Greenland Has a Strange Dark Zone that Is Getting Darker

Greenland Has a Strange Dark Zone that Is Getting Darker

There is a dark zone on Greenland’s ice sheet which is getting darker according to the new survey. In accordance with a viewpoint of a professor when we look at Greenland’s ice sheet from above, it looks like a massive field of white brilliant for the most part. On top of that, it also seems to be melting faster than it should.  “What we show is that the dark zone is covered in a finely distributed layer of dust and black carbon, which provide nutrition for dark-colored algae,” study co-author Alun Hubbard, a professor at Norway’s Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, said in a statement. The dark zone is a stripe of fast-melting ice towards the south-west of the ice sheet. It’s about 400 kilometres (248 miles) in length and 100 kilometres (62 miles) at its widest point. Besides being a dark zone it is also known as the ablation zone. It has its own description- this area is called ablation zone because it is melting faster than other parts of the ice sheet. “The fact that a large portion of the western flank of the Greenland ice sheet has become dark means that the melt is up to five times as much as if it was a brilliant snow surface,” Hubbard said. As stated LiveScience Hubbard and his colleagues went to Greenland in August 2014 and used a hand-launched drone to capture high-resolution images of a section of the dark zone. While crevasses and pools of meltwater explained some of the dark spots, the researchers observed that the majority of the shadowy surfaces had a uniform coating of impurities. These impurities comprised trapped dust and soot that have accumulated over the years from faraway fires and factories, as well as dark-colored algal blooms from microbes that, experts recently discovered, can thrive in Greenland’s harsh environment.

There is a Dark Zone on Greenland's ice sheet which is getting darker according to the new survey
There is a Dark Zone on Greenland’s ice sheet which is getting darker according to the new survey

 

Source:sciencealert.com, livescience.com