Next 10,000 years of Greenland ice sheet could be decided this century

The ice sheet near Pituffik, Greenland

Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty

A large portion of the Greenland ice sheet could melt over the next 10,000 years if cumulative carbon emissions reach 1000 gigatonnes, roughly double what has already been emitted.

Global warming driven by emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is already causing substantial melting on the Greenland ice sheet. By 2100, meltwater from Greenland alone is expected to contribute several centimetres of sea level rise.

But 2100 is hardly the end of the story. “The lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere …

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