The Russell Glacier near Kangerlussuaq in west Greenland. Wetlands and shrub areas are growing In places where there was once ice and snow.  Credit: Jonathan Carrivick / University of Leeds

The area of Greenland’s ice loss in the past three decades is roughly 36 times the size of New York City — land that is rapidly giving way to wetlands and shrubs, a study published Tuesday shows.

The amount of vegetation in Greenland doubled between the mid-1980s and mid-2010s, as swaths of the country that were once covered in ice and snow were transformed into barren rock, wetlands or shrub area. Wetlands alone quadrupled in that time.

By analyzing satellite imagery, the scientists found that Greenland had lost 28,707 square-kilometers (around 11,000 square-miles) of ice in the three-decade period, and warned of a cascade of impacts that could have serious consequences for climate change and sea level rise.

Warmer air temperatures have driven ice loss, which has in turn raised land temperatures. That has caused the melting of permafrost, a frozen layer just beneath the Earth’s surface and found in […]

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