Researchers have reported a major reduction in mass loss in Greenland's longest-observed glacier, Mittivakkat Glacier owing to drastic climatic fluctuations. This has triggered a sense of alarm and scientists are speculating the possible outcomes of such major dynamic environmental changes.
The research team comprising Danish, American and British scientists has indicated that the key glacier is melting even faster than previously expected.
These observations have also suggested that the mass loss has been triggered by higher surface temperatures and low precipitation. Some of the researchers involved in the study are Dr Edward Hanna from University of Sheffield's Department of Geography; Dr Sebastian Mernild from the Los Alamos Laboratory, USA; and Professor Niels Tvis Knudsen from the University of Aarhus, Denmark.
The Irish Weather Online reported that the observations of other glaciers in Greenland show terminus retreats comparable to that of Mittivakkat Glacier. These glaciers are similar to the Mittivakkat Glacier in size and elevation range.
A comparison with the previous year records show that the 2011 total mass budget loss was 2.45 meters, 0.29 meters higher than the previous observed record loss in 2010. The 2011 value was also significantly above the 16-year average observed loss of 0.97 meters per year.