Melting Greenland Ice Sheet Approaches Tipping Point

The Greenland ice sheet is poised for another record melt this year, and is approaching a “tipping point” into a new and more dangerous melt regime in which the summer melt area covers the entire land mass, according to new findings from polar researchers, reports Andrew Freedman at Climate Central. This has huge implications for global sea levels, already rising as ice sheets melt and the ocean warms, and exposing coasts to greater damage from storm surge-related flooding. Greenland’s ice has been melting faster than many scientists expected just a decade ago, spurred by warming sea and land temperatures, changing weather patterns, and how fast glaciers flow into the sea. Now, however, the melting has caused the ice sheet to become darker than ever before, absorbing more heat, and melting ever faster as one effect amplifies the next in an endless loop. At this rate, the melting area will eventually cover the entire ice sheet, wiping out any winter expansion, and causing the ice sheet to decline irreversibly. When it melts entirely, our descendents will have to cope with a sea level rise of more than 20 feet.

Source:

Greenland ice sheet melt nearing critical ‘tipping point.’ The Greenland ice sheet is poised for another record melt this year, and is approaching a “tipping point” into a new and more dangerous melt regime in which the summer melt area covers the entire land mass, according to new findings from polar researchers. Climate Central Andrew Freedman http://www.climatecentral.org/news/greenland-ice-sheet-reflectivity-near-record-low-research-shows/

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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