February 1, 2023

Kjer Glacier, Then and Now – Dramatic Change in the Past Few Decades

September 3, 2000
September 21, 2021
Thus lots of glaciers in Greenland, Kjer has pulled away significantly in current years and now flows more rapidly toward the ocean.
Change is constant and typical on Earth throughout geologic time. In the icy polar areas, modification has actually been dramatic and swift in the previous few years. One example is northwest Greenland, where rather a lot has changed in 21 years.
The image pair above programs part of Greenland along Melville Bay (a sub-section of Baffin Bay) on September 3, 2000, and September 21, 2021. Both images above are natural color and reveal a somewhat larger view.).

The images show a 80-kilometer (50-mile) stretch of coastline. Thus numerous locations around the edges of Greenland, a series of glaciers here bring ice from the islands interior toward the coast and onto the ocean. The majority of these marine-terminating glaciers are pulling back. Kjer and Hayes– the two main outlet glaciers revealed above– are also speeding up.
Notification that in 2000, Kjer Glacier abutted a couple of rocky outcrops. These rocks assisted uphold the ice and slowed its oceanward flow. Then sometime in 2012, the glaciers floating ice rack broke down. The rocks ended up being free-standing islands, surrounded in the 2021 image by open water and a mixture of sea ice and icebergs, or mélange. Having lost contact with the rocks, the glaciers inland ice can stream even more rapidly toward the ocean.
According to Alex Gardner, a snow and ice scientist at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, data from the NASA MEaSUREs job ITS_LIVE show that a person year before the ice shelfs separation, the glacier flowed at an average speed of 1,200 meters each year. By 2018, the glaciers average speed was more than 4,000 meters annually.
” Kjer is experiencing an almost four-fold increase in ice circulation due to the collapse of its floating ice shelf, likely due to melting by warmer ocean waters,” Gardner said. “This has led to increased contributions of ice to the ocean and is speeding up sea level rise.”.
In the 1970s, the Greenland Ice Sheet got about as much ice as it lost– a well balanced state that lasted till the mid 1990s, at which point ice loss accelerated. In between 2002 and 2021, Greenland shed about 280 gigatons of ice annually, including 0.8 millimeters (0.03 inches) per year to worldwide sea level increase.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat information from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Like so many locations around the edges of Greenland, a series of glaciers here carry ice from the islands interior toward the coast and onto the ocean. These rocks assisted strengthen the ice and slowed its oceanward circulation. The rocks ended up being free-standing islands, surrounded in the 2021 image by open water and a mixture of sea ice and icebergs, or mélange. Having lost contact with the rocks, the glaciers inland ice can stream even more rapidly toward the ocean.

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