A new programme for monitoring the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet
The Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at a dramatic rate in recent years, raising political concern worldwide due to the possible impact on global sea level rise and climate dynamics (Luthcke et al. 2006; Rignot & Kanagaratnam 2006; Velicogna & Wahr 2006; IPCC 2007; Shepherd & Wingham 2007). The Arctic region as a whole is warming up much more rapidly than the globe at large (ACIA 2005) and it is desirable to quantify these changes in order to provide the decision-makers with a firm knowledge base. To cover this need, the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy has now launched a new Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE), designed and operated by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) in collaboration with the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark and Asiaq (Greenland Survey). The aim of the programme is to quantify the annual mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet, track changes in the extent of local glaciers and ice caps, and track changes in the position of the ice-sheet margin.
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