Sunday , July 25 2021

Greenland's ice melts faster than it has ever been

The finds could have serious consequences for the low islands and the coastal cities of the planet. Eight of the top ten cities in the world are close to the shores, and 40% to 50% of the planet's population lives in areas vulnerable to rising seas.
Michael Beavis, professor of geodynamics at Ohio State University and lead author of the study, said the study found that humanity may have passed the point where there is no return when it comes to combating climate change.

"The only thing we can do is adapt and mitigate further global warming – it's too late to have no effect," Bevis said. "This will lead to a further rise in the sea level, and we see that the ice sheet has failed."

Greenland's ice has historically melted in cycles due to natural weather phenomena, but the rise in temperatures has exacerbated the trend, Bevis said.

"These vibrations happen forever," he said. "Why are you just now causing this massive meltdown?" Because the atmosphere is basically warmer.

But the Bevis team survey differs from Greenland's previous research as it focuses on the southwestern Greenland, which does not have many glaciers, according to a press release from Ohio.

Researchers studying sea level rise often focus on the southeastern and northwestern Greenland regions, where large glaciers are seeing seeing large icebergs breaking apart and flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. These pieces then melt and cause a rise in sea levels.

A study published in Science magazine last month found that Greenland's ice sheets, which contain enough water to raise the world's 23-foot sea level, melted at "unprecedented" speed, 50% higher than pre-industrial levels and 33% above levels in the 20th century.
Bevis's study, published on Monday in the National Academy of Sciences reports, analyzes GPS data from the Greenland coast to better understand earlier research from a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center – which found Greenland to have thrown about 280 gigatonnes of ice a year, resulting in a 0.03-inch (0.8-millimeter) global sea level rise.

Bevis and his co-authors found that by 2012 the rate of ice loss had accelerated to almost four times that of 2003. They also found that this acceleration had largely occurred in the southwest of Greenland .

"We knew we had a big problem with increasing the cost of ice from some large glaciers at the exit," Bevis said. "But now we recognize a second serious problem: more and more large amounts of ice will leave like melted water, like rivers that flow into the sea."

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