HEADLINES Published January21, 2016 By Beatrice Asuncion

Clouds Might be Saving Greenland's Ice Sheets, Scientists Says

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Greenland's ice sheets have been melting at a rapid rate since scientists started collecting data in the 80s. Last year charted more than average levels of precipitation - ultimately ranking 11th highest in the three decades worth of records. Multiple studies have been conducted in order to figure out the cause of the occurrence. Thankfully, a research managed to uncover an insight as to why the ice sheet is melting.

A team from the University of Wisconsin - Madison recently published a paper on the journal Nature Communications which pinpoints what could be one of the causes for the rapid degradation of Greenland's ice sheet. The study analyzed data obtained from two recently launched satellites, CloudSat and CALIPSO, and found out that clouds have a bigger role in the melting of the ice sheet.

The study claims that clouds are responsible for a third of Freenland's ice sheet meltwater runoff since they tend prevent the ice that melts in the day from freezing again at night.

With sea levels expected to rise another foot in less than a century, scientists involved in the study are adamant about the findings of their research. According to them, this is not a problem the future generation has to deal with. It is relevant now and something substantial must be done.

"It turns out that we really need to include the warming effect of clouds to get realistic estimates of current and future ice sheet melt and subsequent global sea level rise. This global sea level rise is happening as we speak and it is not to be considered an issue in the far future. Several of the larger cities in the world are only a few feet above sea level" quipped Kristof Van Tritch, a PH.D student and one of the authors of the recent research.  

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