Greenland ice may be more robust to climate change than feared
A helicopter is taking off Greenland Ice Sheet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Greenland’s ice seems less vulnerable than feared to a runaway melt that would drive up world sea levels, according to a study showing that a surge of ice loss had petered out.
“It is too early to proclaim the ‘ice sheet’s future doom’” caused by climate change, lead author Kurt Kjaer of the University of Copenhagen wrote in a statement of the findings in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.
An examination of old photos taken from planes revealed a sharp thinning of glaciers in north-west Greenland from 1985 to 1993, the experts in Denmark, Britain and the Netherlands wrote. Another pulse of ice loss in the area lasted from 2005 to 2010.
The discovery of fluctuations casts doubt on projections that Greenland could be headed for an unstoppable meltdown, triggered by manmade global warming. Greenland contains enough ice to raise sea levels by 7 metres (23 ft) if it all thawed.
“It starts and then it stops,” Kjaer told Reuters of the ice losses. “This is a break from thinking that it is something that starts, accelerates and will consume Greenland all at once.”