This animation shows the flow of the Jakobshavn glacier in 2000, followed by a time series of the glacier's retreat from 2001 through 2006. When pulling away from Greenland, a colored overlay shows the changes in the ice sheet elevation between 2003 and 2006.
Since measurements of Jakobshavn Isbrae were first taken in 1850, the glacier gradually receded until about 1950, where it remained stable for the past 5 decades. However, from 1997 to 2006, the glacier has begun to recede again, this time almost doubling in speed. The finding is important for many reasons. As more ice moves from glaciers on land into the ocean, ocean sea levels raise. Jakobshavn Isbrae is Greenland's largest outlet glacier, draining 6.5 percent of Greenland's ice sheet area. The ice stream's speed-up and near-doubling of ice flow from land into the ocean has increased the rate of sea level rise by about .06 millimeters (about .002 inches) per year, or roughly 4 percent of the 20th century rate of sea level increase. This animation shows the glacier's flow in 2000, along with changes in the glacier's calving front between 2001 and 2006.
This animation is an update of, and extension to, animation IDs #3374 and #3434.
In this version, the pause on the approach to the Jakobshavn glacier where the meltwater lakes on the Greenland ice sheet are visible is shortened. In addition, the colors showing regions of elevation increase and decrease over the Greenland ice sheet are modified.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 220.127.116.11.0