Scientists at Ohio State University are convinced that the Greenland ice sheets have reached a “point of no return” and will continue to melt even if climate change is slowed down.
Greenland dumps 280 billion tons of ice into the ocean every year and this is the main reason for the rise of sea levels. However, according to new observations, in recent years, the volume of melted ice in Greenland has reached such values that it even affected the gravitational field of the island.
Melting ice in Greenland is already raising ocean levels by more than a millimetre annually. By the end of the century, the water level is projected to rise by almost a meter, putting the coastal states of the United States and island states at risk.
40% of the US population lives in areas that will become dangerous in the future.
“The ice sheet is now in a new dynamic state. Even if we returned to the climate that was 20 or 30 years ago, the glacier would have lost a huge amount of its mass. This process can no longer be reversed,” says Ian M. Howat, co-author of the study.
However, even this is not the worst of the predictions of scientists. According to them, “humanity has passed the point of no return, but this event will have many consequences.”
In the near future, researchers will observe a calmer ice sheet, but in the near future we will move on to the “phase of rapid melting”.
Scientists have used satellite data over the past 40 years to observe the ice in Greenland.
They noticed that after 2000, the ice sheet had shrunk so quickly that a new layer of snow did not have time to accumulate. This, in their opinion, was the reason to believe that in the future it will continue to decline.