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A team of scientists in Belgium has discovered a somewhat counterintuitive reason the Greenland ice sheet is melting at night.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.


The surprise culprit? Clouds.

Jerks. Photo by Sy Clark/Flickr.

It may seem just ... kind of wrong to the many of us whose brains reflexively associate "clouds" with "chilly." If cloudy weather indeed equals cold weather, ice should ... stay frozen better on a cloudy day, right? According to this new study, however, increased cloud cover over the glacier actually accelerates the rate of melting.

Here's how it works, according to Kristof Van Tricht, University of Leuven professor and lead author on the paper:

"Over the entire Greenland ice sheet, clouds raise the temperature, which triggers additional meltwater runoff: 56 billion tons per year — a third more than clear skies. Contrary to what you would expect, this effect is not so much visible during the daytime melting process, but rather during the following night. A snowpack is like a frozen sponge that melts during the day. At night, clear skies make a large amount of meltwater in the sponge refreeze. When the sky is overcast, by contrast, the temperature remains too high and only some of the water refreezes. As a result, the sponge is saturated more quickly and excess meltwater drains away."

In other words...

The clouds basically act as a giant, celestial Snuggie for the glacier.

Overcast skies at night prevent heat — which builds up during the day while the sun is out — from escaping from the surface of the ice sheet. That heat makes it too warm for the water on the glacier's surface to refreeze when it's supposed to — and once the water drains off the glacier, it's lost forever.

Climate change is the elephant in the room here.

An iceberg that cleaved off the Greenland ice sheet. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Of course, the results of the study would just be a cool, neat, "ain't science something" thing if the melting of the Greenland ice sheet didn't have the potential to cause seriously catastrophic problems for everyone on Earth.

At the current rate, Greenland is losing over 300 billion tons of ice a year. The consequences of the ensuing sea level rise are expected to include anything from increased flooding during storms to the evacuation of coastal cities — basically, nothing terribly desirable.

Researchers hope that identifying this new behavior will help them predict future melting events — and the overall rate of sea level swell — more effectively, rendering them better able to gird humanity's loins for the worst (or, at least, the not-so-good).

In the meantime, continuing to ratchet back all the carbon we're putting in the air will only help things for the better.

The major climate agreement signed in Paris last year is super ambitious with good reason: We need a super ambitious plan if we're going to have any hope of limiting the damage to our sea and sky that's already begun, and we need to make sure we stick to it.

That means electing politicians who not only believe that manmade climate change is a real thing, but are willing to take the necessary policy steps — de-incentivizing the burning of fossil fuels while investing in renewable energy — that will help us snuff it out for good.

That way, those bastard clouds can't threaten us anymore.

That's right: Back off, sickos. Photo by Sy Clark/Flickr.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.