'Off the charts': Scientists sound alarm over Greenland ice melt

Melting of Greenland’s ice is ‘off the charts,’ study shows

Melting of Greenland’s ice is ‘off the charts,’ study shows

As the scientists reported, the Greenland ice sheet meltdown sped up in the mid-1800s right after the emergence of the industrial era that caused the Arctic ocean to warm up.

In a paper published in the journal Nature, scientists from the United States, Belgium and the Netherlands analysed melt layers in ice cores in western Greenland to develop a record spanning 350 years.

"We found a fifty percent increase in total ice sheet meltwater runoff versus the start of the industrial era and a thirty percent increase since the 20th century alone", Das said.

The samples were taken from sites more than 6,000 feet above sea level, giving the researchers a window into melting on the ice sheet over the past several centuries.

Das and her colleagues at Rowan University and elsewhere reached that conclusion by examining three ice cores from central west Greenland, and one from an ice cap off the coast, that contain a history of melt events spanning the past 350 years.

But more than half of the ice-sheet water entering the ocean comes from runoff from melted snow and glacial ice atop the ice sheet.

Experts concluded by saying that this is the ice sheet's response to the warming caused by humans and warming means more today that it did in the past. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues.

The report reveals that the ice in Greenland is melting at a rate much faster than anything seen over the last couple of centuries and maybe even the last millennium, reports DR Nyheder.

Trusel's team of worldwide researchers analyzed ice cores extracted from Greenland, a massive island wedged between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.

Thicker melt layers represented years of higher melting, while thinner sections indicated years with less melting. But in contrast, at higher elevations, summer meltwater quickly refreezes from contact with the below-freezing snowpack it lies on - preventing the meltwater from running off.

The period of 2004-2013 had more sustained and intense melting than any other 10-year period recorded.

The study also found that Greenland's ice loss is driven primarily by warmer summer air and that even small rises in temperature can trigger exponential increases in the ice's melt rate. Instead of escaping the ice sheet, the short-lived meltwater forms icy bands that stack up layers of densely packed ice over time.

According to current data, the rate of melting of glaciers over the 20th and 21st century has significantly accelerated. The satellites used to study ice sheet melting around the world haven't been around long enough to capture a complete picture of the melting process.

Satellite methods to understand melting rates have only been around in recent decades, so the ability to go back further in time was important.

This approach helps researchers update their tracking record, which indicates that ice sheets are melting at a faster pace than previously thought. He added, "I don't know how many more nails we need".

Researchers from the MIT-WHO Joint Program, University of Washington, Wheaton College, University of Leige, Desert Research Institute, and Utrecht University also worked on the study.