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Greenland Ice Melting 7 Percent Faster Than Scientists' Earlier Prediction

Sep 24, 2016 07:24 AM EDT
Greenland Ice Sheet
Greenland ice is melting 7 percent faster than what scientists have earlier predicted.
(Photo : Summersdale/Public Domain/Pixabay)

Contrary to earlier predictions made by scientists, Greenland ice is melting at 7 percent faster. According to a new study which made use of GPS, Greenland is losing approximately 40 trillion pounds in year. The estimate is more than what scientists had thought.

Instead of losing an average of 550 trillion pounds of ice from 2003 to 2013, Greenland has lost more than 590 trillion pounds. This is what Michael Bevis of the Ohio State University claimed in his study, which was published in the journal of Science Advances, Wednesday.

"If you look at the last 15 years since we've been having these measurements, it's clearly getting worse, the ice loss," stated Bevis, adding, "It is pretty scary."

This amount is at a shocking 7.6 percent difference. Yet, authors of the study claim it is still a "small percentage" which adds just a "tiny amount" to the global sea rice. A climate scientist at Duke University, Drew Shindell, adds that the percent isn't at all a dramatic change that adds to the alarming pattern already obvious in the past decades.

"Not good news certainly as the values are already larger than we'd had wished, but not a dramatic change in the overall already very alarming pattern we've been seeing over the past couple decades," explained Shindell.

As for the new measurements made on the percentage of ice melting in Greenland, the study was made possible thanks to GRACE satellites. These are a set of twin crafts that had estimated the ice loss, which was based on the changes in the pull of gravity - all while the satellites orbited around planet earth. Conclusions on the study were made possible thanks to data taken from a network of GPS sensors.

Thanks to the study, the ice melting in Greenland isn't the only focus. The study hopes to reveal the same problems in the current estimate of ice loss in some areas. Such areas would include Antarctica, which is by far bigger than Greenland.

 "Antarctica is losing ice," stated Bevis. "But Greenland is the most unstable ice sheet we have right now."

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