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Greenland's ice sheet melting faster than thought - research

Greenland's ice sheet melting faster than thought - research

The data was shown in a new research that has been published on December 5 in the journal Nature.

Surface melting across the the mile-thick ice sheet increased in the 19th century as human activity started to warm the climate, but ramped up in the 20th and early 21st centuries and shows no signs of abating, scientists said.

"What we were able to show is that the melting that Greenland is experiencing today is really unprecedented and off the charts in the longer-term context", said Sarah Das, an associate scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a co-author of the study. The melting is not just increasing - it's accelerating.

Greenland's ice sheet is now melting at a rate that is "off the charts" compared with the last 350 years, a new study by scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has warned. But lately, ice has been melting faster in the summer than it has in the past, and warmer winter temperatures mean the island is slower to build new ice.

Low-lying tropical island states from the Maldives to Tuvalu view Greenland's ice sheet with foreboding since it contains enough ice to raise world sea levels by around 7 metres if it all melted.

As the ice sheet melts it becomes slightly darker, absorbing more sunlight and melting more, even if temperatures do not change, while increased melting can generate impermeable ice layers which exacerbate runoff.

Given that melting ice is significantly fueling sea-level rise, Trusel concluded: "How much Greenland melts matters".

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In July 2012, a spate of warm weather caused almost the entire surface of the Greenland ice sheet to begin melting, an event with no precedent in the satellite record. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues.

In other words, we expect to see some differences in melting between years, but during the 1970s that melting occurred on a scale beyond what could possibly be explained by a fluctuation around a stable average of ice cover.

According to researchers, Greenland ice melting started in mid-1800s and now contributes to sea level more than at any time during the past three centuries. Contrary, at higher elevations, the meltwater quickly refreezes due to contact with the snowpack underneath.

A team of scientists to reconstruct the melting of glaciers over the last 364 years. Instead, it forms distinct icy bands that stack up in layers of densely packed ice over time. Thicker melt layers represented years of higher melting, while thinner sections indicated years with less melting.

Satellite methods to understand melting rates have only been around in recent decades, so the ability to go back further in time was important. He added, "I don't know how many more nails we need". They found that the disappearance of the ice has accelerated after the Industrial revolution in the mid-nineteenth century, but the rampant situation acquired much later.

Additional co-authors are: Matthew J. Evans, Wheaton College; Ben E. Smith, University of Washington; Xavier Fettweis, University of Leige; Joseph R. McConnell, Desert Research Institute; and Brice P.Y. Noël and and Michiel R. van den Broeke Utrecht University.