Saturday, January 22, 2011

Greenland ice melting in 2010 facts

The year 2010 was the warmest year on record, and Greenland being one of the most sensitive areas to increased temperatures, certainly felt the effects of that by having 50 days longer melting period in many areas, from the end of April till the mid September.

2010 summer temperatures in Greenland were 3C above the average, and this is the main reason why Greenland experienced this prolonged period of melting.

This year, the largest city in Greenland, Nuuk, experienced the warmest spring and summer in history since the measurements began in 1873.

Greenland ice melting is one of the main contributing factors to global sea level rise, and there is large number of scientists such as WWF climate specialist Dr. Martin Sommerkorn who believe that sea levels will rise by more than 1 meter till the end of this century. Scientists have calculated that Greenland ice melt currently contributes to global sea level rise at about .02 inches a year, but the potential impact is enormous.

According to the Marco Tedesco, director of the Cryospheric Processes Laboratory at The City College of New York, in 2010 an area of the size of France melted in Greenland.

Greenland has about one-twentieth of the world's total ice, and if all of this ice were to melt this would cause 21 feet of global sea rise.

Despite the record ice melting in 2010, it is estimated that the scenario in which Greenland would lose all its ice would take at least few centuries to be completed. However, once rapid melting starts (and it certainly looks like this process has already started) it is extremely difficult to reverse it, and this is one of the main reasons why world leaders should finally agree new climate deal which would limit greenhouse gas production. This is really world's only chance to stop further ice melting at Greenland.

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