Last week I reported that the annual Arctic sea ice loss could be approaching something like the previous 2012 record melting season. A week later and that situation looks even closer to realisation.
That is bad enough, and its portents are terrifying. But that is sea ice, the melting of which adds nothing measurable in terms of sea level rise.
There is though, another phenomenon which does produce sea level increases – and potentially dangerous ones. That is the melting of land based ice cover, the second largest of which is the Greenland ice field.
This year’s record high northern latitude temperatures are posing a problem for Greenland’s ice cover, which incidentally also scored a record melt season in 2012. This year’s melt season though looks to exceed even the previous record as this Smithsonian article reports: Greenland Lost 12.5 Billion Tons of Ice in a Single Day
Estimates of the effects of climate change are notoriously below what actually happens and this sort of melt level was not supposed to be seen until much closer to the end of this century according to previous estimates. Yet it is happening now.
Certain adjustments in expectations appear to be necessary. I think that is an understatement, but I won’t embellish it, just yet.
The Smithsonian article includes a Twitter feed with video of the melt-water flowing into the ocean. It is worth a look.