It is already too late. Even if global warming stops, sea levels will inevitably rise over the next few decades. These are the conclusions of an alarming study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Researchers from the Ecological Commission of Denmark and Greenland analyzed the Arctic climate between 2000 and 2019, and the imbalance it caused on the Greenland ice cap. From this analysis, they calculated the melting of the ice to come. According to their results, the Greenland ice cap will lose 3.3% of its volume, which corresponds to a rise in sea level of 27.4 centimeters. And this “independent of the climatic trajectories of the 21st century”.
A “low estimate”
This estimate would even potentially be the most favorable scenario. “This is a low estimate. This is a very conservative minimum. Realistically, we’ll see that number more than double in this century,” the study’s first author, Jason Box, explained in a statement.
“If we take the year 2012, a year of extreme melting, and consider it as a hypothetical average of constant climate during this century, the loss of mass incurred by the Greenland ice sheet more than doubles to reach 78 centimeters”, continues the researcher.
These results are all the more alarming since the study only concerns the Greenland ice cap and does not take into account the melting of the ice in Antarctica or that of other glaciers.
According to the researchers, most of the committed sea level rise “will occur over the course of the century”. By 2100 then.
As for the explanatory factors, the researchers point out that “this phenomenon results from the increase in the renewal of the mass coming from precipitation, the flow of ice and the runoff of meltwater”.