Earlier this week of August 2020, scientists from the Ohio State University claimed that the Greenland Ice Sheet had reached the “point of no return” and is inevitably going to disappear in the following years. Even if global temperatures stopped rising completely, the world’s second-largest ice sheet would still continue to melt without any chance of recovery.
For the past 40 years, scientists have monitored more than 200 large glaciers and ice bodies – all of which are slowly melting into the ocean due to climate change and human activity. The study, published recently in the Journal of Nature Communications: Earth and Environment, discovered that Greenland’s glaciers are melting at an alarming rate with an average discharge of 500 gigatons of ice each year. At this rate, scientists estimate that Greenland’s ice sheet would completely disappear by the year 3000, raising sea levels by 7 meters (23 feet).
“What we’ve found is that the ice that’s discharging into the ocean is far surpassing the snow that’s accumulating on the surface of the ice sheet,” said Michaela King (Lead researcher at Ohio State University and the author of the recently published study). “Glacier retreat has knocked the dynamics of the whole ice sheet into a constant state of loss,” explained Ian Howat (co-author) while giving a statement to the press, “Even if the climate were to stay the same or even get a little colder, the ice sheet would still be losing mass.”
The drastic rise in sea levels will have a devastating impact on the world’s climate. Coastal cities and habitats are in danger of being completely wiped out by the year 2100 according to new research. Scientists have also warned coastal populations of an increase in dangerous hurricanes and typhoons. The melting of Greenland’s largest ice sheet will have a domino effect on the world’s climate, subsequently leading to marine wildlife extinction, contamination of drinking water, and quite possibly the collapse of the economy.
Remember that this is not the first time that scientists have warned the population about climate change. Previous studies have shown that Greenland’s Ice Sheet is the single largest contributor to rising sea levels in the world. However, studies like this and others, have never been taken seriously by people and politicians. In 2019, leading rainforest scientists warned that the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest could spell doom for all life on Earth. Cutting and burning trees could release up to 140 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, effectively wiping out all humans, animals, and plants in the process. Despite these warnings, climate change remains to be taken seriously, and little has been done to resolve these life-threatening issues.