Topic Reading-Vol.2089-12/30/2017

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Topic Reading-Vol.2089-12/30/2017

英語で世界を知ろう!Topic Reading

2017/12/30 Topic Reading-Vol.2089-12/30/2017

Dear MEL Topic Readers,

How Greenland would look without its ice sheet

What is Greenland like? You know it is covered with ice, but do you have any idea how thick the ice is?

Recently, scientists created a comprehensive geographical map of Greenland and the surrounding seafloor without the ice sheet. This map and data have provided a more accurate estimate of the volume of the ice sheet. The study found that the mean thickness is about a mile, or 1,673 meters to be precise, and the thickest ice reaches nearly 3,500 meters, nearly the peak of Mt. Fuji. Though the total ice volume of Greenland is about one-ninth of that of Antarctica, if all the ice on Greenland melted, it would raise global sea-level by 7.42 meters, and Greenland would appear as an archipelago.

But how did scientists figure out the shape of this ice-covered landscape? They used airborne radar that penetrates the ice sheet to see the shape of the land below. Also, they surveyed sonar to map the depths of sea bottoms from ships. Then, they estimated by modeling the shape of the places where neither of the approaches can be used.

Amazing work from multiple sources and cooperation. While such comprehensive scientific research is done beyond organizations and borders, actions to make use of the findings are not taken so cooperatively. Is human ingenuity limited only to studying?

Enjoy reading and learning what Greenland’s glaciers are like and how they are melting.


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