Greenland Is Melting Away

This river is one of a network of thousands at the front line of climate change.

Comments: 202

  1. As a geologist, among other things, and one who has flown over the southern tip of Greenland countless times en route to Keflavik and Boston, I have nothing but praise for the researchers and for the Times presentation of the research. And the river is as we say nowadays, awesome.

    Perhaps at future Republican debates or interview situations the non-believers - there are stronger words but non-believers will do - could be shown such graphic information to see how they respond.

  2. It won't make a difference. They don't form their beliefs on facts.

  3. Full disclosure: I'm very concerned about climate change and believe the evidence is sufficiently compelling to conclude that global warming is resulting from increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    However, this article brings back a nagging question for me. 1,000 years ago, Greenland warmed significantly for a period of several hundred years — warm enough, in fact, that Viking settlers were able to farm there. Then, it got cold again and the Vikings had to abandon Greenland.

    So, what caused that several hundred year period of extraordinary warmth? It certainly wasn't humans. And, to what extent are long-cycle climate trends like that one, which are not caused by humans, at play today?

  4. It will be at least 500 years more time before we can look at all of the data and answer the question you are asking. It is a valid question but not for this generation to answer.

  5. It is interesting that this writer felt the need to establish his or her credentials as a true believer before making the observation. In itself, the point would be the same regardless of the writer's overall stance.

    Is the necessity for such maneuvering more indicative of a science or a religion?

  6. It's the speed of the melt that is significant. The natural warming spells you refer to are ones that occurred over the course of thousands of years. This melt, however, is accelerating by decades. Unprecedented.

    The questions you ask feed into the notorious dismissal of GOP leaders who are incredibly called "moderates." I'm not a scientist, they say, thus attempting to put any discussion of the crisis aside.

    The question we all must ask, carefully analyze through responsible internationally verified data, is this: What is the advantage, politically and economically, for those with the loudest voices, to continue claiming that climate change is only a natural cycle?

  7. Absolutely beautiful article.

  8. "But the research is under increasing fire by some Republican leaders in Congress, who deny or question the scientific consensus that human activities contribute to climate change...."

    We call it research because we are asking questions and pursuing answers about the world we live in. Cutting funding for data collection and critical research into climate change means legislators such as Smith are making decisions based on the "beliefs" of the oil and gas industry who fund them, not what is happening in the real world.

    [And NY Times, what a wonderful job of using the technology to tell the story. Bravo to your graphics folks once again.]

  9. It's not even the "beliefs" of the oil and gas industry. They know that climate change is real. In fact, they were among the first to know, having funded a significant portion of the early research. See the LA Times articles about Exxon, to learn more.

    Concur about the NYT article, well done and excellent use of technology.

  10. I wonder if Rep Lamar Smith would like to assure American taxpayers that his desire to gut funding for scientific research has nothing to do with Texas' oil industry donations to his campaign.
    The evidence is there - and the GOP and their masters want the American public to pretend like they do, that it is not.

  11. Fantastic job of reporting and photography. Thanks so much for this; it's the most effective kind of education.

  12. its effective because it's emotional, just like the polar bears. Now all libs should be abandoning coastal cities in droves, that is, if they actually believe GW is real. But I suspect they will still put, because logic still tells them subconsciously that GW may not be real, so stay put in your coastal city, and don't worry. See even libs don't believe GW, otherwise they'd be relocating as we speak.

  13. Val in Brooklyn, NY to Benji in Boise
    Why don't you take your sophistry and trolling elsewhere? This is a stunningly photographed & videoed and very realistically written article about THE crisis that affects all earthlings, literally, regardless of kingdom or species--including you--and we're trying to figure out how to survive it.

    NYT I second Maggie in NY's request. Please continue. There's absolutely nothing more important.

    Submitted [email protected]:21 a.m. EST

  14. Love the use of aerial imagery in this article! Please publish more articles about the empirical data scientists are collecting to improve and validate climate models. Disappointed but not surprised to hear that republicans are trying to disrupt funding for this type of research.

  15. Three words. Fund. Climate. Science.

  16. To a point I agree with this but at this point we should be funding all possible solutions.

  17. Two words: Fund. Science.

  18. The Quick Global Warming Denier Test: If you too read about this heroic scientific task, and all you managed to remember is the “That’s 3,000 taxpayer dollars, going down the hole” part, you might be a denier.

    In that case I'd recommend reading this superb article more carefully and slowly, and noting just what this team in the freezing(-for-now) weather of Greenland has to deal with just to get some facts about the melt rate.

  19. Global Warming is the most important issue of our times. Our very survival as a species depends on us taking immediate action now. We have let the fossil fuel industry and their paid deniers take over the conversation for much too long. The fossil fuel industry has been using the tobacco industry's "deny, deny, deny" playbook to stop any action to save our planet.

    If you care about your children…your grandchildren or our very survival…then please don't sit on the sidelines any longer…let your voice be heard and demand decisive action by our leaders and governments to slow down man made Global Warming.

  20. Yes, Suzanne, global warming is a very important 'issue'.

    However, global Empire is the cause of all 'issues', "symptom problems", and our entire "ailing social order".

    Empires used to kill and slaughter people directly, but the 'new improved formula' of Disguised Global Crony-Capitalist Empire kills our environment directly and kills humanity indirectly.

    The "Crisis of Humanity" is global Empire as a disease, like cancer -- hidden unless properly diagnosed and treated.

    As Zygmunt Bauman hauntingly puts it, “In the case of an ailing social order, the absence of an adequate diagnosis…is a crucial, perhaps decisive, part of the disease.”13

    Berman, Morris 2011 "Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire"

  21. Suzanne, I continue to say that the fossil fuel industry does not control or even initiate the conversation about Global Warming.

    I invite you to come up and take a drive from Abilene or Midland, Texas on Interstates 20/10 to El Paso and you will readily see that it is the CONSUMER of the industry product that defines the conversation.

    YES, demand decisive action by the American electorate and our government and stop harping on the fossil fuel industry - it is us and our government - we slow our consuming and the industry will have no choice but to slow production of their product. It's called supply and demand - we demand and they supply.

  22. Most humans have no more higher cognition that evolution gave to, and artificial took away from, sheep.

    Jesus knew us well when he used the sheep as his model for correct human behavior. We humans *are* like sheep, left without a pastor, inside a fenced pasture. We will eat, defecate and procreate...until we all die of starvation.

    One of the advantage of age: I won't be here when the bill for our stupidity comes due to our children.

  23. The thing about sheep and goats is in the Bible is that they are constantly referred to as food.

  24. We are all lambs being led away to the by our own hands.

  25. The large scale of the melting of the ice sheet is impressive and of course concerning. Good work and exciting research.

  26. how is this exposing anything but the obvious? ice melts during the summer ...

  27. I recently flew back to Toronto from Amsterdam. Our plane flew over the southern tip of Greenland. From more than 30,000 feet you could see rivers making their way through the ice and you could see the vast ice cap behind them that was feeding them.

  28. Wonderful combination of reporting and design. Work like this most certainly justifies the paywall.

  29. Great reporting on climate change. Science denying can only be confronted with solid field research. I'd rather support these scientists with my tax dollars than endless military spending. Thank you for bringing these and other stories about our fragile planet to the front page!

  30. Thank you for this article ,I reminder to all of us we should honor earth ! Without it we are gone until a new species evolves.

  31. There's no such thing as climate change - the right wing politicians told us so....PLEASE NOTE SARCASM.

  32. Have they started naming these rivers yet? The Koch River? The Cruz River? There are more than enough names even though there there are thousands of these rivers. Will this be in our schools' textbooks? Not if the Texas Board of Education has anything to do with it. What a sorry state of affairs when religious fundamentalism marries corporate greed and craven political ambition.

  33. It's the summer, the ice melts. Nothing exposed but the obvious. Let's see what this area is like during the winter.

  34. That would be incredibly ironic if scientists named them after climate-change deniers.

  35. The Sexton River has a ring to it.

  36. Thank you NYT and the science team that endured the cold and dangers to bring us this much needed article on global warming.

