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This Blog is designed to be a Diary of Events illustrating Global Climate Change, and where it will lead.

Commentary is encouraged, but this Blog is not intended for discussion on the Validity of Climate Change.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Greenland's Coasts are Rising

From CBC News:

Greenland's ice is melting at such a rapid pace that the land beneath it is rising up, say U.S. researchers.

The dense, two-kilometre thick icecap that covers Greenland suppresses the land, keeping its elevation in check, researchers at the University of Miami write in a new study. However, it is melting so quickly that the island's coastal areas are rising at a rate of one inch per year.

The scientists predict that by 2025, that rate could be two inches a year.

"What's surprising, and a bit worrisome, is that the ice is melting so fast that we can actually see the land uplift in response," said the study's principal investigator, Tim Dixon, professor of geophysics at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), in a news release.

"Even more surprising, the rise seems to be accelerating, implying that melting is accelerating."

The Entire Story

One step closer to catastrophic sea level rise...


  1. Brew, just an interesting aside for this story. My son was caught in a flash flood in San Antonio, Texas three days ago. The thing is, the area was the old 'heights' neighborhood, where people moved 100 years ago to escape the famous floods of the city's creeks. Everyone was saying, 'why did this happen; we aren't supposed to get flash floods up here?' He got out of the window and escaped without injury, but perhaps he's learned his lesson. Isn't it funny that someone like me, who has been an environmental scientist for 30 years is evidently so stupid that even our own kids won't listen when we tell them what is happening?

    Oh, and I almost forgot, "DRILL BABY DRILL!!" (Why is it, that when the right wing loudmouthed morons are proven wrong, everyone else pays the price?)


  2. Lon, I'm still expecting a major seismic shift in Greenland in the next year or so... You just can't remove that amount of ice weight without the Earth having to readjust...

    Aa for flooding, I had a bizarre encounter with a Denialist a few days ago - he claimed that the floods in Tennessee and New England proved there was no AGW, as Warming was supposed to produce droughts. I pointed out that the forecast was for extreme events of all kinds, not just drought. That convinced him even further that it was all a scam, that we just wanted to claime anything as evidence of AGW...

    I used to think that once events got bad enough, even the strongest Denialist would have to change his mind. I'm not nearly as convinced of that any more.

    But my prediction still stands that SOMETHING HUGE will happen in 2012, so big that all but the most closed minded diehards will be convinced...

  3. Well, my training has always taught me that the earth moves in slow motion; you know, geologic time and all. However the word 'cataclysm' wasn't invented for no reason. Just ask the next Pompeian you run into. Like a lot of people, I thought we would watch a somewhat rapidly - for earth systems - unfolding drama of change. But now I agree with you, that seismic activity in spades may be the first indicator we get. And for a lot of people, that may be last they experience as well.

    I've always thought that we'd have a catastrophic collapse of the Greenland or West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the subsequent flooding of coasts would prove our undoing. However the specter of volcanic or earthquake activity may proceed the ice sheet destruction simply because, like you point out, the earth is already readjusting.

    But, 2012? Now, you're getting a little scary, what with the conjunction of the Aztec calendar and it's predictions (cue the woo-woo music). Actually, I think we may be lucky to reach even that date without huge calamity, and I certainly can't discount what I admittedly don't understand. I think that December of 2012 will be a good month to sit in my camper out in the desert with an adequate supply of survival beverage. (I realize it's easy to laugh at such things as ancient prophecies, but with what we KNOW about climate change, might we be whistling past the graveyard?)




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