Greenland Ice Melting at Record Rate


Image courtesy of kaet44

Speaking at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Konrad Steffen of the University of Colorado, Boulder, painted a grim picture of Greenland's current state, describing the amount of ice it lost over the past year as "the equivalent of two times all the ice in the Alps or a layer of water more than one-half-mile deep covering Washington, D.C."

The volume of water unleashed by the melting ice raised global sea levels by close to 2 one-hundredths of an inch; were all of Greenland's ice to melt, Steffen predicts, sea levels could be lifted by as much as 21 ft - an unlikely possibility. A 7°F increase since 1991 contributed to another record ice melting year, 10% more than the previous one set in 2005.While snowfall increases have helped buffer Greenland's interior, the thawing of glaciers all around the coast have more than offset any gain made over the last few years; since measurements began in 1979, Steffen estimates that melting has jumped by 30%.

This follows a set of findings released earlier this year that indicated that the arctic ice cap has been melting at an unprecedented rate - enough that the Northwest Passage has now become fully navigable.

Via ::McClatchy: Greenland ice melts at record rate, scientists find (news website)

See also: ::NASA Finds Greenland Becoming More Green by the Day, ::Global Warming Beer: Greenland Brews with Melting Ice Cap