Thursday, October 19, 2006

Au revoir Bangladesh!

The new(ish) GRACE satellites have been keeping a close watch on Greenland's Ice sheet. In the past snowfall has outpaced the melting of the ice sheet. However, now things have changed. Researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center explain:

"What we see is a massive amount of mass shedding that far outweighs an interior growth. .

We are now losing 20 percent more coming out each year than goes in as snowfall.

None of this has been predicted by numerical models, and therefore all projections of the contribution of Greenland to sea level [rise] are way below reality."

Sounds like the future is going to be fun for a few million in Bangaldesh.

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EDIT: As a precautionary note GRACE has only been around for 4 years. So we have to be careful extrapolating long term trends over such a small sample set. It seems my title may be a bit premature. However, since "all indicators have started to point in the same direction" it is certainly something to think about.

source: Scientific American; Gravity Measurements Confirm Greenland's Glaciers Precipitous Meltdown