While most glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, one of them is growing bigger–ALSO as a result of climate change. Hotter summers may actually slow down the melting rate of glaciers. Researchers have learned that increased melting in the warmer summer months is causing the internal drainage system of the Greenland ice sheet to adapt to allow for more melted water, without speeding up the calving of ice chunks and water flow into the oceans. This is happening because in hot weather there is so much water that it runs off into channels below the ice, decreasing the layer that sits on top of the ice sheets and causes melting over a much larger surface area.
Greenland’s ice sheet, which could be a major cause of rising sea levels, melted at a record rate in 2010. And a look at an ice field atop the highest mountain in the eastern European Alps suggests that the glacier may hold records of ancient climate extending back as much as a thousand years. We better investigate them quickly before it all melts away.If Greenland’s ice sheet melts, ocean levels would rise by over 20 feet, which would drown coastal cities around the world.
And gives birth to a BIG one! – An “ice island” four times the size of Manhattan has calved from a glacier in Greenland. The last time the Arctic lost such a large chunk of ice was in 1962.
The Petermann Glacier, the parent of the new ice island, is one of the two largest remaining glaciers in Greenland that terminate in floating shelves. The glacier connects the great Greenland ice sheet directly with the ocean. The new ice island has an area of at least 100 square miles and a thickness up to half the height of the Empire State Building.
Glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, threatening to raise sea levels and drown coastal cities. Now a German geologist has developed a method to slow down, or even stop, the melt.
Researcher Hans-Joachim Fuchs wants to install fans on melting glaciers that will blow cold air from the glacier onto the dissolving ice, slowing down (or even stopping) the melt. Not everyone thinks it’s a good idea: In the August 20th edition of the Independent, Tony Paterson quotes Swiss glacier expert Martin Funk as saying, “If you are trying to cool a glacier, wind screens are a crazy idea.”