Climate & Environment

Study: ice loss in Greenland is irreversible

According to a study by scientists from Ohio State University based on satellite observations from the past nearly 40 years Greenland's glaciers have shrunk to such an extent that even a theoretical halt to climate change could no longer save the island's ice cover in the Arctic Ocean.

"We looked at this satellite data to investigate how ice loss and growth have changed over time," said Michalea King, lead author of the study and a scientist at Ohio State University's Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. "We found that the ice that disappears into the ocean far outweighs the snow on the surface of the ice sheet in terms of mass."

Before 2000, the ice sheet had about the same chance of gaining or losing mass each year, the researchers say. Under current climate conditions, however, the ice sheet could statistically increase in mass in only one in 100 years.

Ian Howat, co-author of the study says that "even if the climate were to remain the same or even get slightly colder, the ice sheet would still lose mass".

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