By the end of the century, approximately 400 million people are likely to be affected by coastal flooding if Greenland’s ice melt continues at its current rate, scientists have warned. Greenland’s ice loss is seven times faster than in the 1990s.
“As a rule of thumb, for every centimeter rise in global sea level another six million people get expose to coastal flooding around the planet,” said one of the study authors Andrew Shepherd, Professor at University of Leeds in Britain.
“On current trends, Greenland ice melting will cause 100 million people flood each year by the end of the century, so 400 million in total due to all sea level rise,” Shepherd said.
A group of 96 polar scientists from 50 international organizations combined 26 different surveys. This is to measure improvements in Greenland’s ice sheet mass between 1992 and 2018 for the study.
All in all, data is in use from 11 different satellite missions. This includes measurements of the changing volume, flow and gravity of the ice sheet. The findings showed that since 1992, Greenland has lost 3.8 trillion tons of ice. This is enough to push up 10.6 millimeters in global sea levels.
In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast a 60 centimeter rise in global sea levels by 2100. It places 360 million people at risk of annual coastal flooding. But this new study shows that the ice losses of Greenland are rising faster than expected. It is tracking the high-end climate warming scenario of the IPCC, which predicts seven centimeters more.