Sunday, February 12, 2006


British photographer, Nick Cobbing, captured this image of a deep lake on the Greenland ice cap.(sorry about the bad copying) It was taken during a summer research trip sponsored by Greenpeace International.

Greenland's ice cap is the largest in the Northern Hemisphere and the second largest in the world after the Antarctic ice cap.

NASA researchers have found that the melt water accumulating in these lakes during summer drains through the 1.2 kilometre thick ice sheet to the bedrock, lubricating the ice sheet and making it slide faster.
The same thing contributes to the movement of small mountain glaciers but was only discovered in the large polar ice sheets in 2002.
As the melt water carries heat as it drains, the process thins the ice which spreads out towards lower elevations.
The result is that the Greenland ice sheet seems to be moving faster and faster towards the coast.

Jason Box, a climatologist at the Byrd Polar Research Centre, is trying to correlate the intensity of the blue colour of the lakes with accurate depth soundings. His aim is to develop an algorithm that will enable him to gauge the depth of the lakes from satellite images by measuring the intensity of their colour.

Global warming skeptics will have to start taking notice of the polar regions. The polar ice cap is melting earlier and scientists have measured a dislocation of the ocean currents around Greenland. The large ice shelfs are breaking up in Antarctica. These places are the weather factories of our world so more money for research stations, and I don't mean oil or mineral exploration, would help determine just how much trouble this planet is really in.

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