The amount of ice that has disappeared in Greenland in the last 2 decades is enough to cover the entire United States in half a meter of water

Tram Ho

The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet, and the Greenland ice sheet clearly shows how damaging that is.

According to new satellite data compiled by Polar Portal, a gathering of four Danish government research agencies, Greenland has lost more than 4.7 trillion tons of ice over the past 20 years, which is close to enough to flood all of its water. America in 0.5 m of water.

This widespread ice loss has contributed to a 1.2cm rise in global sea levels in just two decades, the researchers said on their website.

Lượng băng biến mất ở Greenland trong 2 thập kỷ qua đủ để bao phủ toàn bộ nước Mỹ trong 0,5 m nước - Ảnh 1.

The team’s data spans 20 years, from April 2002 to August 2021 and is based on observations made by the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite group, which was launched in March 2002. .

These satellites measure gravity changes around the world, reflecting the mass distributed around the planet over time. This is particularly useful for estimating changes with ice volume, says the Polar Portal team.

GRACE data shows that Greenland’s ice loss is most severe around the coasts, where ice rapidly thins and dumps into the ocean. According to NASA, the loss of ice is particularly severe on the west coast of Greenland, with warming subsurface water thought to be responsible for accelerating the melting process.

Lượng băng biến mất ở Greenland trong 2 thập kỷ qua đủ để bao phủ toàn bộ nước Mỹ trong 0,5 m nước - Ảnh 2.
Satellite map showing the most ice loss areas (dark red) in Greenland as of August 2021. Greenland’s west coast was hit hardest, likely due to warming temperatures in the Arctic Ocean .

According to NASA, melting ice in Greenland is one of the main factors driving sea level rise. A 2019 study in the journal Nature says Greenland is on track to cause global sea levels to rise 7 to 13 centimeters by 2100.

Andrew Shepherd, lead author of the study and climate scientist from the University of Leeds in the UK, told NASA in 2019: “For every centimeter of global sea level rise, 6 million coastal people are inundated. floods all over the planet.”

Greenland is the only place in the world other than Antarctica that contains a permafrost. Greenland and Antarctica contain 99% of the world’s total freshwater reserves. If the entire Greenland ice sheet were to melt, it could raise the global sea level by a staggering 7.4 m; Meanwhile, Antarctica contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by more than 60 meters if completely melted, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Reference: LiveScience

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