When will the ice in the Northeast ice cap melt?
Posted March 16, 2018 08:03:48When will the glacier in the northeast ice cap (NCI) melt?
Scientists are unsure about the answer.
A recent study suggests that ice in Antarctica may be melting, but not yet in the NCI.
“If the ice sheet is melting, then that means that we are moving northwards into the Northeast,” said Robert Lutz, a researcher at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, in an interview with the Guardian.
“We don’t know whether that’s happening now, or in the future.”
Antarctica is a large continent with an ice sheet that covers about 30 per cent of the continent.
Glaciers in the northern hemisphere and glaciers in the southern hemisphere have retreated.
Lutz and colleagues published their study in the journal Nature Communications on February 11.
The researchers estimated the extent of ice loss in the region from January 2018, when the ice on the continent’s west coast was 0.25 millimetres thick, to September 2019.
The region has lost 0.6 per cent in the past year.
A study published in February 2017 by the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) found that between the end of February and December 2017, ice loss was between 2 and 4 millimetre per day.
That is less than half the level recorded in the first half of the 20th century.
Ice loss in Greenland has been increasing steadily over the past decade, but there is still a lot of ice left in the Greenland Ice Sheet, the world’s biggest ice sheet.
“Ice has retreated from the Greenland ice sheet, and this retreat is accelerating, with a rate of up to 6 millimetras per year,” said Lutz.
“The amount of ice lost is accelerating.
That means that in the coming decades, the ice cap on the north coast of Greenland will probably be retreating faster than the ice that covers it.”
However, Lutz said there was no evidence that ice loss would accelerate further in the next decade.
“It’s a matter of whether this rate of loss is going to slow down or not,” he said.
“When we do see the ice loss accelerate, that would mean that we have reached the end.
There’s nothing to indicate that that’s going to happen any time soon.”
The ice on Greenland is melting faster than in Antarctica.
Lottas study found that since the start of the year, there had been 0.9 millimetas per day of ice removal.
It is thought that some of that ice is being driven by the Greenland melt.
In the past, researchers have estimated that glaciers in Antarctica have lost between 0.7 and 1 millimetis per year.
However, a 2016 study in Nature Climate Change suggested that some ice may be being lost at a rate higher than 1 millis per day, with ice loss at 1 millimeter per year the fastest.
A new study published on January 31 by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and University of California, Berkeley concluded that the rate of ice melting is likely to accelerate.
“There is growing evidence that the ice shelf is moving north, that there are more glaciers that are retreating, and that the Antarctic ice sheet may be rapidly melting,” said Andrew Leach, a glaciologist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Boulder.
“What we have now is the most significant glacier-based feedback to the Earth system that has ever been seen.”
Lutz is working with researchers from the Ullstein Bergström Research Centre in Sweden to map ice loss along the North Pole and Greenland’s Larsen C Ice Shelf.
This ice shelf sits at the mouth of the Arctic Ocean, between Norway and Russia.
The ice shelf contains the world the largest contiguous area of ocean ice.
Ice on the ice has melted in the Larsen B ice shelf, which sits about 200 kilometres (125 miles) to the north.
The Larsen A ice shelf rests just off the Antarctic coastline.
The glacier in Antarctica has been retreating faster and faster, and its melt has slowed in recent years.
LUTZ: ‘No-one knows how fast it’s happening yet’ This summer, the Larsens ice shelf retreated more than 8 millimetrees per year, the fastest rate recorded in decades.
The USGS also published a report in March 2017 showing that the Greenland glaciers are at an ice-free threshold, at which point they would be expected to melt entirely.
“Losing the entire Larsen Ice Sheffelt, which is about 1,000 square kilometres (400 square miles), would be catastrophic for the entire West Antarctic ice shelf,” said James Hansen, a senior scientist at the USGS in Boulder who co-authored the report.
Hansen, who was also the first to calculate that Greenland’s ice-sheet retreat was accelerating, said the Larsons ice-shelf loss is a serious concern for future warming.
“I don’t think