Climate change first: Ice sheets melt from below (Video)

12 August, 2013 Uncategorized0

Climate change first: Ice sheets melt from below (Video)

Filmmakers Glen Milner and Ben Hilton create a portrait of a modern Inuit family living in the fearsome North Greenland landscape. (

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Modeled basal ice temperatures of the present-day Greenland Ice Shield across the Summit region, GRIP, and GISP2 indicate borehole locations.

© A. Petrunin/GFZ used with permission

August 11, 2013

Alexey Petrunin and Irina Rogozhina of IceGeoHeat, an international climate research initiative led by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, are the first to establish a connection between heat transfer from the mantle beneath the world’s ice sheets and the rate of ice sheet melting. The research was published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Aug. 11, 2013.

The researchers based their conclusions on a study of the ice sheet in Greenland. The Greenland ice sheet is the oldest and most variable in thickness of all the world’s ice sheets.

The Greenland ice sheet is important to climate change models because the melting of the Greenland ice sheet accounts for 25 percent of the sea level rise produced by global warming.

The researchers found that heat transferred through the Earth’s mantle contributes to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. The melting is not uniform across the ice sheet. The melting that occurs from below in a given area depends on the composition of the mantle in that area.

The addition of these new findings were added to the most recent and best accepted climate change models and produced more accurate results compared to measurement than have been previously seen.

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