Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at its fastest rate in 350 years

Sarah Das  WHOI		Large rivers form on the surface of the ice sheet in summer rapidly moving meltwater from the ice sheet to the ocean

"We are seeing levels of Greenland ice melt and runoff that are already unprecedented over recent centuries (and likely millennia) in direct response to warming global temperatures since the pre-Industrial era", Sarah Das, co-author of the report and scientist at the USA -based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said in a statement. "And increasing melt began around the same time as we started altering the atmosphere in the mid-1800s", said the researcher, alluding to a human activity as the likely culprit for this warming.

Human adjustment of the atmosphere began with the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19 century.

In July 2012 a series of warm weather engendered nearly the whole surface of the Greenland ice sheet to commence melting a phenomenon with no pattern in the satellite record. If Greenland melts entirely, the seawater will increase by about 23 feet, with a damaging impact to the Earth.

"The melting and sea level rise we've observed already will be dwarfed by what may be expected in the future as climate continues to warm". At lower heights melt water directly runs off the ice sheet, but at escalated heights some percolates down porous compressed snow vociferated firn prior to refreezing to constitute layer not as same as the growth layers discovered in trees. Greenland experiences seasonal melt during the warm summer days, and at low elevations, the melting is more intense.

The melting of Greenland's ice sheet is one of the main culprits behind the rising sea levels around the globe.

Scientists tracking Greenland's ice by satellite and on the ground have seen increasingly dire ice loss. Instead of escaping the ice sheet, the short-lived meltwater forms icy bands that stack up layers of densely packed ice over time. 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. Dark bands running horizontally across the cores record the strength of the melting for a given year. Thicker melt layers represented years of higher melting, while thinner sections indicated years with less melting.

The team analysed these results in combination with the imaging data collected by various satellites and the data from sophisticated climate models, which enabled them to determine the rate of ice melting, not only at core site, but also broadly across Greenland. This threatens cities such as London and Venice and entire nations such as the Maldives, which within decades could be swallowed by the rising level of the sea.

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Fellow glaciologist and co-author of the report Sarah Das said: "From a historical perspective, today's melt rates are off the charts, and this study provides the evidence to prove this". "We found a fifty percent increase in total ice sheet meltwater runoff versus the start of the industrial era, and a thirty percent increase since the 20th century alone", she said.

The research team said ice core records provide "critical" historical context because satellite measurements - which scientists rely on today to understand melting rates in response to changing climate - have only been around since the late 1970s.

"We have had a sense that there's been a great deal of melting in recent decades, but we previously had no basis for comparison with melt rates going further back in time", Matt Osman, co-author of the new study, said in a statement.

"We need to be aiming for net-zero emissions before 2050".

"Greenland is now much more sensitive to further increase in temperature than it was just 50 years ago", the authors of the study.

The research also discovers that the estimate of melting at Greenland's surface has shot up in recent years and now is beyond the limits of what was contemplated organic changeability over the last few centuries.

And without a huge change of direction, Greenland "will melt more and more for every degree of warming", Mr Trusel warned.

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