It lost a piece of ice a few years ago in 2015 the size of Manhattan. But the glacier that was the major one of the fastest shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth begin growing again, according to a new study from NASA.
Six years ago, the Jakobshavn glacier was thinning nearly 130 feet and retreating about 1.8 miles each year, but in the past two years, it started growing again at about the same rate, based on the study published in Monday’s Nature Geoscience. Outside scientists and the study authors think this will not be forever.
“That was kind of a surprise. We kind of got used to a runaway system,” said Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland ice and climate scientist Jason Box. “The good news is that it’s a reminder that it’s not necessarily going that fast. But it is going.”
The Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland is now growing again
Even though he was not part of the study, Box said that Jakobshavn, as it discharges the most ice in the northern hemisphere is an essential Greenland glacier. It is the king of Greenland.
The glacier was likely influenced to reverse the course by a natural cyclical cooling of North Atlantic waters, according to Ala Khazendar, a study lead author and a NASA glaciologist on the Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) project. She, along with her colleagues ay that this coincides with a temporary and warming and cooling of parts of the ocean, a flip of the North Atlantic Oscillation that might be a distant cousin to El Nino in the Pacific.
Temporarily this can be considered good news, but on the long term, it is not because it tells scientists that a more significant player in glacier retreats and advances in the ocean temperature compared to previous thoughts, according to a study co-author and a NASA climate scientist, Josh Willis.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere