GREENLAND MELT ….SPEEDING UP !

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GREENLAND MELT ….SPEEDING UP !

 user 2006-08-17 at 1:30:00 pm Views: 58
  • #16050

    Greenland melt ‘speeding up’
    The meltdown of Greenland’s ice sheet is speeding up, satellite measurements show.
    Data
    from a US space agency (Nasa) satellite show that the melting rate has
    accelerated since 2004.If the ice cap were to completely disappear,
    global sea levels would rise by 6.5m (21 feet).Most of the ice is being
    lost from eastern Greenland, a US team writes in Science journal.Jianli
    Chen of the University of Texas at Austin and colleagues studied
    monthly changes in the Earth’s gravity between April 2002 and November
    2005.These measurements came from the US space agency’s Grace (Gravity
    Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite, launched in 2002.From these
    data, they were able to estimate changes in the mass of Greenland’s ice
    sheet.A number of factors contribute to fluctuations in the Earth’s
    gravity field.But once the influence of the atmosphere and the oceans
    is removed, the variations mostly reflect changes in the mass of ice
    sheets and of water stored in the ground.Estimated monthly changes in
    the mass of Greenland’s ice sheet suggest it is melting at a rate of
    about 239 cubic kilometres (57.3 cubic miles) per year.This figure is
    about three times higher than an earlier estimate of the mass loss from
    Greenland made using the first two years of Grace measurements.

    Satellite data
    Dr
    Chen and colleagues partly attribute this to increased melting in the
    past one-and-a-half years and partly to better processing of the
    data.”Acceleration of mass loss over Greenland, if confirmed, would be
    consistent with proposed increased global warming in recent years,” the
    authors wrote in Science.This would amount to a contribution to global
    sea level rise from Greenland of about half a millimetre (0.02 inches)
    each year.The group’s findings agree remarkably well with a study
    released earlier this year that used data from other satellites to
    estimate mass changes in the Greenland ice.Grace also appears to have
    detected a loss of ice from Arctic glaciers that were omitted from this
    study and are separate from the main Greenland ice sheet.