Extreme Ice Loss from Greenland’s Largest Floating Ice Tongue

The Cryosphere, 22 March 2024

The floating portion (“ice tongue”) of Greenland’s critical 79° North glacier has thinned by one-third over the past three decades, with extremely high melt rates where land-based ice meets the ocean. Authors reveal how rising air temperatures produce meltwater lakes that have carved huge drainage channels through the ice into the ocean. This study found a 500-meter-tall channel in the underside of 79° North that further eroded the glacier, as surface meltwater drained down and warm ocean water flowed in from below. Continued monitoring of this floating ice tongue as it likely breaks apart over coming years to decades will reveal how similar regions across both Greenland and Antarctica may respond to future warming.

Full paper: https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/18/1333/2024/
Plain-language briefing: www.awi.de/en/about-us/service/press/single-view/enormer-eisverlust-von-groenlaendischem-gletscher

By Amy Imdieke, Global Outreach Director, and Pam Pearson, Director of ICCI.
Published Apr. 19, 2024      Updated Apr. 19, 2024 7:46 pm