Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Greenland’s glaciers melting 100 times faster than estimated

Enzo Campetella enzo campetella 6 min
Greenland’s glaciers are melting faster than predicted because the calculation models used are based on Antarctic dynamics.

Current measurements and models generated with more powerful processors are allowing scientists to more efficiently monitor the speed with which the Greenland ice mass is moving out to sea. Today it is known that the old models that used Antarctica as a reference were very wrong.to the point that it can be established Glaciers in Greenland melting 100 times faster than previously estimated,

according to the slogan live scienceThis result was achieved thanks to a new model that takes into account the unique interaction between ice and water in the island’s fjords. Scientists have been able to mathematically predict the melting of glaciers Which takes into account the latest observations of ice breaking off the vertical walls of Greenland glaciers.

Measurements suggest that the Antarctica-based model massive underestimation Melting of arctic glaciers.

Previous versions used models developed in Antarctica, where glacial tongues float on seawater, a very different system than Greenland. Kirsten SchultzA research associate at the Oden Institute for Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin said that “Over the years, people have taken models of the melting rates of Antarctica’s floating glaciers and applied it to the vertical glacier fronts of Greenland.,

high return speed

Researchers have found that there is growing evidence that the conventional approach produces melting rates that are too low in Greenland’s vertical glacier fronts. The full text of the work with the collected information, mathematical and material support was published Geophysical Research Papers In the last month of September.

We had already given the details of a report on the same subject in Meteorite in January of this 2022. On that occasion it was possible to know that in average terms Those glaciers have been retreating for about 25 years, The point is not so much in the extremes of each winter, but in the intensity of summers which lead to a negative balance of glaciers due to loss of cover at that time of year at a higher rate than in previous decades.

Although researchers knew that the Antarctic model was not explaining well what was happening in Greenland, the truth The edges of the glaciers are not easy to reach because they are located at the ends of fjords., There they encounter long, narrow inlets of seawater surrounded by high cliffs, where warm water weakens the ice.

An ocean robot to study glaciers

This continued erosion causes dramatic landslides in which building-sized chunks of ice fall into the water without warning, creating mini-tsunamis. Researchers led by Rutgers University physical oceanographer Rebecca Jackson Robotic boats have been used to access and measure these dangerous icebergs,

In particular, they have done so on the Leconte Glacier in Alaska and the Kangerlussup Syrmia in Greenland. An upcoming mission led by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin will send robotic submarines to the faces of three West Greenland glaciers. Jackson’s measurements show that Antarctic-based models largely underestimate the melting of Arctic glaciers., For example, it is disappearing 100 times faster than the LeConte model predicts.

The mixing of cold freshwater and warm seawater from glaciers causes ocean currents near the glaciers and far into the ocean, meaning the melting has far-reaching effects. The Greenland ice sheet is also important for sea level rise because it holds enough water to raise sea level by 6 meters.,

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