by Plutonium Page
Wed Jul 27th, 2005 at 11:00:05 AM EST
(Cross-posted at The Next Hurrah.)
Look to the Arctic to see the effects of the real global threat: climate change.
The following images were generated by the NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio. They illustrate the receding ice in Greenland. Click each image to enlarge it.
From left to right: color scale (cm/year receding), and the east coast of Greenland.
Now, courtesy of the ASTER science team/U. of Maine, this is the Kangerdlugssuaq glacier in Greenland. It is moving three times faster than it was in 1996, because it is melting. The dotted yellow line is where the glacier ends today.
And now for a story to go with the pictures. It has to do with those damned Greenpeace terrorists, and what they've been up to. Their latest act of terrorism: a trip to the Arctic, accompanied by scientists from the U. of Maine Climate Change Institute, to determine how fast some of the glaciers are melting.
Here's what the Greenpeace folks, and two scientists found:
Independent scientists onboard the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise yesterday discovered that a Greenland glacier has accelerated in the past nine years exceeding all expectations and has now become one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world. These observations validate predictions about impacts to Greenland glaciers from recent global warming.
The specifics are important. The glacier is moving three times faster than in 1996, and the edge of it is receding faster (three miles) than in the past:
Outlet glaciers like Kangerdlugssuaq transport ice from the heart of the Greenland Ice Sheet to the ocean and discharge icebergs, which contribute to sea level rise. Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier alone transports or "drains" four percent of the ice from the Greenland Ice Sheet, and so any changes in the speed of these glaciers holds tremendous significance in terms of sea level rise.
Preliminary findings indicate Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier on Greenland's East Coast could be one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world with a speed of almost nine miles per year. The measurements were made this week using high precision GPS survey methods. In 1996, measurements made with satellite imagery revealed the glacier's speed was three miles per year. In addition, Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier has unexpectedly receded approximately three miles since 2001 after maintaining a stable position for the past 40 years.
The scientists discuss their findings on their blog, mentioning that their videographer filmed the glacier for two hours, and they could actually see the glacier moving.
Finally, a predicted consequence of the accelerated melting of Arctic glaciers is rising sea levels. Will Florida (and Jeb Bush) eventually end up under water? How about the Netherlands? Will we see the canal water rise, right outside our house?
All sarcasm aside, the seriousness of climate change is underscored by the U. Maine scientists' findings.
If you are still not convinced that climate change is very serious, and very real, check out this slide show, of "then and now" (1928 and 2002) pictures of various places in Iceland. The changes are dramatic, to put it mildly.
Yawn... yeah, I know, it's just another climate change story. No big deal, right? Just something those damned liberals invented.