Below the Melt
Greenland ice sheet melting speedily, making seas rise faster
New research indicates that the Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than we thought, will be gone sooner than we thought, and may raise sea levels more than we thought. Whee! The new study, published in Science, says Greenland’s glaciers — among the earth’s largest freshwater reservoirs — are sliding into the Atlantic at twice the rate of a decade ago. The study attributes the accelerated melting to rising surface-air temperatures, and while it doesn’t speculate as to what might be raising temperatures … well, we have a theory. Flood-prone areas worldwide (like practically the entire nation of Bangladesh) could be looking at more major storms and stronger storm surges — and a real drop in beachfront property value — much sooner than scientists heretofore expected. “There’s a lot of fear out there right now, even among scientists, that ice caps are not all that stable,” says climate researcher Mark Chandler. Sleep tight!