October 1, 2022

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Massive sea level rise 'now inevitable' due to melting Greenland ice sheet

Massive sea level rise ‘now inevitable’ due to melting Greenland ice sheet

The researchers used images of the shape of the ice sheet and satellite measurements of ice lost in Greenland between 2000 and 2019. In this way, they were able to calculate how insufficient snowfall due to global warming was to offset the amount of melting ice. This leads to “zombie ice”: ice that is still attached to the larger glaciers, but is no longer nourished by it because they get less snow to regenerate.

The zombie ice is melting: “It’s dead ice. It will just melt and disappear from the ice sheet.” William Colgan, a glaciologist at the National Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and co-author of the study, said this ice is directed to the ocean, regardless of the (climate) scenario. ) which we are following now.So a sea level rise of at least 27 cm is inevitable.

Image Getty Images

“It’s a very conservative bottom line,” GEUS lead author Jason Books said of the 27cm estimate. “Realistically, we’ll see that number more than double this century.” The estimate is also twice as high as what scientists initially attributed to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. According to the new study, the increase can rise to 78 centimeters.

Added to this are the ongoing carbon dioxide emissions, the melting of other ice sheets, and the thermal expansion of the oceans. So it is likely that sea level will rise by several metres. “Whether it’s in 100 years or 150 years, it’s coming,” Colgan said. “Also, the sea level rise we’re dealing with is increasing now, given the climate trajectory we’re on.”

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