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Greenland's Melting Ice Nears and Tipping Point, Scientists Say



The continent has presented a mixed story in recent years, with researchers measuring substantial losses in some regions, but stability and even gains in others. But the new paper found significant losses of glacial ice in East Antarctica, previously considered to be relatively stable. As a whole Antarctica lost about 40 billion tons of ice per year in the 1980s, but it has been losing roughly 250 billion tonnes a year in the past decade

That new paper adds to a body of recent research showing that Antarctica's ice loss is accelerating, including a study in June that found that the rate of ice loss had tripled since 2007. Scientists estimate the Antarctic melting will contribute six inches to the sea-level rise by 21

00.

D. Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University, and an author of last month's Nature paper on Greenland, said the new research by Dr. "What's happening today is well beyond the range of what could be expected naturally," he said. "Bevis and his colleagues" provides a clear and further illustration of how fragile Greenland now is "to global warming. "The human fingerprint on Greenland melting today is unequivocal."

Still, he said, most estimates of a tipping point for Greenland ice loss have higher average temperatures than are currently occurring, more along the lines of 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

A co-author of the Nature paper, Sarah B. Das, and a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, agreed that Dr. Catherine, Bevis's study reinforced her own team's findings and showed "how quickly Greenland is disappearing." The common finding, she said, is that climate change has brought Greenland to a state in which "a little bit of a nudge will have a surpassed impact , "Causing enormous melting."

But, she said, "I take issue with using tipping point to describe the accelerating mass loss Greenland is experiencing," because it makes it look as if we have passed or soon will pass, the point of no return. "


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