Way back in 2006 a 2.2 square-mile lake of melted ice in Greenland drained away within a span of mere 2 hours leaving researchers awestruck at the suddenness. The land that experiences over 50% of excess warming in comparison to the global average owing to the open stretches of water radiating sun’s energy back into its atmosphere as heat, witnesses numerous temporary lakes popping up every summer as a result of ice-melt. One fine day they are no more, as they might have already disappeared into the ice cracks.
Over the past few decades, Greenland has undergone a drastic transformation in terms of its geography as an effect of global warming. The current level of acceleration points at a even more catastrophic outcome in the near future.
Recent studies indicate a more alarming situation in terms of disappearance of melted ice in the form of transitory lakes. They are found getting drained farther inland. Scientific inference indicate summer lakes of Greenland drain in ‘cascading chain reaction’ through interconnected web of cracks down below the solid sheets of ice as the temperature continues to rise.
The Plausible Resultant
The force with which the lakes drain at a point gives birth to fractures- causing more lakes to drain in the vicinity. Another danger that looms is- as the lakes drain through the cracks in the underlying ice sheet- the ice flow seemingly paces up to about 400% more than that of winters. In its course of flow the water getting drained disturbs the ecology of the ice beds in vicinity. Fresh cracks surface and new lakes join suit further escalating the level of disaster.
The chain-drain reaction has caused an appalling number of lakes to get drained in no time. Lakes formed miles inland away from the core zone was considered excluded from the ice-bed thus beyond the scope of getting drained. But, ironically they fell susceptible to the process as new cracks arose in the ice formed. This results in gallons of ice sinking below Greenland’s surface frequently. A portion of the water remains trapped in the ice sheet, while a fraction joins the oceans around.
Geologists claim, 25 years ago, 1.7 kilometers ice sheet that was in a stable state is under jeopardy owing to the effects of global warming. It currently loses around a billion tons of ice daily. This directly impacts the sea level rise up to 1 millimeter globally- way faster than any research any contemplated.
Metrics reflect melting ice sheets in Greenland is solely responsible for a 25% rise in the sea level in 2014- an astounding leap from 5% in 1993.
Under the circumstance of Greenland melting completely, there can an incredible rise in the sea level by almost 20 feet (6 meters), though researchers have confirmed it is a highly unlikely situation anytime soon.
Despite the time we have in hand, we need to be aware of the coastal communities across the globe who probably would be the first victims of even a small rise in sea level. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of America has rung the alarm bell for coastal areas that are likely to get flooded even during a high tide situation. Studies indicate, a percent of the world population dwelling in coastal belts might be faced by a three foot rise in sea level in recent future. This calls for an immediate action.