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Bubble bursts increase melt rates of tidewater glaciers

Glacier ice contains high-pressure air bubbles, which burst into seawater as ice melts at tidewater glacier termini. Laboratory measurements found that these bubbles double the rate of ice melt. Theoretically, this effect could be even larger in a real glacier. However, bursting bubbles are currently neglected in models projecting sea level rise.

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Fig. 1: Clear ice and glacier ice melt characteristics.


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This is a summary of: Wengrove, M. E. et al. Melting of glacier ice enhanced by bursting air bubbles. Nat. Geosci. (2023).

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Bubble bursts increase melt rates of tidewater glaciers. Nat. Geosci. (2023).

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