Greenland, Antarctica ice loss accelerating

Greenland, Antarctica ice loss accelerating

Greenland, Antarctica ice loss accelerating

According to a new report, Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice six times faster than in the 1990s - now on track with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's worst-case climate warming scenario.

However, in the worst-case scenario, where carbon emissions continue along their trajectory, unhindered, then sea levels will rise by a huge 83 centimeters.

"The combined rate of ice loss has risen by a factor six in just three decades, up from 81 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 475 billion tonnes per year in the 2010s".

The kilometres-thick ice sheets atop land masses at the planet's extremities sloughed off 6.4 trillion tonnes of mass from 1992 through 2017, adding almost 2cm to the global watermark, according to an assessment by 89 researchers, the most comprehensive to date.

Melting glaciers and the expansion of ocean water as it warms accounted for most sea level rise through the 20th century. Team carried 26 in-depth surveys to calculate the losses in the mass of Greenland's ice sheets.

The IPCC forecasts an approximate half-a-metre of sea level rise by 2100 under the middle-of-the-road emissions scenario.

The researcher co-leads a project called the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise, or Imbie.

"This has important implications for the future, for coastal flooding and erosion" said Professor Andrew Shepherd from the University of Leeds. This would mean 400 million people are at risk at annual coastal flooding by 2100.

"These are not unlikely events with small impacts; they are already underway and will be devastating for coastal communities".

"It's only half a degrees centigrade above freezing but it's enough to cause the glaciers to destabilise and to pour more ice into the sea".

It is expected that the Arctic heatwave experienced a year ago will be worse that than of 2011 which saw 552 billion tonnes of ice lost from the polar ice sheets, setting a world record.

Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice six times faster than in the 1990s, a pair of studies in the journal Nature show.

Due to this, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that the rise in the sea level will be 7cm more.

The delivery of the Imbie results was timed so they could be incorporated into the IPCC's next big assessment of the state of Earth's climate - the so-called Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) due out next year. I would expect a similar increase in Greenland mass loss for 2019. The south pole losses come from the melting of warmer ocean water that is constantly attacking its edges The northern polar ice, however, is a little similar but int his case, it loses ice due to warmer air temperatures.

ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, comments: "The findings reported by IMBIE demonstrate the fundamental importance of using satellites to monitor the evolution of ice sheets, and for evaluating models used to predict the effects of climate change".

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