According to a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid the temperature threshold for melting the ice sheet completely is in the range of 0.8 to 3.2°C, with a best estimate of 1.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The ice sheet would not melt in the near future but over a period of several thousand or tens of thousands of years, depending on where warming is stopped (or not). But still it shows how climate scientists may often have underestimated rather than overestimated the impacts of climate change. Previously, the best estimate was deemed to be at 3.1°C, with a range of 1.9 to 5.1 °C. The study also indicates that the melt may at some point become irreversible, even if the climate was to later return to its preindustrial state.
Warming of 1.6°C May be Enough for Complete Melt of Greenland Ice Sheet
Posted by Wolfgang Obergassel on March 12, 2012