November 30, 2021

Why Greenland’s rapid ice melt could post climate threat to San Francisco Bay

PASADENA, Calif. (KGO) — With its rugged glaciers, there is not any complicated the coast of Greenland with the shoreline of San Francisco Bay.

However researchers consider a climate threat there, could in the end turn into a threat right here.

“Greenland has lost 3 trillion tons of ice in 15 years, that’s enough to raise global sea levels, the entire planet by a centimeter, or half an inch,” says Josh Willis, Ph.D., of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena.

Now, Willis and a group from NASA-JPL are gathering knowledge from Greenland making an attempt to reply an unnerving query. How far more ice will melt and the way rapidly?

The solutions could have a direct impact on how we plan for tidal rise within the San Francisco Bay.

The mission is named OMG, for Oceans Melting Greenland.

VIDEO: SF named high ‘city warmth island’ in new climate report, however what does this imply?

For the final a number of years, Willis and his colleagues have been dropping sensors across the perimeters of the realm’s huge shoreline.

The purpose is to measure the beautiful quantities of water which can be being flushed out of the glaciers, as they arrive in touch with warming ocean waters.

“We kind of think of Greenland’s ice sheet as a big ice cube that’s melting under a hair dryer, but really it’s more like this ice is getting flushed off of the ice sheet in these huge rivers of ice, right into the ocean,” Willis explains.

And it is coming as the realm is experiencing a yr of maximum ice melt. Fellow NASA-JPL researcher Eric Rignot, Ph.D., says the shifting weight is so immense it may truly trigger delicate modifications within the earth’s crust.

“Making sea level rise far away, particularly California and San Francisco, we are affected by what’s happening in Greenland and Antarctica even though it’s far away,” says Rignot.

Nonetheless, how a lot the melt will impact sea degree rise, and the way rapidly, are key unknowns. They could drive all the pieces from how we plan to defend our present Bay shoreline, to what areas will nonetheless be viable sooner or later.

“That should scare you as much as the prospect of a lot of melting. Because it means we really don’t know how much sea level rise to prepare for from Greenland. We just know it’s going to be a lot. Is it going to be a whole lot or just a little lot,” says Willis.

One unsettling be aware — Final week rain, not snow, fell on Greenland’s highest summit for the primary time on document. A sign of the rising temperatures there.