Unusual Greenland Melt Could Affect Earth’s Rotation

Unusual Greenland Melt Could Affect Earth’s Rotation

Is it still possible to be a climate change and global warming denier if melting changes the Earth’s rotation? My guess is yes, simply because continued denying of climate change is at best the acme of folly or willful ignorance but more likely simply the refuge of the stupid, uneducated and those that think the world is about 8,000 years old.

That’s not harsh, it’s science and you can’t argue fact

The website Polar Portal is presently featuring a report from the Danish Meteorological Institute, that shows that Greenland’s melt this year is breaking record given its early start. According to the report over 10% of the ice sheet is presently covered with meltwater of no less than a millimeter. “The former top 3 earliest dates for a melt area larger than 10% were previously all in May (5th May 2010, 8th May 1990, 8th May 2006),” the Institute said in a press release.

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This places the melt in the company of 2012’s melt which held the undesired record for the earliest melt of the Greenland ice sheet.

That melt saw statements like this from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, “During a peak melt event in July, even the summit areas of the ice sheet, nearly two miles above sea level, saw snowmelt conditions,” the group wrote. “While this has been observed in ice cores a handful of times in the past 1,000 years, it had not previously occurred in this century.”

This year’s record melt is attributable to a warm midlatitude air mass lingering of the the ice sheet with nowhere to go according to Jason Box, a researcher with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland who says, “The strong south air flow onto Greenland has produced warm air, rain instead of snow, and melting of snow that is in Nuuk.” You’re certainly forgiven for not knowing the capital of Greenland if you were unaware that it is, indeed, Nuuk.

Sure, this could have been caused by direct sunlight working on the ice sheet, but sadly, it isn’t. In both 2012 and this year the record melts occurred and are occurring with largely overcast and cloudy skies according to Box and his colleagues.

Others chime in on Greenland’s surprising melt

“This sort of event, early in the season, has a negligible effect on the mass loss, because of the water refreeze,” says Marco Tedesco, a Greenland expert at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

“These events are local scale, very short term, it’s like a pulse of energy,” Tedesco continued. “But the potential implications, in terms of runoff and so on, they alter the memory of the snowpack, the potential implications can be big either for the same season, or future seasons.”

In his mind, it’s quite important that researchers learn more about the aforementioned warm midlatitude air that is hovering above Greenland’s ice sheet.

While the melt itself is far from catastrophic, it’s important that it’s studied ahead of the summer when the bulk of melting occurs.

“What the situation suggests for Greenland ice melt summer 2016 is some thermal erosion of the ‘cold content’ of the snow overlying the ice sheet, meaning less heat needed to ‘ripen’ the snow to the melting point,” Box said. “Earlier full melt season onset, all else equal.”

How do people continue to deny this is happening?

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