Melting Ice may return the Life back to Greenland that the Glaciers Killed

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 16th, 2014

Week in Review

The earth’s climate is not a constant.  It changes.  And has been changing over the 4.54 billion years the planet’s been here.  Going from one extreme to another over hundreds of thousands of years.  Periods of time so great nothing living has ever experienced these changes.  For example, no one ever lived to see the polar regions free of ice and glaciers extending down from the polar ice caps to near the equator.  The time between these two climate extremes was far too great for any living thing to observe.  But that’s how climate changes.  Over vast amounts of time.  We may experience hot days and cold days.  Hot summers and cold winters.  But we just won’t experience climate change.  We are likely to die in the climate we were born in.  As it has been throughout time.

The last great climatic change of the planet was the Little Ice Age from approximately 1350 to 1850.  That’s a period of 500 years.  Or 250 years of cooling and 250 years of warming.  Approximately.  And unless you remained alive for some 3 or 4 generations of your family tree you didn’t experience any climate change.  You just accepted the climate you were living in as being normal.  And got on with life.  Which makes all these climate doomsayers seem silly and needlessly frightened.  For they will be long dead and buried before there is any real climate change.  Yet they wring their hands with worry whenever something happens in a very short period of time.  As if that small change in that minute period of time means anything.  Like melting glaciers in Greenland (see Study: Ice Sheet Destabilizing, Threatening Greater Sea-Level Rise by Alan Neuhauser posted 3/16/2014 on US News and World Report).

A new region of a massive ice sheet in Greenland has become unstable, threatening to raise global sea levels beyond previous estimates, an international team of scientists has found.

The ice sheet, known simply as the Greenland Ice Sheet, is a roughly 660,000-square mile swath of ice that covers 80 percent of the country. The second-largest ice sheet in the world behind the Antarctic Ice Sheet, it’s especially vulnerable to global warming, yet its northeast portion had remained largely unaffected by rising temperatures…

From April 2003 to April 2012, the northeast portion lost about 10 billion tons of ice per year, according to GPS data. It’s a finding that researcher Shfaqat Abbas Khan called “very surprising…”

Researchers believe that melting of the ice sheet has been one of the largest factors in sea-level rise, contributing 0.5 millimeters to the total of 3.2 millimeters of sea rise per year.

Once upon a time ice didn’t cover 80% of Greenland and the land in Greenland was actually green.  There was life.  Warm weather.  And warm soil.  Where things grew.  Allowing other things to live.  Then the cold weather came.  A period of global cooling.  An ice age.  And killed it all.  But now it may be spring in Greenland once again.  Allowing life to propagate in new soil revealed beneath receding glaciers.  Perhaps even providing farmland.  And more opportunity for Greenlanders.  Of course the current generation of Greenlanders will never see this.  But their great-great-great-great-grandchildren might.  And they’ll probably like it.  Because we really know how everyone feels about ice and snow.  Based on the destination of everyone going on winter or spring break at least.  They go where it’s warm.  Because warm is better.


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