Greenlands ice sheet has pretty much entirely melted this year.

97% of it is gone, with almost half of it melting in a single 4 day period earlier this month.

Apparently this isn’t extremely unusual, happening every 150 years or so. Scientists don’t know, or maybe the story just doesn’t say whether they know, that half of it can melt off within a week.

So much for my scheme to saw off chunks and sell them in the Middle East. Maybe next year.

I think you’re misreading that - I think it is saying that there is melting occurring over 97% of the ice sheet, not that it is 97% gone.

Which isn’t good (although apparently not unprecedented), but not as bad as the sheet actually being gone.

According to the pictures, it’s actually green now.

ETA: Damnit. The pictures I saw earlier were green.

Your title is a bit misleading. The ice sheet hasn’t “entirely melted.” However, 97% of the surface of the ice sheet has undergone melting.

If the Greenland Ice Sheet had entirely melted, global sea level would have risen by more than 20 feet and much of New York City and Florida would be under water. I think the NY Times would have a more prominent headline if that were the case.:smiley:

See? No global warming!

You’re very clever young man, but it’s surface all the way down.

Interesting topographical map of Greenland’s land mass sans ice. Much of the interior is below sea level–900+ feet at the deepest.

I wonder why Greenland is called Greenland, if it’s always iced over?

Isn’t there that old story that Greenland was called Greenland and Iceland was called Iceland because basically “they” wanted to mislead people who might decide to move there? Kinda like selling real estate on the internet for a place called Pleasantville when its really Crapsville.

Oh, and that topo info is an interesting bit of info. If global warming kicks in good it looks they will have a couple of really nice lakes (and lake front property for everyone!)

It’s because of real estate agents.

A Minion (Bibliophage) speaks. Short version: Someone sailing past saw an icy peak on Iceland and named it such. Then Erik the Red got temporarily kicked out of Iceland, explored, saw the southern part of Greenland (which is pretty green) and gave it that name.

The Greenland Ice sheet melts periodically. The last melt off was in 1889. Is this an indication of global warming? Not quite-there is no indication of a trend as yet.
Greenland was substantially warmer than today, 100 years ago-crops were grown there, and farms fluorished.

Greenlandinga Saga says quite explicitly that it was called Greenland specifically to attract settlers.

Not that there isn’t global warming, but that this particular thing isn’t necessarily caused by it. That’s a valuable thing to acknowledge, since its ideological “opponents” will seize on any mistake like this. And it’s science, so that alone make accuracy important.

Re: 1889, are you saying the ice sheet melted away completely back then? And that sea levels were correspondingly 23 feet higher than they are right now? That seems implausible.

Indeed, it would be virtually impossible to completely melt a 1-mile-thick slab of ice hundreds of miles across in just four days. Cripes, a spring thaw around here won’t even melt through a few feet of snow in just four days. To completely melt the Greenland ice sheet in a few days’ time would require tropical temperatures (during daytime and nighttime) and hurricane winds.

Quite true. But few will be surprised if the thickness of the Greenland ice sheet rapidly dimishes in the coming years. We have no idea if it will, but it will be another piece of evidence that we are in the midst of a major climate change. So it’s uncorrelated tidbit so far, but it will be discussed in this manner.

That said, climate change doesn’t bother me. When the melt is complete, there will be some great monster flicks about this new major lake, and after some careful management, Greenland will have a huge sportfishing industry.

Of course these theories are not necessarily incompatible. There is sometimes truth in advertising :slight_smile:

The weather for much of spring and early summer has been absolutely dreadful in NW Europe including Britain (we have finally got some sunshine this week, after the wettest June on record and what may still be the least sunny July ever in parts of Scotland). The reason for this has been unusually prevalent and persistent high pressure over Greenland, which has caused the jet stream to be deflected south of the UK rather than passing to the north as it usually does in summer.

High pressure over Greenland at this time of year means higher temperatures up there, so it is not surprising that after several weeks of high pressure up there, the ice sheet has been melting.

Basically what I’m saying is - it’s weather, not (necessarily) climate.

I know, I know…I keed because I love, and I don’t need no stinking batches.

A planetoid-sized impactor could manage it. :eek: