Melting 'zombie ice' in Greenland could raise global sea levels

Global ocean levels could rise by at least 27cm by the end of this century, according to a new study from the Geological Survey of Denmark. This will happen due to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

Climatologists call this ice “dead”, “doomed” or “zombie ice”. Because it is still attached to thicker sections of the ice sheet, but is not getting new layers due to temperatures that are too high for the region and lack of snow.

According to experts, this ice will melt regardless of the measures taken to prevent climate change. Scientists compare this array to the melting of an ice cube in a mug of hot tea and believe that its disappearance will entail a critical rise in the water level in the ocean – and this is inevitable.

New data on melting glaciers are very different from previous forecasts of glaciologists . Previously, scientists believed that by the end of the century the global water level would rise by 6-13 cm. Now, in accordance with the worst forecasts, in 80 years the world ocean could add 78 cm.

Scientists explain this outcome by saying that under ideal conditions, the snow on the slopes of Greenland rolls down, recharges and thickens the edges of the glaciers, balancing what is melting at the edges. But in the last few decades, there has been less replenishment and more melting, which creates an imbalance. And, according to the authors of the study, 3.3% of the total volume of Greenland’s ice will melt no matter how much carbon pollution in the world is reduced.

According to preliminary estimates, about 120 trillion tons of ice are already doomed to melt due to the inability of the warming ice sheet to recover. To understand the scale: if you melt this ice, you get a pool the size of the United States and a depth of 11 meters.

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