Computer Models Show That Global Warming Will Make Greenland Melt FastSlow

The Greenland ice sheet is all but doomed to melt away to nothing, according to a new modelling study. If it does melt, global sea levels will rise by seven metres, flooding most of the world’s coastal regions.

Jonathan Gregory, a climatologist at the University of Reading, UK, says global warming could start runaway melting on Greenland within 50 years, and it will “probably be irreversible this side of a new ice age”

As the world warms, Greenland’s dwindling glaciers may actually slow in their retreat, according to new research.
Greenland is covered in an ice sheet big enough to raise the planet’s sea level by 6.6 meters (21.5 feet) were it to ever melt. Even as the world warms, though, most of the ice remains safe in the island’s cold interior, for now.

But since the year 2000 scientists have watched with alarm as its edges — huge glaciers that stream down out of the mountains and onto the surface of deep fjords — have been sliding into the ocean at ever-increasing rates.

Now new research by Andreas Vieli of Durham University in the United Kingdom and a team of scientists suggests a strange paradox: As the planet heats up through the middle of the 21st century, many of the glaciers may break up more slowly.

The team’s conclusion stems from running computer simulations of Helheim glacier, a massive tongue of ice spilling onto the sea in East Greenland.


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9 Responses to Computer Models Show That Global Warming Will Make Greenland Melt FastSlow

  1. Latitude says:

    proof of two things….
    You can make computer models do anything.
    We don’t know squat.

  2. Mike Davis says:

    The end result of all their research is that they do not know any more today than before starting the research.

  3. Curt says:

    From the article:

    “The floating tongues have a kind of buttressing effect on the rest of the glacier,” Vieli said. “If you increase how fast you remove the floating tongue you remove the buttressing, and the glacier’s sliding will increase, too.”

    I am a mechanical engineer. I am trying to figure out how a floating sheet of ice at the end of a long glacier provides any kind of buttressing effect — that is, resistance to horizontal motion — on the glacier. If the speed were orders of magnitude faster, there would be some viscous damping I suppose, but we are talking speeds on the order of 1 kilometer per year here.

    Can anyone point me to a good reference explaining this buttressing effect?

  4. Andy Weiss says:

    Climate scientists have basically admitted that they are unsure of what is going to take place. But they are sure that we need to spend thru the nose to fight whatever unknown effects there may or may not be.

  5. Sundance says:

    I’m still in shock by the 1.77 inches of sea level rise from Greenland ice melt projected by 2100 that Dr. Richard Price just released.

    • Mike Davis says:

      It is time to build my ARK!!!!! OH NO!!!! One point seven inches how will we ever survive the traumatic shock of such an event.

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