Rutgers researcher: Greenland’s glaciers are melting faster than expected

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NEW BRUNSWICK -

A researcher at Rutgers University says climate change is real and that the consequences are potentially catastrophic for the world.

For centuries, the enormous ice sheet covering the arctic island of Greenland has been relatively stable. But Rutgers geology professor Dr. Asa Rennermalm says that Greenland’s glaciers are melting at a much faster rate than expected.

“I would say the whole arctic is ground zero for climate change,” Rennermalm says. "The warming of the arctic is about twice as fast as the rest of the globe. 

Rennermalm has been studying the Greenland ice sheet for 20 years. She says that if all of the ice sheet were to melt, she and other scientists estimate that sea levels around the world would rise by about 20 feet. This could put coastal cities around the world at risk of catastrophic flooding. 

New Jersey would also feel the impact of the situation. Rennermalm says that rising water levels could have the potential to wreak havoc on infrastructure.

“It's a problem for us if Philadelphia Airport has to be moved or JFK or Newark,” she says. “I mean that's a big problem.”

Climate change experts say that it is never too late to reverse the trend as long as humans reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

"We're at the unique position now because it's in our power to still influence how the future is going to be,” Rennermalm says.

Skeptics of climate change believe that it is a natural process and not the work of humans.

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