CLOSE
MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images
MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images

Greenland’s Melting Ice Could Be Triggering Mountain Collapses

MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images
MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images

Melting Arctic ice isn't just bad news for sea levels. In Greenland, ice that previously held mountains together is melting, shaking loose unstable rock, according to New Scientist. That triggers huge landslides, which in turn leads to deadly tsunamis.

In June, 39 people were evacuated and several were killed after a tsunami flooded the remote island of Nuugaatsiaq, Greenland. Initially, authorities thought the tsunami was the result of a 4.1 earthquake off the coast. But it turned out that it wasn't an earthquake at all. The tsunami was triggered by part of a mountain collapsing, creating a giant landslide of seismic proportions that fell into the sea.

As the world gets warmer, we may have to deal with more incidents like these. Where previously ice might have been able to hold together the unstable rock of a mountain, if that ice melts, there's nothing to keep that rock from coming down. As a glaciologist told New Scientist, the melting and freezing cycles of ice in Greenland have created a dire situation.

Greenland and other fjord-dominated landscapes are at high risk for these sorts of disasters as ice melts. The sharp, steep cliffs of fjords make it easy for unstable rocks to go tumbling into deep water, causing dangerously strong waves. These tsunamis can reach speeds of more than 500 miles per hour. The deeper the water that the mountain collapses into, the stronger the tsunami, which means more bad news from rising sea levels.

[h/t New Scientist]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Weather Watch
New Contest Will Give Kids the Chance to Become Weather Channel Meteorologists for a Day
iStock
iStock

Not every kid dreams of being an on-air meteorologist, but for young ‘uns obsessed with storm forecasts and local weather reports, a new contest presents a unique opportunity to live out their dreams. The Mini Meteorologist Contest, sponsored by Lands’ End, will give four kids a chance to present a weather report on The Weather Channel this summer.

The nationwide contest is open to future meteorologists in the U.S. and Canada ages 6 to 16. To enter, they just have to write an essay between 50 and 500 words long on why they love learning about science and weather and why they’d like to be a meteorologist for a day. Four winners will receive a trip for them and their parents to The Weather Channel’s headquarters in Atlanta. They’ll have the opportunity to report the weather for the show on July 12, which happens to be National Summer Learning Day.

The essays will be judged based in equal parts on creativity, grammar, and the entrant’s love of meteorology. The only rules for the essays are that they can’t mention any products or brands other than Lands’ End or The Weather Channel (so no essays about how L.L. Bean inspired your love of cloud formations, kids) and has to be the child’s original work. Kids who are chosen as semi-finalists will have their on-air presentation skills judged in a Skype interview.

Should they win, they’ll get an inclusive trip to Atlanta with media training, a tour of The Weather Channel headquarters, and a $500 Lands’ End gift card to get just the right weather-reporting wardrobe.

The deadline for entering is May 21. Essays can be submitted here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Weather Watch
Thanks to Desert Dust, Eastern Europe Is Covered in Orange Snow
iStock
iStock

Certain areas of Eastern Europe are starting to look a bit like Mars. Over the last few days, snowy places like Sochi, Russia have experienced an unusual snowfall that coated mountains in orange powder, according to the BBC.

The orange snow was the result of winds blowing sand from the Sahara east to places like Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Russia. The sand mixes with precipitation to form orange-tinted snow. According to the BBC, the phenomenon occurs semi-regularly, turning snow orange about once every five years, but this year is especially sandy. As a result, skiers are navigating slopes that look like they're from a different world, as you can see in the video below from The Guardian.

The Sahara rarely gets snow, but when it does, the landscape can look somewhat similar, as you can see in this image of the Atlas mountains in Morocco.

Instagram is currently filled with photos and videos from Eastern Europe featuring the odd-looking snow. Check out a few samples below.

[h/t BBC]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios