Greenland’s Ice Sheet Is Melting At A Fast Pace, Scientists Say

Sarah Das  WHOI		Large rivers form on the surface of the ice sheet in summer rapidly moving meltwater from the ice sheet to the ocean

Sarah Das WHOI Large rivers form on the surface of the ice sheet in summer rapidly moving meltwater from the ice sheet to the ocean

Surface melting across Greenland's mile-thick ice sheet ramped up dramatically during the 20th and early 21st centuries, according to scientists.

"As a result, the Greenland melt is adding to the sea level more than any time during the last three and a half centuries, if not thousands of years", he said in a statement.

An increased rate of melting was detected in the ice cores beginning in the mid-1800s, which was around the same time as the onset of industrial-era Arctic warming.

Today, the ice is melting 50 percent faster than it did before industrialisation and 33 percent faster than during the 20th century.

A United Nations report in October said that marine ice sheet instability in Antarctica and/or the irreversible loss of the Greenland ice sheet could result in a multi-metre rise in the sea level over hundreds to thousands of years.

To study the melting of Greenland's ice sheet, the team used a large drill to collect ice cores from sites more than 6,000 feet above sea level on the ice sheet and a nearby ice cap.

The results suggested that the rapid melting of ice sheet in Greenland in recent decades is remarkable when put into a historical context, and the region is now much more sensitive to warming than it was a few decades ago. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues.

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The scientists used ice core samples to look back into the history of melting on the ice sheet. Contrary, at higher elevations, the meltwater quickly refreezes due to contact with the snowpack underneath.

The scientists said their equipment provides more historical proof of how ice melting happened in the last 350 years or since the sample is taken underneath. This frozen meltwater creates distinct ice bands that pile up over years to form layers of densely packed ice.

In other words, we expect to see some differences in melting between years, but during the 1970s that melting occurred on a scale beyond what could possibly be explained by a fluctuation around a stable average of ice cover. A contemporary study portrays this enormous melt out wasn't only an irregularity juxtaposed with the last 40 years but the last 350. Thicker bands signify years of higher melting, while thinner bands indicate years of less intense melting.

This man-made catastrophe has sensibly worsened during the 20th century, according to the co-author of the study, Dr Sarah Das, a glaciologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

This approach helps researchers update their tracking record, which indicates that ice sheets are melting at a faster pace than previously thought. "By sampling ice, we were able to extend the satellite data by a factor of 10 and get a clearer picture of just how extremely unusual melting has been in recent decades compared to the past".

Satellite methods to understand melting rates have only been around in recent decades, so the ability to go back further in time was important.

Researchers from the MIT-WHO Joint Program, University of Washington, Wheaton College, University of Leige, Desert Research Institute, and Utrecht University also worked on the study.

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