Greenland Ice Sheet

Sophie McDermott

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  • Location: Greenland

  • Size: nearly the size of Mexico - to be considered an ice sheet, the glacial mass must extend more than 20,000 square miles
  • The Greenland ice sheet is one of two major ice sheets we have in the world
  • The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets contain more than 99% of the freshwater ice on Earth


The melting produces severe risks for sea life, fisheries, and coastal communities. The Greenland ice sheet shrinks through surface melting, water runoff, breakup into the ocean, and direct transformation into water vapor. If the Greenland ice sheet melted, the global sea level would rise approximately 23 feet
  • 1996: the ice sheet lost approximately 22 cubic miles of mass

  • 2005: the ice sheet lost approximately 53 cubic miles of mass

  • 2007: the ice sheet lost approximately 60% larger than previous records and extended further inland than before


Areas surrounding Greenland, and all over the world, can work towards a solution together. The ice caps are melting due to global warming, so everyone can lend a helping hand. Some options you have include:

  • Buying energy efficient products and appliances
  • Making your voice heard to Congress
  • Offset your carbon footprint
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
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If the sheet continues to melt, the Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet will likely contribute to global sea level rising even before the Greenland ice sheet is gone for good. The melting of the sheet is adding freshwater to the North Atlantic that disrupts ecosystems and alters ocean circulation and regional weather patterns.