Current studies indicate that the Ice sheet in Greenland could be more sensitive to increase in global temperatures that previously thought. According to scholars, a slight increase of temperature from the current levels to about 0.90 C could obligate the Ice sheet to widespread melting. It is believed that most of the scholar works on the effects of global temperature in Greenland focus mainly on how rapid the ice sheet is melting and how the melting will distress see level upsurge. Although man-made climate can affect the melting, very few scholars have focused on how it can affect the Ice Sheet in future.
A more recent Thesis examining the degree in temperature rise that the island requires to melt fully published in the Journal “Nature Climate Change”. It reveals that a rise of about 1.60C from the pre-industrial levels can act as a temperature threshold. Currently, the global temperatures are estimated at 0.80C that suggest that it will only require a 0.90C rise in temperature in to reach the threshold temperature that is 1.60C. A previous research on the same indicated the threshold temperature to be about 3.20C. This calls for another thesis on the same in order to reunite the values or support the fresh discoveries.
The research carried using a Model that simulated the regional climate around Greenland included all the significant process on the Ice sheet such as its surface mass balance, climate feedbacks, and melting dynamics. The observations made on the simulation model go hand in hand with interpretations on the ice sheet currently. It also reveals how the island has changed comparison to the old times. This proves the effectiveness of the models and gives the researchers’ confidence in their results since the simulation model is able to represent any changes that happen to the ice sheet precisely.
In the pre-industrial time, the temperature did not affect much on the melting. Only a small percentage of the surfaces area melted, and the melting was reversible within a short duration on time. On the contrary, in the mid July around 95% of the Ice sheet melted although temporarily. This is scary if the global temporary keep on rising considering that there was an appearance of slush. The island has also shown some changes such as darkening that indicate that it is capable of absorbing more heat than in the pre-industrial times. Compare to previous years the melting that took place in the mid July is much bigger than expected.
If the global temperatures continue to rise, as suggested by most experts, it will reach a time whereby the melting of the Ice sheet will be irreversible. The study by the institute for climate impact implies that if the global temperature overshoots the threshold temperature the melting will be irreversible. In Other words, with increased temperature beyond the threshold the Ice sheets will only continue to melt without stabilization or regrowth. The study puts into consideration the possibility of equilibrium. It states that equilibrium is possible only if the warmth is not too much, but if the initial temperatures are high, the equilibrium is not possible.
Melting rate of the Ice sheets in Greenland highly depend on the degree in the rise of global temperatures that are expected to overshoot the threshold in the near future. For instance if the simulation model predicts that the temperatures rise is only in the range of 1.70C – 2.00C above pre-industrial temperatures then, it will require approximately 50 decades for the Ice sheets to melt completely. However, with the increased emission of gases from greenhouses and temperatures expected to rise by 8.00C the research suggests that it will take approximately 2 decades to melt the ice sheets entirely. Although the time span looks enormous, it is a clear indication that we are approaching the threshold temperature faster.
According to records, Greenland loses an elephantine mass of Ice of approximately 300 billion metric tons. Northwestern and Southwestern are the most affected areas as compared to the other regions. The huge losses of ice possess a threat in the rise of the sea level. The crucial question is how well is Greenland prepared to face the future. Well, the answer to this question will depend with individual, but if you ask me my answer is time will tell.