Greenland, A Wonderland of Ice: Mapping the Changes of Glaciers Under Changing Climate
Glaciers in Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) have thinned, accelerated and retreated since the 1990s as a result of global increases in air and ocean temperature. Half of the total mass loss of ice from the Greenland ice sheet is due to the discharge via fast-moving outlet glaciers that drain into the ocean, and thereby contributing to sea level rise. In the global context, the ice sheet holds enough ice to raise the global sea level by ~7 meters, and has raised sea level by 13.7 mm since 1972, half of which just happened during the last 8 years.
Along with sea level rise, increasing discharge and subsequent melt of icebergs have raised the problems like coastal flooding, change in oceanic properties, transportation of nutrients for aquatic animals, and affected the way of living for indigenous population. Thus, it is important to quantify and have better estimates for the changes happening in Greenland, which can subsequently affect the planet. Terminus ablation, accounting for the melt happening at the end of the glacier, will provide insights on understanding glacier dynamics and the interaction occurring between the ocean and glacier margins. I am quantifying the ice loss that is happening at the end of the glaciers on a fine time scale so that we would be able to see what the seasonal changes are, at the interaction of oceans and glaciers, and that would help us answering the question of how seasonal changes in atmosphere and the ocean affect the seasonal mass loss from these glaciers. The dataset produced will be really useful to oceanographers to model large scale ocean and biological changes, and to the policy makers for drafting the plans based on how quickly the ice sheet is changing.