Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Greenland Lost a Staggering 1 Trillion Tons of Ice in Just Four Years

This image, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite, shows sediment plumes from meltwater leaving glaciers in southwest Greenland. (Credit:  Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observat) Click to Enlarge.
It’s no news that Greenland is in serious trouble — but now, new research has helped quantify just how bad its problems are.  A satellite study, published last week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the Greenland ice sheet lost a whopping 1 trillion tons of ice between the years 2011 and 2014 alone.  And a big portion of it came from just five glaciers, about which scientists now have more cause to worry than ever.  

It’s the latest story in a long series of increasingly worrisome studies on ice loss in Greenland. Research already suggests that the ice sheet has lost at least 9 trillion tons of ice in the past century and that the rate of loss has increased over time.  Climate scientists are keeping a close eye on the region because of its potentially huge contributions to future sea-level rise (around 20 feet if the whole thing were to melt) — not to mention the damage it’s already done. Ice loss from Greenland may have contributed as much as a full inch of sea-level rise in the last 100 years and up to 10 percent of all the sea-level rise that’s been documented since the 1990s.

Read more at Greenland Lost a Staggering 1 Trillion Tons of Ice in Just Four Years

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