The Icefjord and Climate Changes

The UN climate panel estimates that on average the temperature of the earth has increased by approx. 0.7 °C during the last 100 years. Evidence of this phenomenon can be found all over the world, but especially in the Arctic Regions.
The estimate is that the average temperature in Northern Greenland might possibly increase with 6-10 °C during the next 100 years. Moreover, the winter precipitation in Northern Greenland is expected to rise with up to 250 percent.

Why Do Temperatures Increase More in the Arctic Regions?  

The reflection of sunlight will be reduced when the climbing temperatures decimate the amount of snow and ice near the poles. This is one of the reasons that the Arctic Regions experience a higher degree of warming.

More and Possibly New Types of Animals  

More individuals of for instance the insect populations will survive, when the living conditions improve due to the warming of the Arctic Regions. Greenland may also experience problems with invasive species of animals and plants.

Less Ice, but More Icebergs 

The sea ice of the Arctic Regions has been much reduced during the last thirty years. The reason is most likely the rising temperatures.

The melting rate of the inland ice cap increases steadily, while the expansion of its fringes accelerates. For this reason the glaciers calve faster than previously and more icebergs are formed.

During the next 100 years it is expected that the oceans will rise up to one meter above the present level as a result of the increase of melt water emerging from the ice cap. Moreover, the concern is that the rise in sea levels might influence the global ocean currents.

Ilulissat Icefjord – a Symbol of Global Warming 

According to UN experts, the greenhouse effect created by humans is almost certainly the main cause of global warming.

The withdrawal of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier at the bottom of Ilulissat Icefjord has become a symbol of the effect of the global warming. However, there is no consensus about the question of whether or not the global warming is the sole cause of the withdrawal of the glacier.

In 2008 American scientists pointed to the fact that the melting of the glacier is caused by the fact that a local ocean current has transported warmer water into the Icefjord.

Read more about the climate and climate changes around Ilulissat Icefjord on GEUS' website.