Bangladesh at risk as Greenland ice melting faster: Scientists

Greenland's ice melting faster than scientists previously thought – study

Ice is now melting four times faster in Greenland than it did in 2003, according to recently published climate-change research by an Ohio State University scientist.

The research provides fresh evidence of the dangers posed to vulnerable coastal places as diverse as Miami, Shanghai, Bangladesh and various Pacific islands as climate change shrinks the world's land-based ice.

RG: How is global warming causing Greenland's ice to melt faster?

According to research published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the ice loss in 2012 - more than 400 billion tonnes - reached almost four times the rate in 2003.

The melting of surface mass, which the study's authors said was a effect of global warming, is set to "become a major future contributor to sea level rise".

As reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, scientists led by OSU reached this grim conclusion by looking at satellite data revealing changes in ice mass in southwest Greenland, an area of the island once believed to be relatively stable as it doesn't have many large glaciers.

Overall, the scientists said, the melt of Antarctica added water equivalent to 13.2 millimetres of sea level rise over the past four decades. Southwestern Greenland ice sheets are also melting faster than ever now, due to global warming.

"Whatever this was, it couldn't be explained by glaciers, because there aren't many there", said the study's lead author Michael Bevis, from The Ohio State University.

"But now we recognise a second serious problem: increasingly, large amounts of ice mass are going to leave as meltwater, as rivers that flow into the sea".

"We're going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future", Professor Bevis said.

Bevis: Greenland has enough ice to raise sea level by seven meters if all the ice melted.

Greenland's ice is melting four times faster than just 15 years ago and major coastal cities such as London and NY could be swamped.

"These oscillations have been happening forever", Bevis said. However, Greenland's ice is melting more and more, already for a long time, the Greenland ice sheet decreases.

The reason for this is the bad impact of humanity on the Earth leading to an acceleration of warming in the atmosphere.

The findings could have serious implications for coastal US cities, including NY and Miami, as well as island nations that are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels. The freshwater in the salty Atlantic ocean, has found out also an influence on the climate in Europe, researchers have. "The only thing we can do is adapt and mitigate further global warming, it's too late for there to be no effect", Bevis continued.

The Greenland ice sheet covers nearly the entire island and extends over 1.7 million square kilometers. Presently, a new study indicates how much global warming is beating another territory: Greenland. Global warming of the atmosphere increases the rate at which ice is lost in the form of meltwater running into the oceans.

Humans are melting the world's ice.

While the amount varies from region to region, sea levels rose worldwide by an average of 20 centimetres (about eight inches) in the 20th century.

Related:

Comments


Other news