22.8 C
Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Melting of Greenland’s “Zombie Ice” Might Raise Ocean Levels

The 10 inches of sea level rise predicted by the study is more than twice as significant as what experts had predicted

Must read

Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

UNITED STATES: A study released on Monday claims that the vast Greenland ice sheet’s “Zombie Ice” will eventually cause the world sea level to rise by at least 10 inches.

Ice still affixed to thicker regions of ice but no longer receives nourishment from those larger glaciers is known as a zombie or doomed ice. That is a result of less snow replenishing the parent glaciers.

- Advertisement -

According to study co-author and glaciologist William Colgan of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, the deadly ice is melting in the interim due to climate warming.

According to Colgan, “it will simply melt and vanish off the ice sheet. No matter which climate (emissions) scenario we choose at this time, this ice has been relegated to the ocean. According to the study’s lead author, glaciologist Jason Box of the Greenland survey, it is “more like one foot in the grave.”

- Advertisement -

The study’s predicted sea level increase of 10 inches is more than twice as significant as what experts had anticipated would result from melting Greenland’s ice sheet. According to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, it may extend up to 30 inches.

In contrast, last year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment predicted that the expected sea level rises due to Greenland ice melt by the year 2100 would vary from 2 to 5 inches.

- Advertisement -

For the investigation, researchers examined the balance of the ice. In a state of perfect equilibrium, snowfall in Greenland’s highlands flows down, replenishes, and deepens glacier sides, balancing off what is melting on the edges. But over the past few decades, there has been an imbalance due to
more melting and less refilling.

According to the study’s authors, 3.3% of all the ice in Greenland will melt regardless of how much carbon pollution is reduced globally because of the ratio of what is being added to what is being lost, Colgan said.
Colgan remarked, “I think starved would be a suitable description for what’s happening to the ice.”

According to one of the study’s authors, the melting ice sheet’s failure to refill its margins has already resulted in the loss of more than 120 trillion tonnes of ice. If all of the ice were to melt at once over the United States, the resulting water would be 37 feet deep.

One of Earth’s two enormous ice sheets, Greenland, is slowly shrinking due to climate change brought on by burning coal, oil, and natural gas. For the first time, researchers have determined a minimal amount of ice loss and associated sea level rise for Greenland. Scientists applied the method utilised on mountain glaciers to choose the least committed ice loss for the entire massive frozen island.

According to Pennsylvania State University glaciologist Richard Alley, who wasn’t involved in the study but thought it made sense, the committed melting and sea level rise are comparable to adding an ice cube to a cup of hot tea in a heated environment.

Alley wrote in an email, “You have committed mass loss from the ice.” “In the same way that most of the world’s mountain glaciers and the edges of Greenland will continue losing mass because they have been placed into warmer air just as your ice cube has been put in warmer tea,” according to one scientist if temperatures stay at current levels.

Ten inches may not seem like much, but that is the typical measurement worldwide. This much sea level rise “will have huge societal, economic and environmental impacts,” according to Ellyn Enderlin, a geosciences professor at Boise State University. Some coastal areas will be hit more severely, and high tides and storms could be even worse.

Leigh Stearns of the University of Kansas and Sophie Nowicki of the University of Buffalo, two outside ice scientists, said that time is the main unknown and a minor issue with the study. Although the study’s authors said they couldn’t predict when the committed melting would occur, they state “within this century” in the final sentence without providing any evidence for it, according to Stearns.

Colgan said that the team doesn’t know when all the fatal ice will melt, but if they had to guess, it would probably be by the end of this century or, at the very least, by 2150.

All of this, according to Colgan, is a best-case scenario. In 2012 (and to a lesser extent in 2019), when the equilibrium between adding and withdrawing ice was most out of balance, there were significant melt years.

According to him, the melting of Greenland might result in a rise in sea level of 30 inches if Earth experiences more years like 2012. Those two years may seem excessive now, but 50 years ago, years that seem regular today would have been extreme, he claimed. That is how climate change operates, according to Colgan. “Today’s anomalies become averages tomorrow.”

Also Read: NASA Delays Artemis 1 Launch Due to Multiple Technical Issues


  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

Trending Today