18 December 2008 - NASA satellites show that about two trillion tons of ice in Antarctica, Alaska and Greenland have melted in the past 5 years.
The agency plans to present the facts on Thursday at the American Geophysical Union conference which will be held in San Francisco, Calif. Many scientists state that this phenomenon is a vivid illustration of the effects that global warming has on Earth’s environment and climate.
A NASA geophysicist said that a good part of the melted land ice is located in Greenland, according to the agency’s GRACE satellite. Yet, the scientist pointed out that the ice loss recorded this year is not as severe as in 2007.
Scientists pointed out that the situation in Alaska is getting better because the satellites have recorded a minor increase in land ice throughout 2008. Yet, they are yet worried, as Alaska lost about 400 billion tons of land ice in the past five years.
Previous researches had discovered that melting land ice has little effects on global sea levels, as it adds only half of a millimeter every year. Still, sea level is affected by melting sea ice and by the water expanding as it absorbs more heat. Scientists don’t think that the situation will improve in the following years if the governments don’t take the right measures.
The melting of land ice is a consequence of the global warming. Scientists predict that further rise of global temperatures will lead the sea level to rise and it will also cause dramatic changes in the precipitation patterns. It is believed that the main cause of global warming is the high concentration of greenhouse effects, due to industrial activity of the developed countries More >>>