Greenland ice sheet lost record 1 million tonnes of ice per minute in 2019 | Environment


The Greenland ice sheet lost a record amount of ice in 2019, equivalent to one million tonnes per minute throughout the year, according to satellite data.The climate crisis is heating the Arctic at double the rate in lower latitudes, and the ice sheet is the biggest contributor to sea level rise, which is already putting coasts around the world at risk. The ice cap shrank by 532 billion tonnes last year when its surface melted and glaciers fell into the ocean and reportedly filled seven Olympic-size swimming pools per second.

Satellite data has been collected since 2003. The loss in 2019 was double the annual average of 255 billion tonnes since then. Almost that amount was lost in July 2019 alone.

Scientists knew that the loss of ice in Greenland had accelerated rapidly in recent decades and that there had been high rates of melt in 2019. But satellite data explains new snowfall and makes it possible to calculate the net loss. The researchers said the scale of the loss in 2019 was shocking and was probably the largest in centuries, if not millennia.


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