May 16, 2017 06:13 PM EDT
Researchers were surprised as the Arctic Negribreen glacier was discovered to be moving thirteen times faster than before. The European Space Agency's Sentinel-1 satellites which are part of their Copernicus program was stated to be responsible for finding out the glacier’s rapid surge.
According to Phys Org, the Negribreen glacier on Norway's Spitsbergen Island was discovered to be moving in a drastic speed from one meter to 13 meters a day over the winter. The change in the surge of the glacier was captured by the ESA’s Sentinel-1 satellites.
The cause in Negribreen glacier surge wasn’t identified properly by the researchers. Yet, they had mentioned that the most probable cause is the changes in the amount of heat or water in the lowest layers of the glaciers. The rapid change in the glacier was seen to already start since June 2016.
"Sentinel-1 provides us with a near-real-time overview of glacier flow across the Arctic, remarkably augmenting our capacity to capture the evolution of glacier surges," Tazio Strozzi from Swiss company Gamma Remote Sensing and scientist on Glaciers_cci stated. The data collected was then believed to aid in developing models for future studies in “temporal evolution of the contribution of Arctic glaciers to sea-level rise," UPI reported.
The last rapid speed that was spotted from the Negribreen glacier was identified to happen in the 1930s. The front of the glacier was seen coming off along with breaking icebergs. The move of the glacier was described to be almost “12 km into the fjord in one year along with a 15 km-wide section of the front.” Yet, it was said to be retreating in the past 80 years.
Nonetheless, it was said by the ESA that once a glacier surges, a large amount of ice flows in an unusually short time. Rest assured, ESA’s Climate Change Initiative’s team of scientists are then said to be preparing satellite radar and optical coverages to set up real-time data covering the surge in Negribreen and other Arctic glaciers.