Friday, August 16, 2013

Geothermal Heating Accelerating Greenland's Ice Melt

Everyone who follows the issue of melting ice knows that Northern ice is melting, but a new study shows that it is not only melting from above due to global warming, it is also melting from below. The fact that the ice is melting from above and below has important implications for scientific models.

The international research initiative IceGeoHeat led by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences published their research in Nature Geoscience. The continental ice sheets play a central role in climate. GFZ scientists Alexey Petrunin and Irina Rogozhina have created a model which calculates ice melt from geothermal forces.

The Greenland lithosphere (the crust and upper mantle of the earth) is 2.8 to 1.7 billion years old and is only about 70 to 80 kilometers thick under central parts of Greenland. Presently the Greenland ice sheet loses about 227 gigatonnes of ice per year and contributes about 0.7 millimeters to the currently observed mean sea level change of about 3 mm per year.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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