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9/10/2007

Greenland ice change means trouble

Earth Changes





Photo:
Recent Signs of Climate Change in Greenland
LULISSAT, Greenland, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Mini earthquakes and glacier acceleration on the Greenland ice cap are signs climate change is speeding up, scientists said.

The quakes are caused by giant chunks of ice breaking off the rock they have been frozen to for hundreds of years, Robert Corell, chairman of the international Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, said in Greenland Friday.

Experts met at the Ilulissat glacier in Greenland to discuss the future of the arctic, The Guardian reported, while a group representing the world's major religions gathered to pray for Earth.

Though small in magnitude, the earthquakes bolster concerns that the entire ice shelf could collapse, causing a catastrophic change in sea levels worldwide.

The speed at which Greenland's glaciers flow into the sea has also accelerated. The Ilulissat glacier is dumping ice chunks into the ocean at a rate of 2 meters per hour -- more than three times faster than 10 years ago, the newspaper said.

Given the changes, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's current prediction sea levels will rise eight to 24 inches this century may be too low, scientists at the meeting said. Some estimate the seas may rise by more than two meters.

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Satellite Photo:
2002: The Larsen B ice shelf shatters and drifts out to sea


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