Experts concluded by saying that this is the ice sheet's response to the warming caused by humans and warming means more today that it did in the past.
"The melting is not just increasing - it's accelerating", Trusel told Nature.
Ice loss from Greenland is the single largest contributor to global sea-level rise, which is predicted to lead to inundation of low-lying islands and coastal cities around the world over the next several decades and centuries.
Greenland's ice sheet is now melting at a rate that is "off the charts" compared with the last 350 years, a new study by scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has warned.
A team of scientists journeyed to Greenland in 2015 to observe and measure the rate that the colossal ice sheets in the region are melting.
As the ice sheet melts it becomes slightly darker, absorbing more sunlight and melting more, even if temperatures do not change, while increased melting can generate impermeable ice layers which exacerbate runoff.
In other words, we expect to see some differences in melting between years, but during the 1970s that melting occurred on a scale beyond what could possibly be explained by a fluctuation around a stable average of ice cover.
"Rather than increasing steadily as climate warms, Greenland will melt increasingly more and more for every degree of warming". Runoff over the last 20 years is 50% greater than pre-industrial, and 33% greater than the 20th century alone.
Most previous research has used satellite observations and computer modelling to calculate the rate of melting in Greenland. To trace the history of the island in the more distant past, scientists have resorted to another method - the analysis of ice cores. This frozen meltwater creates distinct ice bands that pile up over years to form layers of densely packed ice. The team focused on these high elevations so they would be able to study records of the melting's intensity of the melting dating all the way back to the 17th century.
Satellite methods to understand melting rates have only been around in recent decades, so the ability to go back further in time was important. The satellites used to study ice sheet melting around the world haven't been around long enough to capture a complete picture of the melting process.
'The melting and sea-level rise we've observed will be dwarfed by what may be expected in the future'.
"We need to be aiming for net-zero emissions before 2050".
Being able to trace melting rates back 350 years is a particular strength of this latest research, according to Matt King from UTAS, who wasn't involved in this study.
One noteworthy aspect of the findings, Das said, was how little additional warming it now takes to cause huge spikes in ice sheet melting.
This research was funded by the US National Science Foundation, institutional support from Rowan University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the US Department of Defense, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, the Netherlands Earth System Science Center, and the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research. Researchers drilled at such high elevations for good reason.