• Barbara Moran

    Barbara Moran, Senior Science Writer

    Barbara Moran is a science writer in Brookline, Mass. Profile

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There are 2 comments on What Antarctica’s Massive Iceberg Could Mean for the Future

  1. I think the situation is similar in Greenland, the floating ice is going away and the ice over land will then start to enter the sea. Anyone, have specific information about this?

    1. The situations in Greenland and Antarctica are similar, but with some important differences. It is true that, similar to what is discussed above, the removal of small Greenland ice shelves does (and has) lead to the increased flow of ice into the ocean. However, Greenland, unlike Antarctica, also undergoes a significant amount of surface melt from the relatively warmer temperatures. Most of the water from this melt is reincorporated into the surface of the ice sheet during the winter. However, some of that liquid water can infiltrate to the base of the ice where it acts to lubricate the ice-rock interface and increases the flow velocity. Also, increasingly more and more of this liquid melt water is making its way off of the ice sheet before the winter season. In other words, the ice shelf collapse phenomenon is only one factor driving the loss of ice from Greenland and may be minor compared to other aspects. However, in Antarctica, it could be the primary driver of rapid ice mass loss in the future.

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