Greenland’s Melting Glaciers Raise Sea Levels around the World

Language English
September 15, 2011 7 p.m. local time

© 1999 WikiCommons/Michael Haferkamp cc by sa 3.0

Located on Greenland’s western coast, Ilulissat is Greenland’s third largest city. It is also one of the biggest tourist destinations in Greenland. Why? Because of the nearby Ilulissat Icefjord — a glacier.

Glaciers are a common sight on Greenland, which is covered by a massive ice sheet. And rising temperatures across Greenland are already causing the edges of the ice sheet to melt. Glaciers are not known for their speed, but the fastest rate of ice loss is in southwest Greenland. For example, a glacier in Kangerlussuaq is moving toward the sea twice as fast now as it was in 1995. The increased flow of freshwater into Greenland’s coastal area, along with rising sea temperatures, will likely change the distribution and abundance of fish — impacting both traditional sources of food and Greenland’s main industry.

© 2005 WikiCommons/Mila Zinkova cc by sa 3.0

But the bigger story about Greenland’s ice sheet is its contribution to global sea level rise. The future of coastal communities, from Tonga to Jakarta to Indonesia to New York, will be shaped by how fast the ice sheet melts away into the sea.

Presented by Carl Duivenvoorden

Carl Duivenvoorden is a man of the land. Raised on a dairy farm in Belledune, New Brunswick, he attended the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro, Nova Scotia. His diverse career in agriculture took him to over 25 countries, from New Zealand to Vietnam to Brazil. Carl works as a speaker, writer and environmental consultant. His newspaper column, Green Ideas, is featured regularly in the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal and three New Brunswick weeklies, and his writings appear periodically in newspapers across the country.

To learn more about this presenter, click here.