The posters are plastered on school walls and at bus stops across Greenland's capital city. ...
Jason George and Christopher Booker's "Greenland to Sell Bottled Water from Melting Glaciers" airs on Time.com ...
"Greenland to Sell Bottled Water from Melting Glaciers" airs on Time.com ...
With whale fins splashing in the distance, Ruth Curry hauls up her catch from the blustery deck of an icebreaker.
An orange tube fixed to a metal frame breaks the surface as the motorized winch stops groaning. Inside: data on the water temperature deep down in this glacial fjord off southeast Greenland.
"If you were to dip your hand in it, it doesn't seem that warm," says Curry, an American climate scientist. "But it is. It's warm enough to melt ice. And that's the important thing here."
Curry and her colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts zigzagged between majestic icebergs in the Sermilik fjord last month in search of proof that waters from warmer latitudes, or subtropical waters, are flushing through this remote and frigid region.
They found it – all the way up to the base of the outlet glaciers that spill into the ocean like tongues of ice from Greenland's massive ice sheet.
New satellite information shows that ice sheets in Greenland and western Antarctica continue to shrink faster than scientists thought and in some places are already in runaway melt mode.
British scientists for the first time calculated changes in the height of the vulnerable but massive ice sheets and found them especially worse at their edges. That's where warmer water eats away from below. In some parts of Antarctica, ice sheets have been losing 30 feet a year in thickness since 2003, according to a paper published online Thursday in the journal Nature.
Some of those areas are about a mile thick, so they've still got plenty of ice to burn through. But the drop in thickness is speeding up. In parts of Antarctica, the yearly rate of thinning from 2003 to 2007 is 50 percent higher than it was from 1995 to 2003.
These new measurements, based on 50 million laser readings from a NASA satellite, confirm what some of the more pessimistic scientists thought: The melting along the crucial edges of the two major ice sheets is accelerating and is in a self-feeding loop. The more the ice melts, the more water surrounds and eats away at the remaining ice.
"To some extent it's a runaway effect. The question is how far will it run?" said the study's lead author, Hamish Pritchard of the British Antarctic Survey. "It's more widespread than we previously thought."
ZACKENBERG RESEARCH STATION, GREENLAND—"The other day a massive ice sheet broke off and split my Fightcave completely in half," said superhero F...