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Fwd: CC: Scientists Alarmed At Increase In Greenland's Melting Ice

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  • patneuman2000
    ... NHNE News List Current Members: 1046 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... SCIENTISTS ALARMED AT INCREASE IN MELT RATE OF
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8, 2004
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      --- In nhnenews@yahoogroups.com, NHNE <nhne@n...> wrote:

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      SCIENTISTS ALARMED AT INCREASE IN MELT RATE OF ICE
      By Hamish Macdonell
      The Scotsman
      August 4, 2004

      http://news.scotsman.com/scitech.cfm?id=891712004

      Greenland's cover of ice is melting ten times quicker than previously
      thought, an increase that could lead to floods across the world,
      scientists
      have found.

      Newly published research shows an alarming rise in the rate of
      collapse of
      the massive Greenland ice-sheet as a result of global warming.
      Scientists
      now believe the ice-sheet is shrinking at the rate of ten metres a
      year, not
      the one metre previously thought.

      If the entire ice-sheet melts, the resulting flood waters would raise
      the
      level of global seas by seven metres, submerging large areas of land,
      including sea-level cities such as London.

      Greenland has the biggest ice-sheet in the northern hemisphere: almost
      772,000 square miles of ice which is up to 1.9 miles thick, the base
      of
      which is below sea level.

      The new research was published by the Geological Survey of Greenland
      and
      Denmark, which has been monitoring the ice-sheet for several years.
      Icebergs
      from the ice-sheet crash into the sea regularly, but they have been
      doing so
      with increasing frequency over the past year.

      The last major study of Greenland was by NASA, the US space agency,
      four
      years ago. That found that the surface of the ice was receding by one
      metre
      a year.

      Carl Boggild, the lead scientist, said the ice had dropped by two or
      three
      metres in just the past few months.

      "There is a high melt rate due to warm winters and warm summers," he
      said.

      Jonathan Gregory, of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction, at the
      University of Reading, along with colleagues from Brussels and
      Bremerhaven,
      has also found that an average annual warming in the region of 2.7C
      would
      mean that the rate of melting would outpace the annual snowfall.

      The greater the warming, the faster the snow melts. The worst-case
      predictions for Greenland, made by an inter-governmental panel of
      scientists, now involve an average warming of 8C.

      At those temperatures, oceans that have risen by 2.5mm (less than
      one-tenth
      of an inch) a year will start to rise by a steady 7mm a year.

      One medium-term side-effect of the destruction of the Greenland
      ice-sheet
      could be the loss of the Gulf Stream, which keeps Europe warm and
      temperate.
      The fresh water from the ice mixes with the salt water in the sea,
      altering
      the salinity and changing the direction and behaviour of major
      currents.

      The scientists on the Greenland survey admit they have no way of
      setting any
      kind of timetable to a rise in water levels or forms of climate
      change, and
      insist that further monitoring will have to take place over the next
      few
      years to get a clearer picture. But they do admit that their findings
      are
      worrying and suggest a much more serious picture for global sea levels
      than
      had been available up until now.

      It is likely to take hundreds of years for the entire ice-sheet to
      melt but,
      as this year's survey has shown, if the speed of the destruction
      increases,
      that timescale could be brought forward dramatically.

      ------------

      PREVIOUS NHNE NEWS LIST ARTICLE:

      GREENLAND ICE-MELT 'SPEEDING UP' (7/29/2004):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/7634

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