Global climate change

Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than earlier estimates

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
1/23/2019, 1:42:03 PM

New research from the Ohio State University has determined that the Greenland ice sheet is melting at a quicker rate than scientists previously thought.

The OSU research team surprisingly found that the greatest loss of ice came from Greenland's southwest region during the period from early 2003 to mid 2013. This region has hardly any large glaciers compared to northwest and southeast Greenland.

According to Michael Bevis, a professor of geodynamics and the lead author of the study, the most likely source for the melting was surface mass, as the ice was melting inland from the coastline, which was mostly being caused by global warming. The North Atlantic Oscillation, which is a natural atmospheric circulation pattern can also have a major contribution to the melting.

Based on this data, the study concludes that southwestern Greenland will likely become a major future contributor to sea level rise.

Key excerpts from the Ohio State News.....

“We knew we had one big problem with increasing rates of ice discharge by some large outlet glaciers,” he said. “But now we recognize a second serious problem: Increasingly, large amounts of ice masses are going to leave as meltwater, as rivers that flow into the sea," said Bevis.

“The only thing we can do is adapt and mitigate further global warming—it’s too late for there to be no effect,” he said. “This is going to cause additional sea-level rise. We are watching the ice sheet hit a tipping point.”

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Global climate change