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Warming Greenland ice sheet passes point of no return

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Icebergs near Greenland form from ice that has broken off–or calved–from glaciers on the island. A new study shows that the glaciers are losing ice rapidly enough that, even if global warming were to stop, Greenland’s glaciers would continue to shrink. Credit: Michalea King Nearly 40 years of satellite data from Greenland shows that glaciers on the island have shrunk so much that even if global warming were to stop today, the ice sheet would continue shrinking.

The finding, published today, Aug. 13, in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment , means that Greenland’s glaciers have passed a tipping point of sorts, where the snowfall that replenishes the ice sheet each year cannot keep up with the ice that is flowing into the ocean from glaciers.

“We’ve been looking at these remote sensing observations to study how ice discharge and accumulation have varied,” said Michalea King, lead author of the study and a researcher at The Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. “And what we’ve found is that the ice that’s discharging into the ocean is far surpassing the snow that’s accumulating on the surface of the ice sheet.”

King and other researchers analyzed monthly satellite data from […]

read more here —> phys.org

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