Despite fears that global warming is harming the Arctic region faster than the rest of the world, Greenland is defying climate scientists and currently growing at its fastest rate in four years.
The Danish Meteorological Institute reports that Greenland’s ice sheet has seen more growth so far this year than in the last four years. Greenland’s growth in 2015 is also higher than the mean growth for 1990 to 2011.
Greenland has been a curious case in the global warming debate. On the one hand, scientists and environmentalists have pointed to it as a prime example of a country being impacted by global temperature rises. Greenland is home to the world’s second-largest ice sheet and scientists say it’s melting at an accelerated rate.
But a paper from earlier this year found that only about half the warming impacting Greenland is due to global warming, the other half is due to natural oceanic cycles originating in the tropical Pacific.
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“The pattern of the changes in the tropical Pacific that are responsible for remarkable atmospheric circulation changes and warming in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic are consistent with what we would call natural variability,” said David Battisti, co-author of the study and a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.
On the other hand, Greenlanders themselves have benefited from a shrinking ice sheet as it’s allowed them to access natural resources and lands previously unattainable under heavy ice coverage.
“We simply refuse to go under as a culture because of climate change,” Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond told Reuters in January 2014. “We have to adapt because the ice is disappearing and hunting is no longer the main source of income.”
“But climate change gives us a new chance to survive because our minerals become accessible so we’ll adapt,” Hammond said. “We are one of the very few countries around the world where climate change is giving us benefits.”
Greenland removed a ban on exporting uranium last year, against the wishes of Denmark, as foreign companies become more interested in pulling minerals out of the ground as more areas open up.
But it shouldn’t be too surprising that Greenland has defied dire predictions. The Arctic region as a whole has been more or less stable in recent years, stumping scientists who said it would be ice-free by now.
“The Antarctic is actually growing and all the evidence in the last few months suggests many assumptions about the poles was wrong,” Dr. Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, told the U.K. Express.
“Global sea ice is at a record high, another key indicator that something is working in the opposite direction of what was predicted,” Peiser said. “Most people think the poles are melting… they’re not. This is a huge inconvenience that reality is now catching up with climate alarmists, who were predicting that the poles would be melting fairly soon.”
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