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Climate change is literally causing Greenland to rise out of the ocean

Published Feb 14th, 2024 2:26PM EST
arctic ocean slate
Image: Joshua / Adobe

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In a crazy demonstration of just how little Greenland cares about following the laws of physics, the large island is rising out of the sea. The rise, researchers say, is fueled by Greenland’s ongoing ice loss, which continues to melt as global temperatures rise.

For those who haven’t kept up with the ongoing climate change issues, the ice and glaciers around Greenland are melting, acting as a major addition to the rising sea levels we’re seeing around the world. But, even with the sea levels rising, Greenland itself continues to rise faster.

The new research comes from DTU, and it reveals that Greenland’s ice loss is not only fueling rising sea levels, but it is causing the land itself to rise, with DTU reporting the bedrock’s elevation changing by up to 20 cm over the past ten years, from 2013 to 2023. That’s equal to two meters per century, the research group says.

greenland landscapeImage source: Paul / Adobe

Danjal Longfors Berg, a Ph.D. student at DTU Space, says that these land shifts are “quite significant” and that they will impact all of life in Greenland. Additionally, it could give rise to new small islands over time. The group’s findings are published in Geophysical Research Letters.

But Greenland isn’t the only place seeing its land shift upward as pressure on the underground is relieved. Denmark has also noted some land upshift. Additionally, Greenland’s ice loss from recent global warming will likely cause the island to rise more over the coming years.

All of these findings are based on data gathered from GNET, a network of 61 measurement stations found along Greenland’s coast. These measurements allowed the researchers to get a clearer look at how Greenland is being affected by the continued melting of its ice and glaciers.

One thing is certain: as the ice continues to melt, the land will continue to rise. Exactly how much it will rise is unclear, though.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.