  37. Yes Republicans, all those lakes and rivers of melting ice are all in our collective imaginations.

    No need at all to study such phenomena to determine for example how the lubricating effect of all that water between ice and rock will accelerate the movement of the ice off of the rock.

    And I agree we should not worry about climate change until the water is at least up to our ankles.

  38. It's good that republicans have no say in the leadership of the WWF, otherwise they would surely put Walter Palmer in charge.

  39. So far, very little from presidential campaigners about our collective near future. A forecast from the Population Institute warns that by 2030:

    Global population increases from 7.4 billion to 8.3 billion.

    Demand for food grows by 40 percent, but supplies do not keep up with demand. World grain reserves are empty. The Food and Agriculture Organization (UN) warns that bad harvests and grain export embargoes push 200 million people to “the brink of starvation.”

    Demand for energy grows by 45 percent, but supplies do not keep up, and the resulting scarcity pushes energy prices to record highs.

    Global demand for water grows by close to 30 percent. Water conservation measures help, but close to four billion people now live areas of high water stress.

    Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions fall far short of pledges made in 2010. Climate change is more evident, and the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions is dangerously close to the 450 ppm level that could trigger the worst effects of climate change. (150 million climate refugees; Bangladesh submerged; Himalayan glaciers gone; coral reefs are gone)

    Shortages of food, energy and water are increasing the number of failed states and ratcheting up international tensions.

    And of course, the Benghazi guys are meeting every Tuesday morning at a Cracker Barrel in Trey Gowdy's home town.

  40. How on earth would we run out of food for a billion more people? Right now 50% of the US corn crop - which could feed another USA full of people - gets poured into _gasoline tanks!_ .

  41. Have Greenland temperatures reached the peaks of the 14th century, when Greenland was really green, and when there were no carbon emissions?

  42. The problem is not that people are denying the truth. The problem is the people who claim global warming is happening offer only one solution: The US and other advanced countries should return to the stone age. The efforts of conservation and use of renewable technologies doesn't scratch the surface of world carbon output. The solution proposed by the liberal left is no solution, even if you believe any of their claims.

    This is because they refuse to embrace geo-engineering. With 7,000,000,000 uncontrollable people on the planet, virtually none of whom will stop burning things an releasing carbon into the air simply because you say so, something of a much grander scale would be needed to address the problem you claim exists. Whether it be dumping iron filings into the ocean deserts to foster growth of plankton, or putting a sun shade in space, any solution to the claimed problem must be on a vast scale. Telling everyone to drive 55 mph won't do it.

    If what you say is true, the only other way to address the problem is to wait for population to decrease in the face of environmental pressure. This is the ultimate negative feedback loop that will save the Earth (if what you say is true).

    By the way, the Greenland Ice Sheet has been melting for thousands of years. We are in the midst of an interglacial warm period. Duh.

  43. "The problem is the people who claim global warming is happening offer only one solution: The US and other advanced countries should return to the stone age."

    The return to the stone age will be caused by the rising seas and destruction of the human race by those who deny human-caused climate change. And geoengineering schemes will probably result in unforseen crises, resulting in a forced return to the stone age.

    The real solution: ramp up clean energy and keep fossil fuels in the ground....a war-time effort undertaken by all industrialized nations, as well as research into taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and storing it safely. Unfortunately, with climate deniers leading US House Science Committee, we are moving in the opposite direction. Duh.

  44. "The problem is not that people are denying the truth. The problem is the people who claim global warming is happening offer only one solution: The US and other advanced countries should return to the stone age. "
    You, sir, are the one peddling "Hooey". Talk about the ultimate in "straw man" arguments. Absolutely zero people who believe anthrogenic climate change is a problem are arguing for a 'return to the stone age'.
    What they are arguing for is a GREATER commitment to the science, and imposition of either a) a Carbon tax, or b) a Carbon emission cap & trade program.
    Imposition of other of these practices will impose a price on the negative externalities of carbon emission, and allow the magic of CAPITALISM to derive a solution.
    Clearly, you are what passes for a conservative these days - one who would accuse "the Left" of naive idealism, while your proposed 'solution' to the problem (which you then ultimately deny) Solar shields and iron seeding the Oceans are pie in the sky fantasies that may not even be possible engineering wise and if so would cost trillions.
    We ALREADY KNOW that cap & trade works - does anyone talk about 'acid rain' anymore....? NO. Because the SO2 cap & trade program imposed under the (Yes) Reagan administration worked.
    Then your 'final solution' (pun definitely intended) is to simply allow some significant fraction of the World's 7 Billion to perish in climate related war, famine and pestilence.
    Your brilliance knows no bounds.

  45. So which is it--it's not happening or it's too rapid to stop?? The USA could quite easily function free of combustion. It's only a matter of will--the will to value something besides profit.

  46. How about a chart showing how much the Benghazi Committee has spent in their pursuit of nonsense vs. the pittance being spent on how fast Greenland is melting?

    This is extremely hazardous work and I'm grateful to these researchers for their courage and persistance.

    Please, for the sake of our grandchildren, never vote for a Republican until they come to their senses on climate change.

  47. Republicans will never come to their senses. They are brain-numb.

  48. Sad but true.

  49. Nobody should vote for a Republican, ever, they refuse to evolve and should be extinct.

  50. After the ocean level rises 20 ft, it will be too late to re-think what might have been done to prevent this.

  51. An ocean rise of 20 ft will take at least 200 years (my bet is 1000 years) but even at 200 I think that cities can easily move in time. After all they have all (99%) been built over the past 100 years. Sea levels are rising at 1 ft per century, steady for about 200 years.

  52. Congress allocated $778,000 for three years which includes everything for the team of scientists so they are essentially operating at $259,000 per year --including salaries. According to a legislative website, Senator Lamar Alexander makes $174,000 per year and requires staffing at a cost of $1.3 million per year...all at taxpayer's expense. (There was no information on how much additional money Lamar Alexander seeks for reimbursement of his "expenses.") Somehow I think Senator Alexander should be looking to cut from his office budget before looking anywhere else.

  53. As humans, if we don't see it we tend to forget it's there—if we even believe it in the first place (like evolution, microscopic life, etc.). Thanks for this important and impressive work.

  54. I recently traveled to Greenland -- one of the most beautiful and environmentally fragile places on the planet -- and wrote an article about the trip. One commenter pooh-poohed my concerns about the environmental changes taking place there. During my trip I was told by some guides that China and Greenland were working out a deal under which China would extract Greenland's minerals. As if climate change weren't bad enough!

  55. An outstanding, if disturbing report. Makes my Times subscription well worth the price.

  56. Global warming denial is my primary reason for never voting Republican. As others have said, this is the most important issue of our time. As some parts of the world become uninhabitable, immigration caused by climate change (and I think it's already one of the main reasons) will become a much bigger problem.

  57. Global warming is the single-most important issue facing every human being who lives on our planet. The ramifications are so enormous, it boggles the mind. And no matter how much money you have, you cannot buy yourself out of this one. And no matter how much some politicians deny it, it's here to stay--forever. The findings in Greenland will likely aid us immeasurably in planning for the future--where we should build, indeed where we should live. One can only hope that elected representatives and business leaders will take this seriously now, and take the lead in planning for a very different future than any one of us can imagine.

  58. We're going to have to come to the realization that there are simply too many people on Earth for the planet to bear.

  59. Over and over, again we see this meme repeated, that it's ONLY the human population, and not the way that population chooses to live on the planet. QT, please broaden your horizons.

  60. Wow. Fabulous layout, graphics, captions, content. I love these types of articles . This one reminds me of the one you did on the avalanche on Stevens Pass in WA a couple years ago. Well done.

  61. Absolutely stunning. Thank you for this article and for putting this on the front page and showing us readers what exactly is going on. If this doesn't give climate change deniers pause and persuade them to reconsider, I don't know what will. This is why I love the New York Times!

  62. Impressive compelling visual. What it immediately brought to mind is that evangelists can appropriate not enough money in their estimation for war and killing people, yet want to cut off funding for science so as to insure more of the population to exist in the future. Hopefully articles like this will enlighten and allow some of our grandchildren's children to exist.

