Greenland Ice Melting Fast

U of Alaska news release:
June 11, 2008

Freshwater runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet will more than double
by the end of the century

June 11, 2008

The Greenland Ice Sheet is melting faster than previously calculated
according to a scientific paper by University of Alaska Fairbanks
researcher Sebastian H. Mernild published recently in the journal
“Hydrological Processes.”

The study is based on the results of state-of-the-art modeling using
data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as
satellite images and observations from on the ground in Greenland.

Mernild and his team found that the total amount of Greenland Ice
Sheet freshwater input into the North Atlantic Ocean expected from
2071 to 2100 will be more than double what is currently observed. The
current East Greenland Ice Sheet freshwater flux is 257 km3 per year
from both runoff and iceberg calving. This freshwater flux is
estimated to reach 456 km3 by 2100.

Mernild’s results further show a change in total East Greenland
freshwater flux from today’s values of 438 km3 per year to 650 km3
per year by 2100. This indicates an increase in global sea level rise
estimates from 1.1 millimeters per year to 1.6 millimeters per year.

“The Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance is changing as a response to
the altered climatic state,” said Mernild. “This is faster than
expected. This affects freshwater runoff input to the North Atlantic
Ocean, and plays an important role in determining the global sea
level rise and global ocean thermohaline circulation.”

See the complete news release at:


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