Greenland Ice Sheet Archives - State of the Planet

The Melting of the Greenland Ice, Seen Up Very Close

A small team of scientists ventures out onto the Greenland ice sheet to study the forces large and small that are accelerating the melting of the world’s second-largest ice mass.

by |October 1, 2018

Photo Essay: Melting Greenland, Up Close

As climate warms, the Greenland ice sheet is melting, helping to fuel global sea-level rise. Follow a small team of scientists as they hike onto the sheet to investigate the forces large and small that are demolishing the ice.

by |October 1, 2018
greenland

Exposing Greenland’s Green Past

Findings from last year indicate that the Greenland Ice Sheet is perhaps not as stable as scientists had hoped.

by |April 26, 2018
taking samples of glacial erratic in greenland

Will Loss of Arctic Sea Ice Cause More ‘Snow on Ice’ in Greenland?

Scientists are collecting lake sediment, rock, water and plant samples to tease apart linkages between Arctic sea ice, atmospheric uptake, and changes in snowfall on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

by |March 28, 2018
A researcher investigates a channel in the Greenland ice

The Greenland Ice Sheet Is Sponging Up Meltwater

As climate warms, the surface of the Greenland ice sheet is melting, and all that meltwater ends up in seasonal rivers that flow to the sea. At least that is what scientists have assumed until now. A new study has shown that some of the meltwater is actually being soaked into porous subsurface ice and held there, at least temporarily.

by |December 8, 2017

Radar Reveals Meltwater’s Year-Round Life Under Greenland Ice

An improved technique developed by a graduate student at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and her colleagues is making it possible to use airborne ice-penetrating radar to reveal meltwater’s life under the ice throughout the year.

by |January 5, 2017
Meltwater rivers on the greenland ice sheet. M. Tedesco/Columbia University

In Greenland, Exactly Where Meltwater Enters the Ocean Matters

In southern Greenland in summer, rivers have been streaming off the ice sheet, pouring cold fresh water into the fjords. A new study tracks where that meltwater goes—with surprising results.

by |April 25, 2016

The Changing Upernavik Waterfront

Project Background: Changing conditions in Greenland’s northwest glaciers over the last decade have led to a range of questions about water temperature and circulation patterns in the fjords where ocean water meets the glacial fronts.

by |July 14, 2014

The Art of Flying

Flying. It is something we are almost all familiar with, and yet I expect few of us have really sat back to appreciate the actual science of it. For the past 10 weeks we have been flying, not just a day or two a week but five or six days a week depending on the… read more

by |May 30, 2012

The ‘Glory’ in Clouds and Other Amazing Sights!

If you look carefully at the picture below you will see a small shadow of our plane completely encircled in a rainbow. This optical phenomenon, called a “glory,” can develop when the plane flies directly between the sun and a cloud below. Flying over the ice sheet in the far northeast of Greenland we saw… read more

by |May 24, 2012