A huge piece of ice, larger than the French capital Paris, has broken away from the largest ice shelf in the Arctic due to warmer temperatures in Greenland.
The 113-square-kilometer block broke away from the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier in northeastern Greenland, which scientists say is expected given rising temperatures.
The earth has lost an astonishing 28 trillion tons of ice in just 23 years
“We are seeing an increasing melting rate of this largest remaining ice shelf,” Jason Box, a professor of glaciology at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), told AFP.
GEUS has published satellite images showing parts of the glacier that have come off.
Although it is normal for pieces of ice to break off from a glacier, they are usually not that large. According to GEUS, since 1999, the glacier has lost 160 square kilometers of ice, an area twice the size of Manhattan, and the rate of loss has accelerated over the past two years.
“If we are witnessing a warmer summer, as in the last two years, it will contribute more to the accelerating rise in sea levels,” Box said.
The ice sheet of Greenland is melting irreversibly
The melting of the Greenland ice sheet contributed to a 1.1 centimeter rise in sea level between 1992 and 2018, according to a study published in the scientific journal Nature in December.
A recent study by Lincoln University in England predicts that melting ice in Greenland could raise sea levels by 10 to 12 centimeters by 2100.
Scientists predict a catastrophic rise in sea level
Average temperatures in the region have risen by about three degrees Celsius since 1980 and are expected to reach record levels in 2020.
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