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The Engineer
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Greenland's Glaciers are Shrinking

10/20/2006 2:58 PM

Two stories related to Greenland's glaciers shrinking can be found at Scientific American and CNN. (Sorry! Links no longer available.)

The vast sheet of ice that covers Greenland is shrinking fast, but still not as fast as previous research indicated, NASA scientists said Thursday. Greenland's low coastal regions lost 155 gigatons (41 cubic miles) of ice each year between 2003 and 2005 from excess melting and icebergs, the scientists said in a statement. The high-elevation interior gained 54 gigatons (14 cubic miles) annually from excess snowfall, they said.

This is a change from the 1990s, when ice gains approximately equaled losses, said Scott Luthcke of NASA's Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory outside Washington. "That situation has now changed significantly, with an annual net loss of ice equal to nearly six years of average water flow from the Colorado River," Luthcke said. The ice mass loss in this study is less than half that reported in other recent research, NASA said in a statement, but it still shows that Greenland is losing 20 percent more mass than it gets in new snowfall each year.

Sounds like Greenland might actually be green someday. I guess reality is finally catching up to clever Viking marketing.

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Guru
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#1

Re: Greenland's Glaciers are Shrinking

10/20/2006 11:11 PM

There is nothing to be very happy about losing the ice in Greenland. It may spell the disaster on the earth including local zone of the Greenland. Stress on the land due to loss of land mass may result into Volcanic activities within Greenland resulting into total change of climate.

Mauritius may become under water country soon due to increasing sea water level. It is not easy to move the country these days. People resist migration. Drastic climatic changes are of serious concern and less fun. It is a huge problem of International level and not individual level. Climate is affected by the policies of the Countries due to poor vision of their Governments. People are highly ignorant everywhere. It is great that we have NASA where we have a pointer to the problem but really no one seriously caring about it. There is small amount of concern else NASA research can not get funded. Other countries are not even doing that much. Perhaps for them it is a bullshit talk and nothing serious to worry about.

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#2

Re: Greenland's Glaciers are Shrinking

10/20/2006 11:36 PM

If I am reading this correctly, by 2009, Greenlands permanent ice sheet should be reduced to half its pressent size. A mere 10 years from now, a glacier (ice sheet) that has taken thousands of years to produce, will be completely gone?

That I'd like to see... or would I?

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Guru
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Greenland's Glaciers are Shrinking

10/20/2006 11:51 PM

Yes, you will be able to see it going green unless something else goes wrong at the same time. It may become more rapid change but not sure if there is good soil any more underneath the ice as it has been covered for such a long. Perhaps, it may still have lots of survived bio history beneath ice. Perhaps excellent time for the greenland people to do some research on regeneration of the life system from ice age. It is also going to affect badly that is supported by ice. The river that originates from ice will disappear and so the zone that is now getting water from the river. It is a hell lot of change and not just ice melting out. Perhaps it will take 50 or 100 years to see the complete change and by then ice will be history.

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The Engineer
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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Greenland's Glaciers are Shrinking

10/21/2006 11:03 AM

Shyam,

I share many of your sentiments. The problem is that the issue of globalwarming has become political. So as study after study confirms it, and the evidence continues to pile up, I can't help but feel a sense of cynical bewilderment that people I respect and I know are intelligent suggest that this might be a "natural" climate change or that it isn't occuring at all. It's crazy, so much so that I'm convinced that people will deny it even when greenland is truly green in 100 years.

Personally, the only real solution I see is a combination of Solar and Fusion power. Maybe fuel cells for cars if they ever get them to work. But these technologies aren't ready yet. They need lots of funding so the best minds get to work on them.

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Guru
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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Greenland's Glaciers are Shrinking

10/21/2006 12:14 PM

Greenland will become green for sure and perhaps the rest of the world is helping in doing that.

Technology that brings disaster is much costly than the one which keeps things in order and clean. If you pay more then you are only sharing with others and that is not a serious worry point. What worries us is the end of the civilization.

Ozone hole is a real thing now, so is increase in the cancer rate. Right now it is only skin cancer but soon will be lot more.

In India we have reduced pollution by a factor of 75% and we could see more rain. It is a direct change due to how we live. We had rain and flood where there was no rain, not even a drop of water for the last 150 years.

We know, the amount of damage people did and we all together can repair it. While it may be a happy thing for some areas on earth, overall it will be worst.

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The Engineer
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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Greenland's Glaciers are Shrinking

10/21/2006 8:12 PM

Shyam,

You wrote:

"In India we have reduced pollution by a factor of 75% and we could see more rain. It is a direct change due to how we live. We had rain and flood where there was no rain, not even a drop of water for the last 150 years."

What kind of pollution has been reduced by 75%? From what I've read, pollution in India is rising, not declining, just like the rest of the world.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/indiaenv.html (Sorry, link no longer available.)

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Guru
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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Greenland's Glaciers are Shrinking

10/22/2006 12:14 AM

In Indian cities most of the public vehicles were changed from normal fuel to efficient CNG fuel. This avoided Carbon particles, Carbon mono-oxide emission and also many half used gases that cause smog (smoke+fog) were drastically reduced. This does not prevent CO2 emission but sure redeces CO2 production as fuel requirement is much less. India uses less than 10% of the fuel America uses and hence also produces less CO2 and has lots of trees to live on it. Our energy consumption is coparable with that of Japan and Germany.

http://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/pop/energy/index.php

There was a seriously problem of visibility and now we have very little or none. India now uses Iron Rod of Law to implement pollution control on its population to drive it away from pollution and forces to use only efficient vehicles. Perhaps they may do it more seriously in coming years. Use of fire wood has become to minimum and only efficient cooking system prevails in the cities. Villages yet to become 100% converted. It is slowly reaching to them now. Cutting of green tree is banned and it will sure send one to jail full of mosquitoes and is not worth adventuring.

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