The research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, showed that due to global warming, part of the Greenland ice sheet would melt anyway, causing sea levels to rise by at least 27 centimeters.
Ice cap unbalanced
To reach this conclusion, satellite images of the Greenland ice cap were examined, among other things. This ice sheet is now losing more ice than is being added to the snowfall, and is therefore unbalanced. To return to equilibrium, the ice sheet will have to adapt to the current climate. To do this, more ice must melt, and according to scientists’ calculations this is accompanied by a sea level rise of at least 27 cm. This is irreversible.
RTL Nieuws climate expert Bart Verheggen read the research and explained that we could compare the conclusion to a very large ship. “If you want to change course on a big ship like this, you can’t do it all at once. It has a certain lethargy to turn the ship around, so it keeps sailing forward for a while.” So, even if we hit all the climate goals now, the ice sheet will still melt for a while.
The study only looked at the Greenland ice sheet. Verheigen: “Of course you have Antarctica and mountain glaciers and sea water that is expanding due to global warming. So you have to talk about a height of at least 27 centimeters that has become irreversible, but it will certainly be much higher.”
Prevent further damage
So it is irreversible. However, this does not mean that further actions are useless. “You should of course prevent this news from triggering a careless reaction. According to this research, nothing else can be done around 27cm, according to this research, but more damage can be prevented. The research emphasizes the importance of reducing emissions to reduce emissions. A higher increase. But it also shows that we need to better protect ourselves from the rising sea.”
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