Greenland’s ice sheet may have completely melted within the next millennium if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, according to a new study with implications for sea-level rise around the world.
The Greenland ice sheet holds the equivalent of seven meters (yards) of sea level.
“If we continue as usual, Greenland will melt,” said lead author Andy Aschwanden, a research associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute.
It is the most recent warning about warming in the world’s coldest regions.
“What we are doing right now in terms of emissions, in the very near future, will have a big long-term impact on the Greenland ice sheet, and by extension, if it melts, to sea level and human society,” Aschwanden said.
The study, which used data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge airborne campaign and was published in Science Advances, is the latest to suggest a much greater rate of melt than was estimated by older models.
The model relies on more accurate representations of the flow of “outlet glaciers,” river-like bodies of ice that connect to the ocean.
“Outlet glaciers play a key role in how ice sheets melt, but previous models lacked the data to adequately represent their complex flow patterns,” NASA said in a statement about the study.
“The study found that melting outlet glaciers could account for up to 40 percent of the ice mass lost from Greenland in the next 200 years.”
As ocean waters have warmed over the past two decades, they have melted the floating ice that once shielded the outlet glaciers.
As a result, “the outlet glaciers flow faster, melt and get thinner, with the lowering surface of the ice sheet exposing new ice to warm air and melting as well.”
In the next 200 years, the ice sheet model shows that melting at the present rate could contribute 48 to 160 centimeters (19 to 63 inches) to global sea level rise, 80 percent higher than previous estimates.
In October, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) reported that avoiding global climate chaos will require a major transformation of society and the world economy that is “unprecedented in scale,” and warned time is running out to avert disaster.
‘This was the smoking gun!’ MSNBC’s Morning Joe explains why Mulvaney ‘confession’ could end Trump presidency
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had offered "smoking gun" evidence in a stunning confession to the crime at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
The "Morning Joe" host said Mulvaney had made a stunning "confession," but he said the president had on the same day endorsed the ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish allies he had betrayed to Turkey.
"There's so much to talk about, we joke for a few minutes at the top of the show, Mika likes do that, me, I like to get straight into the news," said Scarborough, who frequently annoys his wife and co-host by bantering about sports at the start of the show. "But there's so much going on that if somebody just woke up this morning they might not think that yesterday was not one of the most significant news days in, during the Trump presidency, and I may even argue one of the most significant news days over perhaps the last decade, just in terms of volume."
Vote-splitting fears raised in final days of Canada election
In the dying days of what Justin Trudeau described as one of the "nastiest" election campaigns in Canadian history -- with plenty of mudslinging, attack ads and misinformation -- he played up fears on Thursday of vote-splitting handing victory to his rival Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.
Policy announcements gave way to calls to vote strategically to keep Trudeau's Liberals in power and prevent a rollback of his progressive policies by the Tories.
Pollsters predict a minority government -- either Liberal or Conservative -- resulting from the October 21 ballot.
Attack ads accused Liberals of seeking to legalize hard drugs and the Tories of allowing assault rifles on Canadian streets -- claims that are flat out wrong or exaggerated, respectively.
Japan emperor to proclaim enthronement in ritual-bound ceremony
Japan's new Emperor Naruhito will formally proclaim his ascension to the throne next week in a ritual-bound ceremony, but the after-effects of deadly typhoon will cast a shadow over proceedings.
Naruhito officially assumed his duties as emperor on May 1, a day after his father became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in 200 years.
But the transition will not be complete until his new role is officially proclaimed on Tuesday, in a series of events expected to be attended by foreign dignitaries from nearly 200 countries.
The event will come just over a week after Typhoon Hagibis slammed into Japan, killing nearly 80 people and leaving a trail of destruction.