  63. The warming, and greening, of the Earth has been proceeding unsteadily for the last 11,000 years or so, and happily may continue for a while longer, to the benefit of civilization and most of the living cover of the planet before, most probably, reversing yet again, placing much of life back in the freezer. Of course, there are losers as well as winners in these processes, as there are with most cycles, natural or man-made.

  64. Beautiful and terrifying. Thank you, scientists!

  65. What an amazing group of courageous, talented and dedicated to the good of mankind, theses scientists are! Incredible pictures! Awesome article!

  66. This is vitally important research. The climate deniers of course will reject it, but better establishing the rate of melting is powerful evidence that anyone not funded by the fossil fuel industry should be able accept.

    We already know that much glacial melt flows underneath the ice which causes the glaciers to more quickly slide into the ocean. The water acts like a lubricant between the ice and rock. Hopefully, this work will give us a better understanding on how much surface water is finding its way down there.

    We also know that about 90% of global warming has gone into the oceans. As the oceans heat up, they will be more able to erode the ice sheets when they come into contact with the water as they slide into the sea.

    We also know that atmospheric warming is not evenly distributed across the planet. The air over the polar regions is getting much hotter than at other regions. When average numbers are quoted, they don't reveal the severity of the danger to polar ice.

    Taking all of these factors into account, the polar ice sheets are in grave danger of disappearing. If all of this ice melted, which would take centuries, ocean levels would rise something like 150 feet! If only 10% of that rise occurs this century, coastal areas will disappear.

    This new information will give the world a much better understanding of the situation but how do we get so many in power to accept and understand any of it?

  67. In Canada, which is being profoundly affected by climate change, we got rid of our climate change denier Conservative prime minister Harper and our new Liberal prime minister Trudeau has a majority in the parlement and all the provincial premiers on his side in regards to climate change.
    Harper muzzled government scientists, slashed funding and closed down major research centers. No information regarding the environment in an effort to keep the public ignorant. We finally threw out Harper out big time. Now the Americans should throw out these crazy Republican climate deniers.

  68. Val in Brooklyn, NY to science prof in Canada
    Bravo and believe me, we're working on it. Please keep your fingers crossed for us next year. And I must say, emigrating to Canada or anywhere sensible sounds better all the time.
    To the NYT: BRAVO for this gorgeous report on a very real nightmare!
    Keep it up.
    Preach! Preach! Preach!

    Submitted [email protected]:56 a.m. EST

  69. Conditions on this planet seem to be changing with alarming rapidity. Couple this article with the Oct.26th NYT article concerning ungodly temperatures in the Middle East and the picture becomes absolutely

  70. Congressional Republicans need to appropriate more, not less, for the study of environmental and ecological changes that may affect us in the future. The problem is that the researchers now on the job are obviously all left-wing tree huggers and need to be replaced with Tea Party adherents who will see the benefits of these changes: Massive melting of Arctic ice could be harnessed to produce more water for drinking and irrigation. And Greenland could become the destination to which we send all the Syrians fleeing the conflagrations at home. Great for summer tourism too: "Escape the heat. Chill as Greenland melts!"

  71. A letter from Mother Earth:

    Dear ‪#‎everybody‬,

    Do ‪#‎you‬ still want a ‪#‎life‬ well lived for all of you and for your ‪#‎future‬ ‪#‎generations‬, but how it is possible if you let me ‪#‎destroyed‬. This is your last ‪#‎chance‬ to take ‪#‎care‬ of me, who feeds and took care of you for ‪#‎centuries‬. Now, I'm ‪#‎asking‬ for your ‪#‎help‬, do your part to ‪#‎save‬ me. If each of you plays a part, if all of you ‪#‎acts‬ ‪#‎together‬.. that's a ‪#‎big‬ ‪#‎thing‬ and I will ‪#‎last‬ for more ‪#‎years‬.

    ‪#‎Sincerely‬ yours,
    ‪#‎Mother‬ ‪#‎Earth‬

  72. As much as I agree and supportive sentiment of your post, I'm pretty sure Mother Earth isn't quite the Twitter enthusiast you have projected on her!

  73. It's so sad and beautiful all at once. But we knew about this 20-30 years ago so why do we have to fight for funding that is less than the cost of a cruise missile?

  74. Breathtaking. But only infuriating to hear the same dire report again and again and again.

  75. Then perhaps you should heed the dire facts that the report provides and act on them, instead of not wanting to know. Repressing the information does not change nature.

  76. I suppose we should look for a silver lining.

    We have one article showing us that the arctic ice is melting, and another predicting that the middle east will be too hot for humans in another century. Maybe all that melting will free up a place for people chased out of their homes by steaming temperatures to migrate to. Assuming that the land remains above water level of course.

    No need to worry!

  77. We will all drown in the arrogance of the upper 0.01% and the righteousness of their enablers and ignorance of their followers.

  78. Greenland was much warmer in the 10th century than it is today. Norway established its first settlement on Greenland’s east coast in 986. The Eastern Settlement was the first European settlement in North America, preceding Columbus’ voyage of discovery by about 500 years. Eventually there were three settlements, which contained hundreds of farms, 16 churches and about 4,000 inhabitants. The first contact between Europeans and Native Americans occurred in Greenland. Greenland was uninhabited when the Norse arrived, but in the 1100s Inuits crossed from the North American mainland and began attacking the Norse farms in Greenland’s central valley. The settlements begin to decline as the climate cooled and disappeared altogether in the 14th century with the onset of the Little Ice Age.

  79. Fantastic!
    …This is “real” science…
    Kudos to Brandon Overstreet and the climate-research, “adventurers.” Thanks also to NASA/NOAA for their funding. And a kick in the pants for Representative Lamar Smith, for being typically obstinate.
    Hopefully now, we have “real” measurements, that:
    1. lend [more] credibility to the so called, “estimated rate of change of global warming” and it’s associated effects [rising sea levels, etc].
    2. can not be dismissed by by high level Congressional staffers, lobbyists, and academic naysayers.
    3. the public can understand, in the only way possible when it comes to voting for change—that is, by using common sense.
    …The next step of course is not necessarily to decide, “what can be done,” but rather how to employ the talents of enterprising scientists like Mr. Overstreet, as they begin to measure the potential effects of currently proposed methods to mitigate the various effects of global warming…

  80. I'm so depressed by this...I keep thinking what would have happened had Gore become president...

  81. Gore was elected President. Governor JEB! with the collusion of SCOTUS stole the election.

  82. Climate change - whether or not it is influenced by humans - is happening. It is the height of short-sighted stupidity not to fund the gathering of information that will help us prepare for the future, and maybe even have some say in what that future will look like. I am very happy to see our tax dollars at work in this stunning research. Thanks for the article, NYT.

  83. That statement about a lost "$3,000..." it reflects a misconception about money. The $3,000 long ago went to all the people who developed and manufactured the equipment, and from them it went to their grocers, landlords, auto leasing companies and mutual funds. A valuable piece of equipment was lost, and maybe some data and time... but not money. Money doesn't die until the federal government extinguishes it via taxation... to make room for next year's brand new money. Worrying about the money instead of climate change is not only short-sighted: It's not justifiable. In fact, hobgoblins about money are hobbling the country. Scarcity of money is always a choice, never a fact.

  84. How exactly is the tax dollars spent on this research "extinguishing" the money that you so ably describe. On the whole, government expenditure supports a whole lot of worthwhile things, unlike our greedy oligarchs.

  85. I'm not sure you read my comment correctly. It doesn't say that the money spent on this research was extinguished; it says the opposite. Dollars vanish when the federal government taxes it out of existence, to make room for the money that the government spends into existence. In between its creation and extinguishment, money moves from hand to hand. Banks create money by lending, and extinguish it when the loan is repaid.

  86. 1) What is NASA doing funding an expedition to measure melt flow-rate in Greenland? Shouldn't their area of responsibility be deep-space astronomy, interplanetary probes and manned space-flight? Earth-focused missions (up to earth-sensing satellites) should be NOAA responsibility.

    2) What kind of resolution do scientists really need? The amount of ice-melt required to raise the ocean an inch is enormous, surely enough to be visible from space. Maybe they do need "on the ground" information, but with billions of dollars in research funding at stake every year, it's worth closer scrutiny.

