ADD GREENLAND TO THE LIST OF GROWING ICE SHEETS
By Climatologist Cliff Harris
Like the glaciers in Alaska and the huge Antarctic Icecap, the Greenland Ice Sheet is showing signs of growth, particularly in the interior regions of the enormous island.
While some of the ice has been melting in recent years around the edges of southwestern Greenland, similar to another warm period in the 1930s when the center of the North American Continent was experiencing ‘Dust Bowl’ conditions, most of the interior has seen snow and ice levels increase for decades on end.
For example, two massive radar sites constructed during the ‘Cold War Years’ of the 1950s and 1960s on Greenland have recently been abandoned, buried under huge mounds of built-up snow and ice, more than 20 feet thick in places.
My friend, Robert Felix, author of "Not by Fire, But by Ice," available through Sugarhouse Publishing, writes on page 204,
"On July 15, 1942, six P-38 Lightning fighter planes and two B-17 ‘Flying Fortresses’ took off from a base in Greenland on their way to England and World War II support of the British.
Flying into a "monster storm" near Iceland, they were forced to turn back. But, no matter which way they turned, the storm soon surrounded them and they lost their bearings.
Suddenly, the clouds parted and the huge Greenland Ice Sheet loomed below them. Low on fuel, with no way to make it back to their base, each of the pilots elected to land on the ice sheet.
Luckily, the planes escaped with just minor damage. The 25 crew members were able to walk to safety with only superficial injuries.
Under normal circumstances, the planes would have been recovered and put quickly back into service. But in this case, salvaging them would have cost more than they were worth. So, there they sat for the next 40 years.
But, by the 1980s, these planes had become extremely valuable collectors’ items. It someone were to retrieve and restore one of those P-38s to flying condition, it would fetch perhaps a million dollars. So, the search began.
During the next several years, more than a dozen expeditions set out to find the so-called ‘Lost Squadron,’ all to no avail.
But, on June 30, 1988, nearly 21 years ago, a group from Middleboro, Kentucky, using an ‘icescope’ — a radar device able to see beneath the surface — detected large object under the ice big enough to be a B-17!
To make this long story a bit shorter, they pumped hot water through what they called a "super gopher tube" melting a tunnel down to the planes.
Originally, the group had calculated that these World War II planes were buried under about 40 feet of ice. Instead, their tunnel went straight down an incredible 268 feet — twenty-seven stories!"
Folks, as Bob Felix pointed out, this huge ice buildup occurred in just 46 years, at an astounding rate of nearly six feet per year.
As I mentioned last week, the Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing faster than we’re ever been led to believe. In fact, the Old Byrd Weather Station has been crushed in recent years by more than 50 feet of ice.
The original Syple and South Pole stations are likewise buried under the ice. In fact, a new South Pole station was built on top of the one that was buried. I again rest my case...global ice, on the whole, is EXPANDING, not CONTRACTING.