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Greenland Is Getting Greener. That Could Have Huge Consequences For The World The area of Greenland’s ice loss in the past three decades is roughly 36 times the size of New York City — land that is rapidly giving way to wetlands and shrubs, a study published Tuesday shows. The amount of vegetation in Greenland doubled between the mid-1980s and mid-2010s, as swaths of the country that were once covered in ice and snow were transformed into barren rock, wetlands or shrub area. Wetlands alone quadrupled in that time. By analyzing satellite imagery, the scientists found that Greenland had lost 28,707 square-kilometers (around 11,000 square-miles) of ice in the three-decade period, and warned of a cascade of impacts that could have serious consequences for climate change and sea level rise. Warmer air temperatures have driven ice loss, which has in turn raised land temperatures. That has caused the melting of permafrost, a frozen layer just beneath the Earth’s surface and found in much of the Arctic, and that melt releases planet-warming carbon dioxide and methane, contributing to more global warming. Permafrost melt is also causing land instability, which could impact infrastructure and buildings. “We have seen signs that the loss of ice is triggering other reactions which will result in further loss of ice and further ‘greening’ of Greenland, where shrinking ice exposes bare rock that is then colonized by tundra and eventually shrub,” one of the report’s authors, Jonathan Carrivick, said in a press release. “At the same time, water released from the melting ice is moving sediment and silt, and that eventually forms wetlands and fenlands.”

  • winnie nguru

    9 w

    Saddening. We all need to wake up and smell the coffee

    5
    • Kevin

      9 w

      @winnie_nguru It is a proper wake up call

    • Munene Mugambi

      9 w

      This means Greenland is getting warmer as the planet overall is. Is this another sign of climate change?

      6
      • Rotich Kim

        9 w

        These environmental changes should be taken seriously and actions should be taken so as to reduce such cases

        • dickson mutai

          9 w

          Urgent attention and global cooperation is needed to address these environmental challenges

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