Greenland Loses 100 Billion Tons of Ice

Greenland's Ice is Melting Away

Greenland lost 100 billion tons of ice in 2010.

Global warming, or just an unusually warm summer? You be the judge as Greenland lost 100 billion tons of ice in 2010.

Southern Greenland has roughly 50 GPS stations in place to monitor the ice, and an analysis of the data generated some surprising news. Not only did Greenland lose 100 billion tons of ice in one year, the bedrock in those areas actually rose. Sounds like a compelling argument for those afraid of the rising sea levels, but this is actually normal for Greenland—albeit at an elevated rate.

Greenland typically experiences ice loss in the summer, and experts estimate that between 1961 and 2003 the range was anywhere from 60 billion tons lost to 25 billion tons gained based on the yearly measurement. This is far from the 100 billion tons lost in 2010.

This ice loss equates to an average bedrock uplift of .59 inches, but this extreme loss of ice had a much more drastic effect. “A temperature spike in 2010 lifted the bedrock a detectably higher amount over a short five-month period — as high as 20 mm (0.79 inches) in some locations,” Ohio State University said in explaining the research by Michael Bevis, one of its geologists, and others that are part of the POLENET research network.

So where does all this melting ice end up? Well, in our oceans for the most part, and that 100 billion tons of ice translates into .01 inches of global sea level increase.

So what does this mean for people concerned about global warming? Well, it’s hard to say. Some will argue that if the data is spread out over long periods of time, you see nothing more than a normal up and down sawtooth pattern. Others believe this could just be another piece of condemning evidence in what could be a major global warming trend.

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