Complete melt of Greenland ice sheet could occur at 1.6 degree global temperature increase
Previously it was thought that a complete melt of the Greenland ice sheet was likely if average global temperatures increased by roughly 3 degrees C. However, the authors of this recent study in the journal Nature Climate Change speculate that the actual temperature increase may be much lower.
“The Greenland ice sheet is more sensitive to long-term climate change than previously thought. We estimate that the warming threshold leading to a monostable, essentially ice-free state is in the range of 0.8–3.2 °C, with a best estimate of 1.6 °C.”
We are currently well on our way to a temperature increase in this range and probably a lot higher. Remember that average global temperatures have already increased 0.8 degrees so we only need another 0.8 degrees to reach the threshold.
And what would this mean? Well, the melting of the ice sheet would happen over a long time, thousands of years perhaps, but as one of the scientists, Alexander Robinson, said, “What we’re doing to the planet today has implications for the earth for a long time into the future,” said Robinson.
“If we go above this threshold we’re ensuring within a certain period of time there will be seven metres of sea level rise — that’s the entire volume of water contained inside the Greenland ice sheet.”
World Environment News – Greenland Ice Melt Seen At Lower Temperatures: Study – Planet Ark.