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Greenland's Ice Sheet Is Slip-Sliding Away: The massive glaciers are deteriorating twice as fast as they were five years ago. If the ice thaws entirely, sea level would rise 21 feet.
Climate experts have started to worry that the ice cap is disappearing in ways that computer models had not predicted...
...By all accounts, the glaciers of Greenland are melting twice as fast as they were five years ago, even as the ice sheets of Antarctica — the world's largest reservoir of fresh water — also are shrinking, researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Kansas reported in February...
...Should all of the ice sheet ever thaw, the meltwater could raise sea level 21 feet and swamp the world's coastal cities, home to a billion people. It would cause higher tides, generate more powerful storm surges and, by altering ocean currents, drastically disrupt the global climate...
...By 2005, Greenland was beginning to lose more ice volume than anyone expected — an annual loss of up to 52 cubic miles a year — according to more recent satellite gravity measurements released by JPL...
...The amount of freshwater ice dumped into the Atlantic Ocean has almost tripled in a decade...
...There was even a period of melting in December..."We have never seen that," ...
...Most of the computer models on which climate predictions are based did not take the dynamics of the glaciers into account...
...In all, 12 major outlet glaciers drain the ice sheet the way rivers drain a watershed, setting the pace of its release to the ocean. If they all slide too quickly, there is a possibility that, perhaps decades from now, they could collapse suddenly and release the entire ice sheet into the ocean...
Originally posted by aecreate
I used to find it laughable, but what's so wrong about planting trees and treating OUR environment better? What's wrong with conservation?? What's wrong with coming up with better industrial means to reduce damage to the environment??Environmentalism is the BETTER business.
Originally posted by WithoutEqual
I find it laughable, that everyones so sure what the cause is for the climate changing, yet, they can't explain what caused other climate changes in the earths history.
Can anyone even give me an average temp for every year for the past 1000 years so I can take a look myself? Give me proof, not flashy videos, or gores crap, or psudoscience, but actual NUMBERS over the course of many years, that's what it'll take to convince me.
Originally posted by swimmer
Most of the Ice is under the water anyway. The volume of ice is bigger than the volume of water it is made of. When ice melts, some of that volume will be gone, right? Or wrong?
Originally posted by pavil
Not sure how this ties in since I can't find the report. I remember either reading or hearing recently about the Antarctic Melt compared to the amount of new snow laid down and it was pretty much a net even exchange. It implied, if I remember it correctly, that the amount of water trapped in the Antarctic region is staying pretty much the same.
The ice sheet seemed such a stolid reservoir of cold that many experts had been confident of it taking centuries for higher temperatures to work their way thousands of feet down to the base of the ice cap and undermine its stability.
By and large, computer models supported that view, predicting that as winter temperatures rose, more snow would fall across the dome of the ice cap. Thus, by the seasonal bookkeeping of the ice sheet, Greenland would neatly balance its losses through new snow.
Indeed, Zwally and his colleagues in March released an analysis of data from two European remote-sensing satellites showing the amount of water locked up in the ice sheet had risen slightly between 1992 and 2002.
Then the ice sheet began to confound computer-generated predictions.
By 2005, Greenland was beginning to lose more ice volume than anyone expected — an annual loss of up to 52 cubic miles a year — according to more recent satellite gravity measurements released by JPL.
In an influential paper published in Science, Zwally surmised that the ice sheets had accelerated in response to warmer temperatures, as summer meltwater lubricated the base of the ice sheet and allowed it to slide faster toward the sea.
In a way no one had detected, the warm water made its way through thousands of feet of ice to the bedrock — in weeks, not decades or centuries.
So much water streamed beneath the ice that in high summer the entire ice sheet near Swiss Camp briefly bulged 2 feet higher, like the crest of a subterranean wave.
At the same time, University of Texas physicist Ginny Catania pulled an ice-penetrating radar in a search pattern around the camp, seeking evidence of any melt holes or drainage crevices that could so quickly channel the hot water of global warming deep into the ice.
To her surprise, she detected a maze of tunnels, natural pipes and cracks beneath the unblemished surface.
"I have never seen anything like it, except in an area where people have been drilling bore holes," Catania said.
No one knows how much of the ice sheet is affected.