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It is located near the Greenlandic town of Ilulissat (colonial name in Danish: Jakobshavn) and ends at the sea in the Ilulissat Icefjord. “You can see in the summer, Jakobshavn’s advancing, not slowing down,” Holland continues. Water temperatures in the vicinity of the glacier are now colder than they have been since the mid-1980s. Between 1991 and 2016, oceans warmed an average of 60 percent more per year than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated. A warming climate is taking its toll on Greenland and Antarctica glaciers, melting them from above and below the surface. One important factor is that it’s not just about a warming atmosphere. That suggests the ebb and flow of glaciers in a warming world may be more complicated and harder to predict than previously thought, says Willis. Willis says these findings aren’t mutually exclusive to his most recent work. Adding to the complexity, recent research has shown that from 1979 to 2012, Greenland’s rainfall increased, which triggered sudden melting events. This rare footage has gone on record as the largest glacier calving event ever captured on film, by the 2016 Guiness Book of World Records. A major Greenland glacier that was one of the fastest-shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth is growing again, a NASA study has found. Twenty billion tons of ice dump into the sea from Jakobshavn annually, more than anywhere besides Antarctica, with bergs scooped by the Labrador Current. A few years ago, Christianson and a team of seven scientists traveled more than 1,000 miles from McMurdo Station, the main research base in Antarctica, to spend six weeks on Thwaites, traversing … Other Arctic glaciers may be undergoing similar growth. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Ilulissat, formerly Jakobshavn or Jacobshaven, is the municipal seat and largest town of the Avannaata municipality in western Greenland, located approximately 350 km (220 mi) north of the Arctic Circle.With the population of 4,670 as of 2020, it is the third-largest city in Greenland, after Nuuk and Sisimiut.The city is home to almost as many sled-dogs as people. NASA said Jakobshavn had been Greenland’s fastest-flowing and fastest-thinning glacier for the past 20 years. It may sound a bit confusing, but that’s because the reality of climate change isn’t a straight line, say NASA researchers. 818-354-4269 Red areas represent thinning. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Why is Jakobshavn growing? At a depth of 820 feet, temperatures have dropped two degrees Celsius since 2014. Greenland holds 10 percent of the world's freshwater in a deep freeze. The colder water is not melting the ice from the front and underneath the glacier as quickly as the warmer water did. More information on OMG can be found here: Esprit Smith The glacier … “All this is an indicator of how sensitive glaciers are to ocean temperatures,” says the study’s lead author, Ala Khazendar, a glaciologist with OMG. And as ice melts on the surface, the water drills through the ice sheet and comes down at the bottom of the glacier. Air temperature probably is important, and so is snowfall, adds Willis. In 1997 Jakobshavn ended a decades-long period of stability as it began to thin, accelerate and eject ice into the sea at a rapid rate. Later this year, NASA’s Grace Follow On mission, which tracks earth’s water in motion, will reveal how much mass Greenland has lost the last two years, which Willis says “may help us learn if this ocean effect is more widespread and could affect mass balance in a positive sense in less ice loss in previous years. New NASA data shows that Jakobshavn Glacier — Greenland's fastest-moving and fastest-thinning glacier for most of the 2000s — grew for a third year in a row. “I have to say I was a bit surprised by the observation,” admits the University of Alaska’s Martin Truffer, who uses ground-based radar to measure glacial movement. “The water is warming, too,” says Willis. This has been particularly marked in Disko Bay, which spills over into the Illulisat Icefjord, the glacier’s home. That doesn't mean melting is over. Jakobshavn Isbræ (Jakobshavn Glacier) is moving ice from the Greenland ice sheet into the ocean at a speed that appears to be the fastest ever recorded. All rights reserved. This mix of fresh and ocean water under the glacier drives melting and increases calving, the real hard-luck consequence of the findings. Throughout the Arctic, glaciers are shrinking, right? These images show the mass Greenland's Jakobshavn Glacier has gained from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. “What’s important to know is that these glaciers can react much more rapidly to short-term change in temperature. Greenland ; Qaasuitsup Municipality ; Ilulissat ... to the Unesco heritage trail but must be completed by a fly over as it is so huge that you can only realize it's size through a flight. Science Editor: It’s melting and it’s not coming back. “So we know in the long run, this cooling is going to pass. That’s something we often hear about our shifting climate and the ice that, in a sense, holds it together. The temperature change of the current's water is part of a known climate pattern, one that is expected to flip again, and cause more of the melting and ice thinning for which Jakobshavn is known. In research published Monday in Nature Geoscience, researchers report that since 2016, Jakobshavn’s ice has thickened slightly, thanks to relatively