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The sun rises two days early in Greenland, sparking fears that climate change is acce

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Old 01-15-2011, 01:43 PM
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The sun rises two days early in Greenland, sparking fears that climate change is acce

The sun rises two days early in Greenland, sparking fears that climate change is accelerating
The Daily Mail (UK) ^ | January 14, 2011 | By Daily Mail Reporter

The sun over Greenland has risen two days early, baffling scientists and sparking fears that Arctic icecaps are melting faster than previously thought.

Experts say the sun should have risen over the Arctic nation's most westerly town, Ilulissat, yesterday, ending a month-and-a-half of winter darkness.

But for the first time in history light began creeping over the horizon at around 1pm on Tuesday - 48 hours ahead of the usual date of 13 January.

Thomas Posch, of the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Vienna, said that a local change of the horizon was 'by far the most obvious explanation'. He said as the ice sinks, so to does the horizon, creating the illusion that the sun has risen early.

This theory, based on the gradual decline of Greenland's ice sheet, is backed by recent climate studies. A report by the World Meteorology Organisation shows that temperatures in Greenland have risen around 3C above average over the last year.

It also reported that December was much warmer than usual with rainfall instead of snow recorded for the first time in Kuujjuaq since records began.

homas Posch, of the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Vienna, said that a local change of the horizon was 'by far the most obvious explanation'.

He said as the ice sinks, so to does the horizon, creating the illusion that the sun has risen early.


Mor
This theory, based on the gradual decline of Greenland's ice sheet, is backed by recent climate studies.

A report by the World Meteorology Organisation shows that temperatures in Greenland have risen around 3C above average over the last year.

It also reported that December was much warmer than usual with rainfall instead of snow recorded for the first time in Kuujjuaq since records began.
Low horizon: The fishing town of Ilulissat is Greenland's most westerly habitation. Temperatures in Greenland have risen 3C above average over the last year

Low horizon: The fishing town of Ilulissat is Greenland's most westerly habitation. Temperatures in Greenland have risen 3C above average over the last year

It has even been suggested that the sun's early appearance could have an astronomical explanation.

But Wolfgang Lenhardt, director of the department of geophysics at the Central Institute for Meteorology in Vienna, scotched this theory.

He said: 'The constellation of the stars has not changed. If that had happened, there would have been an outcry around the world.

'The data of the Earth's axis and Earth's rotation are monitored continuously and meticulously and we would know if that had happened.'

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Last edited by Matthew; 01-15-2011 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:45 PM
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AGW is tilting the access of the planet Earth, or causing it to rotate faster?

Now, that's a good one.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:15 PM
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If the ice is decreasing then the surface around this town could be doing just that...But who knows.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:49 PM
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AGW is tilting the access of the planet Earth, or causing it to rotate faster?

Now, that's a good one.
Pretty dumb. What was stated was that the surface of the ice was enough lower that the horizon appeared lower.
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:09 PM
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Problem with the ice thawing is that less weight on the earths crust results in the land rising, thereby cancelling the overall efffect.
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:48 PM
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The earth does not respond as quickly as the ice melts.
Greenland rapidly rising as ice melt continues

According to the study, some coastal areas are going up by nearly one inch per year and if current trends continue, that number could accelerate to as much as two inches per year by 2025, explains Tim Dixon, professor of geophysics at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) and principal investigator of the study.

"It's been known for several years that climate change is contributing to the melting of Greenland's ice sheet," Dixon says. "What's surprising, and a bit worrisome, is that the ice is melting so fast that we can actually see the land uplift in response," he says. "Even more surprising, the rise seems to be accelerating, implying that melting is accelerating."

Dixon and his collaborators share their findings in a new study titled "Accelerating uplift in the North Atlantic region as an indicator of ice loss," The paper is now available as an advanced online publication, by Nature Geoscience. The idea behind the study is that if Greenland is losing its ice cover, the resulting loss of weight causes the rocky surface beneath to rise. The same process is affecting the islands of Iceland and Svalbard, which also have ice caps, explains Shimon Wdowinski, research associate professor in the University of Miami RSMAS, and co-author of the study.

Also, the specific gravity of the rock is much greater than that of ice, so it will take four or five units of ice decrease to equal one unit of land rise. And the processes of isostatic processes work at a far slower rate than ice melt.
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