The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Greenland's Rapid Ice Melt Persists Even in Winter
By Julia Conley
In the latest troubling study regarding how the climate crisis is affecting the world's iciest regions, a new report by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) found that the second-largest ice sheet in the world is currently melting even in winter.
The study follows a report released earlier this month showing that Greenland's ice melt rate is currently faster than it's been in about 7,000 years. The island's 650,000 cubic miles of ice is melting 50 percent faster than it did in pre-industrial times.
"Greenland is a bit like a sleeping giant that is awakening," Edward Hanna, a climate scientist at the University of Lincoln, told Inside Climate News this week. "Who knows how it will respond to a couple of more degrees of warming? It could lose a lot of mass very quickly."
The ice sheet's persistent melting even in winter has come about because huge waves below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, created by unusually strong winter winds, are pushing warm water up to Greenland—creating an environment that's hostile for the country's icy ecosystem, explained SAMS.
These "coastally trapped internal waves" are "pushing warm water into the fjord and towards the glacier, causing melting hundreds of metres below the ocean surface," Dr. Neil Fraser, an ocean physicist who led the study, told the BBC.
Greenland's huge ice sheet also makes it a huge contributor to rising sea levels, SAMS noted, accounting for more than 20 percent of the annual increase in sea levels.
Accelerating, year-round run-off that persists even in the coldest months of the year is "the greatest contributor to sea level rise," Sarah Das, a researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, told Inside Climate News.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
- Guest post: How the Greenland ice sheet fared in 2018 ›
- What scientists knew about the Greenland ice sheet is wrong ›
- Sea levels may rise more rapidly due to Greenland ice melt ... ›
- Scientists Capture Striking Footage of a 4 Mile Iceberg Breaking ... ›
- Greenland Ice Sheet Today | Surface Melt Data presented by NSIDC ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Judge Blocks Oil and Gas Drilling on 300,000 Acres in Wyoming Until Government Considers Climate Impacts
Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact
By Sharon Kelly
A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.
By Patti Lynn
2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."
England faces an "existential threat" if it does not change how it manages its water, the head of the country's Environment Agency warned Tuesday.
By Jessica Corbett
A new analysis revealed Tuesday that over the past two decades heat records across the U.S. have been broken twice as often as cold ones—underscoring experts' warnings about the increasingly dangerous consequences of failing to dramatically curb planet-warming emissions.
By Madison Dapcevich
Ask any resident of San Francisco about the waterfront parrots, and they will surely tell you a story of red-faced conures squawking or dive-bombing between building peaks. Ask a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, however, and they will tell you of a mysterious string of neurological poisonings impacting the naturalized flock for decades.
The initial cause of the fire was not yet known, but it has been driven by the strong wind and jumped the North Santiam River, The Salem Statesman Journal reported. As of Tuesday night, it threatened around 35 homes and 30 buildings, and was 20 percent contained.