The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass, and there may be no way to stop it, scientists have concluded. Even if large amounts of snowfall return to the ice sheet, it will continue to shrink, according to new research published in Communications Earth and Environment. The problem appears to lie with Greenland’s glaciers, which deliver ice from inland areas to the sea. “They’re conveyor belts of ice,” said glaciologist Michalea King of The Ohio State University, first author of the study. “If you look at an aerial image of a glacier, it looks like a long finger of ice that extends off of an ice sheet.” These glaciers act like dams that control how much ice flows into the ocean, said Michael Wood, a postdoctoral researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who was not involved in the study. “What’s happened is that a lot of those dams have burst,” Wood told Mongabay. The new study, he said, shows this process “is fully or mostly responsible for the extra ice flooding into the ocean.” Greenland’s glaciers are discharging more ice than snowfall can make up for. Image credit: Michalea King. As Greenland’s thick shield of ice melts, it is the single largest contributor to global sea level rise. Between 1992 and 2018 it shed about 3.9 trillion metric tons, raising sea level about 11 millimeters (0.4 inches), a recent study in Nature reported. If the entire ice sheet melted, sea level would soar more than 7 meters (23…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer