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Around 400mn Lives to be Affected by Year 2100 if Greenland Ice Melts at its Current Rate

Greenland ice melt puts 400mn people at risk of flooding by 2100

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Greenland ice
Scientists warn that about 400 million people will be affected by the end of the century due to ice melting in Greenland. Pixabay

About 400 million are likely to be affected by coastal flooding by the end of the century if Greenland ice melt continues at its current rate, scientists have warned.

Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

“As a rule of thumb, for every centimetre rise in global sea level another six million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the planet,” said one of the study authors Andrew Shepherd, Professor at University of Leeds in Britain.

“On current trends, Greenland ice melting will cause 100 million people to be flooded each year by the end of the century, so 400 million in total due to all sea level rise,” Shepherd said.

For the study, a team of 96 polar scientists from 50 international organisations combined 26 separate surveys to compute changes in the mass of Greenland’s ice sheet between 1992 and 2018.

Greenland ice
Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s, Pixabay

Altogether, data from 11 different satellite missions were used, including measurements of the ice sheet’s changing volume, flow and gravity.

The findings showed that Greenland has lost 3.8 trillion tonnes of ice since 1992 — enough to push global sea levels up by 10.6 millimetres.

In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that global sea levels will rise by 60 centimetres by 2100, putting 360 million people at risk of annual coastal flooding.

But this new study shows that Greenland’s ice losses are rising faster than expected and are instead tracking the IPCC’s high-end climate warming scenario, which predicts seven centimetres more.

So 40 million more people are likely to be exposed to coastal flooding by 2100 than earlier projected.

“These are not unlikely events or small impacts; they are happening and will be devastating for coastal communities,” Shepherd said.

The team also used regional climate models to show that half of the ice losses were due to surface melting as air temperatures have risen.

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The other half has been due to increased glacier flow, triggered by rising ocean temperatures.

Ice losses peaked at 335 billion tonnes per year in 2011 – ten times the rate of the 1990s – during a period of intense surface melting. (IANS)

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Spain Takes a Step Forward to Combat Climate Change

Spain Declares Climate Emergency, Gets Climate Plan Ready

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Climate Change
People march during a worldwide protest demanding action on climate change in Barcelona, Spain. VOA

Spain’s new government declared a national climate emergency on Tuesday, taking a formal first step toward enacting ambitious measures to fight climate change.

The declaration approved by the Cabinet says the left-of-center Socialist government will send to parliament within 100 days its proposed climate legislation. The targets coincide with those of the European Union, including a reduction of net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

Spain’s coalition government wants up to 95% of the Mediterranean country’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2040. The plan also foresees eliminating pollution by buses and trucks and making farming carbon neutral.

Climate Change
Young environmentalists demonstrate to demand measures against climate change. VOA

Details of the plan are to be made public when the proposed legislation is sent to parliament for approval.

More than two dozen countries and scores of local and regional authorities have declared a climate emergency in recent years.

Scientists say the decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record.

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Also Tuesday, young climate activists including Greta Thunberg told the elites gathered at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland they are not doing enough to deal with the climate emergency and warned them that time was running out. (VOA)