August 12, 2013. Climate scientists report that an unusually thin crust beneath the surface of Greenland partly explains the abnormally high rate of melting of its ice cap, as the hot magma mass beneath the surface act as one giant "kettle", reports the journal Nature Geoscience.
The temperature at the foot of the glacier, and, accordingly, their condition, at the same time depend on the flow of heat from the Earth's interior and temperature fluctuations on the surface. With this in Greenland there are areas where the foot of the glacier is melting, and which at the same time are in the neighborhood with a completely intact and cold ice.
Using a special climate model, the researchers found that the rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet was associated with an unusually thin crust on its territory.
As the authors note, the heat generated in the bowels of the earth, and coming to the surface, almost no effect on the climate, as it is much weaker than the thermal energy supplied together with the rays of the sun. On the other hand, under the multimeter layer of ice is changing, and this heat is beginning to play an important role in the balance of temperature and state of the glacier. Following this idea, climatologists have built a model of the glaciers of Greenland, and the action that takes into account the sun's rays and the Earth's interior, and tested it in the case.
Despite the fact that Greenland is situated on an ancient tectonic plate, the crust on its territory, according to the observations of seismologists, is unusually thin, reaching at some points only a quarter of the expected thickness, and about 60-66% in other areas. According to the researchers, the addition of this feature interior of the island to the model significantly improved its prediction that it has demonstrated that the underground "kettle" really speeds up the melting of the Greenland ice cap.