As a new study published in the journal Nature reported, Greenland ice sheet is now melting faster than ever in the last 350 years. Headed by climate scientist and glaciologist Luke Trusel of Rowan University, a team of US and European scientists carried out the first continuous, multi-century analysis of the Greenland ice sheet meltdown.
The researchers studied more than three centuries of melt patterns of the ice mass in Greenland and linked that data with modern-day observations, creating a model that reveals how much the ice sheet has thinned since 1650.
“From a historical perspective, today’s melt rates are off the charts. We found a 50 percent increase in total ice sheet meltwater runoff versus the start of the industrial era and a 30 percent increase since the 20th century alone,” said, in a statement, Sarah Das, a glaciologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and one of the new study’s authors.
Greenland Ice Sheet Is Melting Faster Than Ever In The Last 350 Years
As the scientists reported, the Greenland ice sheet meltdown sped up in the mid-1800s right after the emergence of the industrial era that caused the Arctic ocean to warm up. In the last 20 years, however, melt intensity has increased by up to 575 percent in comparison with the pre-industrial rates.
According to the study’s report, Greenland ice sheet meltdown witnessed “a more sustained and greater magnitude of melt than any other 10-year period in the 350-year record. The melting is not just increasing – it’s accelerating. And that’s a key concern for the future,” said Trusel for the journal Nature.
Nowadays, the Greenland ice sheet is the most significant contributor to the world’s sea level rise, as it adds about 72 cubic miles of meltwater to the world’s oceans, every year. If Greenland melts entirely, the seawater will increase by about 23 feet, with a damaging impact to the Earth.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.