Greenland Ice Sheet to Melt, Drowning Coastlines

If current global warming trends continue, Greenland’s ice sheet — the world’s second largest, after Antarctica’s — will begin melting by the end of the century, and over the course of 1,000 years will melt entirely, raising worldwide ocean levels by some 23 feet and totally screwing up real estate prices in Orange County, Calif. A new study in the journal Nature used computer models to forecast various levels of carbon-dioxide increase in the atmosphere. In most models, the crucial point at which melting exceeds snowfall happens around 2100. “We conclude that the Greenland ice sheet is likely to be eliminated by anthropogenic climate change unless much more substantial emission reductions are made than those envisaged by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change],” say the authors. Time to sign the kids up for swimming lessons!