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Wed Apr 15, 2020, 05:16 PM

Scientists confirm dramatic melting of Greenland ice sheet


Study reveals loss largely due to high pressure zone not taken into account by climate models

Nicola Davis

@NicolaKSDavis
Wed 15 Apr 2020 09.00 EDT

There was a dramatic melting of Greenland’s ice sheet in the summer of 2019, researchers have confirmed, in a study that reveals the loss was largely down to a persistent zone of high pressure over the region.

The ice sheet melted at a near record rate in 2019, and much faster than the average of previous decades. Figures have suggested that in July alone surface ice declined by 197 gigatonnes – equivalent to about 80 million Olympic swimming pools.

Now experts have examined the level of melting in more detail, revealing what drove it. Crucially, the team note, the high pressure conditions lasted for 63 of the 92 summer days in 2019, compared with an average of just 28 days between 1981 and 2010. A similar situation was seen in 2012, a record bad year for melting of the ice sheet.

The team say the climate models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have not taken into account such unusual conditions. If such high pressure zones become a regular annual feature, future melting could be twice as high as currently predicted, a result that could have serious consequences for sea level rise.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/apr/15/scientists-confirm-dramatic-melting-greenland-ice-sheet

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