Status update on the future of Greenland lakes

What is one of the biggest wildcards in how much the Greenland Ice Sheet will raise ocean levels in the coming centuries?  Check out this post on featuring work on that question by our own Kristin Poinar and Ian Joughin.  They analyzed satellite images and meteorological data across the western flank of the Greenland Ice Sheet and found that over time, meltwater has been collecting in more and more supraglacial lakes — lakes on the surface of the ice sheet that can potentially affect ice flow.  However, their research also indicates that these lakes — like the ones shown here — are unlikely to create new moulins underneath them, and instead, will freeze over each winter rather than drastically affecting ice flow.

The post on has a much clearer summary with more details!

Supraglacial lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet

In this Landsat image from 30 July 2014 (dimensions 10 km x 10 km), three undrained lakes sit on top of the ice sheet in western Greenland.