By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Scientists discovered that Greenland’s ice sheet, the world’s second largest ice body, is not as stable as it has been for the last 25 years. Instead, it is melting at an alarming rate and slipping into the ocean!
Why is this huge slab of frozen water fading so fast? Because Earth’s pollution-weakened atmosphere is letting in too much solar warmth, causing crazy weather imbalances that create intense winters and summers.
The study combined data from four satellite images and the Greenland GPS Network, which has 50 stations to weigh sheets of ice (almost like a gigantic bathroom scale). By using these techniques, scientists measured the Greenland ice sheet that covers 80% of the country.
It turns out that in the last 10 years, the Northeast ice region known as the Zachariae glacier retreated 12.4 miles and lost about 10 billion pounds of ice. By comparison, Greenland’s Jakobshavn glacier in the Southwest only retreated 21.7 miles in the past 150 years.
There is some debate over how much the melting ice is contributing to the rising ocean levels, but experts estimate that Greenland’s melting glaciers contribute to one sixth of the global increase!
Featured image courtesy of Christine Zenino on Wikimedia. Image of Greenland courtesy of NASA.