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Analysis of speed of Greenland glaciers gives new insight for rising sea level
Date:5/8/2012

d move at top speeds of 30 to 325 feet a year, and their changes in speed are small because they are already moving slowly. Glaciers that terminate in fjord ice shelves move at 1,000 feet to a mile a year, but didn't gain speed appreciably during the decade.

In the East, Southeast and Northwest areas of Greenland, glaciers that end in the ocean can travel seven miles or more in a year. Their changes in speed varied (some even slowed), but on average the speeds increased by 28 percent in the Northwest and 32 percent in the Southeast during the decade.

Moon said she was drawn to the research from a desire to take the large store of data available from the satellites and put it into a usable form to understand what is happening to Greenland's ice. "We don't have a really good handle on it and we need to have that if we're going to understand the effects of climate change," she said. "We are going to need to continue to look at all of the ice sheet to see how it's changing, and we are going to need to continue to work on some tough details to understand how individual glaciers change."


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Contact: Deborah Wing
dwing@nsf.gov
703-292-5344
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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