Study Illustrates Nuances of Gravitational Pull of Ice Sheets

When a large ice sheet begins to melt, global-mean sea level rises, but local sea level near the ice sheet may in fact drop. In American Journal of Physics, a researcher illustrates this effect through a series of calculations, beginning with a simple, analytically tractable model and progressing through more sophisticated mathematical estimations of ice distributions and gravitation of displaced seawater mass. The paper includes numerical results for sea level change resulting from a 1,000-gigatonne loss of ice, with parameter values appropriate to the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

Scientists Find Far Higher than Expected Rate of Underwater Glacial Melting

Tidewater glaciers, the massive rivers of ice that end in the ocean, may be melting underwater much faster than previously thought, according to a Rutgers co-authored study that used robotic kayaks. The findings, which challenge current frameworks for analyzing ocean-glacier interactions, have implications for the rest of the world’s tidewater glaciers, whose rapid retreat is contributing to sea-level rise.