Monday, July 18, 2011

Ice Melt in Greenland Set Record in 2010: Report

The following news report was published in The Epoch Times on 01/25/2011.
Written by : Jack Phillips

The Greenland Ice Sheet melted at a record rate last year, according to a report published in the Environmental Research Letters.

The report found that large areas in the south part of the island underwent melting as many as 50 days longer compared to the 1979-2009 average.

Melting started "exceptionally early at the end of April and [ended] quite late in mid September," the report said.

June and July saw a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees F), and August and September saw an average increase of 3 degrees C (5.4 degrees F), which greatly triggered more ice melt.

“This past melt season was exceptional, with melting in some areas stretching up to 50 days longer than average,” stated study leader Dr. Marco Tedesco, the head of the Cryospheric Processes laboratory at the City College of New York.

Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, had the warmest spring in 2010 since records began in 1873.

Overall, bare ice was exposed earlier to the Sun and longer than in previous years.

“Bare ice is much darker than snow and absorbs more solar radiation,” said Professor Tedesco. “Other ice melting feedback loops that we are examining include the impact of lakes on the glacial surface, of dust and soot deposited over the ice sheet and how surface meltwater affects the flow of the ice toward the ocean.”

Scientists have noted in the past that ice melting in Greenland could contribute to the rise in ocean water levels around the world.

If Greenland's ice were to melt entirely, researchers speculate that it would prompt ocean levels to rise by more than 20 feet, easily flooding and destroying a multitude of cities. However, that scenario does not appear to be plausible soon.

WWF climate specialist Dr. Martin Sommerkorn told ScienceDaily that “sea level rise is expected to top 1 [meter] by 2100, largely due to melting from ice sheets."

He added that "it will not stop there—the longer we take to limit greenhouse gas production, the more melting and water level rise will continue.”

Tedesco told the Washington Post that the runoff last year was at 530 gigatons, almost double the 1958-2009 average of 274 gigatons.

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