NASA

NASA Maps Thaw Areas Beneath Greenland Ice Sheet

The research team combined four different approaches to investigate the thermal state at the bottom of the ice sheet, including recent computer models of the ice sheet, radar data, and ice surface speed measured by satellites.

Researchers at NASA have created the first map showing which parts of the bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet are thawed and which sections are believed to be frozen, shedding light on how the massive ice sheet will react to a warming climate, Maria-José Viñas of NASA's Earth Science News Team reported Aug. 3.

The NASA article explains that scientists have had few direct observations of thermal conditions under the ice sheet: No more that two dozen boreholes have reached the bottom. "We're ultimately interested in understanding how the ice sheet flows and how it will behave in the future,” said Joe MacGregor, lead author of the study published recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface and a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "If the ice at its bottom is at the melting point temperature, or thawed, then there could be enough liquid water there for the ice to flow faster and affect how quickly it responds to climate change."

It says the team combined four different approaches to investigate the thermal state at the bottom of the ice sheet, including recent computer models of the ice sheet, radar data, and ice surface speed measured by satellites.

In the article, MacGregor says the pap is only one step in fully assessing the thermal conditions. "I call this the piñata because it's a first assessment that is bound to get beat up by other groups as techniques improve or new data are introduced," he says, "but that still makes our effort essential because, prior to our study, we had little to pick on."

Download Center

  • Waste Management in 2021: Accelerate Your Success with Technology

    Join waste management experts on February 23rd for a live best practice session webinar. You’ll learn how to take your waste program to the next level with visual location, barcoding, and mobility. Register now.

  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Reserve your copy of the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get a detailed, fact-based comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • Industry Safe