Floating ice area loss is 10 times the area of Manhattan Is. (2000-2008)

Our survey of 32 of the largest Greenland tidewater glaciers indicates a continuous collective retreat end of summer 2000 onward to 2008.

A best-fit line indicates a -106.4 sq. km/yr area change around Greenland. The linear correlation coefficient is -0.98.

The cumulative area change from end of summer 2000 to 2008 is -920.5 sq km, an area loss equivalent with 10.5 times the area of Manhattan Is., New York.

The number of glaciers surveyed is increasing as graduate student David Decker continues to work.


The 32-glacier total for end of summer area change 2007-2008 was -183.8 sq km, 3 x that of the previous summer (2006-2007 area change was -62.9 sq km.). In other words, between 2007 and 2008, glaciers around Greenland lost an area more than two times the size of Manhattan Island.

* Manhattan Is. area is taken to be 87.5 sq km.

2 Responses to “Floating ice area loss is 10 times the area of Manhattan Is. (2000-2008)”

  1. Tony Iannucci Says:

    Recently I read an extended article about Greenland and the work that Ohio State is doing there. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep the article directing me to the correct research team.
    I am an 88 grad and an airline pilot with United Airlines. Recently, I had the fortunate experience of flying over Greenland without any cloud undercast ( I could see the glaciers ). This is highly unusual because with over 100 Greenland crossing’s, it is extremely rare to actually see the continent because of constant cloud cover. With a telephoto lens, I took about 30 high quality photo’s, which are quite spectacular. You can clearly see where the glaciers once where and the disentigration of the glaciers as they meet the ocean.
    If you would like the pictures I will be happy to send them to you.

    Stay warm,
    Tony Iannucci

  2. Barry Magrill Says:

    You said nothing about :
    1) the cross sectional make up how deep is the area of snow? how deep is the Ice ? What is the total depth of the glacier. Are there minerals or salts in any part of the glacier?
    2) are these glaciers in contact with the sea? Are there any mechanical forces at work?
    4) Are these in an area of changiong magnetic field? how much Change has been noted?
    In short I was hoping for a more rigorous examination of the event.