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The Greenland Ice Sheet has reached a point of rapid retreat that it couldn’t recover from even if global temperatures stopped rising instantly. 

This Arctic ice sheet is the second-largest ice sheet in the world, after the one that blankets Antarctica. It covers the majority of Greenland and melts into the seas via outlet glaciers, which have been rapidly losing ice for decades. Now, new research finds that today’s glacial ice loss is 14% greater than it was between 1985 and 1999. The ice sheet is losing approximately 500 gigatons of ice each year, more than is replenished by annual snowfall. 

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