Greenland's Ice Sheet Melt May Be Hitting a 'Tipping Point,' Scientists Say

Greenland's ice melting faster than scientists previously thought – study

It's the same story for western North America's glaciers where ice loss quadrupled since the early 2000s to 12.3 billion tons annually, a recent study revealed. In Himalayas, which have the largest number of glaciers after the polar ice caps - more than thirty thousand sq.km of the Himalayan region is covered by the glaciers - the glaciers are disappearing faster every year, said a report, with some smaller glaciers now only half the size they were in the 1960s. "But now we recognise a second serious problem: Increasingly, large amounts of ice mass are going to leave as meltwater, as rivers that flow into the sea", he added. Because it is superimposed on more steady and progressive global warming of the atmosphere. Those researchers said the data shows that Greenland's ice could be nearing a new tipping point where slight changes in temperatures can result in massive losses of ice, leading to coastal flooding around the world.

"Whatever this was, it couldn't be explained by glaciers, because there aren't many there", said the study's lead author Michael Bevis, from The Ohio State University.

Climate scientists and glaciologists have been monitoring the Greenland ice sheet as a whole since 2002, when NASA and Germany joined forces to launch the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) - whose twin satellites measure ice loss across Greenland.

The Bevis led study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analysed Global Positioning System data from Greenland's coast to more precisely understand previous research from a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center. According to Michael Bevis, lead author of the paper, iceberg-sized chunks of ice are breaking off at a worrying rate in the southeast and northwest of the icy landmass.

He warned this would have major implications, causing additional sea level rise.

"The only thing we can do is adapt and mitigate further global warming", he said.

Greenland's southwest lacks glaciers and for this reason, it has always been assumed that the region contributes minimally to ice loss.

Greenland's ice sheet isn't just melting, however, it's melting faster than ever in light of the fact that the region has turned out to be more sensitive to regular atmosphere changes, especially an atmospheric cycle, a group of scientists detailed on January 21st in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The warming of Greenland, the accelerating loss of sea ice near Greenland, and the accelerating loss of ice mass in Greenland will certainly prove very damaging to its existing ecosystems.

The researchers believe that the sea level will rise due to this melt water effect. Known about the so-called North Atlantic oscillation, a weather phenomenon that brings warm air to Greenland.

Coastal cities around the world could sink under the seas in a much faster timescale than previously feared. Data from the satellites showed that between 2002 and 2016, Greenland lost around 280 gigatons of ice per year, equivalent to an annual sea level rise of 0.03 inches. Thus, over the 20th century, the sea level rose by 14 centimeters, which is directly related to global warming, without which this figure would be at least two times lower.

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