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What happens if it melts?


As I write this letter, I am sitting a few feet above sea level.

Greenland is the world’s largest island and lies to the northeast of Newfoundland and Labrador. The distance from Cape Farewell to Cape Spear is about 900 miles.
Greenland is the calving place of most of the icebergs the tourists and some locals are always oohing and aahing about. By any definition, the huge island is a neighbor of this island.
There is an ice sheet or, if you will, ice cap or glacier on Greenland covering an area of about 708,000 square miles with an average thickness of 5,000 feet.
That is 665,000 cubic miles of ice. To get some idea of that immensity, consider the province of Quebec plus the Gulf of Saint Lawrence covered in a mile (5,280 feet) of ice. Or the Hudson’s Bay with an ice cover two miles thick.
Two thirds of Greenland is north of the Arctic Circle. The glacier is contained by coastal mountains on the east and west and rises to two domes. The northern dome reaches to 10,000 feet above sea level and has the lowest mean average temperature on the ice cap at -24 F or -31 C.
Most of the ice on Greenland is a hard as steel or concrete. For all that, the water (and it is water — good old H₂O) is part of the Earth’s hydrologic cycle and water exists there in gaseous, liquid and, of course, solid forms.
I have a question for Dr. David Suzuki, professor Michael Mann of Penn State University and Nobelist Al Gore. If Greenland suddenly became as hot as the Tropics (the Tropic of Cancer at 23 ½ degrees north latitude and the Tropic of Capricorn 23 ½ degrees south of the Equator), that is, the island developed a Caribbean or Mediterranean climate, how long would it take for that huge piece of ice to melt?
The ice sheet overlaying Antarctica averages about 6,500 feet thick and contains approximately seven million cubic miles of ice. In the interior of the continent, the mean average temperature is -31 F or -35 C.
(Brr. Brr. Brr. Or? Glug. Glug.Glug.

Tom Careen,
Placentia

Greenland is the world’s largest island and lies to the northeast of Newfoundland and Labrador. The distance from Cape Farewell to Cape Spear is about 900 miles.
Greenland is the calving place of most of the icebergs the tourists and some locals are always oohing and aahing about. By any definition, the huge island is a neighbor of this island.
There is an ice sheet or, if you will, ice cap or glacier on Greenland covering an area of about 708,000 square miles with an average thickness of 5,000 feet.
That is 665,000 cubic miles of ice. To get some idea of that immensity, consider the province of Quebec plus the Gulf of Saint Lawrence covered in a mile (5,280 feet) of ice. Or the Hudson’s Bay with an ice cover two miles thick.
Two thirds of Greenland is north of the Arctic Circle. The glacier is contained by coastal mountains on the east and west and rises to two domes. The northern dome reaches to 10,000 feet above sea level and has the lowest mean average temperature on the ice cap at -24 F or -31 C.
Most of the ice on Greenland is a hard as steel or concrete. For all that, the water (and it is water — good old H₂O) is part of the Earth’s hydrologic cycle and water exists there in gaseous, liquid and, of course, solid forms.
I have a question for Dr. David Suzuki, professor Michael Mann of Penn State University and Nobelist Al Gore. If Greenland suddenly became as hot as the Tropics (the Tropic of Cancer at 23 ½ degrees north latitude and the Tropic of Capricorn 23 ½ degrees south of the Equator), that is, the island developed a Caribbean or Mediterranean climate, how long would it take for that huge piece of ice to melt?
The ice sheet overlaying Antarctica averages about 6,500 feet thick and contains approximately seven million cubic miles of ice. In the interior of the continent, the mean average temperature is -31 F or -35 C.
(Brr. Brr. Brr. Or? Glug. Glug.Glug.

Tom Careen,
Placentia

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