This map shows which areas of the Greenland glacier are shrinking and
which are growing.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of NASA
Scientists Find Greenland Glacier Shrinking
News story originally written on March 13, 1999
Using an airborne laser altimeter, scientists have measured changes in the
thickness of the Greenland glacier over the past five years. While some
parts of it have grown, overall the glacier has been shrinking. In some
places, such as near the southeast coast, it has shrunk up to 30 feet over
"Why they are behaving like this is a mystery," said Bill Krabill,
Principal Investigator at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight
Facility, "but it might indicate that the coastal margins of ice sheets
are capable of responding quite rapidly to external changes, such as a
potential warming of the climate."
Scientists originally flew across the southern part of the Greenland
glacier in 1993 and then reflew the same routes in 1998 with the help of
the Global Positioning System. These measurements will be augmented by
NASA's ICESAT spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch in 2001.
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