That would be the proper title for the story just released today by Reuters, based on recent statements from NASA scientists. But the title, perhaps predictably, was “Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinking Fast.”
Once again, let’s do the math, based on NASA’s own data, as reported in this story: During the years 2003, 2004 and 2005, NASA scientists estimate 41 cubic miles of ice melted along the periphery of Greenland, while 14 cubic miles of new ice were deposited via snowfall in the interior of Greenland. This is a net loss of 27 cubic miles per year. Does that sound like a lot? It isn’t.
Given that there are 139 million square miles of ocean, adding 27 cubic miles per year of ice melt from Greenland to this surface area equates to a rise in sea levels of 1.2 inches per century. This amount is consistent with calculations based on other recent press releases from the scientific community, as noted in our posts “Antarctic Ice” and “Greenland’s Icecap.”
If you don’t make these calculations, and most reporters and most concerned citizens do not, then you would only base your conclusions from this story on its title, and on the quote from NASA scientist Scott Luthcke, who noted that Greenland’s ice melt now constitutes “an annual net loss of ice equal to nearly six years of average water flow from the Colorado River.” Need we add that at an annual flow of 4.5 cubic miles of water, by volume, the Colorado is a relatively small river?
We’ve ran two feature stories in the last month by the eminent atmospheric scientist Richard Lindzen of MIT. Unlike many of his critics (and supporters), Dr. Lindzen voices his skepticism regarding global warming in a measured and reasoned tone. Anyone who is serious about learning more about whether or not there is a basis for global warming alarm should read Lindzen’s “Global Warming Facts,” and “Climate Catastrophe?”
Finally, we encourage anyone who believes we should do whatever we can to reduce global warming because the steps we may take are good things anyway to read our recent posts “Deforestation Diesel” and “Filthy Air With Less CO2.”