Greenland Melt Acceleration Can Be Seen in the Increasing Uplift of the Land Beneath Greenland

By May 21, 2010 February 21st, 2013 Greenland

“It’s been known for several years that climate change is contributing to the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet,” Dixon says. “What’s surprising, and a bit worrisome, is that the ice is melting so fast that we can actually see the land uplift in response,” he says. “Even more surprising, the rise seems to be accelerating, implying that melting is accelerating.”  Tim Dixon is on of the Authors of this recently published paper in Nature Geosciences. The scientists are using high precision GPS data to see the rise in the rock around the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet. As the ice melts, the land rises. This means that there is a lot of ice melting awfully quickly. The movement is large enough to be distinguishable from the rebound happening after the much larger Northern Hemisphere ice sheets melted (disintegrated) after the last ice age ended 10,000 to 17,000 years ago. The scientists are looking at the acceleration of the ongoing rebound. The ground is rising faster, and the speed that it is rising is increasing. This is just another example of a feedback. Ice melts in Greenland, contributing to sea level rise. The melt has beome large enough to allow the land rebound beneath the ice to accelerate. This displaces more water and sea level rise is actual more than the amount of melt.

Press Release – Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Jiang, Dixon and Shimon, Accelerating uplift in the North Atlantic region as an indicator of ice loss, Nature Geoscience, May 2010.