The ice sheets of Greenland are just as powerful as it is impressive. Sometimes more than 3000 feet thick, cover a significant portion of the largest island in the world. However, Greenland’s ice is melting more and more, already for a long time, the Greenland ice sheet decreases. Especially because the glacier ice is transported into the sea. There, they melt and contribute significantly to the rise in sea level. The freshwater in the salty Atlantic ocean, has found out also an influence on the climate in Europe, researchers have. Even more important is the preservation of the ice.

But at the moment it looks not so, as this could succeed. Instead, Greenland melting ice sheets faster than previously feared. The Eisverlust has increased since 2003, partly significantly, write the researchers, Michael Bevis of the Ohio State University in a study. It is now published in the science magazine “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”.

for a long time known that the great glacier move to the West and to the North of the island of ever-faster and ever-larger chunks of ice in the Atlantic ocean sinks, where they melt. However, the biggest Eisverlust in 2003 occurred according to the study, surprisingly, in a different Region – in the southwest of the island. Here glaciers are, however, hardly. How is this explained?


For the study, were evaluated the researchers in the period from 2003 to 2016, the satellite data from the Grace Mission (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) and data from on-site measurements included. The analysis showed that Greenland 2013 lost nearly 400 gigatons per year of ice mass. In 2003, there were only about a hundred gigatons – the loss has quadrupled. However, this is the peak value, the annual average values are lower.

Also a statement of the reasons for the strong Eisverlust in the southwest by the researchers. On the Central ice mass of Greenland in the country’s interior in the summer due to higher temperatures initially superficial melting water lakes and ponds on the ice.

the ice in the river – How researchers from Greenland report from Greenland by Christoph Seidler

drilling With time they become larger and form at some point the rights of rivers. They flow regardless of the glaciers into the sea. In addition, they are suspected to destabilize the glacier. The extent of the problem has not been known, quoted by the “Guardian” study author Michael Bevis.

The researchers believe that the sea level will rise due to this melt water effect. And furthermore, this effect could not be made, at least partially, even in the case of a stop of global warming will be reversed. The man can adapt to just think Bevis. The whole of the Greenland ice sheet should melt, threatening a rise in sea level of about seven meters, had the researchers calculated.

However, the masses of ice from not take evenly. Greenland is also an Expose of the ice melting was observed. Between the years of 2013 and 2015, the decline was quite limited. But natural climate fluctuations are believed to be responsible. Known about the so-called North Atlantic oscillation, a weather phenomenon that brings warm air to Greenland.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.