Greenland rapidly flowing glacier and quickly dilutes recently threw a real brain ticks scientists who have realized that instead of decreasing, the glacier is actually growing thicker, they reported in the new study.
Glacier – known as Jakobshavn, which is located on the west coast of Greenland – until now contribute to sea level rise, but it loses less ice than expected. Instead of thinning and retreating deep into its ice thickening and moving in the direction of the ocean, the researchers found.
The big question is: Why is this happening? [Images: Greenland’s Gorgeous Glaciers]
After a lot of tracking, a group of scientists from the US and the Netherlands found that the glacier is likely to increase due to the cold ocean currents. In 2016, the current flowing past the Jakobshavn glacier was colder than usual, which makes the water near the ice cold, they were from the mid-1980s.
Cooler power came from the North Atlantic Ocean, 600 miles (966 km) south of the glacier, according to the World Ocean NASA melting of the Greenland (the OMG) missions and other observations.
Finds took scientists a complete surprise. "At first we did not believe," the study's lead researcher Alla Khazendar, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. "We had quite a lot to suggest that the Jakobshavn would just continue to go on as it has for the past 20 years." But the cold water is not from the & # 39 is disposable. Data from OMG shows that water was now cold for three consecutive years.
It turns out that the cold water from the & # 39 is the result of a climate model, known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (IDA), which makes the North Atlantic Ocean slowly switch between hot and cold water about once every 20 years, the researchers say. Cold phase only recently begun and the cool Atlantic Ocean as a whole, they said. In addition, some additional cooling waters around the southwest coast of Greenland glacier helped keep Chilly.
But this crispy change will not last forever. After NAO climate model is flipped back, Jakobshavn, is likely to begin to melt faster and over thinning, the researchers say.
«Jakobshavn receives a temporary break in the climate models," Josh Willis of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and principal investigator OMG, said in a statement. "But ultimately, the oceans heat up. And seeing that the oceans have a big impact on the glaciers of bad news for the Greenland ice sheet. "
A huge loss of ice … then slight gain
Jakobshavn scientists observed with concern for decades. After losing its ice shelf in the early 2000s (ice shelf causes the glacier to flow slowly into the ocean, as a mud clogged drain), Jakobshavn started losing ice at an alarming rate. In the period from 2003 to 2016 years, its thickness (top to bottom) was reduced to 500 feet (152 m).
But in 2016, the water flows from the southern tip of Greenland to its western side are cooled by more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius). At the same time, the NAO climate model called the Atlantic Ocean near Greenland cool about 0,5 F (1 C) between 2013 and 2016. By the summer of 2016, they reached the cool waters of the glacier, and they are probably the reason that Jakobshavn slowed its rate of ice loss to the ocean, the researchers say. [Image: Greenland’s Dramatic Landscape]
In general, Jakobshavn rose about 100 feet (30 meters) higher between 2016 and 2017, the researchers found. But, as already mentioned, the glacier still contribute to sea level rise around the world, as it is still losing more ice into the ocean than it receives from the accumulation of snow, the researchers say.
These findings shed light on how the ocean temperature can affect the growth of the glacier, said Tom Wagner, program scientist, NASA Headquarters for the cryosphere, the frozen part of the Earth.
"Mission OMG deployed new technologies that allow us to observe a natural experiment, how much we could have done in the laboratory, where the ocean temperature variations have been used to control the flow of the glacier," Wagner, who was not involved in the study, said in a statement. "Their results – especially about how quickly the ice responds. – will be important for the design of sea-level rise, and in the near and distant future "
The study was published online March 25 in the journal Nature Geoscience.
originally published live science.