'Zombie ice' from Greenland is set to raise global sea level by 27 centimetres

Charisa Bossinakis

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'Zombie ice' from Greenland is set to raise global sea level by 27 centimetres

Featured Image Credit: Vadim Nefedov / Alamy Stock Photo. An Solas Òir / Alamy Stock Photo

Greenland’s rapidly melting ‘zombie ice’ is expected to raise sea levels by a staggering 27 centimetres (10.6 inches), according to a new study.

Research by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland revealed that the zombie ice is attached to thicker parts of ice but is no longer being replenished by parent glaciers as they're receiving less snow.

“It’s dead ice. It’s just going to melt and disappear from the ice sheet," co-author of the study and glaciologist William Colgan said in an interview according to ABC News.

Credit: Arterra Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Arterra Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo

Study lead author Jason Box also said it’s ‘more like one foot in the grave’.

Shockingly, Colgan also revealed that sea levels would continue to rise regardless of humankind's actions to combat climate change.

He said: “Whether it’s coming in 100 years or 150 years, it’s coming.

"And the sea-level rise we are committed to is growing at present, because of the climate trajectory we’re on.”

The inevitable 27 centimetres of rising sea levels is even more of a concern as it doubles what scientists initially predicted.

Last year's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concluded that Greenland’s melting ice would cause sea levels to rise from six to 13 centimetres (two to five inches) by the year 2100.

However, Colgan insisted this figure has changed, and while he doesn’t have an exact time frame of when it will happen, he suspects it’ll probably be by the end of this century.

Credit:  Tawna Brown / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Tawna Brown / Alamy Stock Photo

Pennsylvania State University glaciologist Richard Alley, who wasn’t part of the study, revealed that the most recent report made sense with the rising temperatures, according to Spectrum News 1.

He revealed in an email: "You have committed mass loss from the ice.

"In the same way most of the world's mountain glaciers and the edges of Greenland would continue losing mass if temperatures were stabilised at modern levels because they have been put into warmer air just as your ice cube was put in warmer tea."

Over the past few decades, Greenland’s ice sheet has been melting at an alarming rate. 

Last month, Greenland lost 18 billion tons of water during a freak three-day heatwave as the temperature had reached a record-breaking 15 degrees Celsius (60 Fahrenheit), which is 10 degrees warmer than it usually is.

Senior scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Research’s Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory William Lipscomb told USA TODAY: "In recent years, we've seen a lot of heat waves in Greenland, this recent warming of it being one example.

"Any temperature above freezing can cause some surface melting."

Topics: News, Science, Environment, Climate Change

Charisa Bossinakis
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