Meltwater from Greenland is the largest current contributor to global sea level rise — double that of Antarctica — making the island ground zero for scientists studying climate change. The tangible effects of global warming are already evident around the world, contributing to droughts that fueled forest fires in southern Europe and exacerbating hurricanes that devastated the Caribbean this summer.
But the impact of rising waters in the long term could be far more damaging. Global sea levels are expected to increase anywhere between 0.
If the ice sheet covering Greenland was to melt completely — a process scientists believe could take several hundred years at the current rate — sea levels could rise by as much as 24 feet about 7 meters.
But was an anomaly. As glaciers melt and disperse their sediments into the sea, it becomes harder for light to penetrate the depths where organisms live, and the increased levels of micronutrients lead to the excessive growth of phytoplankton. Yasmin Tayag. Sand samples at the front of Greenland's Hiawatha Glacier. Svend Funder. A spurt of heat in April kickstarted the second-earliest start to the melt season on record.
Mottram noted that the weather station on the summit of Greenland read minus May continued a trend of warmer than normal weather. Ice sheets need snow to gain mass but also to act like a bright, white shield that reflects sunlight away, something scientists call the albedo effect. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, but certain natural climate patterns can enhance that warmth over Greenland.
In that setup, higher than normal pressure plops itself over Greenland and parts of the Arctic and can lock in warm weather and sunny skies. Which means this is almost certainly not the last heat wave Greenland will see.
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