New data released this week focuses on the ice lumps in Greenland. Greenland is home to the world's second largest ice sheet and new research shows that ice loss is accelerating rapidly. The study used information based on nearly 50 years of data.
The study estimates that Greenland glaciers did not release 50 billion tons of ice into the sea between 1980 and 1990 to lose 286 billion tons of ice to the sea between 2010 and 2018. According to the data, ice loss due to ice sheets in Greenland has been responsible for increasing global global sea level by 14 millimeters since 1972. Half of the sea level rise has occurred over the past eight years.
Researchers say Greenland's ice loss will get worse. So far, the most likely areas of potential ice loss are in the northwest and northeast of the island. The area is near the Arctic Ocean and has not changed as fast as other parts of Greenland. The researchers say that as the area begins to melt and ice begins to fall more quickly, overall ice loss in Greenland and its contribution to global sea level can be greater.
Researcher Eric Rignot says the 1980s marked the turning point when global climate began to drift away from natural variability due to greenhouse gases. Rignot says the Greenland region near the Arctic Ocean has the largest potential ice loss and the Arctic region is losing 6 times the amount of ice lost 40 years ago.
Scientists point out that Greenland is more than 2 degrees Celsius and more than 4 degrees Celsius in the Arctic region. The team says it takes about 360 billion tons of ice loss to equal 1 millimeter of sea level rise.