2020-09-13

The treasure island that the United States wanted to buy is melting at an unprecedented speed

By yqqlm yqqlm

In the past few days, a research report published in the authoritative scientific weekly”Nature””Communication-Earth and Environment” caused a lot of shock. The content is due to climate warming. The whole year of 2019Greenland’s melted ice sheet volume is 15%larger than the record set in 2012, and melted nearly 532 billion tons of ice in a super record.

What concept? Imagine that Greenland melted an average of 1 million tons of ice per minute in 2019. This melted ice can fill up 7 Olympic swimming pools-50 meters long, 25 meters wide and 3 meters deep-every second. Or it can flood the entire state of California, forming a 1.25-meter deep ocean.

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△Greenland Ice Sheet

The heartbeat is not two or three days. What kind of treasure island is Greenland?

On August 20 last year, Trump tweeted angrily and cancelled his original state visit to Denmark on September 2 because”the Danish Prime Minister is not interested in discussing the purchase of Greenland.”.

Yes, the United States wants to buy Greenland, but Denmark does not sell it.

This is not the first time that the United States has moved to Greenland. As early as 1860, President Andrew Johnson had considered buying Greenland; in 1946, President Truman offered another $100 million to buy Greenland from Denmark, but was rejected.

Greenland is one of the territories of Denmark. It is located in the northeastern part of North America and covers an area of ​​2 million square kilometers. It is the largest island in the world. The island is cold all year round and most of it is covered with snow and ice. More than 50,000 local indigenous Inuit people live on it, some people call them Eskimos.

Why does such a”bitter and cold place” make the United States so concerned?

Greenland is located at the junction of North America and Europe. On the one hand, it is rich in mineral resources and is known as the”Aladdin Cave” with oil, natural gas and rare earth minerals.

The Financial Times reported:“It is estimated that Greenland contains approximately 38.5 million tons of rare earth oxides, while the total amount of rare earth oxides in other parts of the world is about 120 million tons.” With the climate With warming and accelerated ice melting, mineral resources that were previously difficult to mine are gradually becoming available for mining.

On the other hand, due to the warming of the climate, the melting of sea ice and the new Arctic waterway passing through the Arctic Ocean has greatly increased the value of Greenland. As the central land of the three Arctic waterways, Greenland will become a hub connecting North America, Northern Europe, and East Asia once it melts to form a new waterway.

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△The melting of sea ice promotes new polar routes

Third, strengthen military deployment. According to a defense treaty signed between Denmark and the United States in 1951, the U.S. military has the right to use Thule Air Force Base in northern Greenland. Experts analyzed”especially when the United States withdraws from the Intermediate-Range-Range Treaty, it can deploy short- and medium-range missiles in Greenland. The frontier places surveillance radars and even deploys missile defense systems in pursuit of absolute U.S. security.”

It is melting at an unprecedented rate and irreversible scientists call for immediate action

However, in the eyes of the United States, this”land of warriors must contend”, a treasure land that many times have wanted to buy, has a bleak fate that has received little attention. The author of the report mentioned at the beginning of the article, the geologist Ingo Sassgen, told us that Greenland will inevitably continue to melt amid global warming, which is irreversible. And it is also an important beginning of a larger chain disaster.

First, it will cause the sea level to rise.

This is by no means alarmist. The biggest factor in global sea level rise today is the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. According to reports, the average annual global sea level rise from 2005 to 2017 is about 3.5 mm, of which about 0.76 mm is related to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

If climate warming maintains its current rate, the Greenland ice sheet will raise global sea levels by at least 10 cm around 2100.

If the Greenland ice sheet melts completely, the sea level will rise by 7 meters. 360 million people in the global coastal cities will be flooded.

The real risk brought by sea level rise is that storms and floods hit coastal cities with high population density. For every few centimeters of sea level rise, 1 million people will face a flood every year. Hurricane Sandy, which struck New York in 2012, was a hurricane that has not been seen in 500 years. Looking back at history, this does not happen often and never happened. Look at the Thames in London. Since the Middle Ages, the embankment has been repaired three times higher because of the flood. New York, London, and 18 coastal metropolises around the world will experience more floods due to rising sea levels.

New York has begun to take measures. The current mayor has proposed a”Protection Plan for Lower Manhattan” that will cost $10 billion. Climate change has an economic price. The question is who will pay?

However, Greenland is not alone in causing sea level rise.

The entire Arctic Circle is warming disproportionately. In the past 40 years, the Arctic summer sea ice area has been reduced by nearly half; and after the warming, 90%of the heat is absorbed by the ocean, resulting in The sea water itself is also thermally expanding. In other words, even without Greenland, the sea level itself is rising.

Rising sea levels will affect the global ecology and climate system, and the consequences will be unbearable for mankind.

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△Melting ice floes cannot bear the weight of polar bears

Remember that the melting Greenland ice sheet will raise the global sea level by at least 10 cm around 2100? Is 2100 far away? That’s when the baby who was just born this year was 80 years old.

For some politicians, the significance of Greenland’s treasure lies only in military, resources, and geopolitics, but for scientists studying climate change, Greenland is a real treasure, and its existence Just like the”canary in the mine”-to detect temperature changes in other parts of the earth, the temperature in Greenland is a precursor and even a warning.

As an individual, if we think about my children and grandchildren, we know that we must control global warming. This is not only melting ice, but also many other consequences. For example, in Germany, we have encountered Extreme drought, which has never happened before.

As a colleague of mine said, we will be the generation that melted the glaciers the most, and we will be the generation remembered by the world for changing the face of the earth. I feel that this is just the beginning. I think we can realize from the changes in the Arctic Circle that for the entire climate system, this change is a basic change, and everyone will be affected.

The melting of the Greenland ice sheet is irreversible, but we can reduce the rate at which it melts. To save it is to save ourselves.

How to save it? Reduce carbon emissions-drive less, fly less, eat less meat, and buy less fast-moving clothing.

Trump wants to run counter to the interests of all mankind?

In the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the international community reached its goal:within this century, the average temperature rise of the earth should be controlled within 2 degrees Celsius, and as much as possible Within 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.

China is an important promoter and firm practitioner of the Paris Agreement. In the”China’s Position Paper on the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of the United Nations” released on September 10, we told the international community:

In the face of difficult development tasks such as improving people’s livelihoods, China actively undertakes the The international responsibilities of national conditions have implemented a series of policy actions to address climate change, completed the 2020 climate action goals ahead of schedule, and made major contributions to the global response to climate change.

And on November 4, 2020, which is the second day of the US presidential election this year, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

As the world’s cumulative emission of greenhouse gases, the largest exporter of solid waste, and the largest per capita plastic consumer, the United States

withdraws from multilateral contracts and serves the self-interest of”America First” To refuse to fulfill global obligations is contrary to the interests of all mankind.

By the way, I mentioned earlier that the United States has been coveting Greenland for more than 100 years and failed to succeed. Guess what? In June of this year, the United States opened a consulate in Greenland for the first time in nearly 70 years. This is an important sign.

Still so attached to this treasure island, Sima Zhao’s heart is well known to passersby.