So far this century, the glaciers of Greenland have been shrinking at a rapid pace, but according to a new study from Durham University in England this rapid decrease may stall out despite atmospheric warming, thus diminishing Greenland's contribution to rising sea levels due to global warming.
"Our modeling suggests that these very high rates of glacier retreat canâ€™t be maintained for very long," said Andreas Vieli, a co-author of the paper, according to the Bloomberg.com article.
Studies at one particular glacier (Helheim) in Greenland indicated that the main driver of the melting was a break at the glacier's snout in the sea that had a domino effect inland. But, the researchers found that the glaciers stabilize after an initial rapid retreat.
The Helheim glacier retreated 7 kilometers between 2003 and 2005, but has since advanced 4 kilometers.
Images showing the retreat of the Helheim Glacier from 2001-2005.
This latest study will help scientists to tune existing computer models for ice sheets to predict future melting, Vieli said.