UK scientists from Aberystwyth University in Wales have been measuring the rapidly thinning ice cap in Greenland, containing the world’s second largest ice sheet after Antarctica.
Beginning a month-long camping expedition on the ice sheet itself, Dr. Alun Hubbard’s team found summertime melting patterns six weeks earlier than normal. In addition, Dr. Ian Bartholomew of Edinburgh University in Scotland, UK recently discovered summer glacial ice in Greenland sliding at a 220% faster rate toward the sea than in the winter, which is a much larger variability than previously measured.
Scientists note with increasing concern the devastating consequences that would occur if the entire ice sheet melted completely. Norwegian ice expert Mr. Veli Albert Kallio of the Frozen Isthmuses' Protection Campaign of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans explained.
Veli Albert Kallio – Frozen Isthmuses Protection Campaign of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans (M): The sea level rise, first of all, would be about between 7 and 10 meters. As the ice falls into the sea, it displaces its own weight of water and that raises the sea level. But the most dangerous thing is not necessarily at all the sea level rise.
VOICE: According to Mr. Kallio, as large pieces of Greenland’s ice are pushed into the sea, the ocean could become significantly cooled, affecting global climates and threatening vital needs such as food supplies.
Veli Albert Kallio (M): The second aspect is the climatic cooling, which is far more serious perhaps than the sea level rise, because the world food security is threatened by it.
It would be years of no agricultural production, and electricity in houses going out as the power stations are often located on the seaside. It could happen virtually tomorrow, and then we would suddenly find out that our society and way of life would be dramatically crippled by this event.
VOICE: Yet another potential disaster would result from underground Earth movements due to ice melt that removes the glaciers’ massive, suppressing weight. Scientists, who have already observed a 2.5-centimeter lifting of coastal land annually in Greenland, which they say is increasing, also fear increased volcanic eruptions.
Veli Albert Kallio (M): The ground water, when it goes to very deep levels on the ground, it is dissolved as hydrogen and oxygen gas in magma. And when the pressure is reduced, this dissolved gas starts bubbling, and it raises the magma to the surface, raises the pressure and spouts it out as a volcano.
VOICE: As volcanoes erupt, the magma causes even more ice to melt, a cycle that could lead to the complete disappearance of the Greenland ice sheet.
Veli Albert Kallio (M): When the ice melting becomes more severe, the volcanic eruptions become more frequent. So there’s a danger of a runaway event and tipping point that it becomes contagious.
VOICE: We send our sincere thanks, Mr. Kallio, Dr. Hubbard, Dr. Bartholomew and other scientists for your diligent monitoring of this worrisome trend. Let us join in Earth-stabilizing actions by speedily adopting more eco-friendly habits.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has often reminded that the key to preventing calamitous ice melt is to counter the main source of global warming, as in this November 2009 videoconference in Washington, DC, USA.