A 2017 study concluded that coastal glaciers and icecaps — what Willis is studying — reached a “tipping point” for ice loss in 1997 and since then have been rapidly deteriorating. Greenland, Day 4: We travelled to Kangerlussuaq to visit the Russell Glacier. Kangerlussuaq Glacier (Greenlandic: Kangerlussuaq, meaning 'large fjord'; old spelling Kangerdlugssuaq) is the largest glacier on the east coast of the Greenland ice sheet. "One glacier retreating looks like carelessness, but 28 retreating is the sign of something going on," Mottram told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov). If the water is playing a much bigger role than scientists thought, it could mean seas will be rising faster and higher than expected. Kangerlussuaq Glacier is one of Greenland’s largest tidewater outlet glaciers, accounting for approximately 5% of all ice discharge from the Greenland ice sheet. The most obvious way is from the warm air above, which has been brutal this summer, with a European heat wave in July working like a hair dryer on the ice. Just how crucial seawater is to melting was illustrated, somewhat paradoxically, by the Jakobshavn glacier, the fast-shrinking glacier on Greenland's more populated west coast. Extreme E heads to the Arctic and the retreating Russell Glacier near Kangerlussuaq in Greenland during its inaugural campaign, raising awareness of the rate at which ice is melting at the poles by racing on land once occupied by the once-mighty glacier, right by its receding snout. They found that Jakobshavn Isbrae lost more than 1.5 trillion tonnes of ice between 1880-2012, while Kangerlussuaq and Helheim lost 1.4 trillion and 31 billion tonnes from 1900-2012, respectively. When all of the flight’s five probes start signaling — with a sound McCubbin likens to “a fax machine or an AOL modem” — he and Willis high-five. Those icebergs eventually melt, adding to the seas. When University of Georgia ice scientist Tom Mote, who isn't part of this project, started studying Greenland's glaciers in the early 1990s, researchers really didn't think the water was a big factor. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Some of Greenland's largest outlet glaciers, such as Jakobshavn Isbræ and Kangerlussuaq Glacier, are flowing faster into the ocean. Now the question is how much and how fast. If warm water plays a bigger role than scientists suspect, by the year 2100, Greenland alone could cause 3 or 4 feet (more than 1 meter) of sea level rise, Willis said. As the data is radioed back from one $2,000 probe now deep in the water near Kangerlussuaq in eastern Greenland, it initially looks like the temperature hasn't changed much over the last year or two, which could be good news. The study, published in Nature Communications on Tuesday, looks at Jakobshavn, Kangerlussuaq, and Helheim glaciers, all of which tumble from the heights of the ice sheet down to sea. Stay … (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov). Those icebergs eventually melt, adding to the seas. Willis’ project — called Oceans Melting Greenland, or OMG — is showing that it is. McCubbin then waits for a tone on his computer that tells him the probe is underwater and measuring temperature and salinity. Police Release Surveillance Video Showing 3 Of The Attackers Who Shot, Killed Retired Fire Lt. 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They found that Jakobshavn Isbrae lost more than 1.5 trillion tons of ice between 1880-2012, while Kangerlussuaq and Helheim lost 1.4 trillion and 31 billion tons from 1900–2012, respectively. The most obvious way is from the warm air above, which has been brutal this summer, with a European heat wave in July working like a hair dryer on the ice. Surface ice mass balance for the 2017/18 season was below or near the long-term mean (relative to the period 1961-90), consistent with a snow cover that survived late into the spring and average/low surface melting during summer. What Willis is measuring is the water 660 feet (200 meters) or more below the surface, which is warmer and saltier than the stuff that touches the air. In fact, the giant frozen island has seen one of its biggest melts on record this year. In a single day this month, it lost a record 13.7 billion tons (12.5 billion metric tons) by one estimate. Just how crucial seawater is to melting was illustrated, somewhat paradoxically, by the Jakobshavn glacier, the fast-shrinking glacier on Greenland’s more populated west coast. Each year for the past four years, NASA has been looking at all of Greenland, and the numbers overall haven’t been quite as comforting. In general, oceans warm up much more slowly than the air, yet they stay warmer longer. Like nearly every other glacier on Greenland, the massive Kangerlussuaq is melting. McCubbin then waits for a tone on his computer that tells him the probe is underwater and measuring temperature and salinity. Nearly all are melting, with only one or two that could be considered somewhat stable. Each year for the past four years, NASA has been looking at all of Greenland, and the numbers overall haven't been quite as comforting. That’s because 90% of the heat energy from climate change