Greenland glacier melting 5 times faster than in 1990s

Groundbreaking study ‘clearest evidence yet of polar ice sheet losses’ and rising sea levels

Scientists have definitive new evidence that shows all but one of the world’s major ice sheets are shrinking.

The study, which will be published in the magazine Science on Friday, marks the first time scientists have come up with a way to measure the changing size of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica that they can all agree on.

Ice sheets are massive continental glaciers larger than 50,000 square kilometres that are found only in Greenland and Antarctica.

The study is a key step towards understanding how those massive melting glaciers are causing rising sea levels and how those levels can be measured in the future.

“Our new estimates are the most reliable to date and provide the clearest evidence yet of polar ice sheet losses,” said the head researcher of the international study, Dr. Andrew Shepherd from the University of Leeds in the U.K.

“They also end 20 years of uncertainty regarding changes to the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. They are intended to be the benchmark data set for climate scientists from now on.”

The study shows Greenland’s ice sheets are melting at a rate five times faster than they were in 1990s. In contrast, Antarctica is more or less stable, although the research shows there has been a 50 per cent increase in ice loss since 1992. The melting is affecting ice sheets in the west side of Antarctica and the Antarctic peninsula. Read more…