Last Stable Part of Greenland Ice Sheet No Longer Stable
It's losing 10B tons of ice every year
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2014 1:18 AM CDT
Two people look at a 60-foot-deep canyon that was carved over the course of several years by turbulent water overflow from a large melt lake southwest of Ilulissat, Greenland.    (AP Photo/Ian Joughin)

(Newser) – A startling change uncovered in the world's second-largest ice sheet means rising sea levels are set to accelerate, researchers warn. A new study finds that the northeast Greenland ice sheet, once thought to be the only remaining stable part of the ice sheet, has been shedding a staggering 10 billion tons of ice every year since 2003, LiveScience reports. "We're seeing an acceleration of ice loss," a study co-author says. "Now, there's more ice leaving than snow arriving."

"Northeast Greenland used to be considered the last stable part of the Greenland ice sheet," he explains. "This study shows that ice loss in the northeast is now accelerating. So, now it seems that all of the margins of the Greenland ice sheet are unstable." The researchers, who say the decline of Greenland's ice sheet has accounted for around a sixth of annual sea level rise, warn that the ice stream flowing from the northeast could soon dramatically change the total mass balance of the ice sheet, USA Today reports.

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Steve Maxedon
Mar 20, 2014 9:38 PM CDT
I have a few questions. What about the ice on the other pole, how stable is it? Is there any change to the suns output? Has sun spot activity varied much from its eleven year cycle? What is the relationship between weather and climate? Is it a verifiable fact that the mean earth temperature has varied about 1.8 degrees since records were kept? What conclusions can be drawn from the growth rings of old forest trees about climate change?
Mar 18, 2014 4:29 AM CDT
Take a liking to a Viking.
Mar 18, 2014 3:29 AM CDT
If you own property near any beach on the planet this is your wake up call -- sell now and get to higher ground while the getting is good.