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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.'s melting!'s melting!

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, August 9, 2015/Categories: natural history, space science, sustainability, environment, climate change

You may be familiar with the exclamation  Oh May God! (OGM) often used as an alert. You are likely less unfamiliar with Oceans Melting Greenland ( OGM,) a new NASA program established to:improve estimates of sea level rise by asking:to what extent do the oceans play in melting Greenland’s ice from below.

According to the agency, the  5-year remote sensing campaign will:

"observe changing water temperatures on the continental shelf surrounding Greenland, how marine glaciers react to the presence of warm, salty Atlantic water, and the complicated geometry of the sea floor steers currents on the shelf that often determines whether Atlantic water can reach into the long, narrow fjords to interact with the coastal glaciers."

The basic knowledge of these geophysical features is critical to properly model the interactions between the oceans and the Greenland ice sheet, Much of what is poorly understood relates to the landform topography at the bottom of the Greenland ice cap and the island's valley glaciers. If the reservoirs of ice covering Greenland were to rapidly melt and collapse into the North Atlantic, there is enough ice to raise sea levels by nearly 20 feet.

Of special interest are the numerous and long fjords which are being investigated by  Woods Hole  , one of the OMG collaborating institutions. NASA satellite, aerial, and other data now being analyzed points to a much faster rate of  Greenland ice melting  than previously thought.

.                                            Greenland fjord, aerial view  (credit: NASA)

For details on the OMG mission, a video discusses the efforts of NASA and their Earth science investigators::

Oh My God! it's melting.



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