All the information is taken from the film and represents the views espoused by those who have made the film.
The show is on HBO and it’s called Vice.
Greenland’s glaciers are in free fall. Every year, Greenland loses over 140 billion tons of ice.
Sea level rise. This net ice loss is now responsible for a significant amount of our current global sea-level rise.
Ice calving, also known as glacier calving or iceberg calving, is the breaking off of chunks of ice at the edge of a glacier.
One of the leading experts on Greenland’s ice sheets is Dr. Jason Box.
The map below shows recent melting of the glaciers. That strip is approximately 5 miles.
Ten years ago, what you see here would have been covered in several hundred feet of ice.
All freshly deglaciated -
This region has recently lost enough ice to supply Los Angeles with fresh water for about 2000 years! It’s hard to put numbers on this that are not astronomical!
The ice sheet covers about 80 per cent of Greenland which, in turn, is about three times the size of Texas.
How fast is the ice sheet melting?
Last year, they measured 9 meters of melting – in one year.
Above – a year ago. Below - a year later –
One of the reasons for the rapid melting is visible on the surface of the ice. Because of increased pollution and airborne soot, the actual surface of the ice is actually very dirty.
The dirty, or dark, ice accelerates melt because its color absorbs the heat rather than reflecting it.
The dark material absorbs about three times more sunlight than if it were not dark.
Wildfires around the world are increasing (that’s been documented) and the soot from those fires becomes airborne and lands in this area of Greenland. If global warming creates more fires, that will deposit more light-absorbing material on the ice. It’s cyclical – the hotter it gets, the more fires. The more fires, the more soot. The more soot, the more dark ice. The more dark ice, the more melting.
Rising global temperatures are making the natural fire season much longer but also much drier. Another contributor is the massive amount of industrial pollution carried by air currents. These particles literally drill down into the ice, exacerbating the whole process.
Climate change has outpaced the worst-case scenarios that were observed about 20 years ago. The result is that it is a serious situation.
We had a good discussion after the film – and if more of you can join, you will surely enjoy the education and the fellowship!