Glacier melting in Greenland is responsible for a 40% increase in sea level in 2019. In particular, the loss of 600 billion tons of Greenland ice sheet led to a sea-level rise of 1.5 mm per year, according to a study by scientists from Columbia University, published in The Cryosphere.
The Greenland ice sheet is the second largest in the world after the Antarctic, its area in 2018 was 1,833,900 sq km. Now it is quickly melting – according to a study by the same scientists, in 2019 the ice sheet lost 600 billion tons of ice – this is an absolute record from the beginning of observations.
If the Greenland ice sheet melts completely, the sea level will rise by about seven meters – this will lead to flooding of most of the coastal cities, and also cause great damage to island states. Between 1992 and 2018, Greenland dropped about four trillion tons of ice, resulting in an average sea-level rise of 11 millimeters.
According to a new study, in just one year, melting glaciers in the region led to a sea-level rise of 1.5 mm. As in the previous study, scientists call the cause of extremely rapid melting not a temperature increase, but high atmospheric pressure, which prevailed over Greenland for a record-long time.
This prevented the formation of clouds over the southern part of Greenland, which usually impede the penetration of sunlight. On the other hand, a reduction in the number of clouds has led to a decrease in the number of snowfalls that contribute to the restoration of the ice cover.
Researchers note that the data collected demonstrates the need to review current models of ice melting speed in Greenland. Probably, this indicator is underestimated at least twice.