The warm water of the ocean eats glaciers
An ice block as huge as the soccer field has been broken from a glacier; which is five miles away from Kulusuk, Greenland. The breaking was so powerful that it sounded like an explosion to the locals.
Greenland has become a center of attraction recently due to the impact of climate change. NASA oceanographer Josh Willis and his team are currently investigating how the warming of ocean melts the ice from underneath. “There is enough ice in Greenland to raise the sea levels by 7.5 meters, that’s about 25 feet, an enormous volume of ice, and that would be devastating to coastlines all around the planet,” said Willis to CNN “We should be retreating already from the coastline if we are looking at many meters [lost] in the next century or two.”
Helheim is one of the largest glaciers in Greenland which is about four miles wide and as tall as Statue of Liberty. The team found that Helheim is surrounded by warm water and this continues to the depth of 2000 feet below the surface.
“It’s very rare anywhere on the planet to see 700 meters of no temperature variation, normally we find colder waters in the upper hundred meters or so, but right in front of the glacier it’s warm all the way up,” said Ian Fenty, a climate scientist at NASA to CNN. “These warm waters now are able to be in direct contact with the ice over its entire face, supercharging the melting.” Helheim has become famous these days because of the acceleration at which it melts. In 2017, almost two miles of this glacier disappeared. “It retreats by many meters per day, it’s tens of meters per day. You can probably set your iPhone on time-lapse and actually see it go by,” Willis says to CNN as the data flashes up on his phone screen.
NASA’s Earth Science Division is planning to put two satellites and investigation programs to trace natural hazards.