Related topics: glaciers · sea level

100-year-old physics model replicates modern Arctic ice melt

The Arctic is melting faster than we thought it would. In fact, Arctic ice extent is at a record low. When that happens—when a natural system behaves differently than scientists expect—it's time to take another look at ...

Scientists find missing piece in glacier melt predictions

Stanford scientists have revealed the presence of water stored within a glacier in Greenland, where the rapidly changing ice sheet is a major contributor to the sea-level rise North America will experience in the next 100 ...

Glacier depth affects plankton blooms off Greenland

The unusual timing of highly productive summer plankton blooms off Greenland indicates a connection between increasing amounts of meltwater and nutrients in these coastal waters. In a new study published today in the international ...

Warm wind melts snow in Antarctica in winter as well

Even though the sun does not shine in Antarctica in winter, in some places, snow on the glaciers can melt as a result of warm wind. Utrecht glacier researcher Peter Kuipers Munneke discovered that fact by combining the results ...

Greenland's summer ocean bloom likely fueled by iron

Iron particles catching a ride on glacial meltwater washed out to sea by drifting currents is likely fueling a recently discovered summer algal bloom off the southern coast of Greenland, according to a new study.

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Meltwater

Meltwater is the water released by the melting of snow or ice, including glacial ice and ice shelfs over oceans. Meltwater is often found in the ablation zone of glaciers, where the rate of snow cover is reducing. Meltwater can be produced during volcanic eruptions, in a similar way in which the more dangerous lahars form.

When meltwater pools on the surface rather than flowing, it forms melt ponds. As the weather gets colder meltwater will often re-freeze. Meltwater can collect or melt under the ice's surface. These pools of water, known as subglacial lakes can form due to geothermal heat and friction.

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