m3n4.net April 21, 2019

Greenland Ice Melt Reaching "Tipping Point"

25 January 2019, 04:11 | Brenda Erickson

Greenland's ice melting faster than scientists previously thought – study


Greenland is melting faster than scientists previously thought, with the pace of ice loss increasing four-fold since 2003, new research has found.

The research provides fresh evidence of the dangers posed to vulnerable coastal places as diverse as Bangladesh, Miami of the US, Shanghai of China and various Pacific islands as climate change shrinks the world's land-based ice, reports the Guardian citing the study. The reason for the massive melt is because "the atmosphere is, at its baseline, warmer", he added.

The Bevis led study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analysed Global Positioning System data from Greenland's coast to more precisely understand previous research from a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center. The key finding from their study: Southwest Greenland, which previously had not been considered a serious threat, will likely become a major future contributor to sea level rise. While glaciers are smaller streams of ice that creep over the landscape and can break apart and liquefy from warm ocean water, the actual very big ice sheet was believed to be more resistant to that kind of melt. That study, published earlier this month, found that Antarctic melting has raised global sea levels 1.4 centimeters between 1979 and 2017. More importantly, though, the warning concludes that faster sea level rise is inevitable without intervention. If all this ice melted, it would raise sea levels by seven metres.

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Scientists have warned Greenland's ice is melting far faster than it was in 2004, and cities such as NY could be swamped. Both the atmosphere and the ocean are warming, Bevis said. "It had to be the surface mass - the ice was melting inland from the coastline", PTI quoted Michael Bevis, a professor at The Ohio State University in the USA, as saying.

"We are watching the ice sheet hit a tipping point", warned lead author Michael Bevis, a geodynamics professor at Ohio State University.

The study also shows that the higher sea level could be potentially risky for US coastal cities such as NY and Miami.

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Bevis and his team hypothesize that Greenland's melting is accelerating so much because the effects of a natural atmospheric circulation cycle, called the North Atlantic Oscillation, are being amplified by the broader warming that the planet is facing. If the ice on the world's largest island is melting more quickly than previous realized, that spells trouble.

The patterns they found show an alarming trend - by 2012, ice was being lost at almost four times the rate which prevailed in 2003, researchers said.

However, the rate of ice loss across the island was far from steady. And furthermore, this effect could not be made, at least partially, even in the case of a stop of global warming will be reversed. "The transient warming driven by the North Atlantic Oscillation was riding on top of more sustained, global warming". Data from these satellites showed that between 2002 and 2016, Greenland lost approximately 280 gigatons of ice per year, equivalent to 0.03 inches of sea level rise each year. Thus, over the 20th century, the sea level rose by 14 centimeters, which is directly related to global warming, without which this figure would be at least two times lower.

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