Greenland

Greenland is melting at an exponential rate and could raise the sea level by seven metres.

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Sea levels in 2014 will rise at a rate of 50% faster than in 1993, with the melting of the Greenland ice sheet now responsible for 25% of this rise, compared with 5% 20 years ago, according to a study published on Monday 26 June.
 
Chese findings may further increase scientists' concern that sea levels are rising faster than predicted just a few years ago, with potentially disastrous consequences. Hundreds of millions of people live in areas below sea level. Large coastal cities are under threat and small islands are preparing to be submerged.
In 2014, the sea level will rise by about 3.3 mm/year, compared to 2.2 mm/year in 1993, the researchers said in the journal. Nature Climate Change.
 

" These conclusions are important "because the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose work is the authoritative voice on climate) "makes a very conservative projection of sea level rise by the end of the century, 60 to 90 centimetres "said Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics at Oxford University, who did not participate in the study.
 
This estimate, he adds, assumes that the rate at which the oceans are rising will remain stable.
" Yet there is compelling evidence - including the accelerating melting of Greenland and Antarctica - that this speed is in fact increasing, and increasing exponentially. "he points out.
Greenland alone contains enough frozen water to raise the sea level by about seven metres.. "Most scientists now expect the total increase to be well over a metre by the end of the century," says Wadhams.
 
This new study reconciles for the first time the results of two separate sea level measurement methods.
The first is to examine the contribution of three elements to this increase: the expansion of the ocean due to global warming, changes in the amount of water stored on land, and the melting of ice from glaciers and the ice cap in Greenland and Antarctica.
The second, satellite altimetry, consists in measuring the distance between a satellite and the sea surface.
 
So far, altimetry data have shown little change in sea levels over the last 20 years, even though other measurements have left little doubt that sea levels are rising.
The researchers have " corrected a small but significant bias in the satellite data of the first decade "Xuebin Zhang, a professor at the National Laboratory of Marine Science and Technology in Qindao, China, told AFP.
 
In the early 1990s, half of the increase was due to expansion due to warming, compared to 30% 20 years later, according to researchers. Greenland, on the other hand, now contributes 25% compared to 5% 20 years ago.
 
Source: AFP
 

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