Melting Greenland Bares Chilling View of Our Future

'Climate-speak' dominates conversation of troubled residents
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 6, 2008 5:10 AM CDT
A hunter and tourist guide in Tasiilaq, Greenland, gets a hand from his assistant Mikisuluk with a seal he has just killed on an iceberg on Ammassilak Island, Greenland, July 19, 2007.    (AP Photo/John McConnico)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Want to see what we’re in for as the planet keeps warming? Visit Greenland, where climate change has even created a new kind of language for its people, writes Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times. Conversations on the melting island are now peppered with phrases expressing amazement at the speed of climate change and expressions of uncertainty such as "I don’t know anymore.” Call it "climate speak," says Friedman.

Greenland is melting at a rate of 200 cubic kilometers per year—far more than the amount of ice in the Alps—and it’s disappearing 30% faster than it was in 1979. The world the island’s oldest residents know so well no longer exists. “No wonder everyone here speaks climate now—your kids will, too, and sooner than they think,” Friedman notes.