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Greenland is losing more ice than we thought. Here’s what it means for our oceans

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Washington Post or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A new study reveals that Greenland's ice sheet has lost 20% more ice than previously estimated, amounting to an additional 1,000 gigatons

🔭 The context: Earlier estimates focused on mass changes within the ice sheet's interior
This study, however, includes losses at the glacier edges, revealing a more significant and widespread ice loss across Greenland
It uses extensive satellite imagery analysis covering 207 glaciers from 1985 to 2022

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Although the ice loss at the glacier edges doesn't directly raise sea levels, it accelerates the flow of inland ice into oceans, indirectly contributing to sea level rise
Moreover, the freshwater discharge from melting ice could impact ocean circulation patterns, affecting global climate and ecosystems

⏭️ What's next: The continuous ice loss indicates a potential long-term weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which is crucial for distributing heat and sustaining ocean life
This trend, if sustained, could lead to significant environmental and climatic changes globally

💬 One quote: "There’s basically no part of Greenland that’s safe from climate change,” (Chad Greene, the study's lead author and a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

📈 One stat: The study found that Greenland glaciers lost a total of 1,034 gigatons of ice due to retreat and calving on their peripheries

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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