Despite Extreme Melt, Signs of Hope Emerge for Greenland Ice
One of the primary forces behind climate change-driven sea level rise is the Greenland Ice Sheet. Covering 80% of Greenland, it’s the world’s second-largest chunk of ice (after the Antarctic Ice Sheet) and dumps 240 billion tons of fresh water into the oceans every year, accounting for a full fifth of annual sea level rise. And in recent years it’s been melting faster than ever, enough to make it a primary target of the IPCC, which has tapped teams of scientists to see what the full effect of the increased melting could be.
Some reports say the rise worldwide from a disappearing Greenland Ice Sheet could be as much as a meter, enough to wreak havoc on places like New York City and low-lying Palau. But a new study out in Science paints a more optimistic picture: Even with global warming, the ice sheet may be able to slow its melting rate much faster than previously thought.