A recent study of high-quality ice cores taken from central north Greenland has shown that global warming has well and truly reached the island.
The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) researchers found the years from 2001 to 2011 were the warmest in the island’s history in the past 1,000 years.
The disturbing news is worrying since the Greenland Ice Sheet is crucial to the world’s climate system. Scientists estimate that the sheet will contribute to 50cm/20 inches of sea level elevation due to melting by the year 2100.
According to Dr. Maria Hörhold, the lead author of the study and Alfred Wegener Institute glaciologist:
“The time series we recovered from ice cores now continuously covers more than 1,000 years, from year 1000 to 2011. This data shows that the warming in 2001 to 2011 clearly differs from natural variations during the past 1,000 years. Although grimly expected in the light of global warming, we were surprised by how evident this difference really was. We were amazed to see how closely temperatures inland are connected to Greenland-wide meltwater drainage – which, after all, occurs in low-elevation areas along the rim of the ice sheet near the coast.”
You can find the original research here.