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A Greenland glacier's rapid melting may signal faster sea level rise

May 11, 2023   |   The Washington Post

"'The melt rates reported are very large, much larger than anything we suspected in this region,' said Hélène Seroussi, a glaciologist at Dartmouth who uses models to study glaciers and sea level rise," reports The Washington Post.

"However, Seroussi said, the models that researchers use to project sea level rise—complex suites of equations that are used to predict how glaciers all over the world will respond to warmer oceans and air—would not immediately change based on the results of the current study.

"'We are many years away from implementing these processes correctly in numerical models,' Seroussi said. 'It is important to understand that there are always long delays between the discovery of a new process and its inclusion in numerical models as these processes need to be perfectly understood from a physical point of view,' requiring more research.

"In particular, Seroussi said, the process in question is generally not included because the scale over which it operates is not fully understood. Until that happens, some models could show too much ice loss because of it, simply because they represent the process as playing out over too large of a region."

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