Greenland Coastal Ice Retreat is Past the ‘Tipping Point’
Yes, you’ve seen these, or something like them, before. But yes, they’re worth looking at again (and bookmarking for that gnarly contrarian in the family who still thinks the climate’s not changing). They’re a collection of then-and-now, slide-over comparison images from important glaciers that are disappearing around the world.
None of them is in Greenland, which is too bad, because a study published last week in the journal Nature says those along the island’s coasts passed an irreversible “tipping point” toward their own extinction 20 years ago, in 1997, and have been melting three times faster ever since.
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Greenland’s coastal ice caps and glaciers are not directly connected to its vast inland ice sheet. But their melting sounds “an alarm signal for the ice sheet,” said lead author Brice Noël of the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research at the University of Utrecht. “It means long-term ice mass loss is inevitable. It will increase and accelerate if nothing changes.”
Meanwhile, “It’s very unlikely the [coastal] ice caps will recover. It’s a climate tipping point—the time at which a change or an effect cannot be stopped.”