News Source: 
UW Today
March 9, 2016

A researcher from the University of Washington is co-author on a new paper which reveals the cause of Greenland's darkening ice sheet.

Sarah Doherty, a research scientist at the UW’s Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, was co-author on the study, which has found that the darker ice sheet is caused by Climate Change rather than air pollutants. The researchers have found that warming leds to larger ice crystals and more impurities coming to the surface of the ice, which leads to even more melting as the darker ice absorbs more sunlight.

The findings will help scientists better model the effects of Climate Change and the contributions of Greenland's melting ice to future sea-level rise.

“There’s a potential for the Greenland ice sheet to contribute significantly to sea-level rise in the next 50 to 100 years,” Doherty told UW Today. "We now have a better understanding of what’s causing the darkening, and we know that it’s significant enough that we need to include it in our models.”