Greenland’s Largest Glacier- Expected to Melt Faster than Expected

A recent study shows that the three largest glaciers namely, Jakobshavn Isbrae, Kangerlussuaq Glacier and Helheim Glaciers, in Greenland may melt down earlier than the expected time. These three largest glacier has the capability of lifting the earth’s water level approximately by 1.3 meters.

Highlights

The scenario shows that the sea level was rising due to melting of several glaciers till the year 2000. But for last two decades, ice sheets of the Greenland and Antarctica have become the single largest source of rising sea level.

Findings

The study finds that Jakobshavn Isbrae have lost more than 1.5 trillion tonnes of ice in between 1880-2012. It further shows that, Kangerlussuaq and Helheim have lost 1.4 trillion and 31 billion tonnes respectively in between 1900–2012. Researchers noted that, with this melting, sea level has already gone up by eight millimeters.

Jakobshavn Glacier

Jakobshavn Glacier is also called as the Ilulissat Glacier. This Glacier drains 6.5% of the Greenland ice sheet. It produces around 10% of all Greenland icebergs. Icebergs that breaks from the glacier are often large in size up to 1 km in height. Ilulissat Glacier was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2004.

Kangerlussuaq Glacier

This is the largest glacier on the east coast of the Greenland ice sheet. The glacier flows into the head of the second largest fjord in east Greenland called Kangerlussuaq Fjord.

Helheim Glacier

This Glacier is one of largest outlet glaciers in Greenland. It has been named after the world of the dead in Norse Mythology. The Glacier feeds the waters of the Helheim Fjord which is a branch of the Sermilik system.