Glacial Lake Melts in Greenland Could Have Implications in Antarctic, says ScientistsMd Noman Siddique (Author) Published Date : Jun 04, 2015 18:05 IST
A discovery by scientists about the melting of glacial ice in Greenland has brought up questions about processes that are similar in Antarctica Matt King a professor at the University of Tasmania had been a member of an international team researching the mechanics of how the ice sheet in Greenland is changing. King said that researchers are interested in particular in how it might contribute to the future increases in sea level. The professor said that each summer Greenland s air temperature becomes sufficiently warm to start melting some of the ice at the surface.
That melt in turn forms hundreds of lakes at ground level. The lakes, said King, are unusual, as they drain not across the surface of the ice but through the actual ice.
The team s study found that cracks suddenly open causing the lake water to drain completely in a matter of hours sending torrents of water down to the ice sheet s base and because of that, the ice flow into the ocean takes place driving sea levels up.
King said that in just a few hours, a crack appears in the ice and the water just disappears down the massive hole. The international team of scientists deployed a number of GPS around one lake.
Over a period of three years, they monitored three of the lake draining events as well as measured the movement of the ice.
The research found that just prior to the lake draining, its surface was lifted upwards slightly, due to water entering from underneath the ice sheet and lifting the ice, which in turn caused a slight flex in the ice so the crevice could form and the water would then drain out.
Scientists believe that the contribution by the ice melts to the rise in the future of sea levels might not be as much as originally expected.
The more the lakes melt the more the ice forms in the interior of Greenland where conditions are not that good for the lake drainage events to take place.
Scientists insisted that was not to say the ice melts would not continue, but they will not contribute as much as they are now to the change in sea levels.
Glacial Lake Melts in Greenland Could Have Implications in Antarctic, says Scientists