NASA has issued a press release stating that in less than a week, the amount of thawed surface ice in Greenland skyrocketed from 40 percent to 97 percent. Normally, Greenland experiences approximately a 50 percent surface ice sheet melt during the summer. The presence of this new increased level of thawing was discovered by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. From satellite views, pictures show that it covers nearly all of Greenland’s surface ice cover and is larger than any measurements over the past 30 years. Upon questioning these results, NASA received confirmation from three independent sources, namely, from scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, as well as from the University of Georgia at Athens and the City University of New York.
Mindful of the ongoing debate between climatologists and environmental scientists versus many conservative thinkers and politicians that “global warming” is a myth, NASA’s cryosphere manager, Tom Wagner, states that this phenomenon may be due, in part, to natural variations. On this subject, he points to this year’s unusual weather pattern over Greenland, described as an “unusually strong ridge of warm air”. However, Mr. Wagner notes that this case is “clearly thinning around the periphery, changing Greenland’s overall ice mass”. He states that warming ocean water is eating away the ice.
It appears that the Arctic, in general, is changing due to warmer temperatures. Recent notation was made of an iceberg the size of Manhattan that tore off of the Petermann Glacier in Greenland. Several studies suggest the major role that humans play in ocean warming and point to the fact that several regions of the world, especially the United States east coast, are more vulnerable than other areas to sea level rise. These occurrences appear to be human-induced and offer proof of the harm we are doing to the planet by not adhering to environmentally friendly practices. We need to heed the call of scientists and environmentalists to protect the earth for future generations. Let’s live green, be green!