Sunday, January 18, 2009

Greenland is Losing Glaciers: An Ice-Free Greenland in 2040?

Global warming and the resulting rise in the Earth's temperature is causing chunks of ice to melt faster than what was expected. In fact, scientists say that the rate by which the ice is melting in Greenland is way ahead by thirty years based on their previous studies. The Arctic people, the Inuit  Eskimos are finding their houses and roads shifting on what was once frozen grounds. Quite a number are seriously considering relocating before total ice melt down takes place. Even Polar bears are losing their means for hunting seals as frozen seagrounds have melted.Greenland is expected to become totally ice free by year 2040.

In America, Montana's Glacier National Park is also rapidly losing its glaciers. The original count of 150 glaciers have now dwindled down to less than 30 glaciers. In Tanzania, the legendary snow of Mt. Kilimanjaro has depleted by at least 80% meaning only 20% remains and is expected to reach total melt down by 2020. In the Sierra Nevada mountains, plant life has changed from alpine flowers to sagebrush. Sagerbush thrive on dry regions why alpine flowers are known to flourish between the timberline and snowline vegetation zones.

The effects of global warming have quite a negative impact but some good may yet be seen out of it. As the Arctic Ocean becomes free of ice, it has slowly paved the way for the opening of a new route for a faster sea travel. The Northwest Passage presents a direct route from Europe to Asia  which means sea travel can be shorter and will entail less fuel consumption. In fact five countries namely US, Canada,UK, Russia and Greenland  have already expressed their interests in gaining control over this new route. An offshoot of these new travel possibilities is that Greenland can be a potential source for new investments, as its long hidden resource are beginning to unfold.However, the race for Greenland before it finally thaws out into an ice-free zone is becoming complicated. The effects of the ice meltdown seem to be reaching more than ecological problems. Political issues are now cropping up.

For more information about this, read a related article entitled " Greenland Losing Glaciers May Mean Shorter Travel Routes" by following this link:http://www.brighthub.com/environment/science-environmental/articles/20701.aspx
  

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5 comments:

Jenai said...

Thanks for making us more aware of what;s gong on. Great blog for the Environment.

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