The Greenland Ice Sheet has lost almost 5,100 square kilometers of surface area in 37 years, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. This is 20 percent more than previously estimated.
The study used over 200,000 satellite and artificial intelligence observations to determine changes in the position of glaciers over time in the years 1985-2022. It shows that Greenland’s ice sheet has shrunk by 5,091 square kilometers over this period, or 20 percent more than previous estimates.
The lost square kilometers correspond to 1,034 gigatons of ice and constitute an area the size of the island country of Trinidad and Tobago in Latin America, Reuters reported. This is the first study to fully estimate how much ice Greenland has lost due to retreating glaciers.
According to a database that collects all other measurements of the Greenland ice sheet, 221 billion tons of ice have been lost each year since 2003. The latest study added another 43 billion tonnes a year, bringing the total to around 30 million tonnes of ice lost per hour on average, The Guardian wrote.
“Everything recedes and falls apart”
“There are areas in Greenland where everything is just falling back and falling apart,” said study co-author Alex Gardner, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). NASA. – Previous methods weren’t very good at measuring changes in ice cover. But the change is huge, he added.
The Greenland Ice Sheet, covering over 1,700,000 km2, is one of the world’s two remaining ice sheets, along with Antarctica. It covers about 80 percent of Greenland.
Sea levels are rising
According to scientists, ice loss from Greenland is responsible for about 17 percent. global sea level rise in 2006-2018.
If it melted completely, the Greenland ice sheet would cause sea levels to rise by about 7.4 meters, Reuters pointed out.
PAP, Reuters, “The Guardian”, tvnmeteo.pl