Greenland ice melting event could cover Florida in 2 inches of water
GREENLAND - Greenland experienced a massive ice melting event Tuesday, once more illustrating the influence of rising temperatures on our planet.
According to Polar Portal, a Danish Arctic research institution studying the Greenland ice sheet and sea ice, the ice melt on Tuesday alone "would be enough to cover Florida in two inches of water."
While this amount is not as extreme as an event that occurred in 2019, the melting area is larger this time around.
Another study in Communications Earth & Environment showed that Greenland lost a record amount of ice in 2019 when record-breaking heat was being felt around the world. That year, researchers noted the volume of melted ice was massive enough to cover the entire state of California in more than four feet of water.
This year’s data comes as melting rates across the world, including Greenland, have accelerated in recent decades.
"Not only is the Greenland ice sheet melting, but it’s melting at a faster and faster pace," said study lead author Ingo Sasgen, a geoscientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany.
More recently, in May, another study suggested that a significant part of the western Greenland ice sheet may reach a tipping point.
RELATED: Greenland lost 586 billion tons of ice in record melt last year
According to the research article, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, the reason for this potential tipping point is due to the ice sheet melting from the warming of Earth’s atmosphere.
"Melting reduces ice sheet height, exposing the ice sheet surface to warmer temperatures, which further accelerates melting," the study authors wrote. "We reveal early-warning signals for a forthcoming critical transition from ice-core-derived height reconstructions and infer that the western Greenland Ice Sheet has been losing stability in response to rising temperatures. We show that the melt-elevation feedback is likely to be responsible for the observed destabilization."
According to model simulations analyzed, the researchers predict a critical temperature threshold beyond what the current ice sheet's state can maintain.
RELATED: Study suggests Greenland ice sheet is ‘close to a tipping point’ due to global warming
The researchers also noted that mass reductions to the ice sheet could have substantial impacts on global sea level and the speed of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, due to the additional freshwater caused by the increased meltwater runoff.
The researchers said this study suggests "substantially enhanced melting in the near future" and they are calling for urgent assessments of other parts of the Greenland ice sheet.
According to the Associated Press, 2019’s Greenland melt added 0.06 inches to global sea-level rise.
That sounds like a tiny amount but "in our world it’s huge, that’s astounding," said Alex Gardner, a NASA ice scientist.