The Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the globe since 1979

NEWS JUST IN! The Arctic IS warming faster than we thought. In fact FOUR times as fast as the global average. A report published today in the scientific journal, Nature,... READ MORE

COUNTDOWN

CO2 Budget Depletion

GREENLAND MELTING MEANS RISING SEA LEVELS

The Risk

A WARMER ARCTIC UNDERMINES ITS VAST ICE SHEETS. Air temperatures within the Arctic Circle are rising more than three times faster than the global average. 
As a result, land ice and snow are melting draining more and more into the global ocean.

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MELTING ICE SHEETS MEAN HIGHER SEAS The Greenland Ice Sheet contains the equivalent of 7.4 metres of sea level rise. It is now the largest contributor to global sea level rise at up to 1.4 mm per year and Greenland’s ongoing deglaication will massively disrupt coastal communities across the world.

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THE MASSIVE GREENLAND ICE SHEET IS RETREATING. Within the last three decades, Greenland has lost almost five trillion tonnes, of ice equivalent to 14 millimetres in sea-level rise. Losses from other ice masses and thermal expansion of the ocean doubles this figure. But this is just the beginning: Greenland ice was in balance with climate in the 1990s and its ice deficit is now rapidly accelerating.

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IPCC FINDINGS

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the world’s most authoritative source on climate change. It reviews all published literature to provide comprehensive and objective scientific information.

GREENLAND MELTING UNLOCKS A FROZEN-WATER STOREHOUSE

The vast Greenland Ice Sheet three times the area of France and acts as a massive reservoir storing the world’s frozen freshwater.  Since 2005, it has been in severe deficit, loosing  on avaerage 243 billion tonnes of ice every year, equivalent to 486,000 fully loaded supertankers dumping that melt directly into the ocean

Global mean sea level rise has increased by 20 cm (±5 cm) between 1901 and 2018 but over half of this has occurred in the last two decades. The world’s oceans are have been rising at a mean rate in excess of 4±0.5 mm per year since 2007..

Global mean sea level rise is projected to approach 2 metres by 2100 and 5 metres by 2150 under a very high GHG emissions scenario.

Many impacts due to already committed greenhouse gas emissions have become irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially structural changes in ocean circulation, ice sheets and global sea level.

  • Greenland ice melt is the leading source of global sea level rise.
  • Over the next 80 years, the dwindling Greenland Ice Sheet is expected to add between at least 90±50 mm and 32±17 mm to sea-level rise for high and low emissions scenarios, respectively.
  • Rising seas could be far higher if the projected pace of Greenland’s deglaciation exceeds expectations - which has been the actual reality for the last four IPCC reports.
  • Fresh water from the melting Greenland Ice Sheet is expected to disrupt the main North Atlantic thermohaline current, likely intensifying storms impacting northwestern Europe and the North Atlantic.

RAPID ICE SHEET MELT

DATA SOURCE

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Greenland''s cumulative mass balance and its trend after removing annual seasonality. Derived from MB_SMB_D_BMB.csv file from datasource available at PROMICE.

WATSON RIVER

DATA SOURCE

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Discharge data from the Watson River were gathered for the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) by GEUS (2014-present), and before that by the University of Copenhagen (2006-2013) Derived from data product available from PROMICE. .

SURFACE MELT

DATA SOURCE

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Greenland''s daily surface melt extent data. Derived from datasource available at NSIDC''s Greenland Today Melt Analysis data spreadsheet.