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Greenland ice is melting seven percent faster than previously thought

The same hotspot in Earth’s mantle that feeds Iceland’s active volcanoes has been playing a trick on the scientists who are trying to measure how much ice is melting on nearby Greenland.

According to a new study in the journal Science Advances, the hotspot softened the mantle rock beneath Greenland in a way that ultimately distorted their calculations for ice loss in the Greenland ice sheet. This caused them to underestimate the melting by about 20 gigatons (20 billion metric tons) per year.

That means Greenland did not lose about 2,500 gigatons of ice from 2003-2013 as scientists previously thought, but nearly 2,700 gigatons instead — a 7.6 percent difference, said study co-author Michael Bevis of The Ohio State University.

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