Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog 1: "Shocking" Greenland Ice Melt: Global Warming or Just Heat Wave?

     According to an article on the National Geographic website Greenland has had the fastest ice melt in centuries. It was concluded that on July 8, 40% of the ice had thawed. Just four days later the percentage was up to 97%.  Most of the thawing occurred in a span of four days. Satellites monitoring the melting showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet's surface had melted. By July 12 that figure had jumped to 97 percent. Records have shown that Greenland has had complete melting in the past, but have they occurred this quickly? As scientist analyze the data they are deciding if the melt is natural or has any global warming features. If we continue to see melting in and around Greenland scientist have said the ocean level could rise by 23 feet. It is difficult to allocate issues to global climate change. Earth’s environment has always been changing. Data collected from ice core samples give a climatic record of events from the past. Ice cores can reach dates of 800,000 years in the past. The difficulty is comparing yesterday’s changes with the scale of change we see today. The amount of pollution generated doesn’t seem to be slowing down, so we may see even more of these types of events. Data collected from the past few centuries will help to define what is natural and what isn’t. Regardless if events are natural or unnatural we do know that we are polluting the Earth. Preserving the Earth now will ensure a better tomorrow.

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