west Greenland showed that the ice in some places is sliding at 300 meters per year during summer.

“Our measurements reveal substantial increases in ice velocity during summer, up to 220 percent above winter background values,” the study reported.

What if the temperatures were getting warmer all year round?


The map shows temperature changes for the last decade — January 2000 to December 2009 — relative to the 1951-1980 mean. Warmer areas are in red, cooler areas in blue. The largest temperature increases occurred in the Arctic and a portion of Antarctica. (Image credit: NASA). Click image to enlarge.


Arctic Temperatures Trend 1987-2007 Using Satellite Data 1981-2007. Source: NASA

The researchers attribute the summer slide to melt water pooling under the ice.

“In a warming climate, with longer and more intense summer melt seasons, we would expect that water will reach the bed farther inland and a larger portion of the ice sheet will experience summer velocity changes.” The study says.

The study was published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Sunday.


Click image to enlarge.


Greenland Melt Extent, 2005: Konrad Steffen and Russell Huff – Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado at Boulder

Greenland Ice Sheet

The Greenland ice sheet is a massive glacier (body of ice)  covering more than 1,700,000 square kilometers (664,235 sq miles), which used to cover about 80% of Greenland’s land surface.


Chenega Glacier is an active glacier in Prince William Sound, on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Source: DOI, US Gov.


Chenega Glacier located in the Chugach National Forest, Chugach Mountains, Prince William Sound.Photo Dated 17 June 2004. Source: US Fish and Wildlife Services. Click image to enlarge.

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Posted in Arctic Temperature Trend, Chenega Glacier, Climate Change, greenland, Greenland ice sheet | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »