Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Climate Change Gives Greenland a Lift

A recent study conducted by the University of Miami (and supported by the National Science Foundation and NASA), indicates that Greenland's ice is melting so quickly that the land underneath it is rising at an accelerated pace.

The north Atlantic island nation, which features a rocky coast of stunning fjords formed by moving glaciers, and a dense icecap that covers much of country, is literally rising as the ice pressing down the land beneath it continues to melt. According to the study some coastal areas are lifting by nearly one inch per year and if current trends continue, that number could accelerate to as much as two inches per year by 2025.

The idea behind the study is that if Greenland is losing its ice cover, the resulting loss of weight causes the rocky surface beneath to rise, therefore literally giving a boost to the country's elevation.

Melting of Greenland's ice contributes to global sea level rise. Experts say if the acceleration of uplift and the implied acceleration of melting continue, Greenland could soon become the largest contributor to global sea level rise.