Is Greenland set to lose its ice faster than in any century over the past 12,000 years?

Melting glaciers and expansion of warm ocean water were considered to be the foremost factors leading to rising sea level, but the last two decades indicate melting ice sheets atop Greenland and Antarctica as prime leading contributors.

Scientists said that even if global warming held in check, Greenland’s massive ice sheet loss will increase sea level faster than any other time in the last 12,000 years. 

According to a study published in the journal Nature, if greenhouse gas emissions continued as per present pattern then Greenland would alone account for sea-level rise of about 2-10 centimetres by the end of 21st century.

Until the 1990s the ice sheet of Greenland was roughly in the balance as it used to gain as much ice through snowfall as much was lost due to melt-off and crumbling. But the accelerating pattern of climate change has disturbed balance accounting to net loss by the North Atlantic and it is concerning due to the fact that the northern hemisphere alone holds as much frozen water as is enough to raise sea level by seven centimetres. 

Even a small rise would encounter devastating change for coastal communities. As earlier searches have shown that 300 million people, mostly from poorer nations will be vulnerable to regular flooding by 2050. These changes have a clear major say of humanity.

Coping with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement i.e. capping global warming at under 2 degree Celsius would limit Greenland’s contribution to rising sea level at about two centimetres this century.

This century with no doubt will encounter a continuous rise in sea level but 22nd century and beyond century’s sea-level rise could be life-changing for the entire globe, said author Jason Briner, professor of geology at the University of Buffalo in New York.

Written by Khushbu Mathur

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