Its a paper in Science, by R. S. W. van de Wal et al. I’ve only read the abstract, by I was rather struck by how easy it is to misinterpret the title, given that the abstract continues …Over a longer period of 17 years, annual ice velocities have decreased slightly, which suggests that the englacial hydraulic system adjusts constantly to the variable meltwater input, which results in a more or less constant ice flux over the years. So much for the rapidly sliding Greenland…


  1. #1 David B. Benson

    There is a thoughtful criticism of the paper down in the comments o9f the dotEarth thread devoted to this paper.

    [dotearth does terrible things to my poor old laptop. I’ll have to wait till I get a spare moment at work -W]

  2. #2 Timothy Chase

    Hi David,

    I believe I found what you were refering to.

    In response to A Tempered View of Greenland’s Gushing Drainpipes
    By Andrew C. Revkin
    July 3, 2008, 2:31 pm

    … Scott Wahlstrom explains the methods that were used then says, in part:

    First of all, the measurements were made on a transect that was oriented East-West at a latitude of 67 deg. N on the East coast of Greenland. This region has been identified by three seperated bodies of measurement as being roughly in mass balance (no net melting or ice accumulation). The 2006 reports of acceleration of ice mass loss have been located on the West coast of Greenland, and thus the measurements made by these authors (that average ice velocities have declined slightly) do not represent a contradiciton to the overall state of an increase in the rate of mass loss on the Greenland ice cap. The authors may have had a good reason for measuring here as opposed to West Greenland.

    94.July 5th,2008, 8:59 am

  3. #3 David B. Benson

    Timothy Chase — Yes, thanks.

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