1The Greenland ice sheets spread across 656,000 square miles across Greenland and if it melt, it can increase the world’s sea levels by up to 20 feet according to experts. Apparently, a new study shows that these ice sheets are rapidly melting.

The study, led by Beata Csatho, a geophysicist at the University at Buffalo analyzed billions of measurements to reconstruct ice thickness at about 100,000 sites. Csatho and his team used two decades of NASA’s laser-based measurements, believed to be accurate to about a centimeter.

According to the researchers, between 2003 and 2009, Greenland had shed 243 billion tons of ice. The team said that ice sheets in Greenland will rapidly melt by 2100 because of the warming of the Arctic.

Csatho and his team also used reverse-engineering climate models to estimate surface mass gains and losses and they also highlighted small-scale effects of friction between the ice and bedrock.


According to Csatho, almost half of the overall loss happened in the Southeastern Greenland area. Also, 48 percent of the ice loss was attributed to ice changes because of friction with underlying bedrock.

“Because ice losses from Greenland are a key signal of global climate change, it’s important that we consider all factors that could affect the rate at which it will lose ice as climate warms,” said Andrew Shepherd, co-author of the new study. “Our findings will help to improve the next generation of ice sheet models, so that we can have greater confidence in projections of future sea-level rise. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor changes in the ice sheet losses using satellite measurements.”

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.