Last updated October 10, 2018

Ice Core Records of West Greenland Melt and Climate Forcing

  • States that:
    • Computer models and satellites show that the amount of snow melting each summer on Greenland has increased since the 1990s, but it's difficult to confirm this directly on the ice sheet
    • When surface snow melts, the water spreads into deeper layers of snow and refreezes as an ice layer
    • As fresh snow buries each summer's ice layers, the history of snowmelt is preserved in the ice sheet
  • Examines seven ice cores collected from western Greenland that contain the history of ice layers back to 1966 and compares them to a longer ice core from the same area
  • Finds more layers, caused by more summer melting, since the 1990s
  • Shows that today's melt rates are the highest in this region since at least 1550 CE