Keeping watch on Greenland’s rapidly disappearing ice

Data from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1A shows one of Greenland’s glaciers – Zachariah Isstrom – is losing five billion tonnes of ice a year to the ocean.

The agency is part of a worldwide team using different space-based sensors to map changes in ice sheets.

It is estimated that the entire Zachariae Isstrom glacier in northeast Greenland holds enough water to raise global sea levels by more than 46 centimetres.

Jeremie Mouginot, from the University of California Irvine in the USA and lead author of the paper published in the journal Science, said, “The shape and dynamics of Zachariae Isstrom have changed dramatically over the last few years.

“The glacier is now breaking up and calving high volumes of icebergs into the ocean, which will result in rising sea levels for decades to come.”

More on the monitoring program here.


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