Universtiy of Alaska studies how the melting Greenland glaciers are impacting sea levels
University of Alaska Fairbanks mathematicians and glaciologists have taken a first step toward understanding how glacier ice flowing off Greenland affects sea levels.
Andy Aschwanden, Martin Truffer and Mark Fahnestock used mathematical computer models and field tests to reproduce the flow of 29 inlet glaciers fed by the Greenland ice sheet. They compared their data with data from NASA's Operation IceBridge North aerial campaign.
The comparisons showed that the computer models accurately depicted current flow conditions in topographically complex Greenland.
The work by the three researchers, all with UAF's Geophysical Institute, is featured in the latest edition of Nature Communications.
The time was right for the comparison, said Truffer, a physicist in the Geophysical Institute's Glaciers Group.
"Better computer models and NASA's high resolution data set made the difference," he said. "Each part needed each other to make sense. It couldn't have happened without either."
This image shows a tent on the edge of the Jakobshavn Isbræ in Greenland.
Credit: Photo by Martin Truffer
Read more at ScienceDaily.