Greenland’s (Disappearing) Coast Looks Out Of This World

While beautiful, Greenland’s majestic natural features have the potential to cause a lot of grief if we’re not careful. In February 2006, researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported that glaciers in Greenland are melting twice as fast as they were in the previous five years – and losing more ice volume than anyone expected.

If Greenland – whose surface area of 695,000 square miles is almost entirely covered by ice – were to lose all of its ice, scientists believe that sea levels would rise as much as 21 feet (6.4 meters). Meanwhile, glacial movement does not come without its own repercussions: in 2006, Harvard and Columbia University researchers noted that as ice flow has accelerated in Greenland, the area has seen a “dramatic increase” in seismic activity.
While the melting ice is physically isolated, we cannot on its effects to be similarly confined. Here are some potential effects of Arctic warming, as presented by the Center for American Progress:

While sea ice retreat will open up the Arctic to more commercial activity, it also increases the risk of oil spills, shipping accidents, and other mishaps requiring emergency response and search and rescue operations.
The dearth of oil spill cleanup know-how, infrastructure, and response capacity in the harsh and remote Arctic environment may spell disaster for the region’s people and environment.
Many Arctic communities rely on traditional subsistence hunting, fishing, and gathering. A warming climate threatens ecosystems and hunting seasons; causes food shortages; and disrupts subsistence practices and cultures of Arctic indigenous people.

By Savannah Cox  | All That Is Interesting


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Juicy: Greenland’s (Disappearing) Coast Looks Out Of This World
Greenland’s (Disappearing) Coast Looks Out Of This World
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