We have launched our mobile app, get it now. Call : 9354229384, 9354252518, 9999830584.  

Current Affairs

Shape of Greenland’s coast is rapidly changing

Date: 02 November 2020 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

Rapid melt is reshaping coastal Greenland, potentially altering the human and animal ecosystems along the country's coast. 

 

Background

New research finds that the ice retreat in Greenland has changed the way glaciers flow and where they dump into the sea. These changes could impact ice loss from Greenland in the future.

 

Details

  • Recent studies have shown that Greenland is losing 500 gigatons of ice each year, more than can be replenished by new snowfall.

  • Annual ice loss is 14 percent greater today than it was between 1985 and 1999. And the meltwater from this ice loss is lubricating the ice sheet so that it slides more easily on its underlying bedrock, hastening the continued melt.

  • Researchers combined two types of data from satellite imagery: how fast the ice sheet is moving and where glaciers terminate on their path downhill. 

  • Researchers found that glacier retreat is now the norm in Greenland. Eighty-nine percent of glaciers had retreated substantially within the last decade.

  • The researchers saw evidence of ice channels narrowing, of re-routing meltwater paths, and even of the slowing of new ice so that glaciers are stranded in place, more like lakes than rivers.

  • All of this local variation may be very important for predicting how quickly Greenland's ice will disappear in the future. The changes will also likely affect how and where nutrients enter the water.

  • Understanding the complexity of individual glacier response is critical to improving projections of ice sheet change and the associated sea level rise that will arrive at our shores.