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Aerial photographs reveal late–20th-century dynamic ice loss in Northwestern Greenland

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Kurt H. Kjær, Shfaqat Abbas Khan, Niels Jákup Korsgaard, John Wahr, Jonathan L. Bamber, Ruud Hurkmans, Michiel van den Broeke, Lars Hjortborg Timm, Kristian Kjellerup Kjeldsen, Anders Anker Bjørk, Nicolaj Krog Larsen, Lars Tyge Jørgensen, Anders Færch-Jensen, Eske Willerslev

Global warming is predicted to have a profound impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet and its contribution to global sea-level rise. Recent mass loss in the northwest of Greenland has been substantial. Using aerial photographs, we produced digital elevation models and extended the time record of recent observed marginal dynamic thinning back to the mid-1980s. We reveal two independent dynamic ice loss events on the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet margin: from 1985 to 1993 and 2005 to 2010, which were separated by limited mass changes. Our results suggest that the ice mass changes in this sector were primarily caused by short-lived dynamic ice loss events rather than changes in the surface mass balance. This finding challenges predictions about the future response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to increasing global temperatures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience
Volume337
Issue number6094
Pages (from-to)569-573
Number of pages5
ISSN0036-8075
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2012

ID: 38551959