Between 2017 and 2020, Greenland ice evaporated by an average of 20% more than at the start of the decade. According to a recent study, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are melting at three times the rate 30 years ago. The new statistic is concerning since we are losing more ice from Greenland each year. The Greenland ice sheet may be more susceptible to climate change than scientists originally believed. Rising air temperatures and warm waters hasten the melting of Greenland’s coastline glaciers.
Pic Credit: Kappaphoto <istock>
According to a research published in the journal Nature Geoscience, glaciers in south Greenland are melting the quickest. This is because these waters are the closest to the warm Atlantic Ocean. The researchers looked at the effect of the ocean versus the atmosphere on ice sheet melting. It implies that warm water is the primary cause of ice sheet melting.
According to 50 various satellite assessments, Greenland’s melt has accelerated recently. The study discovered that the two ice sheets had lost 8.3 trillion tonnes of ice to the Earth since 1992. That would be sufficient to cover France in 49 feet of water or to cover the whole United States in 33.6 inches of water. According to the study, the ice sheets lost almost 675 billion tonnes of ice in 2019, which was the worst year for ice sheet loss. An Arctic heatwave, which caused Greenland’s ice sheet to lose 489 billion tonnes of mass, was the primary cause of these losses.
Strong governmental initiatives are urgently required to reduce our greenhouse gas concentration and limit future warming.
What are the effects of melting glaciers?
Sea levels rise as a result of melting glaciers, which in turn causes a spike in coastal erosion. Due to the frequent coastal storms, such as hurricanes and typhoons, the increasing air and ocean temperatures create higher storm surges. The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, in particular, are the main causes of the rise in sea levels worldwide. Future ocean level rise will depend on how quickly the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets melt. Research claims that the melting of the ice is raising sea levels by 21 millimetres, substantially affecting the seas.
If we continue losing more ice from Greenland and the planet reaches specific temperature thresholds, it may activate significant and perhaps irreversible feedback processes. The sea level will increase. Global sea-level rise poses a major danger to coastal life. The consequences are increased storm surge intensity, floods, and coastal damage. In many situations, this is where big human centers and sensitive animal habitats are located.
Rachna is pursuing Ph.D. in Environmental Science. She is an environmentalist and dedicated researcher who enjoys writing about environmental concerns to raise environmental consciousness. With an academic background in environmental science and a deep understanding of environmental concerns, she is devoted to raising awareness and assisting folks in making educated, environmentally friendly decisions through her writings.