Greenland melting accelerating…

Disko Bay, GreenlandClimate skeptics often point to the unresolved question of Greenland’s melting as evidence that climate change is bunk.

A new study from NASA’s GRACE data shows that melting is taking place. According to Dr. Jianli Chen’s paper (pdf) published online in Science, Greenland is in fact shrinking, and at a higher rate than earlier studies suggest.

The melt rate is the most disturbing. Chen and his colleagues calculate a sea rise of 0.6mm per year from Greenland, a full third of the average 1.8mm annual sea level rise.

Most of the melting is coming from eastern Greenland. In addition to trouble for ocean front cottages worldwide, the thaw also raises the chance that huge amounts of freshwater melting will disrupt the thermo-haline circulation, robbing sunny England of its pleasant climate.

Dr Jianli Chen at home on the plainsSo next time a climate skeptic repeats that Greenland is actually growing, casually ask him or her if they saw Dr Chen’s GRACE study in Science (or his cool cowboy hat!).

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  1. JD Howell - August 16, 2006

    My posit on climate rolls back to human occupation. As the top of the food chain (collectively) we have need to develop our eco-morals, as well as eco-leaders. If we do not, and quickly, then it is obvious that we will all perish. Which when given enough thought, might be the solution for our parasitical persistences nonetheless. Am I giving up ? No. Am I a fatalist & realist. Maybe. Should we do something. Yes. And I’ll see you out there doing it, on my bike, of course. – JD

  2. pradwastes - August 17, 2006

    The melting of glaciers in Greenland is accererating not only south of the 70th parrallal but is going on North of the 65th. This will be bad news to any coastal place. Now we hear it could change the thermo-hailing currents.
    The “solar dimming” due to particutate polution and water vapor “such as jet contrails” has spared us most of the warming that is affecting the polar areas of this planet because of the clean air at the poles.
    This is the only planet we have and we have to take better care of it. Conservatives are still calling Al Gore’s movie”An Inconvenient Lie.” maybe they will start to change there minds. They have to!

  3. Craig D. - June 27, 2007

    It is time we stopped the whining. With the melting permafrost and sea hydrates starting to pump more CO2 than we do into the atmosphere, and the loss of summer arctic ice setting the stage for a fast melt of Greenland, we should accept the fact that we are witnessing the end of the Holocene. Polar bears, seals, and many other species may have trouble, but humanity will not. We will have to move our coastal cities, and change our agriculture, but adapting is what humans do best. We will not only survive, we will thrive as a species. Some people will suffer, and the new world may not allow us to support the existing population. C’est la vie. So, let’s stop worrying about climate change, and embrace it. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

  4. Henry - August 28, 2007

    This is my first post, I am no expert, but I try to follow the arctic and Greenland, thinking that their melt will effect all of us more than anything.
    My first question is why do leading scientists, so often say “it is melting faster, than we thought possible” whether it is the arctic or Greenland? Isn’t it their job to know? If they are in error about the subject of their study, the speed the speed they thought the arctic would melt at, why should anyone beleive them about the other opinions they have about the future melt? They are experts but all their models show everthing melting so much slower than everyone with eyes can see.
    This year the arctic won’t melt out, but looking at the daily ice map, it doesn’t look 100 years out, like the scientists and their models said just last year. It doesn’t even look 50 or 20 years out either. It looks like only a few years away. But, I don’t have grants to protect. I just look at the daily ice maps of the arctic and it looks to be close to calapse, to me. Not this year, but soon.
    Is Greenland the same? These experts tell us it won’t melt for a thousand years. If the arctic ice cap goes away in summer. Won’t that speed Greenland melt? Some experts say, it will speed global warming. Isn’t Greenland’s melt a part of that?
    This is an important issue, if Greenland’s melt is comming, we as a society need to prepare for it. We don’t need to be caught unprepared as the seas rise whether that is 100 years off or 20 years off. Because a change that massive in our world will take many years to prepare for.
    If our experts don’t know even close to the speed the melt is taking, then they fail at their jobs and need to be replaced by people whose opinions about the subject are born out with their correctness, as the changes unfold. If they are wrong too, fire them and hire more experts, till we get someone whose opinions are correct and are born out by unfolding fact, even if its the local fortune teller.
    This is more important than football and failure on the football feild puts the coaches job on the line. Why shouldn’t failure put the experts jobs on the line, when it comes to something so much more important than a game.

  5. Adam Stein - August 29, 2007

    There are lots of unresolved scientific questions. Firing all the people who are studying them isn’t going to get us to an answer any quicker.