CR
Cryospheric Sciences

ice-ocean interactions

The “Cliffs Notes” on Ice-Cliff Failure

The “Cliffs Notes” on Ice-Cliff Failure

The retreat of large glaciers that drain the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets could expose immense ice-cliffs at newly-bared calving faces, which are the exposed ends of glaciers where, in these cases, glacier ice meets the ocean. Past a certain height, these ice cliffs will become susceptible to collapsing from high stresses, a process known as structural ice-cliff failure. If a taller ice clif ...[Read More]

Did you know… about the fluctuating past of north-east Greenland?

Did you know… about the fluctuating past of north-east Greenland?

Recent geological data shows that during a very cold phase of our Earth’s climate (between 40,000 and 26,000 years ago), there was a huge expansion of polar ice sheets, yet the north-eastern part of the Greenland ice sheet was less extensive than today. How could this have occurred? In this post we shed light on the potential causes of this ice sheet behaviour. What do we know about present- ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – How geometry limits thinning in the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Image of the Week –  How geometry limits thinning in the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet

The Greenland ice sheet flows from the interior out to the margins, forming fast flowing, channelized rivers of ice that end in fjords along the coast. Glaciologists call these “outlet glaciers” and a large portion of the mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet is occurring because of changes to these glaciers. The end of the glacier that sits in the fjord is exposed to warm ocean water that can me ...[Read More]