Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Even if we stop emitting greenhouse gasses, it is too late to reverse the damage done — the Greenland ice sheet is beyond saving, according to a new study published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment last Thursday, based on a review of more than 30 years of satellite data. “We’ve passed the point of no return but there’s obviously more to come,” author Ian Howat of Ohio State University told CNN. “Rather than being a single tipping point in which we’ve gone from a happy ice sheet to a rapidly collapsing ice sheet, it’s more of a staircase where we’ve fallen off the first step but there’s many more steps to go down into the pit.”
Why This Matters: The perfect metaphor for the climate crisis. We have fallen off the first step and we can’t stop, but we don’t know how bad it will feel as we keep falling, and falling, and falling. The bottom line is that Florida and other coastal areas are going to be under water and there is no stopping that — we must adapt. The three feet of sea-level rise predicted will cause major damage and disruption to the 40% of Americans who live in areas that are vulnerable.
Greenland’s Ice Going, Going
Studying four decades of satellite data, the study’s authors were able to make some rather stunning conclusions, as reported by CNN. For example:
Greenland’s ice sheet is “retreating in rapid bursts, leading to a sudden and unpredictable rise in sea levels, making it difficult to prepare for the effects.”
After 2000, “the ice sheet shrank so rapidly that replenishing snowfall would not keep up with the rate of melting from parts of the glacier newly exposed to warmer ocean water.”
“All 200 glaciers that make up the Greenland ice sheet have been observed retreating.”
Greenland icemelt is the largest contributor to global sea-level rise — as Ecowatch put it, what happens in Greenland does not stay in Greenland. National Geographic has a new documentary premiering next month that looks ahead to what will be the “Last Ice” areas in the Arctic.
How do you elect political candidates who will make tackling climate change a priority? That’s the question Caroline Spears and her colleagues sought to answer when they launched the Climate Cabinet Action Fund in 2018, offering tailored climate data, policy ideas, and messaging suggestions to candidates and lawmakers.
Why This Matters: State legislatures play a critical role in crafting and passing policy — to lead on climate and energy policy, paving the way for ambitious national climate action.
By Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer As Maui, Hawaii begins its “managed retreat” from its coastline due to sea-level rise caused by climate change, the county filed a lawsuit this week against big oil companies including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips to pay the costs of the move. The suit alleges that the companies knew […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.