Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Warmer waters accelerating glacial melting in Greenland

Oceanographers are finding subtropical waters near Greenland that is likely accelerating glacial melting. This is the first time scientists have detected water this warm near Greenland. Greenlands ice sheets are about two miles deep and are about the size of Mexico. Accelerated melting of ice sheets this size have and will continue to greatly contribute to rising water levels. Scientists expect that the greatest contribution to Greenland's glacial melting is the change of ocean circulation in the North Atlantic, which cause warmer waters to be driven towards higher latitudes. This hypothesis has not yet been confirmed. Experiments have found waters as warm as 4 degrees Celsius near Greenland, and while waters are warmest from July to December, the water is warmer than usual year round. More experiments are required to understand the mechanism behind the warming of colder water and better predict the rise in sea level for the future.


  1. Oh no, the conveyor belt cannot slow down! Poor England.
    It's interesting to read about class material and hypothesis's in the news.

  2. My parents recently visited Alaska and they cannot stop talking about how beautiful the glaciers were. Hopefully by the time I am my parents age glaciers, and England, will still be around.

  3. Interesting post. I find it hard to believe the ice sheets, which are 2 miles thick are impacted so greatly by the warmer water temperature. 4 degrees Celsius is equal to about 39 degrees Fahrenheit, that still sounds pretty cold to me. I wonder how much ice melts each day at such temperatures.