In Brief

Greenland’s ice sheet melting much faster than thought

Development threatens hundreds of millions of people with inundation

Greenland’s ice sheet is melting much faster than previously thought, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

New data suggests that ice is being lost from Greenland seven times faster than it was in the 1990s, and the scale and speed of ice loss is much higher than previously predicted.

The Guardian says the development threatens hundreds of millions of people with inundation and “brings some of the irreversible impacts of the climate emergency much closer”.

Sea level rises are likely to reach 67cm by 2100, about 7cm more than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has previously thought.

Some 400 million people will be put at risk of flooding every year, instead of the 360 million previously predicted, says the report.

The authors of the study have expressed alarm at the findings. Andrew Shepherd, professor of Earth observation at the University of Leeds, said these “are not unlikely events” and “will be devastating for coastal communities”.

The BBC explains that in an average year now, Greenland sheds about 250 billion tonnes of ice. However, this year was significantly warmer, so “the ice loss this year was more like 370 billion tonnes," said Dr Ruth Mottram, who is affiliated to the Danish Meteorological Institute.

Louise Sime, a climate scientist at the British Antarctic Survey, said: “This finding should be of huge concern for all those who will be affected by sea level rise.”

The Daily Mail says that sea level rise threatens cities “from Shanghai to London, to low-lying swathes of Florida or Bangladesh, and to entire nations such as the Maldives”.

Rachel Kennerley, of Friends of the Earth, said: “This latest research is yet more in an ever-growing pile of evidence which shows we need real action, not warm words.”

The latest data, collated by a group of 96 polar scientists from around the world, was published in Nature magazine.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda - try The Week magazine. Start your trial subscription today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Recommended

CBI: climate action can spur UK economic recovery
A rainbow illuminates the sky above a wind farm near Sheffield
In Depth

CBI: climate action can spur UK economic recovery

Meet the ‘vaccine king of India’
Adar Poonawalla gestures during a press conference in Pune.
Global lens

Meet the ‘vaccine king of India’

‘Get kids vacc to school’
Today's newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Get kids vacc to school’

New theory says we will all turn into crabs
crab
Tall Tales

New theory says we will all turn into crabs

Popular articles

What do Covid vaccines cost - and who is paying over the odds?
People wait to be vaccinated at Salisbury Cathedral
Getting to grips with . . .

What do Covid vaccines cost - and who is paying over the odds?

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
Line of Duty series six returns to BBC One in 2021
In Depth

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 25 Jan 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 25 Jan 2021

Free 6 issue trial then continue to