Washington: Researchers have found that Northeast Greenland ice sheet started to speed up and lose mass around 2003 because of localised increase in temperatures.
An international team of scientists, including Professor Jonathan Bamber from the University of Bristol, studied the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream which extends more than 600 km into the interior of the ice sheet: much further than any other in Greenland.
Professor Bamber said that the Greenland ice sheet has contributed more than any other ice mass to sea level rise over the last two decades and has the potential, if it were completely melted, to raise global sea level by more than seven metres.
The researchers analysed a large collection of historical aerial photography, radar measurements and satellite data that measure the surface elevation, ice speed and bed elevation of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream.
Their results also showed that mass loss has continued up to the most recent observations in 2012 despite regional temperatures falling back to more typical values.