Climate change has caused the Greenland ice sheet to lose 4,700 billion tonnes of ice over the last 20 years, enough to submerge the USA in half a metre of water, according to Danish researchers.
Polar Portal, a joint project involving several Danish Arctic research institutes, announced the devastating effects of climate change this week.
The report said the Greenland ice sheet has lost 4,700 billion tonnes of ice, contributing to a rise in the oceans of 1.2 centimetres. The volume of melted ice would be enough to cover the USA in half a metre of water.
Polar Portal, who used satellite observations to calculate the loss of ice over the past 20 years, said: “Since measurements began in April 2002, the Greenland ice sheet has lost about 4,700 gigatonnes or 4,700 cubic kilometres… This melting has helped to raise sea levels by 1.2 centimetres.
“The data show that most ice loss is occurring at the edges of the ice sheet, where independent observations indicate that ice is shrinking, glacial fronts are receding into fjords and onshore, and melting is stronger on the surface of the ice.”
Recent studies have found that the Arctic has warmed as much in the last decade as the rest of the world in over 100 years.
A recent study published by NASA said the increased melting near the coasts is due to the warming of the Arctic Ocean, contributing to the impact on the Greenland ice sheet.
NASA also said that Greenland’s glaciers are retreating six to seven times faster than 25 years ago.
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