The Greenland ice sheet might be melting faster than we thought

Following another underwhelming climate summit in Lima last week, the looming threat of global warming has sent out a warning yet again.

The Greenland ice sheet – the largest body of ice in the northern hemisphere – could melt faster than scientists had previously thought according to two independent studies suggesting that the loss could lead to a more rapid rise in global sea levels.

Satellites studying the height of the Greenland ice sheet at 100,000 sites show that it lost about 243 billion tons – equivalent to 277 cubic kilometres – of ice each year between 2003 and 2009, contributing 0.68mm to annual average sea levels, scientists said.

This study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, identified rapid shrinking of the ice, leading the scientists to suggest they may have underestimated just how fast Greenland will melt.

Read Steve Connor's full report in the Independent here.

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