Inaugural year annual report Greenland Ice sheet research sites
By Steven Munsell
By Steven Munsell
It began with a commitment to make a difference, not just make a profit. FORLOH puts values into action instead of just professing beliefs. As with the all American supply chain and manufacturing, 2021 was a year of commitment for FORLOH to engage in climate change research and public awareness raising. Sadly, as the year ends, extreme weather events in the United States have caused catastrophic tragedies to families and communities. We hear less often and less loudly from the climate change denial community, and across the country people look for ways to make a difference in their own life choices. FORLOH sets its own high standard and contributed significant resources to research efforts.
I felt grateful to have played a part of this pilot project initiated by Andy Techmanski the CEO of FORLOH. Many months of consulting and planning were almost dashed when Covid travel restrictions prevented Andy and team FORLOH from traveling to South Greenland. The plan was to oversee deployment of monitoring instruments on the most vulnerable and rapidly changing portion of the great ‘inland ice’ glacier of Greenland. The Southern region of the ice sheet is changing as rapidly as any part of the planet due to the effects of climate change. The odd effect of “Arctic Amplification,” has caused the region to warm as much as 4 times more rapidly than lower latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere.
Andy’s commitment to the work remained steadfast. FORLOH had committed to the deployment of three Drum Wire Ablation Instruments in February of 2021. A field team from science support company Greenland Guidance traveled by charter helicopter from Narsarsuaq to pre selected sites on the Southern margins of the ice sheet on July 24th. The instruments have measuring the melting of the icesheet with great accuracy since that day. The three locations will add additional detail to changes in the surface elevation of the glacier. This data will be integrated with other instrument networks in the region as part of an international research effort to quantify changes underway with the glacier.
Sea level rise is an issue facing all of humanity, but ice sheet melting may also cause changes in the ocean circulation system that can alter weather patterns on a global scale. Fresh water and sea water don’t immediately mix, and this difference in densities drives ocean currents that circle that globe and transport heat from the tropics towards the poles. This heats continental land masses like the Eastern seaboard of the United States and Northern Europe. Calculating the volume of ice loss from a place like Greenland is fundamental to understanding changes that will have far reaching repercussions.
What’s in store in 2022?
The Greenland Ice sheet will become a testing ground for innovations in the FORLOH product line and new products will be introduced and tested in rigorous field conditions. The FORLOH instrument sites need to be visited for annual maintenance. FORLOH has broader plans to continue with climate change awareness raising for their customers and outfitter clients. Additionally, a carbon offset program called “Greenland Tree’s” is in a developmental phase and has constructed a greenhouse in Narsaq South Greenland to cultivate seedlings locally to transplant on the tundra in an effort to draw down carbon in the atmosphere.
For a different perspective on Greenland and climate try this; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emHW-GKBIfk. Swiss researcher Konrad Steffan 30 plus year career on the Greenland Ice sheet was supported by the US National Science Foundation, Nasa and the Swiss WSL.
Many thanks to Andy Techmanski and the FORLOH team for their commitment to climate change science.