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9/08/2007

Shockwaves from melting icecaps are triggering earthquakes



Greenland Ice Cap

The Arctic

High up inside the Arctic circle the melting of Greenland's ice sheet has accelerated so dramatically that it is triggering earthquakes for the first time.

Scientists monitoring the glaciers have revealed that movements of gigantic pieces of ice are creating shockwaves that register up to three on the Richter scale.

The speed of the arctic ice melt has accelerated to such an extent that a UN report issued earlier this year is now thought to be out of date by its own authors.

The American polar expert Robert Correll, among the key contributors to the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report issued in February, described the acceleration as "massive".

Estimates of the likely rise in sea levels this century vary, and the IPCC published a conservative range of between 20cm-60cm. But those estimates are now heavily disputed, with many scientists insisting that new data collected since the IPCC report suggested a rise closer to two metres. Professor Correll said there was now a "consensus" that a significant acceleration in the loss of ice mass has occurred since the last report.


Greenland ice cap meltdown to cause 22ft floods
Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2007 (EST)
The meltdown of the Greenland ice cap within the next 300 years will raise global sea levels by 22 feet, enough to inundate most of the world’s coastal regions, according to a new study by a researcher from the University East Anglia, England

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