2. NASA. Greenland ice to melt faster than expected. 23 foot rise in sea level.
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Considering the latest Arctic ice melt reports, everything is melting faster than predicted. As the ice melts in the Arctic and Greenland there is less reflective white surface area, and there is more heat-absorbing dark seas and lands. This speeds up the melting even more.
"the complete melting of Greenland's ice sheet would raise global sea level by 23 feet."
See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7461707.stm - BBC: Arctic sea ice melt 'even faster'.
I would not want to live less than 25 feet above sea level. Even more considering storm surges. Coastal property values will eventually drop when people realize this is happening sooner than expected. Who knows how soon? People living below sea level in parts of New Orleans, parts of Holland, etc. are living very dangerously considering storm surges.
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NASA: warming is causing Greenland ice to melt faster than expected. Feb. 21, 2008.
NASA: warming is causing Greenland ice to melt faster than expected
February 21, 2008
Warming air temperatures are causing Greenland's ice sheet to melt faster than previously anticipated, reported NASA on Wednesday. Though unlikely, the complete melting of Greenland's ice sheet would raise global sea level by 23 feet.
"The relationship between surface temperature and mass loss lends further credence to earlier work showing rapid response of the ice sheet to surface meltwater," said Dorothy Hall, a senior researcher in Cryospheric Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and lead author of the study, published in the January issue of the quarterly Journal of Glaciology.
Using temperature data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite and satellite gravity data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) twin satellite system, Hall and colleagues found "a strong connection between melting on ice sheet surfaces in areas below 6,500 feet in elevation, and ice loss throughout the ice sheet's giant mass."
Microwave data from the Special Sensor Microwave Imaging radiometer was used to create this image of the 2007 Greenland melting anomaly which reflects the difference between the number of melting days occurring in 2007 and the average number of melting days during the period 1988 – 2006. Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory
The results seem to confirm that the start of surface melting "triggers mass loss of ice over large areas of the ice sheet."
"We're seeing a close correspondence between the date that surface melting begins, and the date that mass loss of ice begins beneath the surface," Hall said. "This indicates that the meltwater from the surface must be traveling down to the base of the ice sheet -- through over a mile of ice -- very rapidly, where its presence allows the ice at the base to slide forward, speeding the flow of outlet glaciers that discharge icebergs and water into the surrounding ocean."
"If air temperatures continue rising over Greenland, surface melt will continue to play a large role in the overall loss of ice mass."
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I've heard over and over that the complete melting of the ice sheets on Greenland is "unlikely." What evidence is there that is unlikely? So far we've seen ever changing estimates of the melting in various sites--Kilamanjaro, Arctic Ocean, Antarctica, etc. I wish the so-called experts would at least explain why they make that statement. After all, if the oceans could rise 23 feet we should be clear about what is and what is not possible, but let's base it on fact.
I suspect that soon the accepted statement on the Greenland Ice melt will change to complete melting of the ice sheets will be "likely". It is only a question of how long. The recent summer of 2007 saw a reduction of the Arctic sea ice cover of over 40% - most extensive reduction ever recorded - and the likelihood that by 2013 the Arctic summers may be "ice free" which would be a tremendous feedback mechanism favouring increased global heating. Also older, "permanent" sea ice has melted away or thinned. Now it appears that this tipping point in the Arctic has been reached.. 100 years ahead of the IPCC projection!! Btw, a near complete melt of the Greenland ice sheet would raise sea levels at least 7 metres. Note that the IPCC report was heavily and deviously editted by countries like the US and China who wish to downplay the projected severity and rapidity of anthropologic global warming and maintain the status quo in terms of CO2 emissions. Here is a site with an interesting downloadable report on what the reputable climate scientists are stating privately... and publically!..