Sensitivity Greenland warming has been exaggerated

The Greenland ice did not melt completely and weaker-than-expected reaction to the temperature rise during the last interglacial warm climatic period of about 120,000 years ago, and primarily responsible for the rise in sea level at that time to bear the Antarctic ice, NEEM project participants write in the article, published in the journal Nature.

In this project, scientists from Denmark, Russia, USA, Sweden, Canada and several other countries are drilling Glacier in northwestern Greenland. The study of the isotopic and chemical composition of the ice and its other characteristics allows scientists to judge the temperature and composition of the atmosphere, sea level and other climate features of past eras.

© Photo: Niels Bohr Institute
Temperature fluctuations, the level of the glacier and solar energy in the last 120,000 years in Greenland

Now for the first time scientists have been able to get the full data relating to Eemskomu interglacial period — from 130 to 115 thousand years ago. As it turned out, in the middle of this period, the average surface temperature was 8 degrees higher than in the previous era, and the height of the glacier has decreased by 400 meters — to a level of 130 meters below the present. The total ice volume was not reduced by more than 25%. Thus, the researchers report, the share of the Greenland glacier had no more than two meters from the overall growth of the ocean at that time (four to eight feet).

© Photo: Sepp Kipfstuhl
Ice cores obtained during the drilling of Greenland glacier to the NEEM site

"The good news in this study is that the ice sheets of Greenland was not as sensitive to temperature rise in warm climatic periods, such as Eemsky as we thought before," — said the head of the project NEEM Dorte Dahl-Jensen (Dorthe Dahl-Jensen ) from the University of Copenhagen. The bad news is that the increase in sea level is more specific to Antarctica, where the "stored" significantly large amounts of ice.

However, scientists note that current climatic events in Greenland, for example, 97% of the melting glacier surface, recorded in July 2012, reminiscent of the situation in the early Eemskogo period, from which a thick ice layers were also melted, and then frozen water.

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