Global warming has accelerated the melting of Greenland’s glaciers five-fold over the past 20 years, scientists at the University of Copenhagen said Friday.

Ice melting in Greenland is particularly worrisome because the ancient ice cap contains enough water to raise sea levels by at least 20 feet (6 meters) if it melts completely.

Anders Anker Bjork, an assistant professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Earth Sciences and Natural Resource Management, told Reuters that a study of 1,000 glaciers in the region showed that the rate of melting had entered a new phase in the past two decades.

Bjork said, “There is a very clear correlation between the temperatures we experience on Earth and the changes we observe in the rate of glacier melt.”

After studying the development of glaciers over more than 130 years through satellite imagery and 200,000 old photographs, scientists concluded that glaciers are losing an average of 25 meters per year, compared to about 5-6 meters two decades ago.

European Union scientists said earlier this month that global temperatures are already nearly 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures and that 2023 will “almost certainly” be the warmest year in 125,000 years.

Greenland Glacier Melting Accelerated Five-Fold in Last 20 Years

Jørgen Eivind Olesen, director of the Climate Institute at Aarhus University, said lowering temperatures would require a global effort to minimize greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Olesen said, “I believe we can prepare for these glaciers to continue to melt at an accelerated rate.”

Greenland’s glaciers are often used to predict the impact of climate change on Greenland’s ice sheet.

William Colgan, a senior researcher at the Institute of Geology, said, “If we start to see glaciers losing mass several times faster than they have over the last century, then we can expect the ice sheet to move along the same path, just on slower and longer timescales.” The Danish and Greenland Survey (GEUS) said.

Between 2006 and 2018, the Greenland ice sheet accounted for 17.3% of the observed sea level rise, and glaciers accounted for 21%. There are about 22,000 glaciers in Greenland.

The accelerated melting of Greenland’s glaciers is a clear reminder of the urgency of climate action. We need to take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.

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