UCI researchers identify primary causes of Greenland’s rapid ice sheet surface melt

Irvine, Calif., May 5, 2021 — Intense, wide-spread melting events in Greenland, such as one in July 2012 that touched nearly every part of the massive island’s frozen slab, are catastrophic, but they still account for only a small portion of the total deterioration of the ice sheet, according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine.

Greenland landscape history preserved under 1.4 kilometers of ice

Greenland wasn’t always covered in ice. In fact, within the last 1.1 million years ,Greenland had thriving vegetation and ecosystems. That is the conclusion of an international group of researchers including a scientist from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) that analyzed sediment at the base of the Camp Century ice core (1.4 kilometers deep) collected in 1966. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.