Within ten years, about 3,500 billion tons of ice had melted from the Greenland ice sheet. As a result, sea levels have risen by an inch and have increased flood risks worldwide, according to a study published Monday.
The Greenland ice sheet covers an area of about 1.8 million square kilometers, and is the second largest in the world after Antarctica. Scientists are concerned that the Arctic is warming three times faster than anywhere else in the world. The ice sheet contains enough water to raise the oceans six to seven metres.
According to a study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, meltwater has increased by 21 percent in 40 years. It is the first study to rely on European Space Agency (ESA) satellite imagery.
The study showed that since 2011, 3,500 billion tons of meltwater have been added, two-thirds of which were in the summer of 2012 and 2019 alone. There are many differences in the rate of ice melt. This makes it much faster during heat waves.
“Like other parts of the world, Greenland is vulnerable to an increase in extreme weather events,” said Thomas Slater, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Leeds.
Thanks to satellite images, researchers can estimate how fast and how much the ice is melting and what the impact will be on sea level rise, it seems. The researchers said this method “will help to better understand the complex processes of melting ice.”
“According to research models, the Greenland ice sheet will contribute to sea level rise of 3 to 23 cm by 2100,” concludes Amber Leeson of Lancaster University and co-author of the study.
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