Sea level began to rise sharply after the end of the Little Ice Age and with the onset of the industrial revolution in the 19th century.
Scientists concerned about sea levels have long focused on Greenland's south-east and north-west regions, where glaciers continually force large chunks of ice into the Atlantic Ocean. There, they melt and contribute significantly to the rise in sea level.
"The only thing we can do is adapt and mitigate further global warming - it is too late for there to be no effect". When it's "combined with man-made global warming, though, the effects are supercharged", he said.
Greenland's ice sheet is not only melting, but it's melting faster than ever because the area has become more sensitive to natural climate fluctuations, particularly an atmospheric cycle, a group of scientists reported today (Jan. 21) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
These grim conclusions came in the wake of a separate study last week that made similar warnings about Antarctica. But scientists have found that the largest ice loss in the decade from 2003 actually occurred in the southwest region of the island, which is largely glacier-free. A new study suggests that the Greenland ice melting pace has been accelerating since 2003 as a result of global warming in the planet's atmosphere.
The Bevis led study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analysed Global Positioning System data from Greenland's coast to more precisely understand previous research from a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center.
However, the rate of ice loss across the island was far from steady.
The total amount of ice in the Antarctic, if it all melted, would be enough to raise sea levels 57 metres. The freshwater in the salty Atlantic ocean, has found out also an influence on the climate in Europe, researchers have.
Researchers often look at ice loss from large glaciers in Greenland's southeast and northwest regions.
The research provides fresh evidence of the dangers posed to vulnerable coastal places as diverse as Bangladesh, Miami of the US, Shanghai of China and various Pacific islands as climate change shrinks the world's land-based ice, reports the Guardian citing the study. "It's because the atmosphere is, at its baseline, warmer", Bevis said.
The North Atlantic Oscillation is an irregular movement of air currents, and it tends to bring warm air to Greenland. Data from these satellites showed that between 2002 and 2016, Greenland lost approximately 280 gigatons of ice per year, equivalent to 0.03 inches of sea level rise each year.
"These oscillations have been happening forever", he explained.
The new findings show that along with glaciers, climate scientists now need to pay close attention to Greenland's snowpacks and ice fields too.
The outcome of this finding is that south-west Greenland, which had not been considered a serious threat, now looks as if it will become a major future contributor to sea-level rise. The GPS network that monitor's the island's coastline is rather sparse n the southwest, and this needs to change in order to gather more reliable data. Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: "How severe does it get?"