As part of a study led by Welsh glaciologist Dr. Alun Hubbard of Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom, data was recently collected from time-lapse cameras and global positioning system (GPS) masts that had been set up on Greenland's Petermann Glacier in July and August 2009.
To their immense surprise, the scientists found the ice had melted so quickly that several of the GPS masts were no longer in position. Dr. Hubbard also stated that although satellite imagery had prepared him for massive ice loss, he was shocked at what he actually saw, saying that it was nearly impossible to really comprehend something as large as a 20 kilometer ice shelf having disappeared.
Meanwhile, preliminary results from another new study by US researchers at the University of Washington found that last year's Arctic sea ice was actually the lowest ever, even less than a previous record minimum of 4.13 million square kilometers in 2007.
This represents a drastic loss over the past three decades, when compared to a minimum ice level in the early 1970s of about 7 million square kilometers.
While melting sea ice from the Arctic does not significantly raise sea levels, warmer temperatures at the North Pole does affect Greenland, where a melting of the massive volume of ice there could raise sea levels by a full 7 meters.
Our appreciation, Welsh and US researchers for your work in documenting these increasingly rapid and serious effects of global warming.
May we all swiftly join in lifestyle choices that preserve the Earth for both humans and other beings.
Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the urgent issue of the heating planet at an interview by Novedades Newspaper in December 2010, and reminded of the quickest way to restore Earth’s stability.
Sources: PhysOrg, MSNBC, OSU.edu, BBC, Telegraph