Greenland is getting greener. Here’s why you should care…
Melting ice sheets all the way in Greenland could be a key cause of this summer’s extreme weather. UGA researchers adventured across the globe to find out how and why this unfrozen ice, also known as meltwater, is impacting our planet.
Greenland’s meltwater is nothing more than unfrozen ice sheets. Sounds simple right? Wrong.
The fate of this melting ice can impact rising sea levels, biological production in the ocean, the natural formation of sea ice, and even the ocean currents themselves. All of which are factors that inherently lead to severe changes in our climate and ecosystem. Researches urge people to consider the 47 days at or above 90 degrees in Georgia this summer, forest fires in California, the floods in Louisiana…etc. when considering these extreme weather changes.
This melting ice is also affecting the vast array of wildlife in and around Greenland, which includes polar bears, humpback whales, musk oxen, walruses, reindeer, and sea eagles, just to name a few. These creatures are so important to our ecosystem and Greenland’s excessive meltwater is severely impacting their abilities to survive.
According to Nature Geoscience, the reason this meltwater is so influential is because
50-60 % of this melted ice travels west into the Labrador Sea, which is creating very serious abnormalities in terms of stratification and salinity off the coast.
Scientists predict that the amount of meltwater runoff from Greenland could more than double before the end of this century. With this doubled amount of fresh water, comes a doubled amount of ocean anomalies, and an even greater amount of climate change that this planet may not be able to sustain.
Read Hau Luo, Renato M. Castelao, Asa K. Rennermalm, Marco Tedesco, Annalisa Bracco, Patricia L. Yager and Thomas L. Mote’s full study of Greenland’s meltwater here.