For a few years now, Global Warming has made one of its most obvious impacts in Greenland. The country, which, while autonomous, is still considered part of the Kingdom of Denmark, has gone in recent years from a land known mostly for its icy and snowy plains to be far more, well, “green” than ever before. But there’s little reason to be happy about it.
A threat beneath the ice
In recent years, Greenland has faced dramatic increases of temperature that have led to unprecedented thawing and melting of the natural layers of ice that cover Greenland’s territory. This exposes Greenland to great dangers including less stability for the whole continental platform, and, if the whole ice of the land were to melt, an increase of over 7 meters of the whole planet’s sea level.
What Lies Below
But not only are the immediate environmental threats a cause of concern about Greenland’s current situation. The thawing has recently revealed the existence of Cold War-era hidden bases containing dangerous toxic waste. If the toxic waste were to be released by the melting and heightened temperatures, it could rapidly spread to nearby areas, or even evaporate and be carried away by winds to later resettle in colder areas, transforming this threat from localized to a potential global catastrophe. Moreover, the pollutants could effectively endanger all sources of food and clean water for the local inhabitants of Greenland, leading to abandonment of the current populations and mass migration.
This, together with the previously mentioned dangers of an unstable land mass and potentially rising sea level should be a cause of concern for all of us. If the human race is to survive, the time to address Global Warming and its dangerous effects is now.
By Nestor Chayelle