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Greenland ice loss led to one sixth of sea-level rise

Last Updated: Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 16:23

London: Greenland has lost about 1,500 cubic
kilometres of ice between 2000 and 2008, which is responsible
for one-sixth of global sea-level rise, scientists have

Researchers from Broeke of Utrecht University in the
Netherlands came to the conclusion after studying the
difference in annual snowfall and snowmelt in Greenland
between 2003 and 2008.

The team led by Michiel van den, who estimated the net
ice loss per annum, compared each year`s loss with that
calculated from readings by the GRACE satellite, which
"weighs" the ice sheet by measuring its gravity.

They found that results from the two methods roughly
matched and showed that Greenland is losing enough ice to
contribute on average 0.46 millimetres per year to global
sea-level rise, journal New Scientist reported.

The loss may be accelerating: since 2006, warm summers
have caused levels to rise by 0.75 millimetres per year, says
van den Broeke. However, he said: "we can`t be sure whether
this trend will continue. Sea levels are rising globally by 3
millimetres on average."

Half the ice was lost through melting and half through
glaciers sliding faster into the oceans, the team added.

"The study gives us a really good handle on how to
approximate how much ice Greenland is going to lose in the
coming century," says Ted Scambos of the US National Snow and
Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 16:23
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