    3) A lot of the Earth is a frozen wasteland (e.g. Greenland). Melting ice opens up arable/habitable land. This will surely mitigate some of the effects of a rising ocean. Lets not forget that North America used to be covered in ice halfway down to Oklahoma. I'll take global warming over global cooling any day.

    4) Good luck keeping the world in a state of self-imposed poverty. You'll have better luck making water flow uphill. Balancing the budget would be a good first baby-step...

  87. Re your point #3: it may occur to you that those frozen wastelands are not inhabited (or barely so) and that while they slowly become available, low lying areas will flood and an enormous belt of already arid land will baloon. Do you propose to resettle Florida, Texas and Arizona to Greenland? Or the Canadian North? How expensive do you think that will be. The billions of dollars you mention in point #2 are chicken feed compared to the cost of that. And the externally imposed poverty will dwarf the self-imposed one of your point #4.

  88. When Republican owned seaside mansions become threatened by global warming (e.g. on Fisher Island in Florida), global warming will become a national priority.

  89. Ignoring your first three points as not sincere I will only respond to the nonsense of your fourth...whatever.
    New clean tech is being introduced and marketed around the world helping people to breathe cleaner air, drink cleaner water, and lower carbon footprints. Fossil fuels are becoming part of the ignorant past of humanity.
    Balancing the budget is what stupid people advocate for and why you are wrong can be summed up quickly by reminding people what happened after WWII when debt to GDP was over one hundred percent. Anyone remember something called the "post-war boom"???

  90. Congratulations. What a spectacular way to report on a compelling story that underscores the irrelevancy of so much of TV news, and our partisan political discourse.

  91. Journalistic standards used to demand the fierce challenge of false facts told in pursuit of partisan political discourse or for the profit of certain industries - like oil and gas. Now, thanks largely to the big door opened by the SCOTUS the opposite holds true. The Koch machine is working overtime to tell the public that stories like this are 'false' or 'misinterpreted.' Think of all the virgin golf courses being opened up in Greenland for Trump to develop (a golf course uses nearly twenty times the amount of fresh water and pesticides as a farm).

    Amount of water it would take, per day, to support 4.7 billion people at the UN daily minimum: 2.5 billion gallons

    Amount of water used, per day, to irrigate the world’s golf courses: 2.5 billion gallons


  92. I accept climate change because since when, was the climate ever constant?

    Global warming... global cooling... have both occurred with great frequency. Cooling in Greenland 1000 years ago was even noted in the comments below. So another question should be answered by the church of climate hysteria: Do you deny the cooling of Greenland 1000 years ago and the inevitable cooling to come? More so, what are you doing to bolster your argument? Do you heat and cool your house? Drive? Use Apple products?

    It's quite simple church goers... lead by example and stop your usage of fossil fuel products and their derivatives. Until then I deny your hysteria.

  93. The fact that climate has changes in the past does not mean the pumping millions of tons of heat-retaining gases into the atmosphere doesn't have an effect. Lung cancer and emphysema been around forever. That doesn't mean you should smoke cigarettes or won't suffer the consequences if you do.

  94. The excuse for walter Bally to do nothing is to accuse people of being hypocrites. This is one of weaker arguments against the reality of AGW you will see.
    For the record my wife and I installed solar PV in 2003 and have taken more steps than I can mention to work on reducing our and others carbon footprints. Millions of people ARE leading by example and Walter's excuse to deny the reality should be seen for the craven nonsense it is.

  95. So unless individuals who agree with 99% of scientists that the current global warming trend is anthrogenic & will cause massive disruption to our way of life eschew all the trappings of a modern lifestyle, whatever they say, think and research can be safely ignored...?

  96. Mind-blowing information. Phenomenal presentation.

  97. What a truly superb and innovative article. Such a pity that senator from Texas has so little understanding and the mindset to challenge why we need to know and why we need to carry out this research. What is it with people like this that they lack the imagination to see what is happening? The de-salination of northern Atlantic waters is going to cause a massive problem. Ridiculous as it may seem the scenarios from The Day After Tomorrow, was predicated on exactly what is now happening. You can but wonder.

  98. Toady's digital front page tells it all you need to know about 2015 America in the layout of 2 articles.

    The first, in the top center, is an article with a beautiful photo and extradonary further photos that tells us of the results of scientific studies that show how we are losing the world as we k now it through climate change and how the GOP wants to stop funding for such research.

    The second, in the left column, is a politico article announcing that Ben Carson, the retired doctor who believes the earth is 6,000 years old has become the national frontrunner for the Repiblican candidate for President of the US.

    Clearly, the left column illustrates how the GOP intends to curtail what we see in the center.

    Folks, we are indeed doomed.

  99. Quit worrying about the GOP and start worrying about the slow collapse of American society. Take your blinders of and look around.

  100. We are doomed indeed if we don't vote.

  101. Yet many of these comments indicate the hypocrisy. So many people travel& emit pollution then suggest that environmental destruction is caused by somebody else. Terrible. Beside this is summer in Greenland when ice & snow melt.

  102. A great time to buy potentially rich farmland in Greenland!

  103. Stunning multimedia presentation and vital reporting. Bravo to the NYT for using technology to enhance the online reader experience! The story is beautiful and tragic at the same time.

  104. Absolutely. Nicely done NYT!

  105. The GOP has become of the ostrich. Better to bury your head in the sand than deal with the realities of global warming.

  106. According to respected researcher Jason Box, and his colleagues, Greenland was both warmer, and had smaller glaciers during the early 20th century warm period from about 1919 - the mid 1940's.

    According to respected ice and arctic expert Richard Alley human affects on arctic climates have yet to eclipse the regions extreme natural variability.

    While Greenland has waxed and waned tremendously over the ages, it was warmer there at least 5 times in the last 3,200 +/- years than at present, and at those times the globe was warmer too, and featured far less ice mass as more had previously melted.

    The paleo data from Minoan, Roma, Medieval, and the more recent data from the 20th century, clarify, ice and temperature changes at Greenland are entirely conisistent with the norms and variables in place for thousands of years before any human industrialization or the use of carbon fuels for transportation, etc ...

    Ocean and solar cycles (particularly the AMO-which you will be reading and hearing about more as it brings cold and cold water) are already in the process (after the El Nino passes) of a long multi-decadal cool-phase, just as occurred after the warmer more melted 1919-140's warm period, our short human life spans often breed a misunderstanding of the natural world, our window of sight is too short and we ignore the past.

    Example, Hannibal did not cross the Alps on ice skates, as any glaciers then were not obstacles, nor were they for the Roman's, or in Medieval times.

  107. "That summer, after hearing about the ship Oden finding methane in the Arctic, Box tweeted, "If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we're f'd." This tweet was covered extensively by the media."

    All you say may well be true, but it really does not change the message...

  108. Before people read the names Jason Box and Richard Alley and assume wmar is presenting their work honestly, they should take a closer look. Drs. Alley and Box are both fine scientists, and this commenter is expert at distorting their meaning. His work most closely resembles that of Marc Morano, who worked for Rush Limbaugh before he supported James Inhofe at the EPA (Morano, that is).

    wmar's work is deceptively plausible but not reliable.

  109. You just don't get two important fact through your locked in a loop head. There are no geological precedents for one species of half intelligent ape to systematically locate and burn most of the planet's biologically deposited carbon over a 300 year period, culminating in a population of double-digit billions of people.

  110. We can ship off tons of cash to support supposed allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, without any accounting whatsoever, yet we quibble over a relatively small research budget because some don't like the wording or the concept that they could be wrong.

    Why do we have such people chairing extremely important committees?

  111. Answer: The ballot box

  112. Global climate is cyclical. Powerful politicians would like us all to believe that the cycle can and should be changed by man, with the by-products of political and economic power shifts as well as putting enemies out of business. A quick look at a history book might tell you Greenland was once covered by verdant forests, they froze over as part of a natural cycle.

    It wasn't that long ago our finest scientists demanded we fight global cooling, which would have produced an ice age right away. They mandated automakers tinker with the engines such that carbon dioxide went down. They missed Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and now we've got a hole in the ozone layer. Today's politically motivated scientists vs. cycles that last for hundreds or thousands of years. Who would you believe.

