Published: Wed, December 11, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

From Bad to Worse for Greenland's Ice Sheet

From Bad to Worse for Greenland's Ice Sheet

This melting in Greenland has already raised seas by 0.4 inches since 1992.

Previous satellite-based studies describe Greenland and Antarctica ice sheet losses and their contribution to global sea-level rise over recent decades. That means more people living in coastal areas will be at risk of flooding from sea level-rise. "Small changes in sea-level rise do matter".

"IMBIE's reconciled estimate of Greenland ice loss is timely for the IPCC". In Antarctica, nearly all the losses come from glaciers being warmed to the point where they slide slightly faster into the ocean and "calve" into icebergs.

This coincided with a period of cooler oceans and atmospheric temperatures.

Drone footage shows extent of flooding in South YorkshirePolitical heavyweights ignite "quiet" Harrogate electoral battleAnalysis indicated rise in air and ocean temperatures caused the surface ice to melt and increased glacial flow. That's according to the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-Comparison Exercise, a consortium of almost 100 polar scientists who reviewed all satellite observations of the ice sheet from 1992 to 2018. In all, measurements from 11 different satellite missions launched by the European Space Agency and NASA were used to track changes in the ice sheet's volume, speed and gravity.

In the 1990s, Greenland's ice sheet, the second biggest in the world, was shedding 33 billion tons of ice per year.

A team of 96 polar scientists from 50 global organisations contributed to the findings published in Nature.

Greenland is losing seven times as much as ice as it was during the 1990s, according to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature. According to the latest figures, Greenland ice cover lost 3.8 trillion tons of glacier in 17 years. In the last decade, that number jumped to an average of 252 billion tons per year - just a hair behind Greenland's new average.

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"Their satellite observations show that both melting and ice discharge from Greenland have increased since observations started", Aoalgeirsdottir said, warning that 2019 was likely to be a record year for ice loss. In the Arctic, meanwhile, summer melting makes it harder for scientists to anticipate what the Greenland melt rate will be in a given year. "I would expect a similar increase in Greenland mass loss for 2019", Aðalgeirsdóttir added.

"If this very high rate of ice loss continues, it is possible that new tipping points may be breached sooner than we previously thought", Sime added.

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That is 40 million more than the numbers predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations organisation evaluating scientific research on global warming.

"On current trends, Greenland ice melting will cause 100 million people to be flooded each year by the end of the century, so 400 million in total due to all sea level rise".

"The simple formula is that around the planet, six million people are brought into a flooding situation for every centimeter of sea-level rise".

Icebergs in Disko Bay, Greenland.

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