Expanding Surface Rivers on Greenland Ice Sheet Accelerate Melting

Nature Climate Change, 16 June 2022

Runoff areas for rivers on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet expanded by nearly a third between 1985 and 2020. Usually, at high ice sheet elevations, melting surface snow filters down and refreezes, thereby not contributing to ice sheet shrinking. In this study, authors found that excess melt has created thick, impenetrable ice slabs on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet, leading to increased surface run off. Increased warming will likely increase the size of runoff areas and therefore the volume of meltwater drained into the sea from high ice sheet elevations.