Since 1972, the Greenland ice sheet has lost the equivalent of trillions of tonnes of fresh water from its ice storage, which has increased global sea level by a quarter of an inch in only eight years, and ice loss accelerates
Trillions of tonnes of ice lost from threatened Greenland ice sheet
According to a study published this week in the journal by the National Academy of Sciences the rate of ice leaf loss of Greenland's main ice sheet is even worse and more frightening than previously understood.
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The use of data more than 20 years earlier in our current models, The amount of freshwater ice that the Greenland Ice Sheet has lost since 1972 , amounts to several trillion tons of ice melt, which is added to the ocean.
Specifically, since 1972, it has lost 4,976 gigatons of water. A gigaton equals 1 billion tons, which means that on average every year, enough Greenland Ice Sheet water has melted to meet New's current water needs in York City or Los Angeles for a century.
Unfortunately, ice loss has not been distributed evenly over this period. Instead, the rate of loss has accelerated, with half of the ice loss occurring only in the last decade. The speed with which glaciers move the mass of ice from the oceans to the oceans is almost twice as high as in the 2000s.
The Size of the Greenlandic Ice Sheet Shows the Gravity of the Crisis We Face
The recent history of Robinson Meyer An Atlantic report on the recently published study provides a reasonable understanding of the size of the Greenland Ice Sheet and what we risk if the ice loss is not reversed.
When the southernmost city of the Greenland ice sheet covered the southernmost city in the state of Texas, Brownsville, the northern tenth of the ice sheet would extend all the way to the province of Manitoba, Canada, whose eastern reaches reach as far as St. Louis. Missouri and its northwestern reaches to Montana.
The center would be near Des Moines, Iowa, and would be nearly three kilometers thick. 65 million people would be depressed, about one-fifth of the US population. However, this largely depends on the fact that the inner regions of the state are less populated than the coastal cities in which large population centers live.
With enough fresh water To fill the North American Great Lakes more than 100 times, the total melting of the Greenland ice sheet would increase global sea level by 24 feet. Even three meters of sea level rise threaten New York City, much of Florida, and hundreds of other US cities.
Miami Previews the Future of Our Climate
Here in the US, there is growing awareness that the city of Miami must be abandoned within the century. If you are sitting on a limestone cliff, efforts to build sea walls around threatened areas will not stop the water, which simply penetrates the limestone like a sponge and appears on the other side.
Miami is already experiencing floods when it is exposed to heavy rain. The city races to lift the streets at least two feet above the tide line. In addition, new buildings must rest at least one foot above this line. Existing structures must be connected to a pumping network to control the flooding of these higher bastions against the seas. All this costs hundreds of millions of dollars for the city of Miami Beach alone.
"There are only three percent of Miami-Dade County more than 12 feet above sea level," said Harold Wanless, director of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Miami and an expert on sea-level rise and its impact , "With a sea level rise of more than a foot per decade, it's over." By the end of the century, the entire county comprising the city of Miami will be functionally uninhabitable, and they are not alone.
Of the 40 major cities where more than half of the area is ten feet above or below sea level, 27 are located in Florida alone. In New York City, there are currently 700,000 inhabitants, with a sea level rise of ten feet underwater. Hundreds of US cities will be directly affected by sea level rise of three meters, now guaranteed by the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet. The only question is how fast we will experience this ascent.
With the acceleration found in Greenland, this is likely to happen in the Antarctic as well, which together holds a rise in sea level of 200 feet between them. As the melting rate of these two threatened water ice stocks increases, it will ensure that the consequences of man-made climate change will no longer be a crisis for the distant future, but will live up to this crisis within the lifetime of those who are. This makes it a problem that only the current generation can solve.