Greenland Ice Sheet Archives - State of the Planet

Greenland ice sheet. Photo: Kevin Krajick/Earth Institute

How Close Are We to Climate Tipping Points?

Will overshooting 1.5°C of warming push us over climate tipping points, triggering irreversible and abrupt changes?

by |November 11, 2021
Misty blue mountains stand in the background of a bright silver river cutting through dark rocks.

As the Greenland Ice Sheet Retreats, Mercury is Being Released From the Bedrock Below

Scientists have found that Greenland’s bedrock is rich with mercury in some areas — and as the ice sheet rapidly melts, that mercury is being released into local waters.

by |July 15, 2021

Fossil Plants at Bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet Warn of Future Melting

The discovery of fossil plants below a mile of Greenland ice indicates that the ice sheet completely melted in the past, and suggests it could rapidly do so again.

by |March 15, 2021

Scientists Have Discovered an Ancient Lake Bed Deep Beneath the Greenland Ice

Using radar and other techniques, researchers have mapped out the sediments left by a lake that apparently existed before Greenland was glaciated. Next step: drilling through the ice to see what they contain.

by |November 10, 2020

Scientists Harness Satellites to Track Algae Growth on Greenland Ice Sheet

To measure algal blooms across large regions of the Greenland ice, and understand their effects on melting over time, scientists are turning to space.

by |October 15, 2020

Greenland on Track to Lose Ice Faster Than in Any Century Over the Last 12,000 Years

If human societies don’t sharply curb emissions of greenhouse gases, Greenland’s rate of ice loss this century is likely to greatly outpace that of any century since shortly after the end of the last ice age, a new study concludes.

by |September 30, 2020

Greenland Ice Sheet Reached Tipping Point 20 Years Ago, New Study Finds

The massive ice sheet is now locked into a certain amount of decline. But reducing emissions remains critical to preventing catastrophic loss of the entire ice sheet.

by |September 2, 2020

Greenland Ice Sheet Saw Record Loss in 2019

An international team of polar researchers says that the Greenland ice sheet experienced record loss in 2019.

by |August 20, 2020

How Catastrophic Floods May Have Carved Greenland’s ‘Grand Canyon’

In a new study, researchers propose a mechanism for how mega-canyons under northern Greenland’s ice sheet formed: from a series of catastrophic outburst floods that suddenly and repeatedly drained lakes of meltwater.

by |April 30, 2020
edge of greenland ice sheet

Unusually Clear Skies Drove Record Loss of Greenland Ice in 2019

Study identifies unprecedented atmospheric conditions behind devastating summer; suggests climate models may greatly underestimate future melting.

by |April 15, 2020