Greenland is Melting Away

By: Elena V.

ROME – “Gosh, It’s really warm for being November don’t you think?”

          “Yeah I haven’t even worn my winter jacket yet!”

          “There must be an explanation for all of this. It can’t be a coincidence.”

          “I thought global warming only affected certain parts of the world!”

          “Let’s go and find out more about this topic!”

One of the main reasons why I decided to write this article is because I wanted to see if global warming would bring consequences to my life and to the life of others near me.

Until a few years ago, scientists thought Greenland’s ice sheets were simply too big and too dense to be an immediate risk, but the recent evidence, is making them rethink. Greenland’s ice sheets are melting faster than anyone could have predicted. It’s liquefying fast, and this is going to reveal itself as a catastrophe not only for sea level rise, but also for the impacts of climate change.

For many years, scientists have studied the consequences of global warming on Greenland ’s ice sheets. Undoubtedly, Greenland, is warming faster than any place on earth following the Antarctic.  All across the island, massive sheets ice are moving, and everything around it, is warming. Huge lakes are forming on the surface of the ice, which consequently creates networks of rivers. These, flow down into giant holes called moulins, which ditch through tunnels in the ice sheets and out into the ocean. Scientists and glaciologists measured the river as up to 1954919.7 litres/ 1954.8 cubic metres of water a minute, poured off the ice and into the moulin. They also expect that the complete melting of Greenland’s ice sheets is going to increase sea levels by about 20 feet (6.1 meters) and, if all Greenland and Antarctica were to melt,  then the ocean would rise over 200 feet (60.96 meters).

Greenland’s ice is vanishing faster than previously thought, and this massive ice loss is constant and increasing, that it is literally moving the Earth. Some previous studies have indicated that the Earth’s mantle under Greenland is moving at such a rapid rate it is changing the shape of the land. Global warming also has caused the population of polar bears to decrease by 50% the last 20 years. Scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the wild by 2030 if the rate of global warming continues. In the last decade temperatures in Greenland have shot up by 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The bigger glacier in Greenland has been named by glaciologists “The King of the glaciers” since it  produces by far more icebergs than any other single glacier. In the next 100 years the oceans will expand on their own as they warm, accounting for about a foot of sea level rise. Another foot will likely come from the loss of the world’s mountain glaciers as they melt away.  The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica won’t disappear, but their combined melt is expected to add another foot. The total equals an estimated sea level rise approaching three feet (1 meter) by about 2100.  Unfortunately over 100 million people live within three feet above sea level. Greenland is loosing over 150,000,000 tons more ice every year.

Climate change is bringing serious modification to Greenland, and that could mean serious and big trouble for the rest of the world. Fortunately, some scientists even consider as a possibility that water may refreeze within the ice sheet, and that sea levels may actually rise more slowly than expected. All I have said is based on science, and I hope that the nations of the world could comprehend the  tragedy that is developing and convince them to take immediate action.

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