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Full Version: Climate change: Rain melting Greenland ice sheet 'even in winter'
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As rain becomes a more frequent occurrence in Greenland (which to scientists is a surprise), their ice is melting faster and faster. Usually, snow falling in the winter balances out any melting of the ice in the summer. Having rain fall instead is a huge problem. Looking at statistics, Greenland has about two rain spells every winter. However, this had risen to 12 spells by 2012. After further analysis of 300 occasions between 1979 and 2012, it is shown that rainfall is the cause for the melting. Even if the rain were to fall in the winter time and quickly refreeze, the characteristics of the surface would be altered, leaving it smoother, darker, and "pre-conditioned" to melt rapidly when summer comes. The darker the ice is, the more heat it absorbs from the sun. The volume of ice covering Greenland means the area is fated to have global repercussions if the melting continues to increase. If the massive Greenland ice-sheet melts, the sea levels would rise by about seven meters- threatening coastal populations. The major fear is that the flow of meltwater would accelerate temperature rise. Algae is also an influence in making the ice darker. I believe it is essential to look further into the ice in Greenland. We could be endangering the lives of many in coastal areas if the ice continues to melt and increase sea levels. With climate change becoming more of an issue, it is clear that it will rain more than snow. It only takes 14mm of rain to melt 15cm of snow in the area. I hope further action is taken, especially to deal with the algae.
In regards to this troubling incident, I remember watching a planet documentary with one episode focused on the polar ice caps and Greenland. Everything that I can remember from that one hour episode is covered in this article and in your discussion. It's quite alarming to think how quickly the ice and snow from the coldest regions of Earth are melting, and as stated above and in the article, since this rain that presumably occurs from condensation of water vapor following the evaporation of the melting ice or from the "warm air coming up from the South", transforms the ice surface to expose darker portions resulting in more absorption of light and heat, the melting is increasing exponentially so therefore I think that we better consider the ramifications of our industries before it's too late and millions of people and animals near coastal areas drown from the rising sea levels as a result of the melting ice which we can prevent.
I think this is just another example of how humans are threatening the fate of the Earth. I believe that people do not understand the extent to which their actions affect our environment. A lot of people have the mentality that a single person doing one harmful action will go unnoticed, however if everyone in the world thinks that then the world is destined to its demise. However, I think this type of mentality could be transformed into potentially positive affects. What I mean is, if one person is thinking about how their actions can influence the fate of Greenland for example or any coastal region and they change even just one thing in their routine it will make a difference. It will make a difference because I believe it will cause a domino effect and hopefully our current negative influence will be a positive one.