Thursday, January 27, 2011

Greenland's Glacial Meltdown

Greenland is, by area, the world's largest island that is not a continent. It is the least densely populated dependency or country in the world. It has been inhabited, though not continuously, by indigenous peoples since 2500 BC. There were Norse colonies in Greenland from AD 986 until sometime most likely in the 15th century. In the early 18th century contact between Scandinavia and Greenland was re-established and Denmark established rule over Greenland. The majority of Greenland, is less than 1,500 metres (4,921 ft) in elevation.

The weight of the massive Greenland ice sheet has depressed the central land area to form a basin lying more than 300 m (984 ft) below sea level The ice flows generally to the coast from the center of the island. All towns and settlements of Greenland are situated along the ice-free coast, with the population being concentrated along the west coast.

If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt away completely, the world's sea level would rise by more than 7 m (23 feet). Today the glaciers of Greenland are contributing to a rise in the global sea level at a faster rate than was previously believed.

Greenland glaciers spring surprise   BBC - January 26, 2011

Some Greenland glaciers run slower in warm summers than cooler ones, meaning the icecap may be more resistant to warming than previously thought. The scientists emphasize the icecap is not "safe from climate change", as it is still losing ice to the sea. Melting of the icecap would add several metres to sea level around the world.

Huge ice sheet breaks from Greenland glacier   BBC - August 6, 2010

It is the largest Arctic iceberg to calve since 1962.

Ice Island Breaks off Greenland; Bigger Than Manhattan   National Geographic - August 6, 2010

New Petermann glacier collapse may be biggest in recorded history.


More about Greenland

History Early Paleo-Eskimo cultures, Norse Settlement, More


Greenland   Google Images

  Greenland   Google Videos