Paper Published in Earth’s Future

Title: Possibility of Stabilizing the Greenland Ice Sheet

Journal: Earth’s Future


Abstract: Recent acceleration in the retreat of the Greenland ice sheet under a warming climate has caused unprecedented challenges and threats to coastal communities due to the rising sea level and increasing storm surges. This raises a critical question from a climate mitigation perspective: Would there still be a chance to stabilize the Greenland ice sheet if the carbon reduction goals of the Paris Agreement could be met? Here, we show that there is indeed a possibility for stabilizing the Greenland ice sheet with the low-emission scenario of RCP2.6. In particular, RCP2.6 would potentially limit the warming in Greenland below 1°C within next 30 years and constrain its loss of ice sheet coverage below 10%. After 2050, the annual mean temperature in Greenland is likely to be stabilized and no further loss is expected to its ice sheet. However, the effective window for this chance will be closing after 2020. If no effective carbon reduction policies are being taken now, we are very likely to enter a continuous warming pathway and lose the chance of stabilizing the Greenland ice sheet.