In a new study published in Science Advances, Geophysicists have used satellite data and computer models to predict the long-term impact of warming global temperatures on Greenland’s melting ice sheet and it is not good.
The results gathered discovered that if current trends continue, the ice sheet will be almost iceless by the year 3000. In the best case scenario, one in which we would cut all emissions by the end of this century, ice loss in Greenland would be between 8 or 25% and yet sea levels would rise to six feet.
Even in this best case scenario, a scenario we are currently not on tract to meet, millions upon millions of people would be dispelled from their homes while habitats would be completely destroyed by changing environments. Add on rising temperature and more acidic waters, habitat destruction would be astronomical.
In a statement, Lead author Andy Ashwanded said, “If we continue as usual, Greenland will melt. What we are doing right now in terms of emissions, in the very near future, will have a big long-term impact on the Greenland ice sheet, and by extension, if it melts, to sea level and human society.”
It is important to reiterate that while the range of possibilities for the future of the ice sheet by the end of the millennium are still fairly wide, we currently are on the worse path possible. As humans and nations continue to make climate change a left vs right argument, rather than addressing something that will change the future of this planet, we are losing valuable time.
The good news, the opportunities to get there are possible. While some nations such as the United States continue to increase carbon emissions, green friendly alternatives are now cheaper than fossil fuels in many parts of the world and some nations, such as Britain, are producing more energy from green technology than they are from fossil fuels.
The team was able to complete the study by using high-performance supercomputers that played out three different emissions scenarios of ice retreat across Greenland. The models were ran over 1,500 times, each time accounting for subtle changes in land, ocean, and atmosphere.