October 21, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Climate change: The warmth pieces of the Greenland ice shelf

Satellite images

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The Arctic’s largest ice shelf in northeastern Greenland – 79N, or a large chunk of ice separated from the Neogalvfjardsfjorden.

The removed section covers an area of ​​110 sq. Km. Satellite images show it being broken into very small pieces.

Climate change scientists in Greenland are further evidence of this damage.

“The climate in this area warmed from 1980 to 3C,” said Dr. Jenny Tartan.

“And in 2019 and 2020, it recorded summer temperatures,” a polar researcher at the University of Friedrich-Alexander in Germany told BBC News.

The Neogalvfjardsfjorden is about 80 km long and 20 km wide and is the floating front end of the northeastern Greenland Ice Stream – where it flows from land to sea.

At its main edge, the 79 N glacier splits in two, with a small offshoot turning straight north. This offshoot, or tributary, known as the Spall Glacier, is now broken.

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Copernicus Data / ESA / Sentinel-2b

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Snow is attacking from above

The snow feature has already broken heavily in 2019; The warmth of this summer has canceled its final action. The Spalt Glacier has become an ice float.

Take a closer look at the satellite images and the high air temperatures recorded in this area are clearly visible from the large number of melting ponds sitting on the shelf ice.

The presence of such liquid water is often problematic for ice platforms. If it fills the cracks, it helps to open them. In a process called hydrofracturing water pushes over the cracks and drives them to the base of the shelf. This weakens the ice shelf.

Oceanographers have also documented warm sea temperatures, meaning the shelf ice is almost melting even from below.

After the Peterman Glacier in northwestern Greenland lost much of its area in 2010 and 2012, the 79N became the ‘largest remaining Arctic ice shelf’, “explained Professor Jason Box from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).

“What makes the 79N so important is the way it is attached to the interior ice sheet, and this means that one day – if the weather warms up as we expected – this area will become one of Greenland’s main action centers for decay.”

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Copernicus Data / ESA / Sentinel-2b

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The trunk of the N79 is covered in melt ponds and streams

The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream flows 15% of the inner ice sheet. This current sends its ice below N79 or south of the glacier member Zakaria Istrom. Zakaria has already lost its floating ice shelf area.

The Professor Box N79 can withstand long distances, as some islands are written on its front end. It gives a certain level of stability. But, despite being further back along the trunk, the shelf continues to be thinner.

“It’s going to break the N79 out of the middle, it’s kind of special. However, I’m not going to do that for another 10 or 20 years. Who knows?” He told BBC News.

Another large ice shelf structure in the July Arctic lost considerable area. This is the Milne Ice Shelf on the northern edge of Ellesmere Island, Canada.

Eighty square kilometers were liberated from Milne, leaving a still secure section of 106 square kilometers. Milne was the largest intact from the vast shelf character of 8,600 square kilometers in the early 20th century.

The rapid melting speed in Greenland, which analyzed data from US-German Grace-FO satellites, was underlined last month. These spacecraft can detect changes in ice mass by perceiving changes in the local gravitational pull. They must have an ice sheet weight.

Grace Mission 2019 has set a record level, removing 530 billion tons of ice sheet. The sea-soluble water is enough to raise world sea levels by 1.5 mm.

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