A climate change study published in the journal Nature shows that Greenland’s ice volume has fallen by 3.8 trillion tons since 1992, leading to a global sea level rise of 10.6 mm. Greenland’s ice is melting seven times faster than it was in the 1990s, the authors say. The study was carried out by 96 polar scientists. They combined data from 26 independent surveys and 11 different satellite missions to calculate changes in the mass of the Greenland ice sheet between 1992 and 2018, creating the “most complete” images of Greenland’s ice loss to date.
Changes in the altitude of Greenland’s ice sheet since 1992 (via Cnet)
The results show that Greenland’s glacial loss rate has increased from 33 billion tons/year in the 1990s to 254 billion tons/year in the last 10 years, and the rate has increased sevenfold in just 30 years.
In addition, the team analyzed regional climate models and found that half of Greenland’s ice loss was due to melting surface steam caused by rising temperatures, while the other half was due to increased glacial movement caused by rising ocean temperatures.
The midnight sun casts a golden glow on the icebergs of Disko Bay, Greenland, where most of greenland’s annual glacial losses are caused by the collapse of such icebergs. Photo: Ian Rukin, University of Washington
In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that global sea levels would rise by 60cm by 2100, but the latest study says Greenland’s ice loss is faster than expected.
Greenland ice siein faster than expected (via)
Professor Andrew Shepherd, of the University of Leeds in the UK, who led the study, said: “Empirically, six million people around the world face the threat of coastal flooding for every centimetre of sea level rise. “
Shepherd et al. say Greenland is storing enough ice to raise global sea levels by six meters, and understanding Greenland’s melting glaciers is crucial to understanding climate change. “Even a small amount of melting of glaciers can damage coastal cities.” “It is estimated that by the end of the 21st century, 360 million people will be affected by coastal floods every year”.
The study was supported by the European Space Agency and NASA.