Monday, July 22, 2013

Greenland leaves it mark ... by gimleteye

The global warming deniers and the Fox News politburo are scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to describe the current extreme heat across the nation as a "normal event". The melting of the Greenland ice sheet is not a normal event. It is extraordinary and Eye On Miami is there to bring you news.

By fast boat it is a two hour ride to one of the rapidly melting glaciers. The Eqi glacier is about 3 miles wide and six hundred feet high. It is calving very rapidly. This photo is taken about three miles from the glacier where forward motion was blocked by clogged ice from a calving event the day before.

This photo, from a plane flying over the Eqi glacier taken later in the day, provides some sense of the massive pressures at work, as the ice flows downhill and compresses. Notice how much dirt and grit is imbedded in the glacier surface. Increasing levels of soot and pollution from the atmosphere are accelerating the melt of the glacier.

There is a lot of surface melt, creating ponds and rivers on top of the ice sheet that find solution holes and combine to form rivers together underneath and at the bottom of the glacier, acting as a kind of lubricant. Many of the icebergs in the bay off Ilulissat show features of holes and tunnels caused by flowing water. This photo captures a river running out the bottom of the glacier through an arch way carved by the flowing water. A close-up view of the ice front shows the fracture lines where the glacier will break soon.
The question of sea level rise is not if, but when? The investment of taxpayer dollars in infrastructure like Miami-Dade's water and wastewater -- costing many billions of dollars -- must take into account the outcome of these forces of nature that are visible and at work now, in Greenland. We came here to show what it looks like, to help our readers understand that changes related to your property insurance are connected to what is happening here in Greenland.

We are in uncharted territory already when it comes to mitigating the effects of climate change. Those in positions of power who have ignored -- and continue to ignore -- the threat of sea level rise will bear the heavy condemnation of history. That includes local elected politicians who continue to behave as though business as usual is the order of the day.


Anonymous said...

I would love it if the next BCC junket included a trip to Greenland like you are taking. These photos & your descriptions of what's happening in the rest of the world are outstanding. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Maybe when you get back you could make a BCC citizen presentation.

Anonymous said...

Stunning. Gimlieteye takes us to the very jaws of the beast that will swallow our city before my daughter grows old,

Anonymous said...

Is the 2050 date estimate still operative for our being swallowed up in the Atlantic Ocean? Or is the melting process accelerating faster than scientist originally anticipated? Exactly what federal agency is taking a lead on this? We have to begin asking the scientists for timetables and maps of coastal areas that are projected to disappear. We have to start planning now as there is a lot of work to be done.

Carlos said...

wow, that's a beautiful place, albeit a place with some troublesome pressures on it.

i envy your trip. hope i can get there one day -- before it's too late!

keep the photos coming, please.


Al Crespo said...

Interesting that there are a total of 10 comments for all of the posts dealing with Iceland and global warming, and 21 dealing with Bell and Gimenez.

Anonymous said...

People are not thinking long-term. We are here and now people and this level of thinking will hurt us everytime.