Greenland, the world’s largest island, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, is facing the hottest temperatures in at least the last 1,000 years. A new ice core study showed that rising temperatures are caused by global warming.
Ice cores from Greenland provide important information about the Earth’s climate history. “We keep on [seeing] rising temperatures between the 1990s and 2011. We have now a clear signature of global warming,” said the study’s lead author Maria Hörhold. According to the study, the temperatures between 2001 and 2011 were 1.5°C warmer than in the 20th century, and the warmest in 1,000 years. “Although grimly expected in the light of global warming, we were surprised by how evident this difference really was,” said Dr Hörhold.
Greenland is currently experiencing significant melting of its ice sheet, which is a major contributor to sea level rise, with the potential to significantly impact coastal communities and infrastructure around the world. “Greenland is the largest contributor currently to sea level rise. And if we keep on going with the carbon emissions as we do right now, then by 2100, Greenland will have contributed up to 50 centimeters to sea level rise and this will affect millions of people who live in coastal areas,” Dr Hörhold told CNN.
A UN report published last year, found that about one third of the world’s 18,600 glaciers could vanish by 2050 as the planet warms. Jason Box ice scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, warned: “We should be very concerned about North Greenland warming. Because that region has a dozen sleeping giants in the form of wide tidewater glaciers and an ice stream.”