Satellite Data confirms alarming rate of ice sheet melting in Greenland


Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are melting at a rate more than three times faster than they were 30 years ago, according to a new international study. The combined melt from 2017 to 2020 soared to 410 billion tons a year, the human-caused climate change is clearly responsible for the speeded-up ice sheet loss, melt from ice sheets has gone from contributing 5% of sea level rise to now accounting for over one-quarter of it.
The researchers used changes in gravity and in ice height to measure how much snow fell, how much snow melted, how much ice was lost in icebergs calving, and how much was eaten away from underneath by warmer water etching through the ice. Since 1992, Earth has lost 8.3 trillion tons of ice from the two ice sheets, enough to flood the entire United States with almost 0.9 metres of water or submerge France in nearly 15 metres. However, because the world’s oceans are so huge, the melt just from the ice sheets since 1992 still only adds up to a little less than an inch of sea level rise, on average.
The study’s findings highlight the devastating trajectory of ice sheet loss and the urgent need for action to mitigate climate change and its impact on vulnerable ecosystems. The study’s authors hope that their findings will galvanize efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect our planet’s fragile ecosystems.