Rapid Thinning of Southern Greenland's Ice Sheet


The Greenland ice sheet is about 600 miles long, 300 wide, and 2 miles thick in some places. NASA-funded aerial surveys of the southern part of Greenland's ice sheet were conducted in 1993 and again in 1998. The surveys found that the lower altitude reaches of east coast outlet glaciers are thinning at about one meter per year. While some parts of the ice sheet had increased in thickness, overall the sheet has gotten thinner in the last five years, losing about forty cubic kilometers of ice. This translates into about one millimeter of sea level rise. We spoke with William Krabill, one of the authors of the report, about the Greenland survey.

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