July 26th, 2012 12:51 EST
Greenland`s Ice Sheet Surface is Thinning Faster Than Terry Bradshaw`s Hairline
Thought I would put an NFL spin on this article. For all you pregame tailgaters out there that tune into Fox`s NFL pregame show, then you know what I am talking about when you look at the Terrible Towels or should I say Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer quarterback Terry Bradshaw and his hairline which as of last year was thinning faster than Richard Simmons waistline while he is doing a One, Two, Up, touch the toes, back, now push, push hard workout routine.
Terry`s hairline was thinning so fast most people had to put on sunglasses while watching the pregame show because his shiny forehead was reflecting light like shining a flashlight into a mirror. Naw, just kidding Terry, like Howie does, got to use you has the blunt of my jokes too.
So, let`s fast forward here and throw a down and in pattern fifty yards down field and get to the science part of this article. Satellites watching Greenland`s ice sheet surface has detected the surface to be thinning at an alarming rate. This kind of activity with the thinning of the surface has not been seen for the past thirty-years. Could this be something to do with global warming?
The complete surface of Greenland`s ice sheet has seen thinning even at the center of it where it is two-miles thick. That`s pretty significant. Greenland`s ice sheet surface normally experiences some melt where at the higher elevations the ice will melt and daring towards the ocean. Some of the drainage will refreeze at the edge of the coastal area and the rest will flow into the ocean.
This year Greenland`s ice sheet surface experience over 97 percent of some sort of melting at the middle of July. We have seen lately the record breaking heat wave that has cooked the Midwest and southern states like a Bar-B-Que sizzling hot dogs at a warm midsummer`s day baseball game, so it is natural that the rest of the planet has had some sort of temperature rise even as far north as Greenland. And in science when you are dealing with very sensitive data like rising temperature even a one-degree rise in temperature will throw off an environment faster than a pregnant woman`s hormonal changes, (Sorry, just thinking about my ex-wife and when she was pregnant).
Researchers and scientists are still studying whether or not this significant of an ice melt will have an impact on sea level rise around Greenland`s coastal area. This could pose to be a problem.
"The Greenland ice sheet is a vast area with a varied history of change. This event, combined with other natural but uncommon phenomena, such as the large calving event last week on Petermann Glacier, are part of a complex story," said Tom Wagner, NASA`s cryosphere program manager in Washington. "Satellite observations are helping us understand how events like these may relate to one another as well as to the broader climate system." (Wagner, 2012)
So, this could very well be attributed to the changing climate due to global warming but I am not saying that is what the reason is leave that to the NASA scientists. To show you how serious NASA is taking this, Son Nghiem of NASA`s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California was analyzing radar data from the Indian Space Research Organization`s (ISRO) Oceansat-2 satellite last week when he noticed that most of Greenland appeared to have undergone surface melting on July 12. Nghiem said, "This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to a data error?" (Nghiem, and nasa, 2012).
The melt of Greenland`s ice sheet surface has been tracked for the last couple of months and has been measured each time data was collected. From June the surface showed a melt over the entire region of about forty-percent. By July the complete melt had gone from just forty-percent to ninety-seven percent. Looks like the surface melt may be doubling but probably will slow as the winter season approaches and temperatures over the globe cool off somewhat.
The melt was so vast that even near the highest point of Greenland`s summit where summit station is which hovers two-miles about sea level the melt could be felt there too. (A little rhyming and rappin` to go along with science)
"Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on-time," says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data. "But if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome."(Koenig, K., 2012)
So, let`s make a bet here; which will thin first completely to the brim Terry`s hairline or Greenland`s ice sheet? Guess we shall see here in a couple of months.
SATELLITES SEE UNPRECEDENTED GREENLAND ICE SHEET SURFACE MELT, (www.nasa.gov). The quote from Tom Wagner, Son Nghiem, and Lora Koenig used in this article is from this reference. Retrieved 2012.
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