Using "melting Greenland" to emphasize the urgency is a good idea, says Geoffrey Lean in Grist 30 Jun 09. He was a participant in Orthodox Patriarch Bartholemew's symposium there -- see our previous post. Lean recalls, "You can hear the howling of the idle dogs... all over Ilulissat," but even louder is the sound of pieces breaking off the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, like "gunshots" or "thunder". The glacier is melting, racing towards the sea at 10 miles a year, 5 times faster than a decade ago. Scientists were shocked when it leaped ahead 3 miles in 90 minutes.
Why? Because meltwater is carving in great waterfalls down to the bedrock, creating "a lake 500 meters deep under the glacier, lifting the ice" and making a water-slide to the sea. Says Lean, "Much the same is happening all around Greenland, causing its ice-cap to melt far faster than... expected, contributing to the inevitable rising of the world’s seas."