What will happen if Greenland’s icy environment will melt completely? I’d hate to answer that. All the villages in my place will disappear and even the hill people will have to evacuate to higher grounds in the mountains.
What was the question again? Oh, yes, that one. Experts say that the sea will rise up by seven meters.
This new study is very worrisome to people living along the sea and ocean coasts including me. I’m just one kilometer away from the China Sea and it’s all flat ground from there to where I live.
According to UCLA geography Professor Laurence Smith the lead author of the study that Greenland, contrary to many views is not what a seem, a single huge mass of ice and snow but “a very wet icescape covered with branching streams, rivulets and even large flowing blue rivers” which can effectively drain the water from the icy surface.
If I may add, like a hole in a tub that the drains the water faster than the faucet can fill it.
The meltwater is carried “by these highly organized stream systems over the ice and then into the ice through these sinkholes called moulins,” he says.
What appears to be surface cracks are really fissures that drills deep into the bowels of the ice sheet, bathing the ice with meltwater giving it an opening to escape downstream going to the ocean. What Smith may really mean is that Greenland’s seemingly solid feature is “more like Swiss cheese” than “a featureless plane of ice.”
Satellites were used to help in the research but for Smith and his graduate students did most of the jobs by employing honest to goodness legwork. It was in 2012 when his team travelled to Greenland to chart 23 waterways and to put in position several types of high tech tools. [“We used] a combination of satellite remote-sensing, using very high resolution military grade imaging system from space, as well as intensive field work involving ice camps on top of the ice sheet, involving autonomous drones and other high tech approaches,” he says.
A writer for Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Smith revealed that there’s more meltwater loss than those from lakes and calving of ice together. It was the perception until the recent discovery.
“So what our work shows is a clear and definite connection between climatological melting on the top of the ice sheet and the downstream outflow of water to sea level rise and floods in the rivers moving over the Greenland coast.”
Their findings, Smith says, can be of great help in creating climate models with regards to the expected intensive and extensive melting of Greenland’s ice and snow in the coming years. The imminent melting can lead to increase floods from surface waterways finding their way to the ocean and to the world. Let the destruction begins.