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Climate Change Altering Greenland Ice Sheet

Climate change over the last few years has altered the structure of the Greenland ice sheet, causing it to lose its ability to limit mass loss of ice by retaining melt-water, a new study has found. The Greenland ice sheet has traditionally been pictured as a bit of a sponge for glacier melt-water, but it is rapidly losing the ability to buffer its contribution to rising sea levels, researchers said. Researchers spent five weeks in 2013 drilling firn cores in the interior of the Greenland ice sheet. Firn is multi-year compacted snow that is not as dense as glacier ice. Instead, it forms a porous near-surface layer over the ice sheet.

UN/Mark Garten

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