Greenland’s Ice is Melting:

What’s going with it?

Charlize Bennett

 Greenland, the ironic icy island, is slowly melting and we are the reason why. In 2019 there was more melting of the ice than any year the present before it. CNN reported that there was over five-hundred billion tons of ice lost just in 2019 alone. The rapid melting that Greenland seems to be presenting no signs of any of the ice forming back. This is extremely concerning because ice makes up about 80% of Greenland and in 2019, fifteen percent more of the highest recorded made in 2012. These issues have occurred because Greenland has only been witnessing light snow, and warm conditions. 

Greenhouse Gases

What had caused the certain conditions? Easy, us. The causes of this occurring issue has increasingly gotten worse due to greenhouse gases. These gases trap heat within the atmosphere including the four most popular:

  • Carbon dioxide
    • This gas is naturally presented in some cases (carbon cycle) but is transmitted and created ninety percent of the time by humans. Fossil fuels like gasoline that were used to transport people from point A to point B were the biggest conveyance for carbon dioxide to expand into the atmosphere. CO2 is also an after effect from electricity that is being used to power many things that you can see right where you are whether it’s the lights allowing you to see or even just the building you might be in. Industries is another good example of what transmits this gas because many industries produce it through fossil fuel combustion.
  • Methane
    • Agriculture, which many find supring, produces amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Cattle, sheep, etc produce methane as it is part of their digestive process. This does count as human influenced because they contain and control the animals for sources; food, skins, bones, etc. Natural gas and petroleum systems admit methane through processing, producing, and storage of crude oil. Another factor of the production of this is waste from houses/businesses because it is generated as waste decompositions. 
  • Nitrous Oxide
    • This is an effect from the way humans perform soil management; application of synthetic, organic fertilizers, etc. Fuel combustion is also created when fuels are burned through technology, maintenance and operations. Industries also generate nitrous oxide by using other chemicals like nitric or adipic acid. 
  • Fluorinated Gases
    • These gases are used as things like solvents and fired retardants and are released into the atmosphere through manufacturing, leaks, servicing and disposal of equipment. Industries produce perfluorocarbons as a result of the creation of aluminum products. 

What does any of this have to do with Greenland? 

Greenland’s future is basically in our hands, the whole world’s. Sea levels are slowly rising because of Greenland. If Greenland’s biggest ice sheet melts, it can increase the sea level by twenty four feet. Three of the twenty four feet could be presented by the end of this year if the communities don’t get their greenhouse gases under control soon. Three feet can cause tremendous amounts of concern for the coastal areas, including New York resulting in $14.2 trillion in damage. 

In 2000 the glaciers in Greenland started to move at faster pace and the cold weather couldn’t keep up with it. Ian Howat an Ohio State University Earth scientist said that even if the temperatures started to decline again, the ice would still continue to melt at a slow pace because of the damage that has already been presented. 

Research suggest that we have about ten thousand years before all twenty feet of the ice becomes a liquid. Therefore it is obvious that there isn’t much we can do but there is always a choice in a situation. 

What can we do?

New York Times suggests that we decrease our driving time. This not only declines the amount of carbon dioxide but gives great exercise. If you need to drive, take it easy when pressing the gas or th brakes. New York Time exclaims, “Drive like there is an egg under your foot.” Other factors you can consider when driving is to carpool, use cruise control, etc. 

Eating less meat also decreases carbon dioxide is better for the environment. It is the production of meat that causes a lot of production of CO2. Wasting less is also something you should think about because waste centers release a lot of this gas. 

Learn to recycle! 169 million tons of waste end up in landfills out of the 258 million tons that is created per year. Recycling, though, saves the same amount of energy as generated by 25 million homes. 

Do your part in saving the world, even if it is a slow process. Like it is said, it only takes one person to make a change.