cool ocean waters at its base—which have caused the glacier to slow down its melt. Although the melting rate has slowed, the glacier continues to contribute to sea level rise, ultimately losing more ice to the ocean than it gains from snow accumulation overall. This reverses the glacier’s 20-year trend of thinning and retreating. According to Truffer, that spread depends on water temperature, too, which Willis points out will be revealed when the GRACE mission reveals its mass findings in the coming months. But the phase will switch again at some point and warmer waters will return. The water in Disko Bay, where the glacier meets the Atlantic, is now 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than it was just a few years ago, causing the Jakobshavn Glacier to grow. But because of what else is happening on the ice sheet, and the overall climate outlook, that’s not necessarily a good thing for global sea level. NASA research shows that Jakobshavn Glacier, which has been Greenland's fastest-flowing and fastest-thinning glacier for the last 20 years, has made an unexpected about-face. “Over 90 percent of the heat that’s trapped from greenhouse gases are warming the oceans,” he says. If it melted completely, it could raise oceans about 25 feet (see what would happen if all the world’s ice melted). “I think the question is why does the glacier do what it does and I’m of the opinion that the ocean is a dominant player controlling it.”. Jakobshavn's growth did not come as a surprise to scientists. It’s also why despite serious implications for Greenland’s near future ice loss, researchers caution the findings don’t mean we’ve found a magic climate reverse. NASA’s OMG, which began in 2016 to track the ice’s seasonal ebb and flow to help predict global sea-level rise, now plans to determine if that hypothesis is accurate. The thickening gets smaller and smaller as you move inland.”. He thinks this type of ocean interaction could be widespread, from the Arctic to Antarctic. From mineral mining to shipping lanes, fishing and strategic claims ranging from China to Russia, the change in the ice has a myriad of ripples. We used to think these ice sheets were pretty slow in reacting but this shows that you can have really fast reactions of glaciers to climate,” he says. However, only about five to 10 miles inland toward the center of Greenland, the glacier grows considerably thicker and plunges deeper below sea … This year’s Arctic sea ice cover shrank to the second lowest extent since modern record-keeping began in the late 1970s, at 1.44 million square miles (3.74 million square kilometers). Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is so remote that only 28 human beings have ever set foot on it. Willis says experts had thought the shape of the seafloor is what largely controlled a glacier’s retreat, because the ice can get stuck on undersea ridges that delay its movement. During the 2000s, the Jakobshavn was the fastest flowing glacier on Greenland, moving at about 10.5 miles per year, reports the BBC’s Jonathan Amos. Jakobshavn Glacier Danish: Jakobshavn Isbræ, also known as Ilulissat Glacier Greenlandic: Sermeq Kujalleq is a large outlet glacier in West Greenland. Greenland, West Coast, Disko Bay, Ilulissat, icefjord listed as World heritage by UNESCO that is the mouth of the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier (Jakobshavn Glacier) Iceberg aerial drone image - giant icebergs in Disko Bay on greenland floating in Ilulissat icefjord from melting glacier Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, Jakobhavns Glacier. New NASA data shows that Jakobshavn Glacier — Greenland's fastest-moving and fastest-thinning glacier for most of the 2000s — grew from 2018 into 2019, marking three consecutive years of growth. The Jakobshavn glacier … “We've found that that's not true.”. We don’t know how to put the Jakobshavn results in context of the whole of Greenland until we get that extra data.”. The glacier in question is the Jakobshavn glacier, which was decreasing in size at a speed of 1.8 miles in length and 130 feet in depth per year, according to … OMG, led by Principal Investigator Josh Willis, is one of several NASA missions dedicated to furthering our understanding of global sea level rise. But we know that what we saw was caused by the ocean because the slowing and thickening is concentrated right where the ice meets the water. WASHINGTON — A major Greenland glacier that was one of the fastest shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth is growing again, a new NASA study finds. The interaction of warm currents eroding ocean-facing glaciers already impacts Antarctica; 10 percent of its coastal glaciers are currently in retreat. Summer is the season to watch for ice loss from the outlet glaciers lining the perimeter of Greenland. “That’s how the warming of the ocean translates,” Khazendar says. So, while the glacier is growing, the ice sheet is still losing tremendous mass and contributing to sea-level rise. “We found you also have to pay attention to what the ocean’s doing,” he says. "Just a few weeks ago, we witnessed the spectacular calving event of Jakobshavn in Greenland which removed 12 square kilometers (4.6 square miles… Truffer believes warmer air temperatures play a role in glacial growth. ILULISSAT, GREENLAND – JULY 24: The village of Ilulissat is seen near the icebergs that broke off from the Jakobshavn Glacier on July 24, 2013 in Ilulissat, Greenland. Reviews. 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