Greenland’s ice: A trip back in time to see the future of climate change | Jon Gertner

Greenland’s ice: A trip back in time to see the future of climate change | Jon Gertner

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There are ancient secrets and and clues to the future trapped in Greenland’s ice.

– The Greenland ice sheet covers 80% of the island of Greenland. The sheet is 1,500 miles long, 700 miles across, and two miles thick. Scientists call it the largest laboratory in the world.

– By studying the minerals and gasses trapped in layers of ice, glaciologists can unravel mysteries of the past, such as what the temperature was 1,000 years ago, or search for clues as to why the Greenland Norse people vanished.

– Ice cores are a key to the past that also unlocks the future. Studying Greenland’s ice sheet is yielding valuable information about the future of climate change.

Jon Gertner is a journalist and historian whose stories on science, technology, and nature have appeared in a host of national magazines. Since 2003 he has worked mainly as a feature writer for the New York Times Magazine. His first book, The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation, was a New York Times bestseller. His latest book is “The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey into Greenland’s Buried Past and Our Perilous Future” –

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20 thoughts on “Greenland’s ice: A trip back in time to see the future of climate change | Jon Gertner”

  1. Remember when Steven Crowder did that anti-climate change propaganda video where he excluded the Greenland ice caps from the data?
    Pepperidge Farm remembers.

  2. Scientists cannot even definitively say what causes heart disease, yet the world is being forced to accept that we have a climate emergency?
    Yeah right.

  3. once we are brought into the reality that we do not live on a spinning ball, and outer space is a hoax, everything is questionable.

  4. With all the fake news regarding climate, it's refreshing to hear someone explain eloquently what are the difficulties that real scientists have to figure out.

  5. C02 global warming is fake. The IPCC Santa will not be comming because the snow will be too deep. Its the Sun stupid.

  6. I would yell "FIRE!' but our theater has no exit.  The positive feedback loops have started.  It is too late to do anything.  The Exxon scientist saw this during the 1980's.  If I was the CEO of Exxon at that time I would have done just what he did.  The best we can do is to maintain social stability as long as possible.

    The forces of nature are in place and beyond our control.  Just three too hot and or too wet or too dry springs and food for billions of people disappears.

    We humans have enjoyed @ 10,000 years of stable weather.  That window for agriculture is closing.

    Soon, world food production will fail.  When do we plant our corps?  Any culture is three months of hunger from disintegration. 

    There is no place to migrate to.  Where are you going to go?

    Scientist are not politicians, theologians, philosophers, or poets.  Their knowledge of or use of rhetoric to warn of our situation is at best poor.

    It is now clear that homo-hubris-sapiens are about to disappear.   Our society is just another about to disappear.  Nothing new here, this is quite natural.  We humans are just part of a natural cycle.  Any scientist can tell you this. But no politician will or can tell you the truth. Dictator or democrat; no politician can, will, or should tell us these obvious facts regarding our habitat.

    The human response to climate change seems like the human response on Easter Island as they were cutting down their last tree.They thought their gods were more important than their trees.  Then they learned that their god's could not create trees.

    We think that profit and financial growth are more important than the environment.  To the economist the  environment is extraneous to our economy.  We are about to learn that profit and financial growth can not create living organisms.  The gods of profit and financial growth have made us blind to the absurdity of cutting down the last trees on our island.

    I have passed through a morning period.  I am embracing my death.  I try to love all I see.  In my view it is too late to "do" anything.  Our day has passed.

    Just for the record, I have spent most of the last 25 years wandering about in the wildernesses of the Colorado Rockies, the highlands of Northern California, Maui, and my beloved Central California Coast.  I could do this because to get food all I had to do was go to town.  When there is plenty of wild life, living off the land is very difficult.  My hat is off to our ancestors. We are looking at the collapse of habitat for all manuals as well as fish, birds, and vegetation.  There will be no "living off the land."
    I have been hungry in the wilderness.  Lethargy and weakness take over.  Every action takes great effort.  It appears to me to be a hard death.  But no more difficult a death than those who have gone before us.

    The specter of death has appeared at our party.  Everyone at the party sees it.  No one admits it at first.  A few whispers, that's about it.  A rumor of the specter begins to spread.  A rumor that everyone at the party can see and does see.  It is clear that death has not come for a particular person but has come for everyone at the party; including our pets.

    As the last grocery store closes I plan to be wandering up a unnamed stream.

    "And the band played on."  Is the attitude I am taking.  Acts of  beauty and kindness as we pass.  In an odd way it is a great honor and responsibility to be the last human actors on this stage.  How shall we finish this play?  Let's make our last days our best.  The most important thing we can do is to be true to our self.  May we let mercy, acceptance, and forgiveness be born anew with each breath.  This is our duty.

    Into the unknown I go as we all must.



  7. 6 billion trees dead in the Western United States it's the Lord's will governing by the entrails of animals

  8. The Greenland Ice Sheet got drunk and pinned me down at a party in the 70's and tried to puff my fluffkin. True story.

  9. Ah ha this is why the ice is melting! They are drilling holes in it causing it to melt faster. Take that climate change believes.

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