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Basic science: understanding numbers
Basic science: understanding numbers

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2.2.1 Area of the Greenland ice sheet

In the next section, you will look at how much ice there is locked up in the Greenland ice sheet, so let’s begin with the area of ice. The Greenland ice sheet is second only in size to the ice sheet covering Antarctica. It has an area of 1,710,000 km2 or 1.7 × 106 km2 and at its deepest, the ice sheet is over 3,000 m deep. Greenland itself has an area of 2,166,086 km2 or 2.2 × 106 km2. The ice covers about 79% of the island and one of the key issues for climate scientists is how long Greenland will continue to be covered in ice and what will happen to all that water if it slips off into the sea.