goes into the oceans, Willis said. In 2018 the Kangerlussuaq ice front reached its most retreated position since observations began in 1932. “We’re definitely watching the ice sheet disappear in front of us.”, In this photo taken on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, icebergs are photographed from the window of an airplane carrying NASA Scientists as they fly on a mission to track melting ice in eastern Greenland. In particular, they determined how the Jakobshavn, Helheim and Kangerlussuaq glaciers in Greenland during the late 19th and early 20th century melted at rates that are just as … ABOARD A NASA RESEARCH PLANE OVER GREENLAND -- The fields of rippling ice 500 feet below the NASA plane give way to the blue-green of water dotted with irregular chunks of bleached-white ice, some the size of battleships, some as tall as 15-story buildings. Water brings more heat to something frozen faster than air does, as anyone who has ever defrosted a steak under the faucet knows. Warm water provides "a bigger bang for the buck" than air when it comes to melting ice, Willis said. Specifically, he wants to know whether the melting is being caused more by warm air or warm seawater. “One glacier retreating looks like carelessness, but 28 retreating is the sign of something going on,” Mottram told The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. They found that Jakobshavn Isbrae lost more than 1.5 trillion tonnes of ice between 1880-2012, while Kangerlussuaq and Helheim lost 1.4 trillion … Meanwhile, pilots Andy Ferguson and Don Watrous bank the plane toward the blue-green spots, looking for the next target and pointing out stunning giant icebergs and signs of glacial retreat over the radio. Other scientists, such as the University of Colorado’s Ted Scambos, say Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise by 2100 would probably be closer to 1 foot (30 centimeters). Warm water provides “a bigger bang for the buck” than air when it comes to melting ice, Willis said. Like nearly every other glacier on Greenland, the massive Kangerlussuaq is melting. Climate change is eating away at Greenland’s glaciers in two ways. The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. Greenland has been melting faster in the last decade and this summer, it has seen two of the biggest melts on record since 2012. We close the day interviewing local climate change activists @aviaqkl @saschabildorf and @nick_thorleifsen. In total the sea has risen by 2.7 centimeters since the 60s and the world's glaciers still contain enough to raise the ocean by another half a meter, which could directly threaten many cities in coastal regions. In recent years, it suddenly started to grow a bit, probably because of a cooling of waters as a result of a temporary shift in weather and water-current patterns, Willis said. A team of researchers based in Denmark and Britain used historical images and a host of other data to estimate … They found that Jakobshavn Isbrae lost more than 1.5 trillion tonnes of ice between 1880-2012, while Kangerlussuaq and Helheim lost 1.4 trillion and 31 billion tonnes from 1900–2012, respectively. If Willis’ theory that much of the damage is from the water turns out to be correct, he said, “there’s a lot higher potential for Greenland to melt more quickly than we thought.” And that means seas rising faster and coastal communities being inundated more. In fact, the giant frozen island has seen one of its biggest melts on record this year. By viewing our video content, you are accepting the terms of our. Climate change is eating away at Greenland's glaciers in two ways. The Russell Glacier in Kangerlussuaq and the Eqip Sermia and Sermeq Kujalleq glaciers in Ilulissat are fine places to see calving events. Greenland has been a recurring source of headlines in July 2012, with the calving of a new iceberg off the Petermann Glacier and surface melting across nearly all of the Greenland Ice Sheet. A 2017 study concluded that coastal glaciers and icecaps — what Willis is studying — reached a "tipping point" for ice loss in 1997 and since then have been rapidly deteriorating. But that’s just one data point. Now there are new satellite images of flooding in Kangerlussuaq, a key air transportation hub. The ice melt has already contributed more than eight millimetres to global sea levels, the researchers wrote. "I tend toward the higher number, but I'm hoping for a lower number," said University of Maryland Baltimore County glaciologist Christopher Shuman, whose family owns property along the coast. A 2019 study by Danish climate scientist Ruth Mottram looked at 28 glaciers in Greenland with long-term data. A NASA satellite found that Greenland's ice sheet lost about 255 billion metric tons a year between 2003 and 2016, with the loss rate generally getting worse. "Some of them are as big as a city," Willis said. Water brings more heat to something frozen faster than air does, as anyone who has ever defrosted a steak under the faucet knows. That's because 90% of the heat energy from climate change goes into the oceans, Willis said. 2. It flows into the head of the Kangerlussuaq Fjord, the second largest fjord in East Greenland. Researchers found that the Jakobshavn and Kangerlussuaq glaciers actually lost more ice in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when temperatures were lower, than they are today. But that's just one data point. “It’s a little scary,” Willis said as looked down on an area filled with more water than ice. In general, oceans warm up much more slowly than the air, yet they stay warmer longer. Like nearly every other glacier on Greenland, the massive Kangerlussuaq is melting. 