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

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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