Greenland Ice Sheet Melt 'Off the Charts' Compared with past Four Centuries


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 10 December 2018

Updated
December 10th!

 

ECO-CRASHING OCEAN NEWS

Waterworld on the Way

Greenland ice sheet melt 'off the charts' compared with past four centuries,
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, December 5, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“Ice loss from Greenland is one of the key drivers of global sea level rise.”

Overdrive
"Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet has gone into overdrive. As a result, Greenland melt is adding to sea level more than any time during the last three and a half centuries, if not thousands of years."

"And increasing melt began around the same time as we started altering the atmosphere in the mid-1800s."

Off the Charts
“From a historical perspective, today's melt rates are off the charts, and this study provides the evidence to prove this"

Vast Increases in Melting
"We found a fifty percent increase in total ice sheet meltwater runoff versus the start of the industrial era, and a thirty percent increase since the 20th century alone."

“...if Greenland ice sheet melting continues at "unprecedented rates"--which the researchers attribute to warmer summers--it could accelerate the already fast pace of sea level rise. ”

Testing
“Combining results from multiple ice cores with observations of melting from satellites and sophisticated climate models, the scientists were able to show that the thickness of the annual melt layers they observed clearly tracked not only how much melting was occurring at the coring sites, but also much more broadly across Greenland. This breakthrough allowed the team to reconstruct meltwater runoff at the lower-elevation edges of the ice sheet--the areas that contribute to sea level rise.”

Strange Times
“...get a clearer picture of just how extremely unusual melting has been in recent decades compared to the past."

“...was how little additional warming it now takes to cause huge spikes in ice sheet melting.

"Even a very small change in temperature caused an exponential increase in melting in recent years," she said. "So the ice sheet's response to human-caused warming has been non-linear."

 

 

Updated
December 10, 2018

 

Hockey Stick on Ice

Greenland’s melting snow makes new hockey stick (graph),
Ars Technica, December 9, 2018.

MAIN POINTS
"Greenland has experienced a remarkable amount of surface melting over the past couple decades, including the record-setting summer of 2012 that saw virtually the entire ice sheet melting at the surface."

 

 

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Greenland, ice, sheet, melting, high, rate, off the charts

 

Originally Published
2018-12-05 19:02:41


Updated
2018-12-10

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