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Climate change: Rain melting Greenland ice sheet '

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2019 at 1:44am
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Earth's warmer, watery future is being written in fast-melting Greenland
By Associated Press - 6 hours ago

Two kayakers just escaped with their lives after a massive glacier collapsed just in front of them in Alaska.
This is where Earth's refrigerator door is left open, where glaciers dwindle and seas begin to rise.

New York University air and ocean scientist David Holland, who is tracking what's happening in Greenland from both above and below, calls it "the end of the planet."

He is referring to geography more than the future. Yet in many ways this place is where the planet's warmer and watery future is being written.


It is so warm here, just inside the Arctic Circle, that on an August day, coats are left on the ground and Holland and colleagues work on the watery melting ice without gloves. In one of the closest towns, Kulusuk, the morning temperature reached a shirtsleeve 10.7 degrees.


Brian Rougeux, New York University field safety officer, installs a GPS antenna at the Helheim glacier, in Greenland. (AP)
The ice Holland is standing on is thousands of years old. It will be gone within a year or two, adding yet more water to rising seas worldwide.

The northern summer this year is hitting Greenland hard with record-shattering heat and extreme melt. By the end of the season, about 400 billion tonnes of ice — maybe more — will have melted or calved off Greenland's giant ice sheet, scientists estimate. That's enough water to flood Pennsylvania or the country of Greece about 35 centimetres deep.

In just the five days from July 31 to August 3, more than 53 billion tonnes melted from the surface. That's over 40 billion tonnes more than the average for this time of year. And that 53 billion tonnes doesn't even count the huge calving events or the warm water eating away at the glaciers from below, which may be a huge factor.

And one of the places hit hardest this hot Greenland summer is here on the southeastern edge of the giant frozen island: Helheim, one of Greenland's fastest-retreating glaciers, has shrunk about 10 kilometres since scientists came here in 2005.


Researchers at the Helheim island in Greenland have found glaciers among some of the fastest retreating due to warm temperatures. (AP)
Several scientists, such as NASA oceanographer Josh Willis, who is also in Greenland, studying melting ice from above, said what's happening is a combination of man-made climate change and natural but weird weather patterns. Glaciers here do shrink in the summer and grow in the winter, but nothing like this year.

Summit Station, a research camp nearly 3,200 metres high and far north, warmed to above freezing twice this year for a record total of 16.5 hours. Before this year, that station was above zero for only 6.5 hours in 2012, once in 1889 and also in the Middle Ages.

This year is coming near but not quite passing the extreme summer of 2012 — Greenland's worst year in modern history for melting, scientists report.

"If you look at climate model projections, we can expect to see larger areas of the ice sheet experiencing melt for longer durations of the year and greater mass loss going forward," said University of Georgia ice scientist Tom Mote. "There's every reason to believe that years that look like this will become more common."


Researchers sit on top of a rock overlooking the Helheim glacier in Greenland. Summer 2019 is hitting the island hard with record-shattering heat and extreme melt. (AP)
A NASA satellite found that Greenland's ice sheet lost about 255 billion metric tonnes of ice a year between 2003 and 2016, with the loss rate generally getting worse over that period. Nearly all of the 28 Greenland glaciers that Danish climate scientist Ruth Mottram measured are retreating, especially Helheim.

At Helheim, the ice, snow and water seem to go on and on, sandwiched by bare dirt mountains that now show no signs of ice but get covered in the winter. The only thing that gives a sense of scale is the helicopter carrying Holland and his team. It's dwarfed by the landscape, an almost imperceptible red speck against the ice cliffs where Helheim stops and its remnants begin.

Those ice cliffs are somewhere between 70 metres and 100 metres high. Just next to them are Helheim's remnants — sea ice, snow and icebergs — forming a mostly white expanse, with a mishmash of shapes and textures. Frequently water pools amid that white, glimmering a near-fluorescent blue that resembles windshield wiper fluid .

A June 2019 study by scientists in the US and Denmark said melting ice in Greenland alone will add between 5 and 33 centimetres to rising global sea levels by the year 2100. If all the ice in Greenland melted — which would take centuries — the world's oceans would rise by 7.2 metres, the study found. (AAP)
As pilot Martin Norregaard tries to land his helicopter on the broken-up part of what used to be glacier — a mush called a melange — he looks for ice specked with dirt, a sign that it's firm enough for the chopper to set down on. Pure white ice could conceal a deep crevasse that leads to a cold and deadly plunge.

Holland and team climb out to install radar and GPS to track the ice movement and help explain why salty, warm, once-tropical water attacking the glacier's "underbelly" has been bubbling to the surface

"It takes a really long time to grow an ice sheet, thousands and thousands of years, but they can be broken up or destroyed quite rapidly," Holland said.

Holland, like NASA's Willis, suspects that warm, salty water that comes in part from the Gulf Stream in North America is playing a bigger role than previously thought in melting Greenland's ice. And if that's the case, that's probably bad news for the planet, because it means faster and more melting and higher sea level rise. Willis said that by the year 2100, Greenland alone could cause a sea level rise of more than one metre.

