It has been reported that a Greenland ice sheet study will suggest that we may soon find out how the Greenland ice sheet is melting. What will this research tell us? Well, it is not certain, but the melting of ice sheets affects the global climate. If we continue to melt the ice sheets, we will see drastic climate changes as well as increased frequency of natural disasters, such as super-cyclones and floods. This article discusses some of the research that is done to determine how fast the ice is melting.
One of the first ice sheet scientists to look at was University College London. Dr. James Smith found evidence of rapid melting in two areas of the ice sheets. In one case, there was a glacier that runs through a national park in England. In the other location, there is an undersea canyon that feeds the ice sheets. Dr. Smith is currently trying to monitor these two glaciers using satellite technology.
There have also been studies done in cooperation between NASA and the National Center for Coastal Research. These studies show a trend that the warming of the air, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, may be accelerating the rate at which the ice sheets are melting. Although the exact cause of this acceleration is not known, most experts agree that it is an important factor in climate change. The results of the studies show that the West Greenland ice sheet is likely to start melting earlier than originally thought. Although this acceleration is not something that can be considered rapid, it is real and should be monitored.
The research mentioned above shows that one of the fastest-melt regions on Earth is the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. There, in February 2021, research revealed that this section of the ice sheet was moving quickly. Other icebergs surrounding the Thwaites Glacier are starting to melt as well. This research, together with others, indicates that this acceleration in thawing of the ice is linked to climate change. Because this section of the ice is so large, it is considered to be one of the most important areas in which to monitor the ice’s retreat.
In some areas, scientists believe that they are now able to monitor the thickness of the ice using satellites. A thick ice sheet will be considered to be stable when it has an average thickness of less than 1.5 millimeters per year. If this condition is maintained, then the speed of global warming is believed to slow down. This research is important, since the slowing of climate change is something that everyone must adapt to in order to save our planet from ultimate destruction.
While it is too early to tell if we are able to observe this change with the naked eye or via satellites, the results of this research will surely provide scientists with new information about our changing climate. With a clearer understanding of how much melt occurring, researchers can better determine what areas of the ice are thinning and which areas are rapidly melting. This information will allow them to prepare for the upcoming predictions regarding global temperatures.