Contributions by Hamilton, Stearns cited in Science magazine article

Contributions made by Gordon Hamilton and Leigh Stearns are included in Science magazine’s article “Greenland’s Dying Ice,” which features Fiamma Straneo’s research of the Helheim Glacier. Hamilton, an associate research professor at the Climate Change Institute, died in 2016 conducting research in Antarctica. Stearns, an associate professor at the University of Kansas, earned her doctorate at the University of Maine. Straneo met Hamilton about 15 years ago at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Hamilton and Stearns — then a graduate student — were placing GPS units on Helheim to track its retreat. Hamilton later met David Finnegan, a remote sensing scientist at the U.S. Army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. He used reflected laser light to map terrain. Hamilton suggested Straneo also use a laser to monitor Helheim’s front. He said linking fracturing with the influx of Atlantic water might help them figure out if the water plays a role in the loss of ice. “Melt from Greenland already accounts for 25% of global sea level rise, double the contribution of Antarctica, and its share is growing. Rising waters are already exacerbating storm surge and causing sunny-day flooding in cities worldwide,” reads the article. “Even by conservative estimates, Greenland could contribute another quarter-meter of sea level rise by 2100 — within the lifetime of children living today. All told, the ice sheet holds enough water to raise seas by 7 meters.”