05/11/2012 // 12:30 pm // 1 Comment // , Science and Solutions Director

A recent story on NPRclaimed to have “reassuring” news about melting ice in Greenland. Right after it was published, climate deniers jumped on the story. According to them, we don’t have to worry about Greenland’s melting glaciers anymore.

I’d love for this to be true — but it isn’t. In fact, Greenland is losing ice faster than it used to 10 years ago. And that’s bad news for all of us.

Here’s a quick refresher. As the climate warms, glaciers are melting all over the world, including in Greenland. The more ice that melts, the more global sea levels rise.

What a recent study found is that worst-case scenarios about Greenland’s melting ice are looking less likely. It turns out the hundreds of glacierssurrounding the main ice sheet are melting at different rates. For example, some glaciers have accelerated in fits and starts. Others accelerated for a while, but now are holding steady.

As the lead scientist of the study points out, however, “there is no ‘good-case’ scenario when it comes to sea level rise.” As we learn later in the article, overall, Greenland is losing ice 30% faster now than it was 10 years ago, meaning at least three feet of sea level rise is still likely by 2100.

If sea levels rise another 3 feet, I somehow doubt folks in New York City, Bangladesh and Kiribati will say, “Well, that wasn’t so bad.”

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