Greenland leads land-ice melting

A study has found that more than two trillion tonnes of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, the Associated Press reported. The research, conducted by the US space agency, NASA, shows what scientists say are the latest signs of global warming.


The NASA findings — which will be presented at the American Geophysical Union conference on Thursday — indicated that half of the loss of land ice in the past five years has occurred in Greenland. The second greatest decrease occurred in Alaska, which, according to satellite data, has lost 400 billion tonnes of land ice since measurements began in 2003.


Melting of land ice, as opposed to sea ice, does not have a major effect on sea levels. Greenland did not contribute to rises in world sea levels in the 1990s, but is now adding about half a millimetre more per year, NASA ice scientist Jay Zwally said. The melting of ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska, taken together, has raised global sea levels around half a centimetre in the past five years, NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke said.


Scientists presenting their findings at the conference caution that rising temperatures and melting Arctic ice should not be ignored. "It’s not getting better; it’s continuing to show strong signs of warming and amplification," Zwally said. "There’s no reversal taking place."


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