Mission Greenland: second stage of the climatic research in Ilulissat (photos and video)

Mission Greenland: second stage of the climatic research in Ilulissat (photos and video)

Luglio 10, 2023 Off Di miometeo

As it was mentioned in the previous article, our 3Bmeteo team has traveled to Greenland in order to verify the climate changes that are happening the last few years and the influence that can have on our planet and daily life. A part of our team transferred to Greenland for the project, which began on 16th June and ended on 29th June.

Team’s first stage of the research to Ilulissat: Ilulissat represents the first stage of this important expedition which includes several appointments in this area for four days (17-20/07), meetings with local natives, in search of Greenland’s whales, up to to visit the Eqi glacier, the point where the Greenland’s Ice Cap reaches the sea. Located about 80 km north of Ilulissat, the numerous collapses and detachments of ice on the marine waters of this glacier can be observed. Eqi glacier, the point where Greenland’s Ice Cap reaches the sea. Ilulissat means “icebergs” in the Greenlandic language Kalaallisut, precisely because of the numerous and immense icebergs that detach from the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier (also known as Ice cap).

Team’s second stage of the research to Ilulissat: Our team’s second stage was to transfer to Qaanaaq for a few days, but unfortunately the flight was canceled due to unfavorable weather conditions, so the team remained in Ilulissat and continued their research. The next three days, the team interviewed a native about the climate changes that happened to the territory, explored the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier and the Kangia Fjord.

Fifth day in Ilulissat (21/06)- Interview with a native: our team organized an interview with a greenlandian native, Carl, and according to him the sea ice was thicker 20-25 years ago and the fishing was easier with sleds. Unfortunately, now the ice is much thinner which troubles them and they cannot also use fishing boats, during the winter, as the sea in front of the bay freezes. In the following video is the interview with Carl.

Sixth day in Ilulissat (22/06)- Exploration of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier: our team visited the he Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, the largest glacier in the world, without counting Antarctica. It is 5 km wide and of unknown thickness. From its front, one tenth of the icebergs in Greenland waters are detaching. On April 14th in 1912, the iceberg detached from the front of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, carried by the Labrador Current, through Baffin Bay, and collided with the Titanic.

Seventh day in Ilulissat (23/06)- Overflying over the Kangia Fjord: 3B team flew with an helicopter over the Kangia Fjord, located south of Ilulissat. Kangia is an Ice Fjord from which about 10% of Greenland’s icebergs detach. Here is the video of the experience:

Taking off from a heliport near Ilulissat, the aircraft flew over the majestic Kangia Fjord covered in ice. The currently weather conditions allowed to admire a truly breathtaking spectacle: from the floating icebergs of the opposite bay to the summit structure of the glacier on the fjord: the latter, as you can see from the accompanying photos, is furrowed by an infinite expanse of crevasses alternating with plateaus of different sizes, where real rivers and glacial lakes insinuate themselves. The latter feed on melt water and constantly redraw the profile of the glacier. A part of this melt water ‘percolates’ towards the inside of the glacier, building tunnels and thus also modifying its deep structure, before ending up at least in part in the ocean water (more details in this article). In some points, the thickness of the glacier is shrinking more rapidly, leaving the so-called ‘deep ice’ exposed to solar radiation, which has a lower reflecting power than the summit ice for various reasons (among which is the state of aggregation, the presence of dust or debris etc). Precisely for this reason, deep ice absorbs more solar radiation, accelerating the melting process in what is called the ‘positive feedback’ process.

© 3B Meteo