Greenland loses 6 billion tons of ice in three days, a harbinger of unprecedented coastal flooding

Ann Arbor (informed comment) – CNN And the independent This week I reported a massive ice melt in Greenland, with nearly 6 billion tons of ice lost in three days. The melt was caused by a heat wave in the upper part of the world, caused by burning coal, gasoline, and methane and spewing billions of tons of dangerous gaseous carbon dioxide that traps heat into the atmosphere.

These types of events are directly responsible for sea level rise and coastal flooding around the world and in the United States (which has a lot of coastlines if you think about it). It is often the poorest and most disadvantaged who will suffer severely from disturbances such as storm surges, coastal erosion, saltwater intrusion of lakes, and urban flooding.

The temperature in Greenland only reaches around 60°F (15°C), while most of us still feel the need for a jacket. But usually, according to a Climate and weather websiteIn July, average maximum temperatures during the day are cool and range from 6°C (43°F) in Cap Tobin to 10°C (50°F) in Engmagsalek. Nighttime temperatures generally drop to 2°C Celsius (36 °F) in Anglossalic and 0 °C (32 °F) in Cap Tobin. It is one of the warmest months of the year.”

So, yes, 60°F/15°C is a stretch.

I think CNN’s Renee Marsh and Angela Fritz were the ones who came up with an explanation of what it looks like to melt 6 billion tons of ice, saying that it was enough to put the entire state of West Virginia under a foot of water.

The loss of 6 billion tons of ice is worrying, especially since all of this is cumulative. Over time, all surface ice will melt if we continue to burn fossil fuels. But we saw much worse, say Marsh and Fritz. In 2019, they explained that a hot spring and summer melted the surface of the ice sheet, sending 532 billion tons of ice into the oceans, and permanently raising them by more than half an inch (1.5 mm).

If all of Greenland’s ice melted, it would raise sea levels by more than 24 feet (7.5 metres).

We could still stop an apocalyptic scenario like this, which would wipe out coastal cities around the world, if we stopped releasing carbon by 2050. The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will go into the oceans. This will make it acidic and kill a lot of marine life, but temperatures will immediately stop rising and will gradually return to normal in the 19th century.

Average sea level has already risen about 9 inches (24 cm) since 1880, putting coastal regions and cities under pressure. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s a lot. It is amplified in the event of a storm, exacerbation of flooding. Moreover, the oceans are not flat – in some places they are higher than others, and some parts are rising faster than others. The ocean in Miami Beach is a full foot higher now than it was in 1990, and floods on sunny, rainless days are 4 times more than they did just three decades ago.

Auto exhaust, h/t Pixabay.

The World Economic Forum It found that African American urban communities are most at risk of sea level rise, with their neighborhoods having a 20% increase in flood risk by 2050.

Floods currently cost US$32 billion annually, but this number is expected to increase dramatically if seas rise at a rapid rate.

We’re seeing increased coastal flooding alerts in places like Maine. Sarah Long at WMTW Meteorologist Donny Dumont quotes: “It only makes sense that we would have more warnings due to the fact that we’re getting more coastal flooding effects…Sea level rise doesn’t show a very rapid but steady increase. Every year we get a few millimeters high.” That’s over a decade and you’ll get more coastal flooding than you’re used to.” Note that an increment of 10 millimeters per decade is approximately half an inch. *But as we saw in Miami Beach, the increases elsewhere are more dramatic.

in GhanaThe Atlantic Ocean has already risen six feet inland, threatening to wipe out an entire chain of coastal settlements. Coastal erosion is accelerating and new conditions can interfere with fishing. People’s livelihoods are at risk.

* Correction 7/23/22

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