Report

Rapid Changes in Ice Discharge from Greenland Outlet Glaciers

Science  16 Mar 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5818, pp. 1559-1561
DOI: 10.1126/science.1138478

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Abstract

Using satellite-derived surface elevation and velocity data, we found major short-term variations in recent ice discharge and mass loss at two of Greenland's largest outlet glaciers. Their combined rate of mass loss doubled in less than a year in 2004 and then decreased in 2006 to near the previous rates, likely as a result of fast re-equilibration of calving-front geometry after retreat. Total mass loss is a fraction of concurrent gravity-derived estimates, pointing to an alternative source of loss and the need for high-resolution observations of outlet dynamics and glacier geometry for sea-level rise predictions.

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