'As glaciers will continue to speed up and ice/snow melt from the top, we can foresee a continuous increase in the rate of mass loss, and a contribution to sea level rise that will continue to increase more rapidly every year, ' Rignot said.
Greenland ice sheets are melting six times faster than they did in the 1980s, which scientists say is worrisome because if the rate of ice melt speeds up further, the losses could be enormous. But if the melting process starts there too, the ice loss and sea level rise could grow more than now.
"Going from a 20-year-long record to a 40-year-long record shows us a transition from a climate dominated by natural variability to a climate dominated by climate warming from human emissions of greenhouse gases", Rignot says. The new information estimates that Greenland's glaciers have lost about 51 billion tons of ice into the ocean between 1980 to 1990, and 286 billion tons of ice between 2010 and 2018. This accelerate melt has resulted in almost 14 millimeters of sea level rise since 1972, and half of the result has occurred in the last eight years only by Greenland.
The scientists note that Greenland is in an area of the Arctic that has warmed by over 2-degrees Celsius and as much as 4-degrees Celsius in other areas.
(Web Desk) - Greenland, home to the Earth's second largest ice sheet, has lost ice at an accelerating pace in the past several decades - a almost sixfold increase that could contribute to future sea level rise, according to a new study based on almost a half century of data. The team says that it takes ice loss of about 360 billion tons to equate to a millimeter of sea level rise. This method has been available since 2002 using Nasa satellites.
Do We Know How Much Ice Greenland Has Lost?
The results: during the 1970s, Greenland accumulated 47 gigatonnes of ice per year, on average.
He said the paper "also highlights the importance of understanding and quantifying how the glaciers respond to warming and enhanced surface melting". Ice losses in the 1990s were about 41 billion tons per year, but by the 2000s they were 187 billion tons - and by the 2010s, 286 billion tons.
It's the same story for western North America's glaciers-ice loss quadrupled since the early 2000s to 12.3 billion tons annually, a recent study revealed.
The Greenland ice sheet is 10,000 feet thick in places and contains enough ice to raise sea levels 23 feet (7 meters). We have Jakobshavn glacier that has loss 323 billion tons in this period, and we also have Humboldt glacier that has an estimated 152 billion tons loss.
And there are glaciers not losing much yet, but changing fast, including Petermann, Nioghalfjerfjorden, and Zachariae Isstrøm. Previously, the scientific focus was on Greenland's southeast and northwest regions, where large glaciers stream iceberg-sized chunks of ice into the Atlantic Ocean.
To sum up, action must be taken now because it will take 30 years for changes to have an effect and, unfortunately, a few decades to turn the meltdown.