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Surface melt from Greenland glaciers. Previous studies have suggested this melt could destabilize the Greenland ice sheet.
Longest-term study yet of the continent says nothing to fear.

For global warming activists, Greenland is the most potent weapon of fear in their arsenal. With Antarctica cooling, and the floating ice at the North Pole incapable of affecting sea levels, Greenland alone can contribute the vast amounts of melted ice capable of flooding cities. Greenland -- which began gradually melting at the end of the last ice age some 20,000 years ago -- continues to slowly shed ice today.

The only problem? It's melting far too slowly. At its current rate, Greenland will take thousands of years to significantly affect sea level.

Fears have still arisen, however, over claims that melting rate is being accelerated by man-made global warming. Some past studies have indicated this may be happening, by measuring the rate at which glaciers have slid towards the sea, sped by melt water beneath lubricating the process.

However, a new study has concluded that Greenland's rate of melting is not accelerating, and in fact may actually be decreasing when viewed over a longer timescale. The study, which used 17 years of satellite measurements to reach its conclusions, determined the overall yearly movement of ice to the sea is not increasing, and is actually decreasing in some places.

The researchers noted the speedup observed by past studies was strictly a short-term transient phenomena, occurring primarily in the summer months.

The study, which is appearing in the Friday edition of the journal Science, was led by Dutch Researcher Roderik S.W. van de Wal, of the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research of the University of Utrecht.

Claiming losses in coastal property values, a group of Spanish homeowners and investors last month threatened Greenpeace with legal action over exaggerated claims of sea level rise.





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