BAR HARBOR –– Drastic changes to the Earth’s oceans as a result of the melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet will be outlined by climate change scholar Ellyn Enderlin at College of the Atlantic’s Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series in McCormick Lecture Hall on Friday, May 5, at 4:10 p.m.
Enderlin has devoted her research to learning about how this massive body of ice is likely to move and change in these uncertain times. The Greenland Ice Sheet, Enderlin said, is extremely important because it contains enough ice to raise sea levels by an average of six meters, she said.
“Changes in the volume of water coming from the ice sheet also can influence ocean circulation, which can have huge impacts on the Atlantic Ocean and global air temperatures,” Enderlin said.
Understanding what is happening in Greenland is crucial to being prepared for what may be the greatest environmental change to take place in recent human history, Enderlin said.
“I use satellite observations and numerical models to understand why the Greenland ice sheet is currently shrinking,” said Enderlin. Her studies have led her to understand that “it has been getting smaller over the last two decades as the result of an increase in melting and an increase in ice flow into the oceans due to atmospheric and oceanic warming.”
In addition to speaking about the future of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Enderlin will also explain some basic information about glaciers. Having a fundamental knowledge of how and where these bodies of ice form, as well as how they are threatened by climate change, can help build understanding of similar ice sheet stories taking place in the Arctic and Antarctic.
Enderlin completed her doctoral research at The Ohio State University under the supervision of Ian Howat (Glacier Dynamics Group, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center) in 2013. Since then, she has worked at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute. She is co-chair of the U.S. national committee for the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists.