Northeast Greenland ice was considered stable until 2003, when summer temperatures spiked. Within a few years, the main outlet glacier draining the region -- Zachariae Isstrom -- retreated about 20 kilometers, and regional ice mass loss jumped from zero to roughly 10 metric gigatons a year. Today, ice mass loss from northeast Greenland into the Fram Strait abutting the Arctic Ocean is now closer to 15 to 20 metric gigatons a year and is still increasing.
|A cubic meter of water weighs one metric ton (2,200 lbs). "Giga" is the prefix for billion.|
If we don't reduce CO2 emissions immediately to near zero -- that's right, ZERO -- sea level rise between now and say 2200 could result in this (visualizations by Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central).
|AT&T Park, San Francisco|
|Back Bay, Boston|
For more on the opening up of Greenland to exploration/exploitation, see: The Grab for Greenland, by Phillip Stephens.