Konrad Steffen – Accelerating Greenland Ice Loss
October 25, 2010
In the newly released Arctic Ice Report Card, a panel of leading experts on northern ice report on the continued acceleration of ice melt on the Greenland cap. According to Konrad Steffen, one of the world’s most respected experts on the topic, this has already become the warmest year on record in Greenland, where temperature instrumental records date back to 1750.
Steffen notes that, while recent statistical modeling has projected maximum sea level rise due to ice cap melt might be 1 or 2 meters this century, those models have not yet been able to reproduce the glacial movement that is already being observed on places like Jacobshavn glacier, Greenland’s largest.
The official website of Denmark quotes Jason Box of Ohio State University, who says, “It is my assessment that we have had the strongest melting since they started measuring the temperature in Greenland in 1873..” and sums up the the most recent observations of melting thusly, “The Danish research scientist Sebastian Mernild of Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US told national daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten that his calculations show that 540 cubic kilometres of inland ice, weighing approx. 500 gigatons, have melted this summer, which is 25-50% more than in a typical year”.
As the data is tallied up for the current year, according to Ohio State Glaciologist Jason Box, “sea level projections will need to be revised upward.”