  113. I'm truly fascinated. Your first paragraph challenges the notion that the global climate "can and should be changed by man" and your second paragraph blames scientists for the hole in the ozone layer and suggests we could have triggered an ice age. I'm afraid this fetish for cycles has got you engaged in cyclical reasoning, if you'll pardon the pun.

  114. I'd believe the people who've studied the subject, like Dr Ruddiman, climate scientist who wrote a book called Plows, Plagues and Petroleum, How Humans took Control of the Climate. 2005.

    In it, you'll find that scientists note that our Earth's cooling, there's less vulcanism, and therefore less CO2 being put into our atmosphere. Also, in the last 2.75 million years, there have been 40 to 50 glacial cycles. All but the current one were determined:
    by Earth's orbit going from round to oval and back-- a 100,000 year cycle;
    and by the tilt of Earth's axis, from 22.2 to 24.5 degrees, a 41,000 year cycle, and by the wobble of Earths axis, a 22,000 cycle.
    The effects of these are all measurable.

    In the current glacial cycle, we should be well on the way to having a glacier in NE Canada, the Arctic and Antarctic Seas should be well frozen by now -- like they were predicting in the 1970s. So what happened?

    Dr Ruddiman found that about 5000 years ago, methane in the atmosphere was going up significantly when the Earth orbit model said it should be going down. After a lot of research including archaeologists; pollen from core borings in lakes and ponds across southern Europe, and more

    Long story short, about 6000 years ago, people started altering our global climate with agriculture. A slooooowww increase till the mid 1700s when our increasing energy use has taken us from below 250 ppm to above 400 ppm of Carbon Dioxide in only 250 years. And THAT'S serious!

  115. Stunning video. Beautiful. Seductive.

    I believe climate change is upon us, and that it will change further still. It will not be all negative, but the benefits will go to the haves, while the have-nots will feel the harsh negatives. With the Catholic Church on board, and numerous corporations and political leaders too, all that remains for us in the US is to get our GOP on board. Sigh!

  116. Greenland, Iceland and Labrador may be returning to the much warmer climate that is believed to have prevailed 1000 years ago, when the Norsemen first colonized there.

  117. For those who may mistake my comment as a denial of the current wisdom of curbing fossil fuel burning, be assured that is not the case. I merely wish to call attention to the historically acknowledged fact of a much warmer period that occurred for several centuries about 1000 years ago. Perhaps that was because of volcanic release of greenhouse gases. I really do not know. It is however a fact that needs acknowledgement and further thought by those knowledgeable in such fields of research.

  118. Imagine all the oil and other resources humans will exploit. The melting of the ice is not a curse but a blessing for our children's children. They will still be able to drive large SUV's in the future, only just on higher grounds. Ain't terraforming fun.

  119. Yes, there is climate change.

    There has been climate since the beginning of time on this planet and there will be climate change until the earth will be consumed by the sun sometime in the future.
    Sometime in the past Greenland has been ice free and yes, it acts as a frozen water reservoir these days.

    But as change is constant the only thing we need to accept is that we will have to adapt to nature's forces.

    All the man made CO2 in our atmosphere, even while currently increasing, does not even make up as much as 5% of the natural sources of CO2 make.

    While it is a good idea to decrease CO2 production, for reasons of inefficiency of fuel burning, it would be better to find ways of living with the results of climate change that cannot be influenced as there are way too many influences outside our own on the climate of this planet.

    Or is there someone who is able to block the influence fluctuations of sun light's intensity due to solar cycles?

  120. Apparently, denial is not just a river in Egypt.

  121. I wish we(Indians) have an interactive media reporting like nytimes back in india.. this is a good article to educate all of us and our family about what is coming.

  122. Hype, diversion, & inconsideration, ... this overblown threat from AGW or CC did not injure, torture, terrorize, thieve, persecute, or threaten me. Terrible injustice, disparity, & corruption are indulged yet no consideration at all.

  123. Things are shaping up for 10 cm (4 inches) of sea level rise along the Massachusetts shoreline over the next decade.

  124. Steve,

    Global lack of warming but AMO cool phase causes east coast SLR, but I would be shocked if your projections are even remotely correct, look for 4-8 inches by 2100, if warming returns after the AMO would normally abate.

  125. These scientists are true heroes, risking their lives for the ultimate benefit of all humanity and for our beautiful planet. And yet they are harassed by elected (!) officials who have no problem giving far more taxpayer dollars to obscenely profitable companies in the defense and pharmaceutical sectors.
    Kudos to these researchers, and to the NYT editors for creating such an enlightening multimedia presentation.

  126. I'll let Joni Mitchell sing my thoughts out on what we are doing to the earth. She sings what I have felt and feared for years. Those fears have turned grave. As an American who has lived in Austria for decades and changed all my values and the way I lived in NYC I know that we can't heal the earth until every single one of us changes as well. In the future we won't have a planet worth changing for! This is the most important issue in my life now and here they teach kindergarten children and educate them on how to live and care for the beauty of their country. They do!

    There's just too many people now
    Too little land
    Much too much desire
    You feel so feeble now
    It's so out of hand
    Big bombs and barbed wire
    We've set our lovely sky
    Our lovely sky
    On fire!

    There's just too many people now
    And too little land
    Too much rage and desire
    It makes you feel so feeble now
    It's so out of hand-
    Big bombs and barbed wire...
    Can't you see
    Our destiny?
    We are making this Earth
    Our funeral pyre!

    Holy Earth
    How can we heal you?
    We cover you like a blight...
    Strange birds of appetite...
    If I had a heart I'd cry.

  127. Horror and beauty both. The water is so beautiful and yet so dangerous, possibly, for us all. And then there is the horror that is Lamar Smith.

  128. Interesting article, beautiful graphics but a terrible and misleading headline which has no real support in the article itself.

  129. Republicans blame the "lame-stream media" for disagreeing with their ideas about "family values", war and peace, Benghazi and all things political. But pure scientific research; things that lead to cures for cancer, vaccines, natural disaster forecasts that save countless lives? All politically motivated, according to Rep Lamar Smith, the house's science guru. "I am not a scientist, but..." takes on new meaning. The new phrase should be: "I do not know, and I refuse any funding to find out_____." Fill in the blank, and thus shut down any chance to learn anything. Now even NASA, the NOAA and the National Science foundation are subversive entities.

  130. What an excellent and exciting example of journalism for this century! Excellent and engaging reporting on probably the most important global issue, coupled with a stunning multimedia presentation.

  131. This is a wonderful piece about the work to understand the Greenland ice sheet. Excellent work telling this story!

  132. Thank you for this article. I started reading this as an article about science but it is much more - every science teacher in this country should use this article and the wonderful graphics in the classroom.

    Climate change is the most important issue in the country and in the world.
    There is only one presidential candidate who knows this and is not afraid to address it out loud - Bernie Sanders.

    We must spend less on war and more on research. We do indeed need a revolution in this country is we expect our children and grandchildren to have a place to live.

    We spend so much to wage war but the Republicans begrudge every penny allocated for research. I am not bothered by the $3,000 down the river. I am concerned with the obscene amount of my taxes spent on wars that should never have been.

  133. This fine presentation demonstrates what real evidence and real science is about. Neither nature nor our planet is political. Trying to prevent information from being collected and presented, and running witchhunts on the people doing the hard work, is about as stupid as it gets. In the end, as with Cuccinelli's attacks on Distinguished Scientist Michael Mann (and Benghazi, and government shutdowns), it will cost the government dearly to pursue its repression and dislike of practical information.

    Estimates of sea level rise run a bit less than 2 feet to 6 feet by 2100 (time doesn't stop then) mostly do not include the loss of ice from Greenland, the increasingly vulnerable Antarctic, and glaciers so these measurements are vital.

    For more information, try the NYTimes sections on the environment over on the right on this page:

    The military and insurance companies are on board, but our politicians think they can stop it by bloviating and bending the truth.

    Of course, each incident can be argued, but what is necessary is to look at the sums, and those sums are staggering, whether it be heat, extreme precipitation events, droughts, wildfires, and the various natural events which are being enhanced by steady rise of energy (heat) in the system.

