Greenland ice is melting faster and will cause sea levels to rise

The melting of the Greenland ice is faster than previously calculated according to a new study published yesterday in Nature. In this new study, it is shown that Greenland has lost 3.8 trillion tons of ice since 1992, an amount of water that has raised global sea levels by 10.6 mm.

The same rate of ice loss in Greenland has increased from 33 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 254 billion tonnes per year during this decade. According to the researchers themselves, these figures will lead to over 400 million people being exposed to coastal flooding by 2100.

These figures also surpass the alarming study conducted by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2013, according to which global sea levels would rise by 60 cm by 2100. According to the results of this new study, however, the same levels will increase by an additional 7 cm.

It is usually estimated that for every centimeter of sea-level rise, more than 6 million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the globe. Following this theoretical approach, the melting of the ice alone in Greenland will cause coastal floods that will affect more than 100 million people every year by the end of the century, i.e. 400 million in total.

The study was conducted by Andrew Shepherd, professor at the University of Leeds, and Erik Ivins, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with the support of ESA and NASA.

“These are not unlikely events or small impacts; they are happening and will be devastating for coastal communities,” Shepherd himself says.