The surface melting across Greenland’s mile-thick ice sheet began to increase in the mid-19th century and then surged dramatically during the 20th century and early 21st century. The data was shown in a new research that has been published on December 5th in the journal Nature.
“Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet has gone into overdrive. As a result, Greenland melt is adding to sea level more than any time during the last three and a half centuries, if not thousands of years,” said Luke Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University’s School of Earth & Environment.
“And increasing melt began around the same time as we started altering the atmosphere in the mid-1800s.”
It seems that from a historical perspective, today’s melt rates are really “off the charts” and this study provides lots of evidence, according to Sarah Das, co-author of the study.
“We found a fifty percent increase in total ice sheet meltwater runoff versus the start of the industrial era and a thirty percent increase since the 20th century alone.”
Global sea level rise
The ice loss from Greenland is just one of the critical drivers of the global sea level rise.
It seems that icebergs which are calving into the ocean from the edge of glaciers are one component of the water re-entering the ocean and this way rising the sea levels.
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.
This study basically proves that if the Greenland ice sheet continued to melt at this rapid rate, this will eventually also accelerate the fast pace of sea level rise.
Experts concluded by saying that this is the ice sheet’s response to the warming caused by humans and warming means more today that it did in the past.
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