  134. So glad Lamar Smith wasn't in charge when funding was needed for Columbus or Magellan. After all, the whole world had already been mapped, give or take a couple of continents.

  135. So at last that winter is going to be over on Earth and we are going to enjoy a real summer when all snow melts down! Finally we can ware sandals like Romans all year round. Melting ice absorbs heat, so when it is gone then summer temperatures will jump up!

  136. Well yes, but the temperatures will kill all humans living near the equator or deserts, and the rising sea levels will flood the majority of human population centers, and in all likelihood half of humanity will die in the span of a couple decades. So it's not going to be all wine and roses.

  137. I have always been fascinated by the far north. Thank you for the stunning videos that brought me there.

  138. Nearly a million bucks to measure the flow of a river over a period of 72 hours? After which that thin reed of evidence will be used for speculating on all of Greenland's rivers and glacial melt are concerned?

    It sounds courageous and important, but it's just meaningless theater.

    We already know that Greenland's glaciers have been receding since the Little Ice Age, which sent its few residents scurrying back to the mainland. Before that, during a warm spell (all of this taking place long before industrialization and its CO2 effluence), cows could be raised on its southern reaches.

    My question though is, assuming there is coming a massive sea level rise to rival that of the end of the last Ice Age, why does it take a billion dollars to study it? Sea levels rise and land is inundated. Had Miami been built on the coast 15,000 years ago, it would by now be making a great artificial reef for fishes. Move inland. There's your answer.

    We don't know and can't know what might happen with sea levels. Nobody in Greenland during the Medieval Warm Period could have known or expected the cold that what would follow. But somehow they adapted and adjusted, and without a billion dollars in annual funding from Denmark.

  139. What color is the sky in your world?

  140. "Nobody in Greenland during the Medieval Warm Period could have known or expected the cold that what would follow. But somehow they adapted and adjusted" They died or departed and their communities remain abandoned to this day.

  141. at the end of each winter they had to carry those cows out of the byre because they were too weak with hunger to walk to the new grass. greenland was only marginally habitable (by europeans; the inuit did fine) until the last century.

  142. Last week's alarmist rhetoric had to do with the "largest hurricane ever recorded," which turned out to be nothing. The real damage came not from the storm, but from the tens of thousands of tourists who were scared away from a Mexican vacation. Reminded me of when Bill de Blasio closed the schools and the subway in advance of what alarmist weather people said was a killer storm but turned out to be a dusting. Rather than apologize for these mistakes, the alarmists are now doubling down on Greenland.

    Insurance companies are making so much money from people scared by these stories when there hasn't been a hurricane in the United States in ten years. They charge higher premiums and its all profits.

    I'll be convinced of Global Warming when the price of beachfront property declines, when a house in the Hamptons, Cape Cod, Miami Beach or California can't find a buyer. As long as beach front property is soaring, I'll assume that those in the know don't believe a word of Global Warming.

  143. I wouldn't assume everybody in the Hamptons and Miami Beach to be geniuses. Unfortunately, we pay our celebrity chefs, plastic surgeons and hedge fund managers more than we pay our climatologists. So, maybe just keep an eye on your coastal real estate trends to find out the value of botox and foamy sea urchin amuse bouche. For science news, we better go to the scientists.
    Wishing, denial and social irritation will solve this problem. We have to stop living like pigs, frankly.
    Incidentally, I live one block from the beach in California. I'm pretty sure my kids will live a block closer than me-- but this makes me feel pretty sad. I really love this planet, and I am very sad my kids are not getting their fair share of it.

  144. Dear Rick,
    Sorry but you don't know what you're talking about. The largest hurricane recorded was exactly that, it just died down before making landfall, we got lucky. Just because it's a strong storm that didn't hit us at the peak of its strength does not mean it wasn't a strong storm at all. And we have had hurricanes in the last ten years, and there have been plenty more storms worldwide that did a lot of damage.

    Just because something doesn't happen to you personally does not mean it didn't happen. Your post is very reminiscent of the head-in-the-sand Republican blind denial of the truth. Stubborn ignorance is very irritating to me, and so I dearly hope global warming comes around to impact you with extreme prejudice.

  145. It's true that the market is the best indicator of the demand, today, and current buyers won't be around to see sea levels rise. But waiting for beach property prices to decline due to rising sea levels like closing the barn door after the horse bolted. We need to support research and knowledge to understand climate change and future implications, regardless of what is the cause. Budget oversight is ok within reason, but to start to subpoena researchers is beyond crazy. People go for medical check ups to avoid more severe problems down the road. Lets the scientists do their work without political interference.

  146. Melting away is a bit of a misnomer, isn't it? With ice sheet gone, Greenland may finally live up its name.

  147. Recently I traveled to British Columbia and landed via a helicopter on a glacier in the coastal mountains. The view was spectacular but I saw what you see in these photographs - melting and run offs. It seemed the glacier was receding. Somehow millions of years seem to be compressed into a few months. I don't know if man did it but something is happening. I resolved to see them all before it goes away - my travels took me to Antarctica (did not see any effect of climate change but miles to the west of us a big ice broke off and stranded thousands of penguins away from the sea) - Hudson strait(polar bear population was up not down) - A million or so salmon came up to spawn in the rivers of Bella Coola ( Grizzlies had 2 and 3 cubs meaning things were good) - So something is happening but not at the pace or the consistency to convince everyone. But we must do the prudent thing - invest more in research - understand the change and do what we can to prevent it. It is not a right or left of politics thing but just the right thing for us to do. In the meanwhile, take every opportunity to see the magnificent vistas of our earth before it changes. You will not be disappointed. You will be in awe!

  148. We're supposed to be moved by your words, but I find them misguided and selfish, and they make me angry. You suggest people "take the opportunity to see the magnificent vistas of our earth before it changes"--the way you have done. And then you add, "You will be in awe!" Please. You act as if the melting of Greenland is a travel opportunity--or even worse, a sort of clarion call for rich people (for only they can do what you suggest) to fly around the world (spewing more carbon along the way, of course) to look at magnificent disappearing vistas and catch glimpses of doomed wildlife.

    You dare to write that you "don't know if man did it…" Oh my. How much more evidence do you and your ilk need? How much longer do we have to put up with your sort of attitude--that "I'm-not-a-scientist-I-don't know" resistance to the scientific consensus on AGW? Or if you aren't science literate, do you really think, in plain old commonsensical terms, that human beings spewing CO2 into the air at the rate we do doesn't have an effect on our planet?

    Traveling the world while the planet melts is a selfish indulgence. It would be much better for you to take your travel money and give it to political candidates who support action against AGW right now--not after "further research."

  149. Choosing to increase your carbon footprint so you can see the last gasps of glaciers is short sighted and selfish.

  150. Your stories are rather anecdotal as far a Climate Change is concerned. I appreciate that you have taken a great interest in the subject to the extent that you travel to the corners of the globe. But, we have to be careful when prescribing our own experiences to whether or not Climate Change is "real"

    I am reminded of many comments here in Oklahoma, something likened to, "Coldest Winter on record...see global warming is nonsense"

  151. Thanks for the beautiful video; the jury is still out on global warming or whether the globe is actually cooling. Looking at all the literature and the leading scientists it is hard to make heads or tails out of it. I am looking forward if the ice melts of all the benefits as well as archaelogical sites being now visible that were covered....

  152. Wow, Nutmeg....enjoy the catastrophic flooding and loss of most coastal cities and the majority of islands around the world.

    Most scientists agree that a climate warming catastrophe is headed straight for us - the only hard part seems to be waking up to scientific reality for many people.

  153. No the jury is not still out unless you listen to fx and the right wing nuts in congress, not to mention exxon and the oil and gas industry.

  154. The jury of scientists is 97% certain that the Earth is accumulating solar energy rapidly and a plateau of CO2 concentration in the air is nowhere in sight.

  155. Great reporting. It is absolutely vital that we learn about the dynamic nature of ice sheet melting.

    Fifteen to twenty years ago the ice sheets were being modeled as as solid blocks of static ice. The estimates at that time were that it would take thousands of years for the ice sheets to be able to melt. It is only by observing the dynamic nature of the ice that we have come to understand that the ice sheets can melt much more quickly.

