May 22, 2022

Greenland’s ice sheet has lost 4.7 trillion tonnes since 2002

This is one of the illustrations of global warming. Greenland’s huge ice cap has lost 4.7 trillion tonnes in 20 years, alone contributing to a 1.2 centimeter rise in the oceans, according to new data released this week by the Polar Portal, an organization umbrella of the Danish Arctic Institutes.

This volume of melted ice is particularly important on the coasts of the Danish autonomous territory, according to this study based on satellite observations from the Grace program.

“The data show that the majority of ice loss is occurring at the edges of the ice sheet, where independent observations show ice is shrinking, glacial fronts are receding into fjords and onshore, and melting is stronger on the surface of the ice », points out the Polar Portal. The west coast of Greenland is particularly affected, according to its data.

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Acceleration of global warming

Global warming is particularly alarming in the Arctic, where it has occurred in recent decades at a rate three or even four times higher than the rest of the planet, according to the latest scientific studies.

According to a study published at the end of January by NASA, the accelerated melting near the coasts is explained by the warming of the waters of the Arctic Ocean, which contributes “at least as much as the air at the surface” to the decline of the Greenland ice cap.

The melting of the ice in Greenland is currently the main factor in the rise of the oceans on Earth and the glaciers of the territory are now retreating six to seven times faster than twenty-five years ago, according to the American agency.

According to climatologists, the Greenland ice cap contains a total of enough to raise the oceans by more than 7 meters, and Antarctica by almost 50 meters, even if the melting processes are very slow phenomena.

At the same time, the Arctic sea ice – the melting of which, on the other hand, has no effect on the level of the oceans – has also retreated considerably, losing on average almost 13% of its surface every ten years.

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The World with AFP