Continued observations and measurements of the Greenland ice sheet are critical t… Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 125, doi:10.1029/2020JF005585. Moon, T. A., A. S. Gardner, B. Csatho, I. Parmuzin, and M. A. Fahnestock. There are about 20 rivers in Greenland. Note that the land-based, permanent Antarctic ice sheet should not be confused with Antarctic sea ice, which covers the ocean and changes strongly with the seasons. (Graph by Robert Simmon, based on data from A new paper by our colleagues Twila Moon, Alex Gardner, Bea Csatho, Ivan Parmuzin, and Mark Fahnestock analyzes how ice outflow speed and surface melting have increased. The estimates come from a model based on daily weather measurements. The Greenland Ice Sheet lost mass again in 2020, but not as much as it did 2019. nsidc.org. For many fast-flowing glaciers, the research team found that the central channel of fast flow has sped up, but the edges of the channel have slowed, effectively narrowing the width of the fast flow area. These maps reveal substantial reconfigurations of several major glaciers (Figure 6). Only four had previously been detected. While the ice sheet was likely in balance (i.e., ice mass gain was balancing ice mass loss) during the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s (Mouginot et al. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are the largest bodies of ice in the world and play an important role in the global climate system. 3. More information is available here. Much of the upper elevation areas of the ice sheet saw no melting this year. NASA researchers have helped produce the first map showing what parts of the bottom of the massive Greenland Ice Sheet are thawed. Home | Contact Us Read their blog ... Icelights: Answers to your burning questions about ice and climate. nsidc.org. The Greenland Ice Sheet could contribute around 4 centimeters to sea level rise by the year 2100, about 10 percent of the total predicted rise. AWI researchers have now found an explanation for the intensive melting on the glacier’s underside, and published their findings in the journal Nature Geoscience. See About the Cryosphere. The Greenland ice sheet sits atop the largest island in the world and, as the second largest ice sheet on the Earth, contains the equivalent of roughly 7.4 m of global mean sea level rise (Morlighem et al. Greenland Ice Sheet Today | Surface Melt Data presented by NSIDC. Responses include narrowing of fast flow regions, rerouting of ice flow, and abandonment of some glacier outlets. The peak melt day for 2020 was on July 10, when 551,000 square kilometers (213,000 square miles), or 34 percent of the ice sheet surface, melted. Unprecedented atmospheric conditions (1948–2019) drive the 2019 exceptional melting season over the Greenland ice sheet. The Cryosphere, 14, 1209–1223, doi:10.5194/tc-14-1209-2020. This issue does not affect trends for the entire ice sheet. https://www.nasa.gov/.../goddard/nasa-data-peers-into-greenlands-ice-sheet The Greenland ice sheet plays a crucial role on our planet and in the Arctic. Net surface mass balance (SMB), which is the snow and rain input minus evaporation and melt runoff, was only slightly less than average at 314 billion tons, or 56 billion tons below the 1981 to 2010 average, according to the MARv3.11 climate model (Figure 5a). By Dr. Xavier Fettweis, University of Liège. The plots and color-coded maps are chosen to provide information about the current state of the sea ice cover and how the most current daily data available compare with the record lows and record highs for the same date during the satellite era. Figure 5a. The new data collected by ITS_LIVE are allowing researchers to characterize and understand what rapid deglaciation looks like on scales that matter for wildlife, fisheries, infrastructure, and communities. Credit: Moon, T. A., et al., 2020, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth SurfaceHigh-resolution image. Greenland is mostly covered by this single large ice sheet (1,730,000 square kilometres), while isolated glaciers and small ice caps totaling between 76,000 and 100,000 square kilometres occur around the periphery. Dr. Jason Box, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Greenland melt season model simulations Mathematical models were used to fill in the gaps in survey data and infer bedrock depths. However, visitors may notice that the date on the image is occasionally more than one day behind. The left map shows total snowfall and rainfall, minus runoff or evaporation, which is the surface mass balance (SMB) for the Greenland Ice Sheet, from September 1, 2019 through June 20, 2020. © 2019, National Snow and Ice Data Center :: Advancing knowledge of Earth's frozen regions, Daily melt extent mapping is suspended for the winter. We processed a large volume of synthetic aperture radar and Landsat 8 imagery collected between 1995 and 2015 to produce a nearly complete map of ice flow velocity for Greenland at a far greater accuracy than most prior products. These maps reveal substantial reconfigurations of several major glaciers (Figure 6). High pressure was dominant along the northwestern side of Greenland and Baffin Bay for the core of the melt season in Ju… Map shows Greenland's ice sheet is THICKER in the centre than 9,000 years ago but melting at the edges will raise sea levels. Ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland account for roughly a half-inch of sea level rise between 2003 and 2019. We will resume the daily image updates in April 2021. Earth's ice sheets are melting and sea levels are rising, so it behooves us to understand better which climate processes are responsible for how much of the mass loss. The 10-year average line includes estimates from before 1978 on the left edge of the graph.Credit: X. Fettweis, Université of Liège, Belgium/MARv3.11 regional climate modelHigh-resolution image. The top right map shows the difference between total 2020 melt days and the number of 1981 to 2010 average melt days from April 1 through October 31. Thus, the 2020 total melt extent tracked at a level larger than about 75 percent of past years in the satellite record after late June. Radar surveys have previously mapped Greenland’s bedrock buried beneath two to three thousand meters of ice. 2019), it began to lose mass in earnest beginning in the mid- to late 1990s. 2. Greenland’s melting ice sheet could generate more sea level rise than previously thought if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase and warm the atmosphere at their current rate, according to a new modeling study. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. Melting was moderately intense in the northeastern region but less so in the southwest, where in recent high-melt years the ice sheet has been losing mass and exposing bare ice. Roughly 85% of the island is permanently covered in ice up to 3,375 meters (11,070 feet) thick. The 2020 melt season in Greenland is over, finishing thirteenth for cumulative melt-day extent in the 42-year satellite record. Observations around the ice sheet margin (b-d) show new details about how the ice sheet is responding (faster flow in red, slower in blue). The right map shows the difference from average net snowfall for the same period. The top left map of the Greenland Ice Sheet shows the total number of surface melt days from January 1 through October 31, 2020. 320 x 320 jpeg 27kB. The extreme north of Greenland, Peary Land, is not covered by an ice sheet, because the air there is too dry to produce snow, which is essential in the production and maintenance of an ice sheet. The 2020 season, which runs from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020 in this analysis, shows a net loss smaller than many recent years, but larger than most years in the previous century. But there may very well be mechanisms that are not picked up by the current models for how fast the ice is melting in Greenland. The total aerial extent of surface melting (total melt-day extent) through October 31 is slightly above the 1981 to 2010 average at 23.10 million square kilometers (8.92 million square miles) for 2020 versus 22.00 million square kilometers (8.49 million square miles) for the 1981 to 2010 average. The island of Greenland is covered by the largest ice sheet in the world outside Antarctica. When scientists talk about the cryosphere, they mean the places on Earth where water is in its solid form, frozen into ice or snow. Note that the northeast coast (northern Peary Land and Kronprince Christian Land) is showing erroneous melt pixels. Calibration of yearly melt detection requires analysis of the springtime snow conditions by a separate program. Meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet represents the largest contribution to current global sea level rise. Estimates of the spatial extent of melt across the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) were unexceptional for most of the summer (i.e., June, July, August) melt season of 2018. Adapted from the 2020 Arctic Report Card, this graph tracks Greenland mass loss measured by NASA's GRACE satellite missions since 2002. The high albedo (i.e., the fraction of incident solar radiation reflected by a surface) of the ice sheet contributes to modulating the amount of solar energy absorbed by the Earth and controls atmospheric circulation because of its location and topography. The peak melt day for 2020 was on July 10, when 551,000 square kilometers (213,000 square miles), or 34 percent of the ice sheet surface, melted. Air temperatures above Greenland were generally near average over the summer months this year (Figure 3). The reason: it’s not just melting on the surface – but underwater, too. Set up in 2009, the project sees the collaboration of researchers from 11 countries. All ring the coastline and all are small melt water outflows from a nearby glacier on the Greenland ice sheet. While thinning ice and retreats from the ice edge change the ice sheet, the shape of the land beneath the ice remains mostly unchanged. The new data collected by ITS_LIVE are allowing researchers to characterize and understand what rapid deglaciation looks like on scales that matter for wildlife, fisheries, infrastructure, and communities. A look at weather station data along Greenland’s west coast reflects the regional temperature trends (Figure 4). 1682 x 2766 png 1349kB. The 2020 Greenland Ice Sheet SMB simulated by MARv3.5.2 in real time, Polar Portal’s Greenland surface conditions, Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE), Jason Box, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) in Copenhagen, Denmark, Xavier Fettweis, Université of Liège in Belgium, providing the MARv3.11 model results, Twila Moon, National Snow and Ice Data Center. Figure 1. Thule, near a large US military base in northwestern Greenland, had a much warmer than average summer, but was still cooler than Nuuk, which is nearly 1,500 kilometers (580 miles) to its south. