Rising sea & ocean levels are a global concern these days. A recent study showed that Zombie ice from the massive Greenland ice sheet would ultimately raise the worldwide ocean level by around 10 inches (27 centimeters).
Zombie ice is those more giant glacial masses that no longer feed ice attached to thicker areas of ice yet. That's because the parent glacial masses are getting less renewed snow. In the meantime, the doomed ice is liquefying from environmental change, said study co-author William Colgan, a glaciologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.
"It's dead ice. It's about to soften and disappear from the ice sheet," Colgan said in an exclusive interview. "This ice has been consigned to the ocean, paying little heed to what environment (emissions) scenario we take now." The study's lead author, Jason Box, said this condition is like one foot in the grave.
The study showed that the unavoidable ten inches of rising sea level is more than twice as much sea level rise as scientists had expected from the melting of Greenland's ice sheet. The study published in Nature Climate Change said it could reach as much as 30 inches (78 centimeters). On the other hand, last year's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report projected a range of 2 to 5 inches (6 to 13 centimeters) for likely ocean level rise from Greenland ice melt by the year 2100.
To perform the study, scientists had a look at the ice in balance. In wonderful harmony, snowfall in the mountains in Greenland flows down and recharges and thickens the sides of glaciers, offsetting what's melting on the edges. Yet, over the most recent few decades, there's not so much replenishment but rather more melting, creating imbalance. So study authors looked at the ratio of what's being added to what's being lost and determined that 3.3% of Greenland's complete ice volume will melt regardless of what happens with the world cutting carbon pollution, Colgan said.
One of the Study authors said that more than 120 trillion tons (110 trillion metric lots) of ice is doomed to dissolve from the warming ice sheet's powerlessness to replenish its edges. When that ice dissolves into water, it would be 37 feet (11 meters) deep if it were concentrated only over the United States.
This is the first time scientists determined a minimum ice loss - - and going with ocean level ascent - for Greenland, one of Earth's two enormous ice sheets that are gradually contracting as a result of environmental change from burning coal, oil and petroleum gas. Researchers involved an acknowledged method for working out least committed ice loss, the one used on mountain glaciers for the entire giant frozen island.
Although 10 inches doesn't seem like a lot, that is a worldwide normal. A few waterfront regions will be hit with more, and elevated tides and storms on top of that could be much more dreadful, so this much ocean level rise "will have immense cultural, monetary and ecological effects," said Ellyn Enderlin, a geosciences professor at Boise State University.
Two outside ice researchers, Leigh Stearns of the University of Kansas and Sophie Nowicki of the University of Buffalo said they couldn't estimate the timing of the committed melting. Colgan answered that the group doesn't have the idea what amount of time it will require for all the doomed ice to dissolve, yet making a reasonable guess, it would presumably be before this century's over or at least by 2150.
The year 2012 was a huge melt year, when the equilibrium between adding and subtracting ice was generally out of equilibrium. If that Earth begins to go through additional years like 2012, Greenland melt could set off 30 inches (78 centimeters) of sea level rise, he said. Those two years appear to be outrageous now, however years that look typical now would have been extreme 50 years ago, he said.
"That is the way environmental change works," Colgan said. "The present exceptions become tomorrow's averages."