Search DubaiPRNetwork.com

Home >> Education & Training

NYU Abu Dhabi researchers find warm ocean water, exacerbated by warmer air, is causing rapid melt of one of Greenland's largest glaciers

NYU Abu Dhabi researchers find warm ocean water, exacerbated by warmer air, is causing rapid melt of one of Greenland's largest glaciers

Thursday, August 22, 2019/ Editor -  

Share

Home >> Education & Training

Abu Dhabi, August 22, 2019:  A team of researchers from NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Global Sea Level Change, supported by the Office of Polar Programs of the USA National Science Foundation, have found that unusually warm ocean water is causing rapid melt at the Greenland outlet glacier Helheim, one of the largest in the region.

For the first time, warm waters that originate in the tropics have been found at uniform depth, displacing the cold polar water at the Helheim calving front, causing an unusually high melt rate. Typically, ocean waters near the terminus of an outlet glacier like Helheim are at the freezing point and cause little melting.

Video and photos are available here. (Credit: NYU Abu Dhabi Center for Global Sea Level Change).

On August 5, 2019, researchers, led by Professor of Mathematics at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Principal Investigator for NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Sea Level Change David Holland, deployed a helicopter-borne ocean temperature probe into a pond-like opening, created by warm ocean waters, in the usually thick and frozen mélange in front of the glacier terminus.

Normally, warm, salty waters from the tropics travel north with the Gulf Stream, where at Greenland they meet with cold, fresh water coming from the polar region. Because the tropical waters are so salty, they normally sink beneath the polar waters. But Holland and his team discovered that the temperature of the ocean water at the base of the glacier was a uniform plus four degrees centigrade from top to bottom at depth to 800 meters. The finding was also recently confirmed by NASA’s OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland) project.

“This is unsustainable from the point of view of glacier mass balance as the warm waters are melting the glacier much faster than they can be replenished,” said Holland.

Surface melt drains through the ice sheet and flows under the glacier and into the ocean. Such fresh waters input at the calving front at depth have enormous buoyancy and want to reach the surface of the ocean at the calving front. In doing so, they draw the deep warm tropical water up to the surface, as well.

All around Greenland, at depth, warm tropical waters can be found at many fjord locations. Their presence over time changes depending on the behavior of the Gulf Stream. Over the last two decades, the warm tropical waters at depth have been found in abundance. Greenland outlet glaciers like Helheim have been melting rapidly and retreating since the arrival of these warm waters.

“We are surprised to learn that increased surface glacier melt due to warming atmosphere can trigger increased ocean melting of the glacier,” added Holland. “Essentially, the warming air and warming ocean water are delivering a troubling ‘one-two punch’ that is rapidly accelerating glacier melt.”


Previous in Education & Training

Next in Education & Training


Home >> Education & Training Section

Latest Press Release

Etihad Aviation Training First in Mid-east to Secure Key European Approval to Tr ...

GEMS Education teachers win grand prizes in GEMS Rewards-Emirates NBD competiti ...

French Healthcare Expertise To Be Introduced At Arab Health 2020

Future of safety, security and fire protection on display at Intersec 2020

Dubai Festival City Mall Hosts the Lunar New Year Celebrations with a Blast

Sheffield Private School takes top honours at the Credence High School's annual ...

Traversetolo Vitre in blue dial makes stunning impact

Nickelodeon Singalongs! is bringing the party to City Centre Deira

Dubai Shopping Malls Group Continues to Amaze Shoppers With Big Wins

Young Emirati falconers fly high at Fazza Championship for Falconry

Eolisair, the Middle East leading company in Indoor Air Quality to participate a ...

Lacoste Eyewear Launches the New Paris Collection

Plaza Premium Lounge Dubai Creates a Lasting Impression for Travellers Departing ...

Foreo Reveals the Ultimate Valentine's Gift List for Women

Metito Group-led Consortium with Jinko Power and AlJomaih Group awarded 55 MWe a ...

Schneider Electric's commitment to sustainability recognized in two leading rank ...

Oris pays tribute to the world's greatest jazz musicians with Art Blakey Limited ...

UAE Delegation Meets with Senior U.S. Government Officials in Washington, DC to ...

Why this is the right time for TMCs to automate their processes?

Patients suffering from secondary infertility due to genetic problems give birth ...