Greenland is melting six times faster than previously thought

A new study combining satellite data with highly accurate numerical models estimates that ice loss from glaciers in northeast Greenland will be six times greater by the end of this century than previously estimated.

The work, published this Wednesday in the journal Nature, calculates that That melting will raise the level of the oceans by an additional 13.5 to 15.5 millimeters between now and the year increase equivalent to that generated by all the melted water in the Greenland ice sheet in the last half century.

Our previous projections of Greenland ice loss to 2100 were grossly underestimated.“, says the first author of the study, the professor at the Technical University of Denmark Shfaqat Abbas.

The researcher stresses that most models are based on observations of the frontal zone of the ice sheet, which is “easily accessible”.

However, 200 kilometers inland from northeastern Greenland, in one of the most hostile and remote areas on the planet, behind the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden and Zachariae Isstrom glaciers, conditions are worse than previously thought.

Using data from GPS satellites, along with elevation measurements from CryoSat-2 and a high-resolution numerical model, scientists have produced new estimates of the evolution of ice mass in this region.

“Our data show that what we can see in the frontal zone also extends towards the heart of the ice sheet,” Abbas said in a statement from his university.

“We can see how the whole basin is getting thinner and thinner,” he adds.

Every year, the glaciers recede further into the interior of the land and “this will continue for the next decades and centuries,” says the scientist, who warns that “under the current climatic pressure it is difficult to conceive how this retreat is going to be stopped” of the ice.