Wednesday, September 26, 2007
NASA just unveiled a disturbing report that is bound to raise eyebrows even amongst the biggest global warming skeptics. According to the report, Greenland is experiencing melting in high altitude areas at about 150% above average.
This most recent study also confirmed an overall rise in the melting trend over the entire Greenland ice sheet. Marco Tedesco, a research scientist at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, cooperatively managed by the NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County used satellite data to compare average snow melting from 1988-2006, with what has taken place this summer.
"When snow melts at those high altitudes and then refreezes, it can absorb up to four times more energy than fresh, unthawed snow," said
Tedesco. "This can affect Earth's energy budget by changing how much radiation from the sun is absorbed by the Earth versus that reflected back into the atmosphere. Refrozen snow can also alter the snow density, thickness and snow-water content."
Tedesco's findings were published Sept. 25 in the American Geophysical Union's Eos newspaper.
"Increases in the overall melting trend over Greenland have an impact that stretches beyond its icy shores," said Tedesco. "Aside from contributing to direct sea level rise, melting especially along the coast can speed up glaciers since the meltwater acts like a lubricant between the frozen surface and the bedrock deep below. The faster glaciers flow, the more water enters the ocean and potentially impacts sea level rise."
Even though this is to no surprise to anyone with a close eye on the environment, it does add to the mounting evidence worldwide that demands an immediate call for change from both corporate and governmental policies, and mass consumer practices driving the global warming crises.
For more information and images, visit: NASA