Greenland ice loss will cause rise in sea level by a foot
A foot or more of global sea level rise is now locked in due to widespread Greenland ice loss, and new research indicates that even if the world stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, there would be no way to halt it.
No matter how much the climate warms, the study, which was published on Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, determined that the overall ice loss from Greenland’s ice sheet will result in a sea level increase of at least 10 inches. That’s almost the same amount that the world’s waters have already risen from Greenland, Antarctica, and thermal expansion (when ocean water expands as it heats) combined over the last century.
The fundamental cause of the changes in the volume of the ice sheets in and around Greenland, according to researchers from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, has been meltwater runoff. The scientists were able to estimate that 3.3% of the Greenland ice sheet, or 110 trillion tonnes of ice, will ultimately melt as the ice sheet responds to the changes that have already taken place using “well-established theory.”
According to lead author Jason Box, a scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, the sea level rise resulting from this melted ice will happen “independent of any probable future climate route this century.” Technically, this water is already beneath the bridge.
The authors speculate that the change in sea levels may happen between now and the end of the century, however they did not provide a timeframe.