March 8, 2018
Pollutants from buried army base in Greenland
In 1959, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Camp Century, below the ice sheet that covers most of Greenland. This was used as a test site for deploying nuclear missiles at the Soviet Union, however, the public did not know this. It was advertised as a research station, the people in charge of said research were a secret group known as Project Iceworm. They abandoned the camp in 1967 and left serious pollutants behind, "and now as climate warming melts the ice sheet, those pollutants could spread" (Joyce).
Snow began to accumulate over the army base for many years. The base began to blend into its surroundings, seeming to be a flat piece of land covered in snow. Five years ago, the base was nearly unnoticeable, but now the snow is beginning to melt due to global warming. In Canada, York University's William Colgan used a climate computer model, running simulations based on predicted climate change, revealing that "the camp could be uncovered by the end of this century" (Joyce). One operations manager, known for her work among many scientific teams such as the National Science Foundation, Jennifer Mercer says, "As you continue to have longer warm periods, we will definitely start to see more cracks on the Greenland ice sheet" (Joyce). The most important thing to know is where all the cracks and crevasses are. The issue with this is that melting snow could seep into those cracks, carrying contaminants through under-ice channels, and into the ocean (Joyce).
The question is, who's responsible for the waste? "The army built the camp under a treaty between the U.S. and Denmark, which had jurisdiction over Greenland" (Joyce). However, when considering cases such as the thawing permafrost in Siberia, New York University's Jessica Green brought to light some other difficulties. Recent reports have shown an exposed strain of anthrax. Blame is being assigned, and attempts are being made to force developed nations to pay for damage caused by extreme weather, claiming that nations' past actions are the culprit.
The author's focal point was showing the effect climate change has on our world and the many questions that are raised about it. The Greenland army base was bur...