The GREENLAND ice sheet is of particular concern for its potential contribution to rising sea levels. Scientists predict that there is a high likelihood that, under most current temperature scenarios, the Greenland ice sheet will melt and contribute to a 7 meter (23 feet!) rise in sea levels. While this is a catastrophic rise in seas for society as we know it today, current projections argue that this will occur over the next thousand years. In the meantime, the ice sheet is melting at a increasingly rapid rate, now losing 393 Gt of ice per year, up from just over 100 Gt per year as recently as 2003 (source). Others argue that the rate of future melting may be faster than is currently predicted. Scientists recently discovered that an unusually persistent low-pressure system contributed to the record melting of the Greenland ice sheet in 2012 and 2019. In 2019, the ice sheet lost volume equivalent to 80 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Explore an interactive story from the New York Times here.