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.


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

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.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.