Ice loss in Greenland will increase sea level by 10 centimeters

Hyperaxion Aug 17, 2020

The temperature in Greenland will increase by 4 to 6.6ºC by the end of the 21st century, causing billions of tons of ice to melt.

The melting of ice sheets in Greenland has reached a point of no return and will cause a global increase of at least 10 centimeters in sea level by the end of the 21st century.

Ice loss in Greenland will increase sea level by 10 centimeters
(Credit: Jennifer Latuperisa-Andresen / Unsplash).

This is the conclusion of a new study published in July in the International Journal of Climatology, carried out by an international team of glaciologists and climatologists.

According to the researchers, the estimates are “conservative” considering the possible devastating effects of climate change and the various ways in which ice loss can be accelerated.

Also, the prediction is consistent with recent studies released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Led by Professor Edward Hanna of the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, the researchers analyzed data on Greenland’s surface air temperature between 1991 and 2019.

They noted that the coastal region showed an increase of 4.4ºC in the winter and 1.7ºC in the summer between that period.

Crossing this information with computational models, the scientists concluded that each additional Celsius degree during the summer is equivalent to about 91 billion tons of surface mass loss per year (or an annual loss of 116 billion tons of total mass).

Global and regional climate modeling tools have also made it possible to estimate that, by 2100, Greenland is likely to have an increase of 4.0 to 6.6 ºC in its temperature.

And that could result in a 10 to 12.5 cm rise in sea level worldwide by the end of this century. The analysis highlights how the polar regions are more sensitive to the consequences of climate change.

“The Greenland Ice Sheet is one of the most sensitive and reliable measures of global climate change,” Professor Edward Hanna said. “Here we have used relatively simple statistical analysis of data and model output from the last 30 years as a sense-check on prediction of future ice-sheet surface mass change.”

The study also looked at the relationship between temperature changes in Greenland and the atmospheric high-pressure blocking, which is the presence of a greater than normal air mass positioned over Greenland, and concluded that this phenomenon played a crucial role in melting the region’s ice.

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