If the ice sheet melts entirely, it would raise global sea levels by almost 23 feet.
The Greenland ice sheet may melt at a pace that could break records set in 2012 this year as a heatwave from Europe turns north. (Photo: NASA/Flickr)
Last week's European heatwave is moving north toward the Arctic, where temperatures could trigger record melting in Greenland and affect sea levels worldwide for millennia.
That's according to meteorologist Eric Holthaus, who said on Twitter Monday that the melting event from the heat could result in the loss of 40 billion tons of ice.
"This single heat wave will create a permanent change in our oceans that will linger for millennia," said Holthaus. "We are in a climate emergency."
This week, 40 billion tons of ice will melt in Greenland as the European heat wave moves north -- enough to measurably raise global sea levels.— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) July 29, 2019
This single heat wave will create a permanent change in our oceans that will linger for millennia.
We are in a climate emergency. https://t.co/ypkH6093aU
The heat is an indicator of the climate crisis that can't be ignored, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted Monday. The congresswoman said the crisis makes the case that her Green New Deal legislation needs to be passed as soon as possible, no matter the concerns about it being "too much, too soon."
"Setting climate goals for 2030 isn't due to some arbitrary political rationale—it's there due to scientific consensus," said Ocasio-Cortez. "Simply put, we must draw down carbon by 2030 to stave off climate disaster on levels yet unseen."
You may think the #GreenNewDeal is “too much, too soon.”— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 29, 2019
But setting climate goals for 2030 isn’t due to some arbitrary political rationale - it’s there due to scientific consensus.
Simply put, we must draw down carbon by 2030 to stave off climate disaster on levels yet unseen. https://t.co/IPxFWeBRzf
The current spate of Arctic melting may break the record for the region set in 2012. As BuzzFeed News reported on July 26, Arctic ice is disappearing at a rate higher than ever recorded—and in 2012, the rate was exacerbated by storms that broke up sea ice in the summer leading to more melting.
This time, it's heat.
#Arctic sea ice extent is (again) record low for the day. The decline will continue until the seasonal minimum is reached in mid-September.— Lars Kaleschke (@seaice_de) July 29, 2019
Consistent satellite data record dating back to 1978 taken from @NSIDC pic.twitter.com/A2TzmOzi5k
On Monday, CNN talked to Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist with the the Danish Meteorological Institute, who said the 2019 melt is particularly dangerous.
This year's melt is different to the one in 2012 as it is happening persistently every day rather than in extreme bursts, Mottram noted.
She said that Greenland's ice loss has added an estimated 180 gigatons (billion tons) of water to the oceans since the 1 July. This contributes to a global sea level rise of around half a millimeter.
"Summer is coming to the Greenland ice sheet," tweeted climatologist Xavier Fettweis, "resulting to the one of largest melt event (a priori the 2nd one) in the ice sheet history."
Summer is coming to the Greenland ice sheet ... resulting to the one of largest melt event (a priori the 2nd one) in the ice sheet history. pic.twitter.com/dv7GZB4CKf— Xavier Fettweis (@xavierfettweis) July 27, 2019
On Tuesday, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman laid out the risk to the planet if the Greenland ice sheet melts and noted the connection of climate change to the rapidly disappearing glaciers on the island.
"If the ice sheet melts entirely, it would raise global sea levels by almost 23 feet," said Goodman. "Last month was the hottest June ever recorded on Earth, while July is on track to be the hottest month ever."
About The Author
Eoin Higgins is senior editor and staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @EoinHiggins_
This article originally appeared on Common Dreams
Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know
by Joseph Romm
The essential primer on what will be the defining issue of our time, Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know® is a clear-eyed overview of the science, conflicts, and implications of our warming planet. From Joseph Romm, Chief Science Advisor for National Geographic's Years of Living Dangerously series and one of Rolling Stone's "100 people who are changing America," Climate Change offers user-friendly, scientifically rigorous answers to the most difficult (and commonly politicized) questions surrounding what climatologist Lonnie Thompson has deemed "a clear and present danger to civilization.". Available On Amazon
Climate Change: The Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future second edition Edition
by Jason Smerdon
This second edition of Climate Change is an accessible and comprehensive guide to the science behind global warming. Exquisitely illustrated, the text is geared toward students at a variety of levels. Edmond A. Mathez and Jason E. Smerdon provide a broad, informative introduction to the science that underlies our understanding of the climate system and the effects of human activity on the warming of our planet.Mathez and Smerdon describe the roles that the atmosphere and ocean play in our climate, introduce the concept of radiation balance, and explain climate changes that occurred in the past. They also detail the human activities that influence the climate, such as greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions and deforestation, as well as the effects of natural phenomena. Available On Amazon
The Science of Climate Change: A Hands-On Course
by Blair Lee, Alina Bachmann
The Science of Climate Change: A Hands-On Course uses text and eighteen hands-on activities to explain and teach the science of global warming and climate change, how humans are responsible, and what can be done to slow or stop the rate of global warming and climate change. This book is a complete, comprehensive guide to an essential environmental topic. Subjects covered in this book include: how molecules transfer energy from the sun to warm the atmosphere, greenhouse gases, the greenhouse effect, global warming, the Industrial Revolution, the combustion reaction, feedback loops, the relationship between weather and climate, climate change, carbon sinks, extinction, carbon footprint, recycling, and alternative energy. Available On Amazon
From The Publisher:
Purchases on Amazon go to defray the cost of bringing you InnerSelf.comelf.com, MightyNatural.com, and ClimateImpactNews.com at no cost and without advertisers that track your browsing habits. Even if you click on a link but don't buy these selected products, anything else you buy in that same visit on Amazon pays us a small commission. There is no additional cost to you, so please contribute to the effort. You can also use this link to use to Amazon at any time so you can help support our efforts.