Zombie Ice

Zombie Ice

News: A new study finds that Greenland has more than 120 trillion tons of ice that can be thought of as zombie ice that's going to raise sea level globally by at least 10 inches.

What is Zombie Ice?
• Zombie Ice referred to as dead or doomed ice.
• It is one that is not accumulating fresh snow even while continuing to be part of the parent ice sheet.
• Such ice is “committed” to melting away and increasing sea levels.
• It's dead ice. It's just going to melt and disappear from the ice sheet. This ice has been consigned to the ocean, regardless of what climate (emissions) scenario we take now.

What are key findings?
• The unavoidable ten inches in the study is more than twice as much sea level rise as scientists had previously expected from the melting of Greenland's ice sheet.
• Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in 2021 projected a range of 2 to 5 inches (6 to 13 centimeters) for likely sea level rise from Greenland ice melt by the year 2100.
• 3% of Greenland's total ice volume will melt no matter what happens with the world cutting carbon pollution.

What are the possible consequences?
• According to the UN Atlas of the Oceans, 8 of the world’s 10 largest cities are near a coast. Rising sea levels will make flooding, high tides and storms more frequent and worse as their impact will reach more inland. This, in turn, means a threat to local economies and infrastructure.
• The low lying coastal areas will take a harder hit.
• The World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Risks Report noted that “already an estimated 800 million people in more than 570 coastal cities are vulnerable to a sea-level rise of 0.5 metres by 2050”.

What are other things that is accelerating melting of Ice across Greenland?
• Increased rain is accelerating surface melt and ice flow.
• Large tracts of the ice surface are undergoing bio-albedo darkening, which accelerates surface melt, as well as the impact of snow melting and refreezing at the surface. These darker surfaces absorb more solar radiation, driving yet more melt.
• Warm, subtropical-originating ocean currents are intruding into Greenland’s fjords and rapidly eroding outlet glaciers, undercutting and destabilizing their calving fronts.

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