Thursday proved to be the hottest day for Greenland that experienced the biggest melt of the summer losing 11 billion tonnes of surface ice to the ocean. It is equivalent to around 4.4 million Olympic swimming pools.
An overview of Greenland’s ice melt
Hot summer melts ice but in Greenland it starts around the end of May. But this year, it started early at the start of May and is continuously melting since then. Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist with Danish Meteorological Institute, attributes the high melting to all time high temperature.
Mottram told CNN that Greenland lost 197 billion tonnes of ice this July alone. The loss is equivalent to approximately 80 million Olympic swimming pools. But the expected average of ice-melt this time of the year is 60-70 billion tonnes, maintained Mottram.
Reason for ice melt
The heat wave prevailing in Europe has reached the Arctic and could trigger ice melts that could be one of the biggest since 1950, according to meteorological scientists. They are waiting for reliable records to confirm the ice-melt. Meanwhile, an unconfirmed source claimed a temperature of 2.7C at 3,000 meters above sea level on Thursday when the biggest ice-melt occurred.
The preliminary data for July 1-29 revealed that the average temperature this year was possibly higher than the July 2016 that recorded the highest temperature. The data is released by Copernicus Climate Change Programme, which analyses temperature data from around the planet. It would release the final data on Monday.
Mottram added that the weather in Greenland would continue getting hotter in coming days and it could be longer lasting till August end. The ice sheet would continue melting but the rate of melt would be reduced, maintained Mottram.
Rising sea levels
Greenland has the second biggest ice sheet in the world and the global sea level could up by half a millimeter due to current melt. The Arctic is facing higher temperatures than the global average due to wildfires triggered by warm weather conditions. This season has experienced more than 100 intense wildfires in the Arctic Circle. For more information please visit our latest trending News