  156. I think in this debate everyone conflates global warming, the effect of carbon emissions and the extent we can do anything about global warming - they are all different issues but by confusing them it is easy to paint Republicans as flat earthers and Democrats as right thinking saviors of the planet.

    There has been far too much politics mixed up with the science and politics and good science don't mix. Financial oversight is Congress's duty and it is appropriate for them to check how our money is spent, and if anyone in Congress thinks any publicly funded scientist is playing politics well let them have a look.

    The photographs are marvelous and a dramatic illustration of global warming, but remember Greenland wasn't called Greenland because it was always covered in ice - the real issue is the extent to which this cycle of warming is accelerated by human activities. As to the horrors of the temperature, -27F is not that cold if you are dressed for it - I've spent eight hour stretches in -24F in Manitoba mostly sitting in the snow. The story is dramatic enough without milking the pathos.

  157. Greenland is a misnomer, or better yet a promotional gimmick to get others to come and settle. Possibly, when compared to parts of Iceland, parts of Greenland might have been more appealing.

  158. The Vikings who named Greenland lived in its southern region, and naming it GREENland may have been a marketing ploy to get other Vikings to move there.

    There is no scientific doubt that our current warming is manmade. And Greenland is not just melting -- the melt rate is accelerating. At these rates, based on the numbers since the last 1990s, all of Greenland's ice will be gone in only 500 years. Sea level will be 24 feet higher.

    There is going to come a time when the people of the world will look back in amazement that there was every once a stable sea level.

  159. Greenland's brief green interlude was a local phenomenon driven by a northerly fluctuation of the Gulf Stream.

  160. What a beautiful article!

  161. "The full melting of Greenland’s ice sheet could increase sea levels by about 20 feet"

    How can you tell what is propaganda and alarmism in this politically polarized topic?

    When statements such as the one above don't include:

    1. The probability of this occurring, which according to IPCC scientific experts is very unlikely.

    2. The time frame this would occur in. The same scientific experts state this would take 1000's of years.

    So either the handsomely paid experts didn't bother providing this information or the questions weren't asked by the authors of this piece. Either way it is unacceptable from a science journalism viewpoint.

    If you want to measure the rate of sea level rise, you don't go look at Greenland's rivers for one spot measurement as a proxy (which is apt to be wildly inaccurate), you measure sea levels. This is already being done in multiple ways including the JASON satellite altimeter that give far better data.

    I support lots of research such as this, but I also expect better reporting and more scientific honesty.

  162. This is how you get people to pay for digital subscriptions. Instead of whining about how "print is dead" or pumping out thoughtless "viral content", the New York Times is leading the way toward high-quality Web-specific publishing worthy of the reader's time. attention and, ultimately, financial support.

  163. "If I stick my head in the sand so I cannot see danger, then there is no observable danger. That becomes my data. My data says there is no problem, so we should stop wasting money on research." Thus our Congress approaches what even the CIA has identified as a national security threat.

    At what point do we decide that climate change deniers are themselves a threat to our national security? After we have lost lower Manhattan and south Florida? (And all those countries overseas that some of us do not care about.)

    The carbon fuel industry is waging a war on change. The collateral damage is the world's ice. Ice melt becomes the sea. The sea wins.

    Welcome to Waterworld.

  164. Thank God global warming is a hoax! Think how bad this would be if it wasn't.

  165. I can't believe that the US Goverment is thinking about cutting the funding for these scientists. If there are real brave souls on this planet, who are actually contributing to the future of humanity, its not smart missiles or guns but research like this which will help us understand the TRUTH. Why are US representatives so afraid of finding what it is? It could be either way. And if indeed human activities have no effect on global climate, I think the scientists would be the first one to breathe a sigh of relief, since they know exactly what kind of situation we're looking at otherwise

  166. "Leading the Republican ('climate-denialism') charge on Capitol Hill is Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, the chairman of the House science committee, who has sought to cut $300 million from NASA’s budget for earth science and has started an inquiry into some 50 National Science Foundation grants.

    On Oct. 13, the committee subpoenaed scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, seeking more than six years of internal deliberations, including “all documents and communications” related to the agency’s measurement of climate change."

    The Republican Party is a clear and present danger to science, information, transparency and the planet's future habitability.

    Can you imagine such a reckless disregard for humanity as the willful Republican oppression and persecution of critical science, information and data as is being currently displayed by the Greed Over People and Gas Oil Petroleum party ?

    Republican denialism of climate change is a slow-motion crime against all of humanity and an intellectual abortion of American leadership, science and technology.

    The Republican Party's culture and of death and greed has never been more transparent.

  167. Also, Socrates, Smith was named after a Texas pioneer named Lamar who was a slave trader, and favored killing all Indians on sight. These are the kinds of people we are dealing with.

  168. This goes beyond climate change denying. Whether or not you believe it exists or is caused by greenhouse gases, the fact is "Greenland is melting" and its water is coming to where most people live--the world's coastal areas. A sea rise of 20 feet as predicted will put most major East Coast cities under water. Dikes and pumps may help in the short run, but unless we take all possible precautionary actions including reducing heat-trapping carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, we'll go down on this Titanic together. This is truly a Biblical flood in the making and hiding in a Noah's ark of denial will not change that reality.

  169. May the work of these brave scientists live on in the memory of future generations — yet to come.

    For that to come to pass we need to heed their lessons, preserve the earth or drive ourselves to extinction.

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.
    — Robert Frost

  170. What the world needs to do is build a pipeline from Greenland to the mideast, southwest USA and other places the water is needed. Its all going into the ocean and being wasted.

  171. Beautiful video. Great article.

    Most of the public is not aware of the detailed scientific data and info related to ice loss in Greenland, the Arctic Ocean or in the Antarctic. This type of article and video let's you see and feel what is happening in a way the data by itself typically doesn't. Yes, Global warming is real.

    But for those interested, Greenland has been losing on average roughly 200 Gigatons (1 Gt =1 billion tons) of ice per year since 2000. See here for details-note Fig 3-3:

    And some readers have wondered why there was warming around 1000 AD, apparently similar to today's warming, and why if such warming occurred do we not conclude that burning fossil fuels isn't really a big concern, because similar warming has occurred naturally in the past.

    Scientists are well aware that the earth has warmed and cooled many times over geologic time. The question is, of course, what caused such changes, and are the same causes driving change today. The consensus answer is that the natural causes of climate change cannot explain the warming we are measuring now. Only increased greenhouse gases, emitted by humans, can explain today's warming.

    If interested in the causes of the Medieval Warming Anomaly (caused by increased solar radiation, changes in the earth's orbital geometry, and reduced worldwide volcanic activity around 900-1150 AD), see this short clip:

  172. Naturally-caused or human-caused, aren't the consequences the problem and therefore the issue should be what to do about it? Perhaps it's a 'blessing' in disguise if it is human-caused so we can learn how to address significant changes, regardless of their source.

  173. What a non-story and what a rotten experience reading it.

    First, I tried loading it on my Android phone after seeing the BREAKING NEWS notification. It hung like most Breaking News stories do.

    Second, I tried scrolling both on Android and on my PC. Each time my browser encountered the map, I had to zoom all the way on the map to be able to scroll my window past the map to continue reading the article.

    Finally, the clickbait headline was, "Greenland is melting away, but how fast? A team of scientists went on a perilous trip to find out." It turns out that the so-called "news" article has no news about the melting speed. The news is that scientists went to Greenland. And took measurements. And lived in tents. I agree with other commenters about the importance of global warming, but this article is all flash and no substance.

  174. The story is about the collection of the data to determine the rate of melting. Maybe you better get an iPhone that won't hang.

  175. I really enjoyed reading this article with all of the graphics. Scientists must be the most frustrated people on earth as they fight the uphill battle of apathy and ignorance. I consider climate change the greatest challenge of all time. Everything, and I mean everything revolves around nature working for us. Humans are introducing scenarios that have never ever existed before in human history and changes are being witnessed during a persons lifetime. Getting 7 billion people to agree to a community effort to avoid catastrophe is a long way off if ever can happen. Every regional issue we are witness to, whether it be natural or human caused is only the beginning of the disasters we will see in the near future. Stay tuned as we watch the upcoming episodes unfold.

