The Greenland Ice Sheet: What It's Been Doing Lately
Kjaer, K.H., Khan, S.A., Korsgaard, N.J., Wahr, J., Bamber, J.L., Hurkmans, R., van den Broeke, M., Timm, L.H., Kjeldsen, K.K., Bjork, A.A., Larsen, N.K., Jorgensen, L.T., Faerch-Jensen, A. and Willerslev, E. 2012. Aerial photographs reveal late-20th-century dynamic ice loss in northwestern Greenland. Science 337: 569-573.
In light of this serious data-based limitation, Kjaer et al., as they describe it, "extended the record of DIL back almost threefold (1985-2010) for northwestern Greenland, using a digital elevation model derived from aerial photographs." And what did that extension show?
The fourteen researchers were able to identify two independent dynamic ice loss events on the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet margin, one of which extended from 1985 to 1993 and the other of which extended from 2005 to 2010, in between which periods there were what they describe as "limited mass changes." And these findings, in their estimation, "suggest that the ice mass changes in this sector were primarily caused by short-lived dynamic ice loss events rather than changes in the surface mass balance."
In the concluding words of the international team of scientists (hailing from Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United State), "this finding challenges predictions about the future response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to increasing global temperatures." And we all know of what those predictions generally consist.