A new NASA study finds a major Greenland glacier that was one of the fastest shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth is growing again.
The Jakobshavn (YA-cob-shawv-en) glacier around 2012 was retreating about 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) and thinning nearly 130 feet (almost 40 meters) annually. But the study says it started growing again at about the same rate in the last two years.
Study authors and outside scientists think this is temporary.
NASA glaciologist Ala Khazendar, the lead author, says a natural cyclical cooling of North Atlantic waters likely caused the glacier to reverse course.
Khazendar says the research shows how important ocean temperature is to the retreating and advancing of glaciers. He says long-term climate change means large overall melting.
The study is in Monday’s Nature Geoscience.