Scientists underestimate global sea level rise

(ORDO NEWS) — Existing climate models underestimate the accelerating melting of Greenland’s glaciers, which is raising global sea levels.

The results of the study show that more ice will be lost by the end of the 21st century than scientists thought.

The researchers analyzed data collected from the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) GPS network and combined with surface elevation data from the CryoSat-2 satellite, and performed high-resolution numerical simulations.

It turned out that the entire basin of the shield is thinning, and the flow rate is increasing. All fast-flowing glaciers through which the stream is discharged into the ocean – Nioghalfjords (Nioghalvfjerds isstrømmen) and Zacharia (Zachariae Isbræ) – retreat inland.

Ice loss occurs not only at the front of the ice sheet, but also inland, 200 kilometers from the edge.

By 2100, the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream will contribute six times more sea level than previous models estimated, adding 13.5 to 15.5 millimeters to the current model.

This is equivalent to the contribution of the entire Greenland ice sheet over the past 50 years.

The retreat of Zechariah began in 2004, after a period of stability since the late 70s, and in 2012 the melting led to the disappearance of the floating (shelf) part of the glacier and the acceleration of the current.

Although the winter of 2021 and summer of 2022 were cold, this did not stop the retreat of the ice, which will continue at an accelerating pace for a century.

The northeastern part of Greenland is the so-called arctic desert, where rainfall in some places is only 25 millimeters per year, so the ice sheet is not recovering quickly enough to mitigate the effects of melting.

The use of GPS and satellite data to detect such events could be critical for studying other vulnerable large glacial systems, such as the Pine Island Glacier or the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica.


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