Greenland’s ice has been melting in winter, and this has caused some concern. The frequent rains experienced in that region have led to the disappearance of the extensive layer of ice in Greenland. In what is seen as one of the realities of global warming, scientists have been surprised by the volume of rainfall falling in the Arctic areas during the long winter. Usually, there is more snow expected than rainfall.
Considering the Impact
A new study now published in the journal The Cryosphere details how the study was conducted and the conclusions reached. Scientists have been monitoring the situation quite closely. It is estimated that in the event that all the ice were to melt, the sea level could rise by as much as 7 meters. This is because underneath the sheet of ice is a large store of frozen water. This phenomenon could pose a major threat to all the populations living in nearby coastal areas.
Scientists are currently making use of satellite images to monitor the decline in the sheet of ice. By analyzing these, they can detect where most of the melting is occurring. They have been able to tie this to the areas experiences the most rainfall. Data from 20 weather stations is being used to get an overview of how much rainfall has been falling this winter.
The rain falling has been found to cause a darker layer of ice should it freeze. This dark ice is better at absorbing the sun’s energy, and this results in faster melting after the rains. Just a couple of years ago, the BBC reported another cause of ice melting at a faster rate in Greenland—algae. Algae growing in the ice also make the ice darker and makes the chance of the ice melting even higher. The ice-sheet in Greenland is one that scientists are continuing to watch because of the possible implications.
Alexandra grew up dreaming of being a great science explorer. She always wanted to travel the world and explore some of the greatest science mysteries of the times. After high school, she studied chemistry in college and spent most of her summers working on research projects alongside her professors. It was there that Alexandra got clarity about what she wanted to do in the future. She now works full time in science research at a teaching university and is planning to go to medical school in a few years. She likes to stay up-to-date with the latest discoveries in science and share her love for science through her writing.