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Are we focused on the worst scenario of climate change?



  Sea ice is being taken from NASA research plane over Greenland on March 30, 2017.

Sea ice will be seen on March 30, 2017, above from the NASA NASB research aircraft "IceBridge" off the northwest coast of Greenland.

A record number of Americans report that global warming is taking place, according to a recent Yale Climate Change Communication Survey and the George Mason University Center for Communications on Climate Change Climate change, and nearly three-quarters of them say it's an issue that matters to them personally. Both numbers have risen sharply in recent years – a shift that could not have come soon enough, as the once-distant turning points and worst case climate scenarios that researchers have been predicting for decades are becoming reality.

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This week, for example, researchers have warned that the Greenland ice sheet has reached a turning point. An international team of scientists found that ice losses in Greenland in early 2013 were four times higher than in 2003.

It's not the fact that ice loss accelerates, which was surprising, but where it came from. According to Michael Bevis, a professor at Ohio State University and lead author of the new study, there are two sources of ice loss in Greenland: glacial rocks fall directly into the ocean and run ashore from the melting ice. Climate scientists have known for years that the glaciers of the Arctic nation are drilling faster into the sea as the ocean warms around the island, but their ice cover has been relatively isolated from the increased air temperatures, Bevis says.

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