Heatwave is causing massive melting of the Greenland ice sheet

Heatwave is causing massive melting of the Greenland ice sheet
Heatwave is causing massive melting of the Greenland ice sheet

According to Danish researchers, the Greenland ice sheet experienced "massive melting" during the heatwave, when the air temperature exceeded seasonal norms by more than 10 degrees.

Since Wednesday, the ice sheet covering the vast Arctic has been melting at about eight billion tons per day, double its usual average speed in summer, according to the Polar Portal website, which is operated by Danish researchers.

The Danish Meteorological Institute reported temperatures in northern Greenland of over 20 degrees Celsius, more than double the usual average summer temperature.

And at Nerlerit Inaat airport in the northeast of the territory, 23.4 degrees were recorded on Thursday, which is the highest figure since the beginning of accounting.

On the day the heat swept much of Greenland, Polar Portal reported a "massive melting event" where there was enough water "to cover Florida two inches."

The largest melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet dates back to the summer of 2019. But the area on which the melting occurred this time is larger than two years ago. The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest mass of freshwater ice on the planet with an area of ​​almost 1.8 million square kilometers, second only to Antarctica.

The melting of the ice sheet began in 1990 and has accelerated since 2000. The weight loss in recent years has been roughly four times what it was before 2000, the researchers say.

One European study, published in January, said ocean levels will rise 10-18 centimeters by 2100 - or 60 percent faster than previously thought - at the rate at which the Greenland ice sheet is now melting.

The Greenland ice sheet, if completely melted, would raise the sea level by six to seven meters.

But given the relatively cool start of the Greenland summer with snow and rainfall, the ice sheet retreat in 2021 is still within the historical norm. The thawing period lasts from June to early September.

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