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> Home > Nature and climate > Sea ice

Ice, glaciers and permafrost

Monitoring of the Greenland ice sheet, surveys of the interplay between ice and climate and of the distribution of sea ice over long time periods.
GEUS is responsible for monitoring ice melt on the Greenland ice sheet for the Danish Energy Agency under the PROMICE project. This project is a unique opportunity to enhance our understanding of the processes behind, and the extent to which, the Greenland ice sheet, and glaciers in general, are melting. The objective is to have a better basis for assessing and understanding the global effects of climate change.

GEUS’ activities in brief

One of the most obvious indicators of accelerating climatic change is the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. The controlling processes and their impact are therefore very topical and they comprise a field within which GEUS has important glaciology competences. GEUS' work in this field is broad, but the main topics include monitoring ice melt on the Greenland ice sheet as well as ice melt patterns for glaciers in Greenland and Europe. A total of 25 climate stations have been set up along the edge of the Greenland ice sheet to describe the ice melt. Furthermore, GEUS is addressing a number of derived problems such as:


  • The rate at which glaciers and the ice sheet are melting and the significance for the local and global climate.
  • The effect of melt water discharge to the Arctic sea currents and how this interacts with the distribution of sea ice, based on paleo studies.
  • The thickness and extent of the Greenland ice sheet and glaciers measured by radar and satellite.
  • Estimation of future security of supply of hydropower and drinking water in Greenland.
  • Processes and factors involved when melted snow and ice freeze again as seasons change.
Ice, glaciers and permafrost