Guest post by Darshane Hines
A dramatic event has shocked the Arctic… and the scientists who study the area! A block of ice four times the size of Manhattan has split off from a Greenland glacier and they worry that another, even larger, is preparing to break off. A recent article in the NY Times drew such immediate interest that a hearing in Congress was held to address the issue – global warming and rising ocean temperatures.
Top: An aerial view of the Petermann Glacier front taken on Aug. 5, 2009 Bottom: Another taken two years later on July 24, 2011
Scale is always hard to judge in the treeless landscape of Greenland. The cliff walls visible in the photograph are roughly 3,000 feet high, or about three times as high as the Eiffel Tower.
This is a very troubling article, but falls in line with most of the articles concerning the arctic today. I can imagine that such a huge drastic change to the arctic of Greenland will have some affect on the wildlife or climate of the area, though it may take some time to notice such changes. One promising aspect of this article is that congress met to discuss the issue, and global warming in general. Though it sounds promising, I can’t help but wonder if it reaped any productive benefits. My suspicious cynical side says no, just in following the pattern of productivity congress has made over the last decade concerning the issue. (which is very little). Nevertheless, it is always positive when awareness and attention is raised to an issue, even though it has to take a change the size of New York to occur. Hopefully this will gain the attention of the world public and bring increased awareness to the issue. Hopefully. In the mean time, I guess we can just keep on recyclin’.