The Greenland Ice Sheet is a 1.7 million-square-kilometer, 2-mile thick layer of ice that covers Greenland.
At its edge, glaciers that drain the ice sheet plunge into coastal fjords that are over 600 meters deep — thus exposing the ice sheet edges to contact with the ocean.
The waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, which surround southern Greenland, and are presently in the warmest they have been in the past 100 years.
This warming is due to natural limate variability and human induced climate change, and climate models project that it will keep getting warmer.
Therefore, it is important to understand if the present ocean warming has contributed to ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet and how future warming may result in even more ice loss and increase in ocean water volume.