Greenland, Antarctica, melting away, accelerating

Observations from 11 satellite missions monitoring the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have revealed that the regions are losing ice six times faster than they were in the 1990s. If the current melting trend continues, the regions will be on track to match the “worst-case” scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of an extra 6.7 inches (17 centimeters) of sea level rise by 2100.

The findings…are the most comprehensive assessment to date of the changing ice sheets. The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise team combined 26 surveys to calculate changes in the mass of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets between 1992 and 2018…

The team calculated that the two ice sheets together lost 81 billion tons per year in the 1990s, compared with 475 billion tons of ice per year in the 2010s — a sixfold increase. All total, Greenland and Antarctica have lost 6.4 trillion tons of ice since the 1990s…

“Every centimeter of sea level rise leads to coastal flooding and coastal erosion, disrupting people’s lives around the planet,” said Andrew Shepherd [University of Leeds – led the study].

RTFA for more quantitative data. Not likely that many of our politicians will. Maybe if sufficient voters do – and act upon their understanding – we might acquire some useful politicians.

2 thoughts on “Greenland, Antarctica, melting away, accelerating

  1. Update says:

    “Emissions Could Add 15 Inches to 2100 Sea Level Rise, NASA-led Study Finds” https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2020-178 (NASA 9/17/20)
    “An international effort that brought together more than 60 ice, ocean, and atmosphere scientists from three dozen international institutions has generated new estimates of how much of an impact Earth’s melting ice sheets could have on global sea levels by 2100. If greenhouse gas emissions continue apace, Greenland and Antarctica’s ice sheets could together contribute more than 15 inches (38 centimeters) of global sea level rise – and that’s beyond the amount that has already been set in motion by Earth’s warming climate.
    Results from this effort are in line with projections in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2019 Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere.
    These new results, published this week in a special issue of the journal The Cryosphere, come from the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (ISMIP6) led by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The study is one of many efforts scientists are involved in projecting the impact of a warming climate on melting ice sheets, understanding its causes, and tracking sea level rise.”
    Special issue | The Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6) https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/special_issue1019.html
    Re: Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6) see http://www.climate-cryosphere.org/mips/ismip6 See also Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) https://www.wcrp-climate.org/wgcm-cmip

  2. Cassandra says:

    Greenland’s ice is starting to melt faster than at any time in the past 12,000 years, research has shown, which will raise sea levels and could have a marked impact on ocean currents. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/30/greenlands-ice-melting-faster-sea-level-rise [The Atlantic Ocean current that brings warm water up to Europe from the tropics has weakened by 15% since the middle of the last century, new research suggests. (April 2018) https://www.carbonbrief.org/atlantic-conveyor-belt-has-slowed-15-per-cent-since-mid-twentieth-century ]
    New measurements show the rate of melting matches any in the geological record for the Holocene period – defined as the period since the last ice age – and is likely to accelerate, according to a paper published in the journal Nature. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2742-6
    Last week, a separate team of scientists found that melting of the Antarctic ice cap would continue even if the world met the Paris agreement goal of holding temperature rises to no more than 2C, and would eventually raise sea levels by 2.5 meters [over 8 ft.] at that level of heating. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/23/melting-antarctic-ice-will-raise-sea-level-by-25-metres-even-if-paris-climate-goals-are-met-study-finds
    Arctic sea ice is also melting at a fast pace. This year’s summer sea ice minimum was the second lowest in the last 40 years of continuous measurements. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/21/arctic-ice-polar-ocean-shrinks-climate-change
    The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord in 35 days an the 4th of November https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_withdrawal_from_the_Paris_Agreement

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