In DepthPOLAR SCIENCE

How warming oceans unleashed an ice stream

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Science  13 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6262, pp. 728
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6262.728

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Summary

Beneath the calm, white surface of Greenland, rivers of ice are flowing into the ocean—and some are moving very fast indeed. The speedy glaciers on the island's warmer west coast, shedding kilometers of ice into the sea each year as warm ocean waters undermine them, have raised the most alarm about potential sea level rise. But now, a vulnerable glacier on the other side of the island, part of a massive flow of ice known as the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream, shows that yet another region of Greenland is feeling the effects of warming oceans. And a new study suggests it's likely to continue its rush to the sea for decades to come.