Greenland and Antarctica ice loss accelerating

The kilometres-thick ice sheets atop land masses at the planet's extremities sloughed off more than 6.4 trillion tonnes of mass from 1992 to 2017

This enormous amount of loss in the mass of the ice sheets is enough to increase the global sea levels by 10.6 millimetres.

The survey states that Greenland lost 3.8 trillion tonnes of ice calculated from the year 1992.

"This would mean 400 million people are at risk of annual coastal flooding by 2100", Shepherd added.

The Imbie team's studies have revealed that ice losses from Antarctica and Greenland were actually heading to much more pessimistic outcomes, and will likely add another 17 cm to those end-of-century forecasts.

Prof Andrew Shepherd from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom said that the rising level of the sea is not good news- " That's not a good news story.

According to a new report, Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice six times faster than in the 1990s - now on track with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's worst-case climate warming scenario.

Those are the main conclusion of an analysis by experts from 50 worldwide organizations, who have used data from 26 studies to calculate changes in the mass of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica between 1992 and 2018.

An analysis by the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise (IMBIE), an global collaboration of polar scientists, reveals that polar ice caps in Greenland and Anractica are melting six times faster than they were in the 1990s.


While melting glaciers are a major contributor to rising sea levels, ice sheet melt-off has become increasingly significant in the last decade. Antarctica and Greenland are now losing ice five and seven times faster than they were in the 1990s, respectively.

ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, comments, "The findings reported by IMBIE demonstrate the fundamental importance of using satellite data to monitor the evolution of ice sheets". Scientists from 50 global organizations conducted a study on the ice sheets that have been melted to this date.

According to the worldwide team of climatologists behind the research, the unprecedented rate of melt has already contributed 0.7 inches (1.78 centimeters) to global sea level rise in the last three decades, putting the planet on track for the worst-case climate warming scenario laid out in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) latest report.

The worst-case scenario - which assumes carbon emissions continue unabated, or that Earth itself will begin to boost greenhouse gas concentrations - would see an 84-cm increase, according to an IPCC special report on oceans released in September. The peak loss coincided with several years of intense surface melting in Greenland, and last summer's Arctic heatwave means that 2019 should set a new record for polar ice sheet loss. By the 2010s, it had climbed to 475 billion tonnes per year.

'While computer simulation allows us to make projections from climate change scenarios, the satellite measurements provide prima facie, rather irrefutable, evidence'.

The scientists fed emissions data to a sea level emulator to predict the oceans' rise.

These models observe more of the ice sheets than other satellites because they fly orbits that go very close to the north and south poles.

This article has been republished from the following materials.

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