Greenland's ice sheet melting faster than thought - research

Greenland's ice sheet melting faster than thought - research

Greenland's ice sheet melting faster than thought - research

Scientists say the amount of meltwater running off of the Greenland ice sheet has increased in modern times because of climate change, and rapid increases could be ahead.

And melt and runoff in the last decade are likely to be unprecedented in the past 6,800 to 7,800 years, a study published in the journal Nature showed.

Surface melting across the the mile-thick ice sheet increased in the 19th century as human activity started to warm the climate, but ramped up in the 20th and early 21st centuries and shows no signs of abating, scientists said.

Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Massachusetts found that glaciers on the world's second-largest island are melting more than 30 percent faster than during the mid-1900s. The melting is not just increasing - it's accelerating.

Despite mounting research on anthropogenic global warming and alarm among scientists about the closing window to avert climate catastrophe, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress continue to push for fossil-fuel friendly policies and roll back regulations meant to curb planet-warming emissions.

The authors also note that Greenland's ice sheet is much more vulnerable to melting than before.

More than half of the ice-sheet water that's entering the ocean seems to come from runoff from melted snow and glacial ice from the top of the ice sheet.

And understanding how fast the ice sheet is melting is crucial for us to prepare for the impact of rising sea levels in the future, according to Professor King. New research finds that warming has caused Greenland to lose ice more quickly today than at any point over the last 350 years. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues.

And without a huge change of direction, Greenland "will melt more and more for every degree of warming", Mr Trusel warned.

Most previous research has used satellite observations and computer modelling to calculate the rate of melting in Greenland.

The year 2012, in particular, was a standout for ice melt. The ice core samples were collected from the sites sitting at altitudes more than 1,830 metres, which allowed them to extend their records back to the 17th century.

The scientists combined the results from ice cores with satellite data and climate models to reconstruct melt-water runoff at lower elevations on the edge of the ice sheet that contributes to sea level rise. Instead of escaping the ice sheet, the short-lived meltwater forms icy bands that stack up layers of densely packed ice over time.

Specifically, the melt rate over the past two decades was 33 percent higher than the 20th-century average, and 50 percent higher than in the pre-industrial era before the mid-1800s.

"We need to be aiming for net-zero emissions before 2050".

This approach helps researchers update their tracking record, which indicates that ice sheets are melting at a faster pace than previously thought.

Researchers from the MIT-WHO Joint Program, University of Washington, Wheaton College, University of Leige, Desert Research Institute, and Utrecht University also worked on the study.

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