NASA's OMG Campaign Solves Greenland Side-By-Side Glacier Puzzle

NASA’s OMG Campaign Solves Greenland Side-By-Side Glacier Puzzle


The Tracy and Heilprin Glaciers have been watched and noticed since they had been found in 1892. Now, researchers have lastly solved the puzzle of why the side-by-side glaciers soften at completely different charges. 
( NASA )

Why are two glaciers in Greenland which are sitting aspect by aspect melting at drastically completely different charges? Thanks to NASA’s OMG marketing campaign, scientists now know why.

Tracy And Heilprin

It was in 1892 that explorers found the Tracy and Heilprin glaciers in northwest Greenland. The two glaciers sit beside one another, and scientists and researchers have been observing and measuring them sporadically since discovery.

Interestingly, even when Tracy and Heilprin expertise the identical climate and ocean circumstances and circulation into the identical gulf, researchers noticed the 2 glaciers are melting at drastically completely different charges. In reality, within the final 125 years, Heilprin has solely retreated lower than four kilometers (2.5 miles) upstream, whereas Tracy has already retreated over 15 kilometers (9.5 miles) upstream. That signifies that Tracy has been shedding ice 4 occasions quicker than its neighbor.

About 10 years in the past, NASA’s Operation IceBridge discovered a major distinction between the 2 glaciers that helped them perceive the ice melt discrepancy. Using ice-penetrating radars, researchers discovered that Tracy truly sits on a a lot deeper bedrock than Heilprin.

Scientists believed that this distinction doubtless impacts the soften charges of the 2 glaciers, particularly because the prime ocean layer round Greenland is far colder than the deeper waters. Since Tracy sits on a deeper bedrock, it’s extra uncovered to the nice and cozy water.

NASA OMG Campaign

Now, a brand new research published within the journal Oceanography presents extra knowledge that additional explains the ice soften distinction between the 2 glaciers and highlights the function of oceans in terms of ice loss.

NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) marketing campaign, which was designed to survey the ice and ocean circumstances throughout the shoreline of Greenland, despatched a ship into the Inglefield Gulf to gather extra knowledge on Tracy and Heilprin and found that there’s a circulation of water that’s draining from below Tracy.

Evidently, what occurs is when the buoyant freshwater escapes from below Tracy, it additionally brings with it the hotter subsurface water, which then goes again up and swirls onto Tracy’s ice face.

“Most of the melting happens as the water rises up Tracy’s face. It eats away at a huge chunk of the glacier,” said Josh Willis, principal investigator of OMG.

Together, Tracy’s depth and the river circulation beneath it are liable for why, regardless of sitting aspect by aspect, Tracy and Heilprin have utterly completely different charges of ice soften.

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