Accelerated Glacier Melting Caused by Tides

New Study Shows Tidal Movements Accelerating Melting of Glaciers

A new study conducted by the University of California and the US Aerospace Agency (NASA) has revealed that tidal movements are causing glaciers to melt faster than previously predicted. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focused on a large glacier in northwest Greenland that interacted with ocean tides. The movement caused a previously unknown melting potential, leading to an acceleration in the rate of sea level rise.

Lead author of the study, Enrico Ciraci, explained that the glacier mass in question “moves between 2 and 6 kilometers during tidal movements,” causing the glacier to float and warm seawater to enter the bottom. This entry of warm seawater leads to melting of the glacier. “This is an important finding,” Ciraci said, “The traditional view among scientists was that the glacier’s ground line does not move with the tides, suggesting another major melting effect that could accelerate sea-level rise.”

The co-author of the study, Eric Rignot, warned that this new discovery would increase sea-level rise projections by up to 200 percent. He said, “This new research emphasizes the need to improve our understanding of how glaciers interact with their surroundings, in order to make accurate predictions about future sea-level rise.”

The results of this study highlight the importance of continued research into the effects of climate change and how to mitigate its impact. It also emphasizes the need for action to reduce carbon emissions and protect vulnerable coastal communities from rising sea levels.


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