Brief Communication | Published:

Climatology

Threatened loss of the Greenland ice-sheet

Nature volume 428, page 616 (08 April 2004) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The Greenland ice-sheet would melt faster in a warmer climate and is likely to be eliminated — except for residual glaciers in the mountains — if the annual average temperature in Greenland increases by more than about 3 °C. This could raise the global average sea-level by 7 metres over a period of 1,000 years or more. We show here that concentrations of greenhouse gases will probably have reached levels before the year 2100 that are sufficient to raise the temperature past this warming threshold.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. *Centre for Global Atmospheric Modelling, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6BB, UK

    • Jonathan M. Gregory
  2. †Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Met Office, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK

    • Jonathan M. Gregory
  3. ‡Department of Geography, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

    • Philippe Huybrechts
  4. §Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany

    • Philippe Huybrechts
    •  & Sarah C. B. Raper

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jonathan M. Gregory.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/428616a

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