Greenland’s ice sheet is melting faster than scientists previously estimated, according to a study released Wednesday in the journal Nature, with the loss believed to be 20% worse than previously reported.
Since 1985, Greenland’s ice sheet has lost approximately 5,091 square kilometers of ice researchers found using satellite imagery. Scientists said earlier estimates did not track melting at the edges of the ice sheets, known as calving, which measures ice breaking off at the terminus of a glacier.
Greenland’s ice sheet loses about 193 square kilometers of ice per year, researchers found.
second-largest contributor to sea level rise. In an earlier study, scientists found that a single sheet melting was responsible for more than 17% of sea level rise between 2006 and 2018.
Glaciers and ice sheets melt faster than they can gather new snow and ice as global temperatures increase — particularly in the oceans, which absorb 90% of warming on the planet. Having both warmer air andamplifies the loss of ice.
— Li Cohen contributed to this report.