Summer Ice Loss Jumps from 50 to Whopping 97 Percent
NASA’s shocking press release regarding Greenland’s near-complete ice loss comes as a severe blow to the world, and for some this seems to provide new meaning to the concept of “global warming.” Greenland, that massive arctic island we commonly envision as a land of permanent ice and cold, typically loses only 50% of its ice during the summer months. However, during a mere four-day period, Greenland has lost virtually all of its ice.
NASA’s composite satellite maps show the extent of Greenland’s ice loss over just a few days. In its report NASA states:
” For several days this month, Greenland’s surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations. Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its two-mile-thick center, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analyzed by NASA and university scientists.
“On average in the summer, about half of the surface of Greenland’s ice sheet naturally melts. At high elevations, most of that melt water quickly refreezes in place. Near the coast, some of the melt water is retained by the ice sheet and the rest is lost to the ocean. But this year the extent of ice melting at or near the surface jumped dramatically. According to satellite data, an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface thawed at some point in mid-July.”
Researchers have not yet been able to determine whether the sudden melt event will to a rise in the Earth’s sea level.
A Warning About Global Warning?
While some environmentalists may wish to point a finger at Iceland’s recent debacle as an extreme warning of impending global warning, at least one member the global scientific community represents hold a more reserved outlook shared by other scientists.
While Alexander Robinson a glaciologist from Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research declared that the extent and rate of the recent thawing was “shocking,” Robinson shows caution in jumping to conclusions, “I think it’s an intriguing result.… I think it’s going to provoke some studies to investigate whether this type of weather pattern could’ve been provoked by global warming.”