COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say they've determined small glaciers, not large ones, account for most of Greenland's recent loss of ice caused by global warming.
Scientists at Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Center said they've found the dozens of much smaller outflow glaciers along Greenland's coast together account for three times more loss from the island's ice sheet than the amount coming from larger glaciers.
Assistant Professor Ian Howat and colleagues report nearly 75 percent of the loss of Greenland's ice can be traced to the small coastal glaciers.
Aside from Antarctica, Greenland has more ice than anywhere else on Earth, Howat said. The ice cap covers four-fifths of the island's surface, is 1,491 miles long and 683 miles wide, and can be nearly two miles deep at its thickest point.
The study that included Ben Smith and Ian Joughin of the University of Washington and Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder is reported in the journal Geophysical Letters.