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are important in the global climate system. What's hot in the news around climate and sea ice and what are scientists talking about now? Scientists blog from Antarctica and provide a glimpse of what it's like to do research in the field. The 10-year average line includes estimates from before 1978 on the left edge of the graph.Credit: X. Fettweis, Université of Liège, Belgium/MARv3.11 regional climate modelHigh-resolution image. Air temperatures above Greenland were generally near average over the summer months this year (Figure 3). We post analysis periodically as conditions warrant. Overall the pace of melt during the 2020 season was close to average until late June when a moderately prolonged period of above-average melt added to the cumulative total, bringing it to the upper part of the interquartile range (Figure 2). Melt extent was greater than any year prior to 2002, with about 70 percent of the ice sheet experiencing some melting. Overall the pace of melt during the 2020 season was close to average until late June when a moderately prolonged period of above-average melt added to the cumulative total, bringing it to the upper part of the interquartile range (Figure 2). Between September 2018 and August 2019, the Greenland Ice Sheet set a record for ice loss (532 ± 58 billion metric tons). With a growing record of satellite imagery and advances in image processing, scientists are now able to better explore the changes to Greenland’s coastal area in the last three decades. The maps here show the world as it is now, with only one difference: All the ice on land has melted and drained into the sea, raising it 216 feet and creating new shorelines for our continents and inland seas.” The Greenland Ice Sheet is rapidly melting, having lost 3.8 trillion tons of ice between 1992 and 2018, a new study from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) finds. This reconfiguration of the ice sheet has important implications for other elements of the Greenland system, such as the flow of water beneath the ice sheet, and the movement of sediment and nutrients into the fjords. Credit: National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Reanalysis data, National Center for Atmospheric ResearchHigh-resolution image, Figure 4. Higher-than-average temperatures, with up to 3 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) were limited to the far northern flank of the ice sheet, and significantly lower-than-average temperatures of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius (3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit) near the Scoresby Sund in east-central Greenland. The 2020 regional pattern had low SMB all along the western side of the ice sheet but near average to slightly above average along most of the eastern coastal areas. Air off the far northern Atlantic Ocean in the Norwegian Sea swept in across the ice sheet. Dr. Jason Box, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Greenland melt season model simulations Figure 1. See About the Cryosphere. 1. Observations around the ice sheet margin (b-d) show new details about how the ice sheet is responding (faster flow in red, slower in blue). SAN FRANCISCO—The Greenland Ice Sheet is ready for its close-up.The highest-resolution satellite images ever taken of that region are making their debut. The 2020 melt season in Greenland is over, finishing thirteenth for cumulative melt-day extent in the 42-year satellite record. “I call this the piñata, because it’s a first assessment that is bound to get beat up by other [scientific] groups as techniques improve or new data are introduced,” MacGregor said. Overall, the Greenland ice sheet has lost around 4tn tonnes of ice since 1992. Credit: X. Fettweis, Université of Liège, Belgium/MARv3.11 regional climate modelHigh-resolution image, Figure 5b. Our interactive chart supports a retrospective look at past Greenland melt seasons. Scientists blog from Antarctica and provide a glimpse of what it's like to do research in the field. The total aerial extent of surface melting (total melt-day extent) through October 31 is slightly above the 1981 to 2010 average at 23.10 million square kilometers (8.92 million square miles) for 2020 versus 22.00 million square kilometers (8.49 million square miles) for the 1981 to 2010 average. Net snow and rain input are shown in yellow, melt and evaporation loss in orange, and net surface balance in green. This bar graph show net surface balance as a result of input vs output into the ice sheet for the 1978 to 2020 period based on reanalysis of weather data and snow-atmosphere model of process from MARv3.11. Responses include narrowing of fast flow regions, rerouting of ice flow, and abandonment of some glacier outlets. The lower graph shows daily area in square kilometers of surface melting from April 1 to October 31, 2020, with daily melt extent trends for the preceding four years.Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center/T. The right map shows the difference from average net snowfall for the same period. Between September 2019 and August 2020, the rate of ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet was much lower (293 ± 66 billion metric tons), but still above the 2002–2020 average measured by GRACE. 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