Greenland Ice Article

Across Greenland, ice is melting at an unparalleled rate. It is expected that Greenland will contribute around 7cm to rising sea levels by the end of the century. Greenland has seen a .75℃ (33℉) temperature increase in the past decade, a large increase from previous years.

Since 1992, nearly 4 trillion tons of ice have been lost in Greenland alone. This number is a combination of ice that has melted and chunks of ice that have broken off and drifted into the ocean. In August 2019, one ice sheet lost around 11 billion tons of ice in one day. This is approximately the size of 4.4 million Olympic swimming pools.

Ice sheets cover over 80% of Greenland. However, Greenland is the single largest contributor to sea-level rise in the world. Many ice sheets are becoming unstable, which increases the likelihood that they will break off and drift to the sea. Luckily, in some cases, surface layer ice remains intact and water flows underneath the intact ice.

The melting can be caused by a variety of factors. One factor is warming oceans surrounding the ice sheets. As water temperatures rise in areas surrounding an ice sheet, melting increases. Another factor is warm air at the surface of the ice sheets. As air temperature rises during the summer and winter months, the ice sheets have a harder time freezing and staying frozen, leading to more ice sheet breakups. Both of these factors account for a large percentage of the melting ice in this region.

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