“Little Risk the Ice Sheet Will Collapse”

JakobshavnIsbraeGlacierFissure.jpg “To probe the underside of Greenland’s glaciers, NASA researcher Alberto Behar released 90 specially tagged rubber ducks into a fissure of the Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier in Greenland, tracking their progress along underground melt-water streams.” Source of caption: typed from print version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below. Source of photo: edited screen capture from the online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.

(p. A13) As researchers learn more about the mechanics of Greenland’s glaciers, they are becoming convinced that, by itself, the sub-surface water slide created by so much melting ice may be a short-lived seasonal effect, says University of Washington polar scientist Ian Joughin. The glaciers speed up in the summer but slow down in the fall. If that’s true, there may be little risk the ice sheet will collapse as some scientists recently feared — at least not for the foreseeable future.

For the full story, see:
ROBERT LEE HOTZ. “The Sober Science of Migrating Rubber Duckies; An Armada of Tub Toys Sets Sail in New Research Discipline, ‘Flotsam Science,’ and Helps Unravel Enduring Planetary Mysteries.” Wall Street Journal (Mon., November 14, 2008): A13.

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