Greenland Lurching Higher As Ice Melts

Surface-melt days in 2011 compared to 1979-2010 average: orange=fewer days; blue=fewer days; white=no difference from average, or twoo small to detect. : Image and caption courtesy NOAA’s Website.Surface-melt days in 2011 compared to the average number of melt days between 1979 and 2010: orange=more days; blue=fewer days; white=no difference from average, or too small to detect. Image and caption courtesy NOAA’s Website.Southern Greenland saw an accelerated loss of ice amounting to a staggering 100 billion tons in 2010. As the weight of all that ice lifted, large portions of the island’s bedrock also rose a quarter of an inch or more higher.

That’s the finding of the Greenland GPS Network, a string of nearly 50 GPS stations on the Greenland coast designed to measure the bedrock’s response to accelerating loss of ice above.

Some GPS stations around Greenland routinely detect uplift of 0.59 inches/15 mm or more during the melt portion of the year. But the extremely warm temperatures of 2010 triggered a melting spike that lifted the bedrock as much as 0.79 inches/20 mm higher than usual in places.

Up to a point, this rebound might prove a useful counterpoint to sea-level rise.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend