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Published On: Tue, Mar 26th, 2019

Greenland glacier ice growing, which ‘was kind of surprise’ for scientists

A Greenland glacier, which was reportedly the fastest shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth, is growing again, a new NASA study finds.

The Jakobshavn glacier around 2012 was retreating about 1.8 miles and thinning nearly 130 feet annually. But it started growing again at about the same rate in the past two years, according to a study in Monday’s Nature Geoscience.

Of course, the study authors and outside scientists warn that this is temporary.

“At first we didn’t believe it. We had pretty much assumed that Jakobshavn would just keep going on as it had over the last 20 years,” Khazendar said.

 “That was kind of a surprise. We kind of got used to a runaway system,” said Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland ice and climate scientist Jason Box. “The good news is that it’s a reminder that it’s not necessarily going that fast. But it is going.”

Box, who wasn’t part of the study, said Jakobshavn is “arguably the most important Greenland glacier because it discharges the most ice in the northern hemisphere. For all of Greenland, it is king.”

While this is “good news” on a temporary basis, this is bad news on the long term because it tells scientists that ocean temperature is a bigger player in glacier retreats and advances than previously thought, said NASA climate scientist Josh Willis, a study co-author.

“In the long run we’ll probably have to raise our predictions of sea level rise again,” Willis said.

The paper on the new research in Nature Geoscience is titled “Interruption of two decades of Jakobshavn Isbrae acceleration and thinning as regional ocean cools

Photo from 2012 – note Greenland is still there and the seas haven’t risen…yet
Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that in just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. (Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI/NASA GSFC, and Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory)

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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