Ominous sign of global warming: How Greenland’s ice sheet has melted past “point of no return”

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August 27, 2020 11:31 AM

Greenland, also known as the second largest body of ice in the world is going under changes, and from the looks of it, it may be beyond a point from where there is no going back.

Ice sheets will continue to melt going forward, even if humans are able to contain climate change.

Greenland, also known as the second largest body of ice in the world is going under changes, and from the looks of it, it may be beyond a point from where there is no going back. Rise in temperature is melting the ice sheet of Greenland at an unprecedented rate, which is now “past the point of no return,” The Indian Express reported citing a recent study published by researchers at Ohio State University said. It added that given the rate it is melting, the average snowfall every year will not be able to replenish it. Ice sheets will continue to melt going forward, even if humans are able to contain climate change.

Citing Ian Howat, co-author of the study, the report highlighted that the melting is not a single tipping point but it’s rather going down the staircase where “we have fallen on the first step.” He asserted that there are many more steps to come where the melting will be more drastic. In less then the next hundred years, the ice sheet is expected to melt completely leading to many coastal cities being completely submerged in water.

The analysis of the current ice sheet position has been done by a team of researchers who studied the monthly satellite data of the last 40 years from 200 major glaciers present in Greenland’s ice sheet. These glaciers are currently melting and are adding to the ocean around the country. Many glaciers have formed icebergs and are freely floating in the oceans. Michalea King, lead author of the study said that the team has been working in remote areas for various observations to check how ice discharge and its accumulation has varied. King said that the amount of ice discharge in oceans is much more than what snow can add.

Ice loss, according to the report, began in the year 2000 and now, each year, 500 gigaton of ice is being removed from the ice sheet where soaring temperatures are giving impetus to more melting. More than 3 km on an average from Greenland’s glacier have retreated which is considered as a huge distance. And since many icebergs are now floating in water, it is difficult for it to return to the previous locations. Going forward, it is expected that ice sheets will only be able to get mass once in a hundred years.

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