Greenland Lurching Higher As Ice Melts

Surface-melt days in 2011 compared to 1979-2010 average: orange=fewer days; blue=fewer days; white=no difference from average, or twoo small to detect. : Image and caption courtesy NOAA’s Website.Surface-melt days in 2011 compared to the average number of melt days between 1979 and 2010: orange=more days; blue=fewer days; white=no difference from average, or too small to detect. Image and caption courtesy NOAA’s Website.Southern Greenland saw an accelerated loss of ice amounting to a staggering 100 billion tons in 2010. As the weight of all that ice lifted, large portions of the island’s bedrock also rose a quarter of an inch or more higher.

That’s the finding of the Greenland GPS Network, a string of nearly 50 GPS stations on the Greenland coast designed to measure the bedrock’s response to accelerating loss of ice above.

Some GPS stations around Greenland routinely detect uplift of 0.59 inches/15 mm or more during the melt portion of the year. But the extremely warm temperatures of 2010 triggered a melting spike that lifted the bedrock as much as 0.79 inches/20 mm higher than usual in places.

Up to a point, this rebound might prove a useful counterpoint to sea-level rise.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.