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In recent years, Greenland’s ice has been melting more and flowing faster into the sea—a record amount of ice melted from the frozen mass this summer, according to recently released data—and Earth’s rising temperatures are suspected to be the main culprit.
But clues to a new natural contribution to the melt arose when scientists discovered a thin spot in the Earth’s crust under the northeast corner of the Greenland Ice Sheet where heat from Earth’s insides could seep through, scientists will report here this week at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
“The behavior of the great ice sheets is an important barometer of global climate change,” said lead scientist Ralph von Frese of Ohio State University. “However, to effectively separate and quantify human impacts on climate change, we must understand the natural impacts too.”
Originally posted by deltaboy
So could it be the natural factor that helped answer as to why the ice is melting instead of just the human factor?
“Where the crust is thicker, things are cooler, and where it’s thinner, things are warmer,” von Frese explained.
The researchers don't yet know how warm the hotspot is. But if it is warm enough to melt the ice above it even a little, it could be lubricating the base of the ice sheet and enabling the ice to slide more rapidly out to sea.