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Greenland’s Fastest Glacier Picks Up Pace

February 8, 2014

Full Article at http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/greenlands_fastest_glacier_picks_up_pace_20140207

By Tim Radford

The Jakobshavn glacier is Greenland’s fastest-flowing glacier. It now moves at 17 kilometres a year. That works out at 46 metres a day. With accelerations like this, phrases like “glacial pace” may no longer serve as clichés of lethargic movement. These speeds are recorded in the summer, when all glaciers are more likely to be a bit friskier. But even when averaged over the whole year, the glacier’s flow has accelerated threefold since the 1990s.

Icebergs “calve” from glaciers – they break off and drift out to sea. The Arctic ice sheet is thinning, and most of the planet’s glaciers are retreating as climates warm, so the Jakobshavn glacier is carrying less ice, at a faster rate, over shorter distances than ever before, and by the end of the century could have shifted 50 kilometres upstream. But right now it is also contributing to sea level rise at a faster rate.

Full Article at http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/greenlands_fastest_glacier_picks_up_pace_20140207

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