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Climatology

Threatened loss of the Greenland ice-sheet

Naturevolume 428page616 (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. Department of Meteorology, Centre for Global Atmospheric Modelling, 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, Brussels, 1050, Belgium

    • Philippe Huybrechts
  4. Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, 27515, 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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https://doi.org/10.1038/428616a

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