Sunday, January 2, 2011

Greenland ice melting - Current situation

There are some scientists who say that Greenland will become ice free by the end of the century. This is because of the constantly rising temperatures and 2010 was one of the hottest years on record. Still, according to the Dr Alan Hubbard from the Aberystwyth University Greenland will not lose all of its ice by the end of this century, though of course the future of Greenland looks anything but good.

According to Dr Hubbard it would take at least 100 to 1,000 years before Greenland ice potentially passes point of no return leading to widespread collapse of Greenland's ice cover.

Dr. Hubbard's team consisted of 15 scientists from Aberystwyth and Swansea universities who spent five months on the ice sheet from the beginning of May where they measured the thickness, speed, climate, and other vital statistics using radar, seismic and geophysical equipment in order to determine the current situation with Greenland ice melting.

The team has concluded that increased temperatures in Arctic region have caused extensive melting in new upper parts of the ice sheet, and this rapid melting has generated at least double the quantity of melt water, compared with 2009 levels, which runs off the ice sheet into the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

Dr. Hubbard stated that Greenland warming is worse than ever, and this warming effect has enhanced and extended melting into new northern and upper parts of the ice sheet generating huge quantities of melt water, which could in years to come lead to serious sea level rise.

Dr. Hubbard and his team plan to return to Greenland in 2012 to study the effect that reduced winter sea ice has on ice sheet flow and ice berg calving.

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