1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. UPSC

Study of Greenland’s Ice Loss

Why is it in the news?

  • Recent research, based on satellite imagery, reveals that Greenland’s ice sheet has lost 20% more ice than previously estimated, highlighting the impact of climate change.
  • Researchers in the United States analysed almost 240,000 satellite images showing glacier terminus positions from 1985 to 2022.

Key Findings

  • Nearly every glacier in Greenland has experienced thinning or retreat over the past few decades, indicating a pervasive impact on the ice sheet.
  • Approximately 1,000 gigatons (1 gigaton = 1 billion tons), equivalent to 20% of ice around Greenland’s edges, have been lost over the past four decades and were not previously taken into account in estimates.
  • While the direct impact on sea level rise is currently minimal, the unaccounted ice loss could signal future overall ice melt, making glaciers more prone to slipping towards the sea.
  • Greenland glaciers are highly susceptible to seasonal changes, expanding in winter and retreating in summer.
  • Greenland glaciers are the most sensitive to the impact of global warming and have experienced significant retreat since 1985.
  • The melting of Greenland’s enormous ice sheet is estimated to have contributed over 20% to the observed rise in sea levels since 2002.


About Greenland Glacier

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The Greenland Ice Sheet covers approximately 80% of the world’s largest island, spanning 1.7 million square kilometres (656,000 square miles).

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 It is the largest ice mass in the Northern Hemisphere and ranks second globally to Antarctica.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 At its thickest point, the ice sheet measures over 1.9 miles thick, containing about 696,000 cubic miles of ice.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The ice sheet is formed from layers of snow compressed over thousands of years.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 If the entire Greenland Ice Sheet were to melt, it could contribute to a sea level rise of about 24 feet.

Get free UPSC Updates straight to your inbox!

Get Updates on New Notification about APPSC, TSPSC and UPSC

Get Current Affairs Updates Directly into your Inbox

Discover more from AMIGOS IAS

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading