By Morgan McFall-Johnsen
Greenland’s ice sheet may have hit a tipping point that sets it on an irreversible path to completely disappearing.
Snowfall that normally replenishes Greenland’s glaciers each year can no longer keep up with the pace of ice melt, according to researchers at Ohio State University. That means that the Greenland ice sheet — the world’s second-largest ice body — would continue to lose ice even if global temperatures stop rising.
In their study, published Thursday in the journal Nature, the scientists reviewed 40 years of monthly satellite data from more than 200 large glaciers that are draining into the ocean across Greenland.
“What we’ve found is that the ice that’s discharging into the ocean is far surpassing the snow that’s accumulating on the surface of the ice sheet,” Michalea King, the study’s lead author and researcher at Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, said in a press release.
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