Greenland glaciers continue to lose ice area

Our 2009 area change survey of 34 of the widest Greenland marine-terminating glacier outlets from the inland ice sheet is complete. We find a net marine-terminating ice area loss of 109 sq km. The total net cumulative area change from year 2000 (when our survey begins) to 2009 is -990.2 sq. km, a loss equivalent with an area more than 11 times the area of Manhattan Is. (87.5 sq. km) in New York, USA. The marine-terminating ice area change for these glaciers is -106 sq. km per year, the 2009 loss being within 3% of the linear fit. In other words, and as you can see below, the loss rate has been nearly constant. Though, on a glacier by glacier basis, the loss rate is not constant.

http://polarmet35.mps.ohio-state.edu/Greenland_Glacier_Area_Change_2000-2009.gif

cumulative annual area changes for 34 of the widest Greenland ice sheet marine-terminating outlets

Below, we tabulate the area changes for each of the surveyed glaciers. 12 of 34 glaciers advanced (blue). 22 of 34 glaciers retreated (red). The widest glaciers lost the most marine-terminating ice area. We expected Petermann Glacier to lose up to 100 sq. km ice area this summer, but it held together and even advanced 2 sq km despite warmer than normal surface air temperatures. We will soon post an individual glacier change discussion.

Glacier Name

Width [km]

Area Change [sq km]

Storstrommen

27.8

4.00

Store

5.3

-2.80

Upernavik

26.1

3.20

Ikertivaq

16.6

2.80

Petermann

20.0

2.60

Sermeq Avannarleq

2.5

2.10

Kangia Nunata

4.9

0.90

Kangigdleq

4.9

0.80

79

62.6

0.60

Kong Oscars

4.1

0.50

Allison

4.9

0.50

Docker/Smith

4.3

0.02

Sermeq Avangnardleq

0.7

-0.20

Ostenfeld

7.0

-0.40

Perdlerfiup Sermia

3.1

-0.40

Lille

2.2

-0.50

Kangerdlugssup Sermerssua

4.7

-0.60

Daugaard Jensen

6.0

-0.90

Tingmjarmiut

2.2

-0.90

Fenris

2.5

-1.00

Sermeq Silardleq

4.5

-1.20

Ingia

3.2

-1.30

Umiamiko

3.5

-1.30

Hayes

10.7

-1.40

Rink

4.5

-1.70

Kangerdluarssup Sermia

3.6

-2.30

Steenstrup

15

-2.70

Helheim

5.5

-3.70

Kangerdlugssauq

8.6

-5.20

Sermilik (South Greenland)

2.2

-2.10

Jakobshavn

6.8

-11.40

Midgard

3.5

-15.80

Zachariae

22.8

-31.00

Humboldt

110.0

-36.90

Total

-106.4

One Response to “Greenland glaciers continue to lose ice area”

  1. MODIS Studies of Greenland » Blog Archive » Petermann not the only major ‘loser’ in Greenland Says:

    [...] recent ice island detachment at Petermann glacier is part of a larger pattern of deglaciation observed at 31/34 glaciers (91%) in our [...]