New research has shown that the Greenland ice sheet will melt 60 % more by 2100 than scientists had thought, pushing rising sea levels from 10 cm to 18 cm.
Spanning an area of about 1.8 million km2, the Greenland ice sheet is the largest body of ice in the northern hemisphere, and the second largest in the world after the Antarctic ice sheet. In light of the serious implications of ice loss for the global climate, scientists have been studying the Greenland ice sheet to determine how much it’s likely to melt and how this will actually affect sea levels. A new study supported by the EU-funded MC2 and PROTECT projects has now concluded that the ice sheet is likely to melt about 60 % more by 2100 than previously predicted. This means that sea levels could rise approximately 8 cm higher than earlier estimates used in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. The study, whose results were obtained using multiple climate models, has been published in the journal ‘Nature Communications’. One of the climate models used in the research is the Modéle Atmosphérique Régional, or MAR. “While our MAR model suggested that in 2100 the surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet would contribute to a rise in the oceans of around ten centimetres in the worst-case scenario (i.e. if we do not change our habits), our new projections now suggest a rise of 18 cm,” stated Stefan Hofer of MC2 project coordinator University of Oslo in a news item posted on the ‘ScienceDaily’ website.