Greenland's Rapid Melting Is An Underreported Crisis

Greenland's Rapid Melting Is An Underreported Crisis

It's time to panic and pay attention to what's going on before severe climate change becomes too dangerous for human life

11 billion tons of ice dropped off of Greenland in a single day. The temperature has hit an all time high and the melt has been going on consistently for the last 4 months. This July alone, Greenland's ice sheet lost 197 billion tons of ice. These numbers would be the highest losses ever recorded in Greenland's history, and they come on the same day as meteorologists reported that globally, this July has been as hot as any month in recorded history, according to information released by the Copernicus Climate Change Programme, which analyzes temperature data from around the planet.


Arctic thaw                   


We are entering a critical point in climate change history and not enough people are paying attention, according to Bloomberg News:

Besides, recent ice growth, if any, seems to be an anomalyin a long-term melting trend. As the same Danish researchers who made the point about snowfall noted, “the neutral mass change in the last two years does not — and cannot — begin to compensate for these losses.”

Even prominent climate skeptics have begun to concedethat the disappearance of the GIS is related to the globe’s changing climate.  Alas, a sobering paper from the distinguished Yale economist William Nordhaus argues that we’re already too late. Absent forms of extreme restraint that will are politically impossible, writes Nordhaus, Greenland’s ice sheet is going to melt over the next few centuries, and rebuilding it will be the work of many generations.

What would be the result? A 2017 study found that the Greenland ice sheet, which as recently as 1993 contributed only 5% of the rise in sea levels, is now responsible for 25%.  Melting of the GIS over the past 40 years has raised sea levels only about half an inch.  According to recent modeling, however, the disintegration of Greenland’s ice is likely to raise sea levels along the East Coast of the U.S. by a minimum of 0.2 meters (about 8 inches) over the next century. 1  Unless you spend a lot of time in littoral areas, this may not sound like much, but bear in mind that those extra inches would be the starting level for future storm surges. (Yes, melting on the GIS may cause similar effects in coastal Europe.)


Climate change                    


So now the question becomes how do we address these issues. There are new technologies being developed, including carbon capture technology used to manufacture safe fuels that has attracted investors like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. There's also the implementation of harsher climate standards and laws, as well as migrating populations away from threatened coastal areas or places where wildfires might spread out of control. 



Recommended for you