Global warming melts edge of Greenland ice sheet  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

The SMH has a look at monitoring of the melting of Greenland's glaciers - Global warming melts edge of Greenland icesheet.

The last edge of the Greenland ice sheet that had resisted global warming has now become unstable, adding billions of tonnes of meltwater to rising seas, scientists say. In a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, they say a surge in temperature from 2003 has eased the brakes on a long "river" of ice that flows to the coast in northeastern Greenland.

Known as an ice stream, the "river" takes ice from a vast basin and slowly shifts it to the sea - in the same way the Amazon River drains water.

In the past, the flow from this ice stream was constrained by massive buildups of ice debris choking its mouth. But a three-year spell of exceptionally high temperatures removed this blockage - and like a cork removed from a bottle helped accelerate the flow, the study said.

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