The following is an excerpt from DOUGLAS MAIN | June 28, 2017 | Newsweek.com |
Greenland’s ice sheet is melting faster than expected, and this has been accelerating over the past two decades. It is now the biggest single contributor to global sea level rise, accounting for 25 percent of the total. But besides warming climes, there is another culprit for the melt: sunnier days in fair Greenland.
A paper published June 28 in the journal Science Advances shows that cloud cover has decreased by 14 percent from 1994 to 2009, at an average of just under 1 percent per year. That may not sound like much, but for ice, it’s a big deal. The researchers show that for every 1 percent drop in cloud cover, the amount of ice melt has increased by 27 gigatons. That’s a vast amount of water, approximately equivalent to the domestic water supply of the United States.
The more plentiful sunshine is actually now the leading cause of the increased melting, says co-author Jonathan Bamber, a researcher with the University of Bristol, which led the study. Of course, increasing temperatures also are important; Greenland, along with the rest of the Arctic, is warming at about twice the global average rate. “But while the changing temp is important, more important is the impact of cloud cover.”
For more visit: Newsweek.com