Global Warming Has Reached Greenland – At Alarming Rates
| LAST UPDATE 02/10/2023
New research conducted by the Alfred Wegener Institute suggests that central-north Greenland is presently facing a rapid temperature increase. The temperatures in the region are alarmingly higher than those of the 20th century. This comprehensive survey of ice cores spanning such a long period of time was notably complex, but it has effectively revealed how precisely today's warming is pronounced...
The research found that temperatures have increased by 1.5 °C, and the years 2001 to 2011 have topped this record as being the warmest in the past 1,000 years. Through its results, future actions can be taken to ensure less melting of the ice sheet occurs in central-north Greenland. The Greenland Ice Sheet is one of the most vital components of the global climate system. It is estimated that it stores around 3 million cubic kilometers of water, which, if it were to melt, could be a tipping point for sea-level rise. In 'business as usual' scenarios, where greenhouse gas emissions are not mitigated, it is predicted that the ice sheet will contribute as much as 50 centimeters in global mean sea-level rise by 2100. Its fate is, unfortunately, looking grim, too; data from weather stations along the coast of Greenland have been recording temperatures continuously climbing for years now.
AWI glaciologist Dr. Maria Hörhold told ScienceDaily, "The time series we recovered from ice cores now continuously covers more than 1,000 years, from the year 1000 to 2011. This data shows that the warming from 2001 to 2011 clearly differs from natural variations during the past 1,000 years. Although grimly expected in the light of global warming, we were surprised by how evident this difference really was." New data has revealed that melting of the Greenland ice sheet is closely linked to higher temperatures, a revelation that points to rising global sea levels due to the substantial increase in melting since the year 2000. Through research, the team reconstructed melt production trends and pinpointed correlations between temperatures in land-locked areas and Greenland-wide drainage. Maria Hörhold, one of the scientists on the team, said they were "amazed" by this discovery and its potential implications for our understanding of climate change and the populations it affects. Despite being an adequate representation of temperatures in circumpolar regions, 'Arctic 2k' does not reflect accurate data for this particular area.
Prof. Thomas Laepple, an AWI climate researcher and co-author of a groundbreaking study, has acknowledged, "our reconstruction now offers a robust representation of temperature evolution in central Greenland, which has proven to have a dynamic of its own." Though they had anticipated the temperature data in central Greenland to behave similarly to other Arctic regions, this was not the case. This gap in understanding exists due to the lack of regional resolution and temperature series available on the Arctic. Therefore, our reconstruction now offers a comprehensive representation of temperature evolution.