Assistant Professor of Geology Bess Koffman has contributed to a study recently published in Geophysical Research Letters. The article assessed the causes of the recent melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

“Satellite measurements and computer models have shown that the reflectivity (or albedo) of the Greenland Ice Sheet has decreased in recent decades, causing increased melt and sea level rise,” stated the paper’s abstract, which also noted that the causes for the albedo decline are unknown. “We demonstrate how a recent increase in the frequency of atmospheric high-pressure systems over Greenland increases grain sizes via several mechanisms and contributes to Greenland’s observed albedo decline and faster melt.”