Thursday, August 21, 2014

Greenland -- On Its Way to being Green Again

A new paper in The Cryosphere finds some big numbers for ice melt.

Using satellite measurements of ice elevation in Greenland and Antarctica for 3 years -- January 2011 to January 2014 -- they found a combined melt rate for the two ice sheets of 503 ± 103 km3/yr. That's the fastest rate ever recorded.

75% of this comes from Greenland.

That's in line with the earlier results I wrote about a month ago (the number there was 537 km3/yr). And Greenland's melt is accelerating fast; from the numbers here and here I find the acceleration is roughly 30 km3/yr2, or a speedup in the melt rate of about 8% per year. That's a doubling in less than 10 years.

Why does it matter? Ask these people.

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