Greenland could melt completely and irreversibly if global warming reached the 1.6 degrees Celsius, according to a study by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and the Potsdam Institute in Germany.
The research, conducted by the Department of Physics of the Earth II of the UCM and scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, confirms that the polar cap is more vulnerable to global warming than it is what we’ve thought. This research used computer simulations of ice in its region and its climate, calculating the evolution of the island during previous glacial cycles and the future of ice.
Therefore, this new estimate of critical temperature threshold for the survival of the island is more reliable than before. According to the study, the global warming is now 0.8 degrees Celsius above the temperature in pre-industrial levels.
So far, previous studies placed the melting of Greenland in an increase in temperature in the vicinity of 3.1 degrees. A calculation that, as this research says is “optimistic.” The study also warns that although the weather returned to its pre-industrial state, the melting can prevent new growth above the polar cap on the island.
According to studio estimates, the melting of Greenland ice could contribute to rise of sea level of several meters, which can affect millions of people living in coastal regions.