Greenland Is Melting at Some of the Fastest Rates in 12,000 Years

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The vast Greenland ice sheet is melting at some of its fastest rates in the past 12,000 years. And it could quadruple over the next 80 years if greenhouse gas emissions don’t decline dramatically in the coming decades.

Research published yesterday in the journal Nature warns that the ice sheet’s future losses depend heavily on how quickly humans cut carbon emissions today.

Led by Jason Briner of the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, the study is among the first to compare the possible future of the ice sheet with its ancient past.

“Now we’re really able to put into perspective just how anomalous our current change is and future changes might be,” said Josh Cuzzone, a co-author of the study and a scientist at the University of California, Irvine.

The researchers used models, informed by data from ancient ice samples drilled out from the ice sheet, to reconstruct a history of Greenland spanning the past 12,000 years. They also used models to predict how the ice sheet might change under different climate scenarios—assuming both higher and lower levels of greenhouse gases—through the rest of this century.

The findings were concerning.

Before the industrial era, the highest rates of Greenland ice loss in 12,000 years were around 6 trillion tons of ice in a single century. That’s similar to the rate at which ice is melting in Greenland today.

As the climate continues to warm, those rates are expected to increase. How much depends on how fast the climate warms.

The researchers examined two possible future climate scenarios. The first assumes that humans manage to keep global temperatures within about 2 degrees Celsius of their preindustrial levels—the major goal of the international Paris climate agreement.

In this scenario, Greenland will likely still lose more than 8 trillion tons


Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes fastest NFL player to 10,000 passing yards

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Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has added yet another achievement to his ever-growing list of career accolades. Back in November of 2019, he became the fastest player to reach 8,000 career passing yards and 65 career touchdowns. This time he’s passed two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in another pace, stamping his name in the NFL history books.

As if a “Monday Night Football” contest between the reigning Super Bowl MVP and the league MVP wasn’t exciting enough, Mahomes had to go and make some NFL history. Throwing for just 75 yards against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, Mahomes has become the fastest player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career passing yards.

Week 3 of the 2020 NFL season marks the 34th career game for Mahomes, dating back to when he received his first start back in the final week of the 2017 NFL season. Mahomes reached 10,000 yards a whole two games quicker than the previous record-holder, St. Louis Rams HOF QB Kurt Warner. Mahomes also passes others in the top five, such as Matthew Stafford (37), Marc Bulger (38), Andrew Luck (38), and Dan Marino (38).

This is going to be a tough record for others to beat in the coming years. Mahomes has averaged just over 300 passing yards per game in the first two seasons of his career. He 318.6 passing yards per game in 2018 is good for the No. 12 performance in NFL history. This type of production at this pace isn’t easily achieved, even with the NFL’s shift toward pass-heavy offenses.