Antarctica beckons, and on the other end of the earth, the island or continent or whatever we’re calling Greenland these days is rising, literally, thanks to global warming and a process called isostasy:
(Link) — [T]he only explanation for the strange uplift is the rate of ice melt caused, in part, by global warming. The melting and the resulting rise in sea level is one of the hallmarks of global warming, which has force researchers to resort to using some novel methods to overcome different seasonal and regional signals that obstruct their ability to measure the effect of rising temperatures.
Isostatic balance refers to the equilibrium between a floating object and the medium it displaces. Remove a rider from her surfboard and the board floats higher in the water than before. The continents are a giant version of that surfboard, they may feel solid and immovable over the course of a single may-fly human life, but we ride on the backs of drifting igneous rafts floating in a deep global ocean of red-hot lava.
On Greenland and throughout much of the cryosphere, ice loss is threatening that delicate floating balance; the underlying surface rises as frozen overburden melts away. It’s not usually a rapid process, there are places in North America and Europe where the earthen surface is still rising in relief from the days of now vanished glaciers that once ruled the Pleistocene thousands of years ago. But this rise seems to be new.
Greenland is earth’s proverbial canary in the coal mine, easily studied and yet remote, sensitive to small changes in climate, changes that could in theory add up and tip over as dramatically as similar predecessors did at the end of the last ice-age, only this time compressed into decades instead of millennia. That continental canary is tweeting an alarm loud and clear, it remains to be seen if we’re wise enough to listen.