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Geophysical Research Letters

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Abstract/ Summary

The Jakobshavns Effect may have been a significant factor in hastening the collapse of palaeo ice sheets with the advent of climatic warming after 18,000 years ago and may precipitate partial collapse of the present‐day Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets following CO2‐induced climatic warming in the decades ahead. The Jakobshavns Effect is observed today on Jakobshavns Glacier, which is located at 69°10′N on the west coast of Greenland. The Jakobshavns Effect is a group of positive feedback mechanisms which allow Jakobshavns Glacier to literally pull ice out of the Greenland Ice Sheet at a rate exceeding 7 km/a across a floating terminus 800 m thick and 6 km wide. The pulling power results from an imbalance of horizontal hydrostatic forces in ice and water columns at the grounding line of the floating terminus. Positive feedback mechanisms that sustain the rapid ice discharge rate are ubiquitous surface crevassing, high summer rates of surface melting, extending creep flow, progressive basal uncoupling, progressive lateral uncoupling, and rapid iceberg calving.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Hughes, T, 1986, The Jakobshanvs Effect: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 13, p. 46-48. To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.

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© Copyright 1986 American Geophysical Union




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In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.