You’ve probably heard the recent news that the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica are melting at an even faster rate than previously suspected.
To get an idea of the gravity of the situation you need to understand this: in some places, the ice sheets that cover Antarctica and Greenland are more than two miles thick in places and cover 5.4 million square miles total. They are so massive that gravitational attraction pulls the ocean toward THEM.
When most people think about the melting ice sheets, they think about the rising sea levels, and that’s a big deal, but it’s also important to remember that if the gravitational pull keeping the water around Antarctica is weakened that water will be displaced, making the rising sea levels even worse. When all is said and done, the US will experience a little more sea level rise than other locations based on the displacement.
Current research notes that the ice is melting from below, and this is problematic since it means the glaciers will lose their moorings. So, not only is three meters of sea level rise already on its way and unstoppable, massive ice sheets large enough to affect gravitational pull may one day float freely.
It’s tragic we have reached this irreversible point. In coming centuries, even more land will be covered by water and more of nature will be destroyed. A full melt would cause sea level to rise 215 feet.
However, optimist that I am, I found one of the most interesting items about this information to be who first reported it, Dr. Richard Alley, a glaciologist, registered Republican, and host of the PBS program Earth: The Operators’ Manual. Maybe now we can get to a point in the US where we start taking action on climate change REGARDLESS of political party.