Researchers from the University of Arizona have reported that the ground beneath the glaciers of Iceland is rising upwards as the glaciers are diminishing owing to global warming. The report has been detailed in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. We already know that the melting of ice caps leads to rebounding of the Earth beneath them. However, it is still a mystery for the scientists that whether this surprising rate of rebounding is occurring due to thousand years of melting of glaciers or due to the recent ice loss.
For the study, the researchers attached 62 GPS satellite receivers with rocks throughout the country to see if they are changing position. The sensors are capable of detecting movements as small as one millimeter per year. However, the receivers have detected much more shifting in the past two decades, including 1.4 inches a year in some parts of the country. The researchers opine that the global warming, which started about 30 years ago, is leading to glacial melt and this is possibly the cause of this fast rise.
Study author Kathleen Compton, from the University of Arizona, stated “Our research makes the connection between recent accelerated uplift and the accelerated melting of the Icelandic ice caps.” The researchers are of the view that the dramatic rate at which the ground is rebounding implies that the rate of ice loss is also increasing. Records show that the melting of ice and the uplift began around 1980 which also marked the beginning of rising temperatures. Co-author Richard Bennett, a UA associate professor of geosciences commented “Iceland is the first place we can say accelerated uplift means accelerated ice mass loss. What we’re observing is a climatically induced change in the Earth’s surface.” Some of the scientists also opine that this phenomenon may lead to an increased frequency of volcanic eruptions.