1. Greenland contains enough ice to make world sea levels rise by 20 feet if it were all to melt. In fact, the giant frozen island has seen one of its biggest melts on record this year. This equals 2,930 ice cubes of 1x1x1 kilometres having melted in the period between 1880 and 2012. The other way is from warm, salty water, some of it from North America’s Gulf Stream, nibbling at coastal glaciers from below. The answer could be crucial to Earth's future. The answer could be crucial to Earth’s future. By Dr Alfredo Carpineti 18 … Meanwhile, pilots Andy Ferguson and Don Watrous bank the plane toward the blue-green spots, looking for the next target and pointing out stunning giant icebergs and signs of glacial retreat over the radio. A study published in 2017 concluded that Greenland's peripheral glaciers and ice caps crossed an irreversible tipping point around 1997, and will continue to melt. When all of the flight's five probes start signaling — with a sound McCubbin likens to "a fax machine or an AOL modem" — he and Willis high-five. A 2019 study by Danish climate scientist Ruth Mottram looked at 28 glaciers in Greenland with long-term data. A NASA satellite found that Greenland’s ice sheet lost about 255 billion metric tons a year between 2003 and 2016, with the loss rate generally getting worse. Specifically, he wants to know whether the melting is being caused more by warm air or warm seawater. Global sea levels have risen 0.55 inches since 2003 due to ice melt in Antarctica and Greenland driven by climate change according to new data measurements from several NASA satellites. Other scientists, such as the University of Colorado's Ted Scambos, say Greenland's contribution to sea level rise by 2100 would probably be closer to 1 foot (30 centimeters). If warm water plays a bigger role than scientists suspect, by the year 2100, Greenland alone could cause 3 or 4 feet (more than 1 meter) of sea level rise, Willis said. Willis' project — called Oceans Melting Greenland, or OMG — is showing that it is. Like nearly every other glacier on Greenland, the massive Kangerlussuaq is melting. Willis, project manager Ian McCubbin and mechanic Rich Gill drop long, cylindrical probes through a special tube in the floor of the plane, watching as the sensors parachute down and then dive into the chilly water. Facebook hit with antitrust lawsuit from FTC and 48 state attorneys general, New questions over possible vaccine passports for jobs and travel, Election integrity ad campaign urges conservatives to accept 2020 results, In this photo taken on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, NASA scientist Josh Willis looks out of the window after dropping a probe from a plane as they fly above the Kangerlussuaq Glacier, eastern Greenland. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest? It turns out that the three outlet glaciers—Jakobshavn Isbrae in Western Greenland as well as Helheim and Kangerlussuaq Glacier in Eastern Greenland—have lost ice corresponding to a sea level rise of 8.1 millimetres. In fact, the giant frozen island has seen one of its biggest melts on record this year. The ice melt has already contributed more than eight millimetres to global sea levels, the researchers wrote. The three largest glaciers in Greenland, capable of lifting the earth's water level by approximately 1.3 meters, may melt down earlier than anticipated time, said researchers. NASA scientist Josh Willis is now closely studying the phenomenon in hopes of figuring out precisely how global warming is eating away at Greenland's ice. The melt is extremely clear and the glacier is sadly covered in a charcoal sand, which is likely to accelerate its melt. It’s this deep water that does the major damage. Kangerlussuaq Glacier is equally struggling, ... Byond temperature, recent findings show increasingly sunny skies could melt ice as could more soot from wildfires driven by climate change. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. It's this deep water that does the major damage. If Willis' theory that much of the damage is from the water turns out to be correct, he said, "there's a lot higher potential for Greenland to melt more quickly than we thought." “Some of them are as big as a city,” Willis said. To measure this, NASA is spending five years crisscrossing the island in a tricked-out 77-year-old DC-3 built for World War II. If the water is playing a much bigger role than scientists thought, it could mean seas will be rising faster and higher than expected. In a single day this month, it lost a record 13.7 billion tons (12.5 billion metric tons) by one estimate. 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