Study reveals the inconvenient truth about Greenland’s ice sheet — It’s thickening!

Greenland’s ice sheet is thickening, according to a new study, which also notes ice is moving more slowly towards the ice sheet’s edge than it has, on average, over the last 9,000 years.

“Like many others, I had in mind the ongoing dramatic retreat and Daily Caller  New Foundationspeedup along the edges of the ice sheet, so I’d assumed that the interior was faster now too. But it wasn’t,” Joe MacGregor, the study’s lead author and a geophysicist at The University of Texas in Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, said in a statement.

MacGregor and his fellow authors created a database mapping the layers of Greenland’s ice sheet and flow patterns over the last 9,000 years. Using this “paleo-velocity” scientists found ice from Greenland’s interior is flowing to the edges more slowly than it did during most of time in the past nine millennia.

So, what’s slowing the ice down? Researchers said Greenland was hit with much softer snow during the last ice age, which has stiffened over time and caused the ice to flow more slowly towards its edges — all of this has caused the ice sheet to thicken over thousands of years.

Southern Greenland has seen lots of thickening because of increased snowfall, according to researchers, but that’s not the cause of thickening for other parts of the ice sheet where snowfall isn’t increasing.

“But that didn’t explain what was happening elsewhere in Greenland, particularly the northwest, where there isn’t as much snowfall, so the stiffening effect isn’t as important,” said MacGregor, adding that the northwest is getting thicker because of the collapse of an ice bridge 10,000 years ago.

Despite their findings of Greenland’s slower ice flow, the researchers claim this doesn’t “change the fact that the ice sheet is losing mass overall and contributing to sea level rise,” according to the study’s press release.

For decades, scientists and environmentalists have warned Greenland is melting at an alarming rate because of man-made global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nation’s climate bureaucracy, says there’s “very high confidence that the Greenland ice sheet has lost ice and contributed to sea level rise over the last two decades.”

But the IPCC also claims Antarctica’s ice sheet — the largest in the world —  is losing mass. The international body said “there is high confidence that the Antarctic ice sheet is currently losing mass” in its 2013 climate report.

New research, however, directly contradicted the IPCC’s claims. A NASA study from last year found Antarctica’s ice sheet had increased in size from 1992 to 2008. In fact, scientists said the South Pole has been thickening from increased snowfall over the last thousand years.

“We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” Jay Zwally, a NASA glaciologist and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

“Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica — there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas,” Zwally said.

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This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller

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About the Author: Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch writes on energy, climate and the environment for the Daily Caller.

31 Comments
  1. GuyBB

    To keep the propaganda march going, they do love to cherry pick short term trends, ignoring obvious mitigating factors.

    For instance, 2014 was a polar vortex, and while it brought Arctic air to freeze North America, it sent warm air into the North Atlantic. Thus, Greenland set new ice melt records. The thing is, that record was from the last Polar Vortex in 1929…Then, happy day! 2015 was a strong El Nino, bringing heat up from the Pacific Ocean depths to warm the entire planet, and if you chart just 2010-2015, it looks like a trend!

    Thing is, even following THAT “trend”, it would take thousands of years for all of Greenland’s ice to melt. And, it is not a trend at all, for neither the Polar Vortex nor
    the El Nino have ever had any impact on the long term trend.

  2. Dano2

    Purposely dishonest from Bastasch. Citing LoWatts is all you need to know. But it is good to know that Bastasch is not telling DC readers the whole story and is purposely misleading you.

    How do we know Bastasch is purposely misleading you?

    We know Bastasch is purposely misleading you because the Press Release contradicts Bastasch’s misleading theme and the DC headline:

    The findings, which researchers said don’t change the fact that the ice sheet is losing mass overall and contributing to sea level rise, are published in the Feb. 5 issue of Science. Along Greenland’s periphery, many glaciers are rapidly thinning. However, the vast interior of Greenland is slowly thickening, a process the new study clarifies. [emphases added]

    Bastasch busted in big fib.

    Best,

    D

  3. John Beasley

    The IPCC and their cronies continue to spread stories devoid of the truth, because they know they have a liberal following (including politicians with an agenda) who will believe everything they say, and will give them money to continute to say it. These paid liars need to be shut down so people can know the truth.

  4. nosmokewithout

    Really, Interesting that if anyone thought about this and read the report, it’s conclusion is fairly obvious. But I notice, the key point…

    “The findings, which researchers said don’t change the fact that the ice sheet is now rapidly losing mass and contributing to sea level rise….”

    But that is the tea baggers propaganda machine for you.

    This study does not look at this from an aspect of climate change!

  5. Michael Castillo

    Of course the ice sheets are thickening now compared to 1,000 years ago. An inconvenient fact for the climate alarmists is much of the world was warmer from approximately 1300 to 1000 years ago. How do we know that? Because the Vikings were farming land in Greenland then that is now unfarmable permafrost!

      • Michael Castillo

        Greenland most certainly was warmer. Go back to science class and figure out how farmland that was being farmed 1300 to 1000 years ago is now permafrost. Get your head out of the permafrost and see the whole picture, not just the politically correct “green (in name only) picture that has been painted by those who have been seduced by the anti-fossil fuel theology. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly believe there is much we can and should do to clean up our act. But I firmly believe investing in very expensive, very environmentally unfriendly alternative energy technologies will NOT get us there and in many cases causes more harm than “dirty” technologies that are being replaced. Much of the hype about green energy is false propaganda!

    • Redbird

      Michael Castillo – just ignore Dano2. He is a complete idiot who goes on these comment pages for all news stories related to climate change and froths at the mouth with lies and obfuscation. Even if you quote or provide links to honest, accurate scientific proof that he is wrong, he will simply say “it’s not true”. He is a typical Obama-loving, socialist boot-licking liberal piece of crap. IGNORE HIM !!!

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