Greenland’s fastest melting glacier has begun to grow

Greenland’s fastest melting glacier has begun to grow

Jakobshavn Glacier, ktowhich for 20 years has been the fastest melting glacier in Greenland, suddenly began to grow. The Jakobshavn is now flowing more slowly, gaining thickness and approaching the ocean instead of retreating inland.

Researchers concluded that these changes occurred because of the cooling of the currentoIn oceanic, whichore bring water to the coast, where the glacier meets the sea. Water temperatures near the glacier have cooled and are now at levels recorded in the mid-1980s. last century. Recent NASA data indicate that the temperature wod surrounding the front of the glacier fell in 2016.

The findings were published in the journal „Nature Geoscience”. The findings are based on data from NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission and other observations.

– We didn’t believe it at first,” said glaciologist Ala Khazendar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), head of theowny author of the publication. – We assumed that Jakobshavn would behave as it has for the past 20 years – added. But as the data shows, over the past three years the water wokoThe glacier’s ice shelf is cooler. In 2016, its temperature dropped by 1.5 st. Celsius.

Scientists suspect that the source of theoThe source of the cooler water is changes in the so-called. oscillation poNorth Atlantic oscillation – NAO). This is a natural meteorological phenomenon associated with global air circulation and wod oceanic. Occurs in the area poNorth Atlantic and has a significant impact on the region’s climate. NAO causes the ocean waters to cyclically cool and warm every 5 to 20 years. Scientists believe there was a cool cycle change in 2016.

Therefore, the researchers believe that the change in the behavior of the glacier and the unexpected gain in mass is a temporary phenomenon. When the climate pattern znoin reverseoci Jakobshavn will most likely begin to melt again, and perhaps this process will be faster than recorded so far.

– Jakobshavn has a temporary pause. However, the oceans are warming in the long term, and the fact that they have a huge impact on glaciers means bad news for the Greenland ice sheet – explained Josh Willis of JPL, a majorowny OMG researcher.

The Jakobshavn glacier is located in western Greenland. Due to its size and high potential to raise morz and oceanow, is observed by scientistsoin for many years. Jakobshavn releases about 7 percent into the ocean. Greenland ice. It is believed that it was from it that the g broke awayoice floe, whichora sank the Titanic in 1912.

Since about 2000, the melting of Jakobshavn has accelerated significantly. The rate of ice loss was getting faster every year. Researchers calculated that by 2016 the thickness of the glacier (from the surface to the base) had decreased by 150 metersow.

The rest of Greenland’s ice sheet is still melting, and even if the small increase recorded on the Jakobshavn glacier were to continue, it would not be able to compensate for the losses.

– This cooling will pass. When this happens, the glacier will retreat inland even faster than before – estimated Khazendar.