Melting ice sheets of Greenland contributed the most to the global sea level rise between 2003 and 2016. The island lost about 255 billion tons of ice on average per year during this period.
Greenland’s ice sheet shrank by a record of 532 billion tons of ice in 2019, with 223 billion tons of ice lost during the month of July alone, according to a new study published in the journal Communications Earth and Environment.
Melting ice sheets of Greenland contributed the most to the global sea level rise between 2003 and 2016. The island lost about 255 billion tons of ice on average per year during this period. The mass slowed in 2017 and 2018 to about 100 billion tons, before recording a 532 billion tons ice loss in 2019
Greenland is the world’s largest non-continental island and its ice sheets cover nearly 81 per cent of its surface. If all of the island’s ice melts away, the water released would push sea levels up by an average of six meters.
The 2019 record ice melt is approximately 15 per cent more than the previous record set in 2012.
The development comes a week after a study by researches at Ohio State University has suggested that Greenland’s ice sheet may have melted to the point of no return and any efforts towards reducing climate-warming emissions will not stop it from disintegrating.
The researchers at the Ohio State University studied as many as 234 glaciers across the Arctic territory for 34 years through 2018. The study, which was published in the Nature Communications Earth & Environment journal, found that the annual snowfall was no longer enough to replenish glaciers of the snow and ice being lost to summertime melting, as per a report by Reuters.
While the Island may never completely regain the icy bulk that covers its 2 million square kilometers, containing the global temperature rise can slow the rate of ice loss.