  176. Despite all of the GOP ranting against LGBTQ people (as "crimes against nature" or invoking "religion"), their obfuscations of scientific research are the REAL crime against nature, with second-place in the "crime against nature" sweepstakes taken by the GOP's perverting words into their antonyms.

  177. Just look at these guys, risking their lives for some worldwide liberal conspiracy, what fools... /sarcasm

  178. Climate change or gun control, the answer is the same: Defund research so the truth won't come out or go after the researchers making their lives miserable. Worked really well with Galileo, because as we all know, the sun revolves around a flat earth at the center of the universe.

  179. They're beautiful rivers! Since there's nothing at all we can do to stop climate change, other than just talk about it, at least we should enjoy the beautiful scenery that will arise from it . . . that and the barren desolation, which in itself is serene compared to the frantic chaos and fighting that would otherwise transpire there thanks to our human nature.

  180. Exceptional article. Thank you for bringing this type of immersive reporting to the masses. Sometimes it's hard to find reasons to subscribe to newspapers until one reads an article such as this and the powerful impact on its reader by using technology.

  181. As a student of geography, I am truly impressed. This article expertly harnesses technology to illustrate an earth process that has tremendous consequence.

  182. Drs. Jason Box and Richard Alley are misrepresented in an earlier comment, so it might be important to take an actual look at what they have to say, which is not about how Greenland was warmer a thousand years ago.

    Richard Alley:

    "I hope that this AAAS initiative can move us to the point where we can have a dialogue about the things that really matter. Wisest paths forward, how hard do we work to reduce CO2 emissions, how hard do we work to prepare for the changes that are coming. Those sorts of questions are very big. They’re very important. And having them is a path to getting us towards a brighter future."

    "Understanding science is our work. Our consensus is that climate change is happening and the risks are real."

    Jason Box:
    ""For thousands of years," he explained, this spot had been covered by a tall building’s worth of ice and snow. But now, in the past few months, the final traces of that ancient ice had disappeared. “We are likely to be the first human beings to ever stand on this piece of ground,” Box said excitedly.

    "It was all a tad melodramatic, perhaps. But Box doesn’t shy away from bold strokes. As he sees it, the general public has been betrayed by the reluctance of climate researchers to speak about the dangers of climate change with sufficient urgency."

  183. Jason Box , also, said that Greenland is 1.5C COLDER than it was in the 1940's, and, that during the period 1919-1940's Greenland featured smaller glaciers and warmer climate.

    Dr. Alley clearly stated that a human result is not yet available in the climate or change of the arctic.

    While each man may believe in the AGW thesis, and even ascribe to the failed modeling, they indeed found in their data, exactly what I represented they did.

    The data, over the postulations.

    Box et al. (2009) that: simply to be in sync with the northern hemisphere pattern, Greenland climate must warm (after year 2007) by 1.0 - 1.5 C. In the years after 2007, and a recent not related finding that Greenland's glaciers were smaller in 1932 (the date of the evidence) but had to get that way, and then grow, to have recently melted.

    White (2010) featuring Dr. Alley that (quotes only):
    "thus far, human influence [which is claimed by climate-alarmists to be the primary cause of what they refer to as the recent "unprecedented" warming of the globe] does not stand out relative to other, natural causes of climate change."

  184. wmar, you have a lot to answer for. Greenland's ice sheet is going down far, far faster than anyone could have imagined just a few short years ago. You can see places where the surface is actually collapsing.

    I can't write here what we most of us really think about you and what you do here.

  185. It must give this professional grade climate science denier (and unskeptical "skeptic", so look of denial in the dictionary and forget that holocaust nonsense which is a political ploy) great pleasure to provide such plausible sciencey looking material to deceive and distract. Yes, there is a small cadre of mostly non-expert but credentialed people to be cited.

    This game is unfortunate for him, his family, us, and the rest of humanity, as it distracts and provides cover for delay in necessary action. But he thinks politics is more important than reality. Time is closing in, this is approaching the level at which it must be named what it is, harmful and evil.

  186. "But the research is under increasing fire by some Republican leaders in Congress, who deny or question the scientific consensus that human activities contribute to climate change."

    Yet the other day there was an announcement that Congress was going to investigate whether Exxon should be held accountable for concealing research that indicated use of fossil fuels were contributing to climate change.

    You can't have it both ways!

  187. While politicos argue about causes, the effects of global warming appear to be increasing toward a tipping point. It took several thousand years for the Bering Sea land bridge era ice caps to melt to present day levels; now it's taking decades! Try drawing a 10 or a 20 foot sea level increase around our maps, and think relocation. Then do that for the rest of the world!

    The North Pole is open ocean today! It was under several feet of ice cap in my youth! Witness the high storm surge that hurricane Sandy took into lower Manhattan. Could the President declare an FDR-type Manhattan project or a JFK-type Apollo project and, with his leadership, lead the world into the necessary efforts?

    A 20 ft increase in sea levels will change world civilization. Try drawing a 10 ft increase around our coastal map. Most living today will be here to cope with it, hopefully long before

  188. Climate change always has winners and losers. Greenland will benefit from a warming climate. Norwegians farming settlements flourished in Greenland for hundreds of years before the onset of the Little Ice Age.

  189. All we get from one side is either sophistry, at best, or will full ignorance, at worst. Don't these people have children? don't their children have children?

  190. Thank you Times for placing this top, front, and center, where it belongs. Now for the article on Senator Lamar Smith and others who won't acknowledge empirical fact. Who incredibly wants to defund climate science that is of the upmost importance regardless of the cause.

    Too bad the graphics are not coming through.

  191. A stunning way of presenting this story. The zoomable map, the videos of drone flights over the river, the compelling writing -- it's a beautiful example of multimedia journalism. I don't doubt this was an expensive story to create, but things like this are why I gladly pay to subscribe to the NYT. Congratulations and keep up the good work.

  192. We will wipe the Republicans from the earth and attempt to save our species or we will all perish from the devastation caused by climate change. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is.

  193. Not gonna happen. The republicans own most of the guns.

  194. Other than implementing a 1-child or 2-child policy across the globe, and convincing China and India (and other developing countries) to not only stop building new coal power plants, but to decommission the ones that have already been built, all the talk by American environmentalist and Democrats of what we should be doing to save the world from climate change is a lot of "hot air."

    Replacing most coal and natural gas with wind, solar and biomass (no nuclear power, please) is never going to happen. Electric cars replacing gasoline-powered that are plugged into our homes every night (powered by wind and solar?) will always be a niche market.

    We should continue to strive (and we are) for more fuel efficient automobiles, and for the transition from coal to natural gas because it's the right thing to do. But it will not stop the melting of Greenland.

  195. Oh the irony here: the drone camera captures the stark beauty of this land, but the changes causing that beauty may well create suffering and misery for the people and animals living elsewhere throughout the world.

  196. The graphics and article were really well done. Great job, Coral Davenport, Josh Haner, Larry Buchanan, and Derek Watkins!

  197. If you notice, they are doing this research because climatologists AREN'T SURE about their computer models. Meanwhile, where is the leadership to mitigate this CATASTROPHE? OK, OK... I will step in here. We CAN slow climate change by lowering our carbon footprints. Americans consume the most per capita and our carbon footrpints are a "20" when the world average is "2" (and in Europe it's "10"). REDUCTION is the key! Calfornians drastically reduced water consumption during the drought. WE CAN DO THIS! WE MUST!

  198. This is exactly the kind of extreme silliness no one should follow.

  199. Newsflash. The world's ice has been melting since that little thing called, THE ICE AGE. It comes, it goes and the cycle goes on. The planet has survived meteors, volcanoes, ice ages, people and whatever it's dealing with now, I promise you, it will continue to survive for millions of years after we have left this Earth. I'm not sure about you, but I've decided to just get on with my life and enjoy it. Cheers!....btw...someone should be bottling that water.

  200. No one questions whether Earth will survive climate change. It's the disruption of the many things well-off humans take for granted and impoverished humans need to survive.