The ice sheet sitting atop Greenland is the world's largest storehouse of ice outside Antarctica, and the coldest region of the Northern Hemisphere, but even it appears to be under duress from global warming.

Although the vast ice cap has been melting in fits and starts since the end of the last glaciation, researchers using satellite data and other observations have made an alarming discovery: The rate at which it is shrinking has suddenly begun to accelerate.

It more than doubled between 1996-2005, due mostly to glaciers sliding more quickly into the ocean. Greenland is now adding a volume of water to the North Atlantic every two years that is about equal to the total in Lake Erie.

The finding is significant because it suggests that current estimates of Greenland's contribution to rising sea levels may be far too low.

globeandmail.com : Rapid melt shrinks Greenland's ice cap


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