While the causes of Global Warming are debated, the fact is that it is occurring. Glaciers in mountains around the world are disappearing and the polar ice caps are shrinking. This is causing changes and problems around the world. This can be best demonstrated by discussing the significance of the melting of the glaciers of Greenland!
For starters, the ice cap that Greenland is a part of of the second largest source of glaciers and fresh water in the world (Antarctica is the largest). If it were to completely melt, sea levels could rise as much as 20 feet! This would result in massive floods and a restructuring of many major cities around the world, most of New York City would look like Venice, Venice would be gone! Fortunately this appears not to be eminent according to the World Climate Report Bloq.
The Glaciers may be melting slower than first predicted, but they are melting. The fresh, cold water is making its way into the ocean. This will effect salinity and ocean currents. Fish will migrate to new areas or not migrate at all and die. The Gulf Stream is already shifting and this will cause changing weather patterns in most of North America and Europe.
As the Stream shifts south, there will be a cooling of many places and precipitation patterns will change. Floods in some areas and droughts in others. The temperature and salinity changes can alter hurricane formations, possibly reducing the numbers while increasing the size and strength. Tornadoes may become more of a problem. Much of these problems are already being seen and can become more severe if the Glaciers melt at a faster rate.
The rate of melting can be a factor. It the glaciers in Greenland were to melt at a slow rate, many of these problems would become less. The oceans would have time to disperse the fresh water and cold temperatures. So it is significant that the melting rate has slowed down!
This article is mainly about the environmental significance of Greenland’s melting Glaciers. Social problems with the coastal flooding would be a definite problem as well. National borders may need to be changed and Greenland may develop more produce as they have more arable land! But the beauty of the Glaciers would be lost, and that is significant as well!
Can mankind stop Greenland’s glaciers from melting? Not likely with current technology! Were are those aliens when you need them?