Climatic Changes in Greenland
Greenland is mostly covered in ice making it susceptible to melting from warm temperatures. The reason this country is named Greenland is because when Erik the Red was banned from Iceland he discovered this icy country and gave it the name in hopes of people settling (Pandita). In July and August of this year, the number of surface melt days on the Southwestern coast of Greenland was significantly above average, which is clearly an indication that global warming has begun to affect Greenland’s ice and that sea level will eventually rise (Scambos, et all). Greenland is classified as the world’s largest islands (Coffey).
Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at its fastest rate in at least 400 years (Harvey). If or when Greenland melts it will raise sea levels and more than likely will flood coastal cities. Eight of the ten largest cities in the world are near coasts, and 40% to 50% of the global population lives in coastal areas vulnerable to rising seas (Kann). Greenland melting could cause species populations to drop or even become extinct. With sea levels rising it could result in land space decreasing across the world. The percentage of pollution could also rise with the fact of cities being drowned. About 269 billion tons of ice have melted away each year since 2002 (Irfan). The cause of the ice sheet melting is because of global warming. Temperatures rising in a long-term aspect describes the term global warming.
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While it may take thousands of years before Greenland’s ice melts away completely action should still take place as soon as possible. Humans are one of the leading causes of global warming. Global warming is caused by the increase of greenhouse gases. Humans contribute to the rising levels of greenhouse gases by building factories that pollute the air with chemicals such as carbon dioxide. Humans also contribute to deforestation which releases carbon dioxide into the air. With the release of too much carbon dioxide it raises temperatures outside. Raising temperature increases the chance of ice to melt. The melting of ice then raises sea levels, destroys habitats, floods cities, and causes a detrimental decrease in land and species.
One species that could be at risk with Greenland shrinking are polar bears. Polar bear population is slowly decreasing because of the fact that they survive in cold temperatures. A polar bear’s fur coat is made for cold temperatures. With the fact that temperatures are rising polar bears are more likely to have heat strokes, or suffer from heat related sickness. Polar bears also prey on animals like seals but with ice melting seals are disappearing. Without seals the polar bears are running out of food. The human race could fix these problems if they begin to watch how much pollution is being put into the air and onto the Earth.
Greenland is in between the arctic, and atlantic oceans. Sea ice in the Arctic is melting faster than anywhere else, the ice is shrinking 14 percent per decade (Leahy). Greenland is more vulnerable to climate change, as Arctic air temperatures are currently rising at twice the global average rate (Adamson). With the ice melting its increasing temperatures in Greenland. Many Greenland residents are actually happy about this.