Greenland Ice Melt Is A Huge Story

Viral footage of Greenland’s recent melting.  

In early August, Greenland lost between12 and 24 billion tons of ice each day, which, The Washington Post reported was about 6 to 18 billion tons greater than the typical rates seen during the same dates during the time period from 1981-2010.  According to The Post, the melt season overall — which has about 35 to 40 days to go — is poised to set a new and more significant record, the 2012 record ice loss, which reached 300 billion tons of surface ice mass loss from Greenland.

Why This Matters:  This rate of melting in Greenland, when combined with similar melting in Antarctica does not bode well for the future of small islands and coastal cities.  This rapid melting also creates a dangerous feedback loop — “Ice-free areas feature much above-average sea surface temperatures, which is reinforcing the transport of mild air into the region, and helping to melt more sea ice.”  Scientists now believe that “the rate of ice loss in Greenland has increased sixfold since the 1980s, according to a recent study, with the ice sheet responsible for raising global sea levels by 13.7 millimeters since 1972, half of which occurred in just the past 8 years.”  But that is just (pardon the pun) the tip of the iceberg.  Bloomberg reports that, according to recent modeling, the loss of Greenland’s ice is likely to raise sea levels along the East Coast of the U.S. by a minimum of 0.2 meters (about 8 inches) over the next century.  This is a huge news story that has been understandably overshadowed by the tragic events of the past two weeks.  

Ice Melt in Greenland By The Numbers

The Washington Post reported, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado:

 

Up Next

EU Climate Policy: Fuel Up, Fuel Down

EU Climate Policy: Fuel Up, Fuel Down

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer One of the big headlines out of the European Union’s recently released package of concrete policies to hit climate neutrality was the phase out of diesel and petrol fueled cars by 2035. The proposal plans for charging stations every 60km (about every 37 miles), a massive ramp up in […]

Continue Reading 418 words
Biden Admin To Strengthen Vehicle Mileage Standards

Biden Admin To Strengthen Vehicle Mileage Standards

Yesterday, several news outlets reported that the Biden administration will soon propose a return to aggressive Obama-era vehicle mileage standards over five years, after which rules would tighten to encourage 40% of U.S. drivers into electric vehicles by 2030. As the Post and Courrier reported, The proposed rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department […]

Continue Reading 568 words
EU Climate Policy: An Updated Carbon Market

EU Climate Policy: An Updated Carbon Market

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Taken together, the European Union’s 27 countries are the #4 carbon emitter globally. The recently released “Fit for 55” package spells out how, exactly, the bloc will go from its current output to hitting its goal of climate neutrality by 2050. One of the biggest proposed changes is an […]

Continue Reading 378 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.