Study: Greenland ice sheet melting faster than at any point in last 350 years

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster now than at any point in the last 350 years and shows no sign of slowing down, according to a new academic study released on Wednesday.

The research from the British journal Nature is the first continuous, multicentury analysis of Greenland’s ice sheet. Eighty percent of Greenland is covered in ice, a size roughly 2.5 times the state of Texas, according to Mashable

"Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet has gone into overdrive. As a result, Greenland melt is adding to sea level more than any time during the last three and a half centuries, if not thousands of years," Luke Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University's School of Earth & Environment and lead author of the study, said in a statement

The study shows that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet began shortly after the onset of Arctic warming caused by the industrial era in the mid-1800s. The melt’s intensity has increased 250 percent to 575 percent over the last 20 years compared to the pre-industrial melting rates.

The period between 2004 and 2013 experienced “a more sustained and greater magnitude of melt than any other 10-year period” in the 350-year record, the researchers found. Melting was specifically more rapid in 2012 than any other year.

The loss of ice in Greenland has been the largest single contributor to the global rise of sea levels, and researchers found that the ice sheet will continue melting at “unprecedented rates.”

"From a historical perspective, today's melt rates are off the charts, and this study provides the evidence to prove this," said Sarah Das, a glaciologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and co-author of the study. "We found a 50 percent increase in total ice sheet meltwater runoff versus the start of the industrial era and a thirty percent increase since the 20th century alone.”

Researchers said the Greenland ice sheet adds 73 cubic miles of meltwater into the oceans every year. Sea levels are expected to rise by an estimated 23 feet if the Greenland ice sheet melts in its entirety.

"The melting and sea level rise we've observed already will be dwarfed by what may be expected in the future as climate continues to warm," Trusel said in a statement.

NASA oceanographer and Greenland expert Josh Willis, who had no role in the research, told Mashable that the study is "one more nail in the coffin of climate denial." 

"I don’t know how many more nails we need," Willis added. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE has faced bipartisan criticism in recent weeks for saying he doesn’t “believe” the findings of a major report from his administration forecasting the dire consequences, including economic issues, to the United States from climate change.

He has rejected the scientific consensus on climate change for years, tweeting in 2012 that the “concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”