Amount of CO2 emissions irreversibly leading to the total melting of Greenland
Article first published online: 26 JUN 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 35, Issue 12, 28 June 2008
How to Cite
2008), Amount of CO2 emissions irreversibly leading to the total melting of Greenland, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L12503, doi:10.1029/2008GL033472., , and (
- Issue published online: 26 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 26 JUN 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 MAY 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 23 APR 2008
- Manuscript Received: 30 JAN 2008
- anthropogenic CO2 emissions;
- climate-ice sheet modeling;
 The long-term response of Greenland to anthropogenic warming is of critical interest for the magnitude of the sea-level rise and for climate-related concerns. To explore its evolution over several millennia we use a climate-ice sheet model forced by a range of CO2 emission scenarios, accounting for the natural removal of anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere. Above 3000 GtC, the melting appears irreversible, while below 2500 GtC, Greenland only experiences a partial melting followed by a re-growth phase. Delaying emissions through sequestration slows significantly the melting, but has only a limited impact on the ultimate fate of Greenland. Its behavior is therefore mostly dependent on the cumulative CO2 emissions. This study demonstrates that the fossil fuel emissions of the next century will have dramatic consequences on sea-level rise for several millennia.