Greenland’s Glacier retreat rate has doubled over 20 years


According to an article on, Greenland’s peripheral glaciers, distinct from the central ice sheet, are undergoing a significant and unprecedented retreat, according to a collaborative study by Northwestern University and the University of Copenhagen. By combining satellite images with historical aerial photographs spanning 130 years, the research team found that the rate of glacier retreat in the 21st century has doubled compared to the 20th century. The study underscores the sensitivity of the region to rising temperatures linked to human-induced climate change. The extensive analysis of glacier data, including digitization of historical aerial photographs, provides a unique century-long perspective on Greenland’s glacier response to climate change. The research emphasizes the crucial role of reducing global warming, as the choices made in the next few decades will profoundly impact these glaciers, sea levels, and freshwater sources. Peripheral glaciers, comprising only 4% of Greenland’s total ice-covered area, contribute disproportionately to the island’s ice loss and play a significant role in observed sea level rise, making their accelerated retreat a matter of global concern.

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