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Satellites Show Greenland Meltdown is Causing Seas to Rise

TomoNews US
TomoNews US
LEEDS, U.K. — Scientists published a new study in the journal Nature Communications, in which they show that Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at such a fast pace that it’s heightening worldwide flood risks.


The study, which was published on Monday, November 1, found that the Greenland ice sheet has lost more than 3.5 trillion tons of ice over the past decade, which increased global sea levels by one centimeter.


This one ice sheet contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by 6 meters, or 20 feet, and it has been experiencing an increasing number of extreme melting events over the past 40 years.


The new research is the first to use satellite data to detect Greenland ice sheet runoff.


The satellite images showed significant annual variation in ice melt and showed that heat waves were increasingly a major cause of ice loss — above and beyond global temperature increases.


In 2012 alone, for example, when changes in atmospheric patterns caused unusually warm air to hover over the ice sheet for weeks, 527 billion tonnes of ice was lost.


Lead author of the study, Thomas Slater of the University of Leeds, said: “As our climate warms, it’s reasonable to expect that the instances of extreme melting in Greenland will happen more often.”


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