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Press Release 12-088

Analysis of Speed of Greenland Glaciers Gives New Insight for Rising Sea Level

Researchers determine that although glaciers continue to increase in velocity, the rate at which they can dump ice into the ocean is limited

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Photo of Jakobshavn Isfjord, the largest outlet glacier on Greenland's West Coast.

The north branch of Jakobshavn Isbrae is in the upper left corner of the image, with several newly calved icebergs in front of it. The larger, faster moving, south branch is located near the upper right corner. Prior to about 2003, both branches merged to create a large floating ice tongue that extended beyond the iceberg covered area visible in this image. Since the 1990, the glacier calving front (terminus) has retreated about 18 km (11 miles). Now, it is only in the winter that both branches sometimes merge to form a much smaller seasonal ice tongue, which breaks up in the spring.

Credit: Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington


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Cover of the May 4, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' work is described in the May 4, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2012


Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (1.3 MB)

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