Greenland’s melting ice caps are disappearing partly due to heat resonating from the earth’s core, The Daily Mail reports.
A team of scientists from GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences says they are the first group of researchers to find the connection between the country’s depleting ice sheets and the intense heat from the earth’s core.
Although a relatively small country, Greenland’s melting ice sheet contributes a generous amount to annual global ice loss. The country loses around 227 gigatons of ice each year, resulting in about a .7 millimeters increase in sea-level. The total rise in sea level per year is estimated to be around 3 millimeters.
Studies show that if the entirety of Greenland’s ice stores were to melt, the earth would see a seven meter rise in sea level.
Over the past decade, scientists have concluded that Greenland’s melting ice stems from both changes in surface conditions and a process called calving, where blocks of ice leave the main ice sheet and become floating icebergs.
The GFZ researchers say that in the past the relationship between the earth’s mantle and its impact on melting ice sheet was not fully recognized.
As a result, the researchers created a new and what they believe to be a more comprehensive model of Greenland’s ice loss and the earth’s hot core.
In their study the scientists found what appears to be a direct correlation between the amount of ice loss in a given area, and the composition of the earth’s mantle directly below it.
As part of their research, the team of international scientists used technology to study whether the heat from the earth’s upper mantle would continue to impact Greenland’s ice sheets over a long period of time.
GFC researcher Alexey Petrunin explained, ‘We have run the model over a simulated period of three million years, and taken into account measurements from ice cores and independent magnetic and seismic data.”
This simulated experiment supported the theory that there might be a direct correlation between the melting ice sheets and the temperature of the earth’s upper mantle.
“The temperature at the base of the ice, and therefore the current dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet is the result of the interaction between the heat flow from the earth’s interior and the temperature changes associated with glacial cycles,” said Irina Rogozhina in an interview with The Daily Mail.
Rogozhina added that the surface temperature of Greenland’s ice caps varied depending on their geographic relationship to certain parts of the earth’s mantle.
“We found areas where the ice melts at the base next to other areas where the base is extremely cold,” she said.
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