London, Jan 16 : A new research by an international team of scientists has suggested that Greenland is experiencing the most extreme ice melting in 50 years due to recent warm summers.
The research provides further evidence of a key impact of global warming and helps scientists place recent satellite observations of Greenland´s shrinking ice mass in a longer-term climatic context.
For the research, the team, led by Dr Edward Hanna from the University of Sheffield, analyzed a combination of key meteorological and glaciological records spanning a number of decades.
The findings showed how the Greenland Ice Sheet responded to more regional, rather than global, changes in climate between the 1960s and early 1990s.
It also indicated that the last fifteen years has seen an increase in ice melting and a striking correspondence of Greenland with global temperature variations, demonstrating Greenland´s recent response to global warming.
According to the research, the summer 2003 was exceptionally warm around the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which resulted in the second-highest meltwater running off from the Ice Sheet of the last 50 years.
Also, the summer 2005 experienced a record-high melt, which was very recently superseded in summer 2007 - a year almost as warm as 2003.
"Our work shows that global warming is beginning to take its toll on the Greenland Ice Sheet which, as a relict feature of the last Ice Age, has already been living on borrowed time and seems now to be in inexorable decline," said Dr Edward Hanna.
"The question is can we reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in time to make enough of a difference to curb this decay?" she added.