Greenland losing ice-sheet as fast as any time in last 12,000 years

Greenland losing ice-sheet as fast as any time in last 12,000 years
Image source: Google

Concerns over global warming and the resultant melting of glaciers which would cause an irreparable damage to human civilization have been at the centre of talks on the climate change.

Last year, it made the headline when Greenland lost more ice in a year than in any year on record. The cast-off was more than 500 billion tonnes of ice and melt water, 40 per cent of total sea-level rise in 2019 and the most in a single year since satellite records began in 1978.

But this didn’t catch the attention of many as factually if the history of Earth is to be taken into account which is 4.5 billion-plus years, then melting of ice over a few decades would tantamount to the blink of an eye.

However, the newest study published in the journal Nature is petrifyingly astounding as it states that “the rate of melting we're seeing today already threatens to exceed anything Greenland has experienced in the last 12,000 years.”

Researchers have found that the current rate of mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet is already comparable to that seen at the end of the last ice age, during a geological period known as the early Holocene. At that time, the global average surface temperature was about 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the preindustrial average, a temperature the world is on track to exceed by the end of this century, depending on the rate of global emissions.

The study further suggests that the resultant loss of ice is likely to raise the sea level between 2cms and 10cms by the end of the century from Greenland alone.

The scientists around the world are perplexed over these changes, over a relatively short period of less than a century. The current melting will reverse that pattern and within the next 1,000 years, if global heating continues, the vast ice sheet is likely to vanish altogether.

Last week, a separate team of scientists found that melting of the Antarctic ice cap would continue even if the world met the Paris agreement goal of holding temperature rises to no more than 2C.

All these findings underline the extent of the changes that human actions are wreaking on the planet. The only way to avoid a drastically accelerated meltdown of the massive ice sheet in coming decades is for the global community to curtail emissions of greenhouse gases in the near-term.