The Gulf Stream current in North America is playing a bigger role than previously thought in melting Greenland's ice. (Getty)
So it's crucial to know how much of a role the air above and the water below play.

"What we want for this is an ice sheet forecast," Holland said.

In this remote landscape, sound travels easily for miles. Every several minutes there's a faint rumbling that sounds like thunder, but it's not. It's ice cracking.

In tiny Kulusuk, about a 40-minute helicopter ride away, Mugu Utuaq says the winter that used to last as much as 10 months when he was a boy can now be as short as five months. That matters to him because as the fourth-ranked dogsledder in Greenland, he has 23 dogs and needs to race them.

They can't race in the summer, but they still have to eat. So Utuaq and friends go whale hunting with rifles in small boats. If they succeed, which this day they didn't, the dogs can eat whale.

"People are getting rid of their dogs because there's no season," said Yewlin, who goes by one name. He used to run a sled dog team for tourists at a hotel in neighbouring Tasiilaq, but they no longer can do that.

Yes, the melting glaciers, less ice and warmer weather are noticeable and much different from his childhood, said Kulusuk Mayor Justus Paulsen, 58. Sure, it means more fuel is needed for boats to get around, but that's OK, he said.

"We like it because we like to have a summer," Paulsen said.

But Holland looks out at Helheim glacier from his base camp and sees the bigger picture. And it's not good, he said. Not for here. Not for Earth as a whole.

"It's kind of nice to have a planet with glaciers around," Holland said.

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019

12 Monkeys...............
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2019 at 5:46am
Trump's Greenland disaster;

https://www.rt.com/news/466963-trump-insults-danish-queen/,
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/466903-greenland-buy-american-exceptionalism/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/21/trump-state-visit-cancellation-over-greenland-shocks-danes and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy9lxSPLNBU

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/polar-silk-road-china-comes-greenland/

From Denmark:

http://cphpost.dk/news/trump-cancellation-a-huge-cost-to-denmark.html,

https://www.thelocal.dk/20190821/denmark-greenland-danes-pour-scorn-on-trump-after-state-visit-postponement,:
Danish commentators were quick to give their views on Trump’s conduct over the Denmark state visit, in press comments and on social media.

“This is an unprecedented situation. It’s hard to find the right words. Nobody behaves like this on the international stage, least of all an American president,” Thomas Larsen, political commentator with newspaper Berlingske, told Ritzau.

“It’s a heavyweight-class insult. A state visit normally confirms a friendship, a relationship and an alliance between two countries,” Larsen added.


Politicians on Denmark's right were vocal about the issue on Wednesday morning.

“As a Dane (and a conservative) it is very hard to believe. For no reason Trump assumes that (an autonomous) part of our country is for sale. Then insultingly cancels visit that everybody was preparing for,” tweeted Rasmus Jarlov, a finance spokesperson with the Conservatives known for posting strident right-wing views on social media.

“Are parts of the US for sale? Alaska? Please show more respect,” Jarlov added.

“The US is a very special country with incredible people, but based on President Trump’s comments on buying Greenland, Denmark will gladly be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for... well, until another President takes office,” Mercado wrote, adding the hashtag #notarealestatedeal.

https://www.thelocal.dk/20190821/five-things-to-know-about-greenland
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2019 at 4:28pm
Chump has lost the Plot.......

Best to ignore him......

He'll go away soon......
12 Monkeys...............
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2019 at 10:14pm
It would make more geographic sense if Greenland joined Canada.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2019 at 2:54am
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Council and https://forumarctica.ru/en/the-forum/about/ are international organizations were Arctic developments can be discussed.

https://visitgreenland.com/ Large scale tourism will do a lot of damage to Greenland.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/board,12.0.html

DJ-Maybe Denmark should discus with Iceland, Norway, Canada how to keep Greenland out of US-China/Russia conflicts. China is a major investor in mining and airfields. Due to less sea-ice the route north of Siberia-via the Arctic ocean-is getting interesting for traderoutes for East Asia-EU trade.

Trump's idea of getting more control over Greenland is a step in his anti-China policy. Increased military activity in Greenland should-internationaly-be considered as unwelcome. (Russia has a mining interest in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard-part of Norway-but demilitarized. Such an idea should also be good for Greenland. )

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2019 at 4:02am
Some more info;

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201908241076629303-why-trumps-offer-to-buy-greenland-isnt-as-mad-as-it-sounds/,
https://sputniknews.com/world/201908231076614450-trump-greenland-purchase-puerto-rico/
The New York Times has quoted an unnamed White House official as claiming that last year, US President Donald Trump jokingly called for the US to trade Puerto Rico, a self-governing overseas territory of the United States, for Greenland.

https://www.apnews.com/9d4a8021c3650800fdf6dd5903f68972:
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The United States in 1946 proposed to pay Denmark $100 million to buy Greenland after flirting with the idea of swapping oil-rich land in Alaska for strategic parts of the bleak Arctic island, documents in the National Archives show.

The $100 million was to be in gold. And even though the sale did not go through, the United States ended up with the military bases it wanted anyway.

DJ-The US may show more "interest" in Greenland while Denmark will remain in power over the area-with a role for Greenlanders.
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