This newest finding about the state of Global Warming is extremely concerning to scientists.
Violent storms, rising flood waters, droughts like the one we see in California — these are the consequences of global warming if nothing is done, scientists say, and a new report has come to a worrying discovery.
Greenland’s massive northern ice sheet melts every summer, resulting in pooling lakes of meltwater and the loss of huge amounts of icebergs. This in and of itself is normal. But as the climate warms, scientists think the melt seasons will only grow in intensity, resulting in more and more freshwater in the ocean due to climate change. And recently, scientists found that Greenland had shown much more unusual melting during the northern part rather than the southern part, and they think that a strange feedback loop is to blame, according to a Columbia University statement.
Basically, an atmospheric phenomenon called a “cutoff high” when a region of high pressure stays basically immobile over the high sheets results in sustained sunny conditions, and caused unusual warmth and record melting in northwest Greenland.
The report comes as Greenland recently posted a record high. Researchers found evidence linking melting in Greenland to the effects of a phenomenon called Arctic amplification. The feedback loops happens when rising global temperatures melt Arctic sea ice, leaving dark open water that pulls in solar radiation, further warming the Arctic and hastening the process.
“Arctic amplification is well documented, but its effects on the atmosphere are more widely debated,” the statement reads. “One hypothesis suggests that the shrinking temperature difference between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes will lead to a slowing of the jet stream, which circles the northern latitudes and normally keeps frigid polar air sharply separated from warmer air in the south. Slower winds could create wilder swings of the jet stream, allowing warm, moist air to penetrate farther north.”
“How much and where Greenland melts can change depending on how things change elsewhere on earth,” said lead author Marco Tedesco, a research professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and adjunct scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “If loss of sea ice is driving changes in the jet stream, the jet stream is changing Greenland, and this, in turn, has an impact on the Arctic system as well as the climate. It’s a system, it is strongly interconnected and we have to approach it as such.”