The heat wave that smashed records in five European countries a week ago is now over Greenland, accelerating the melting of the island’s ice sheet and causing massive ice loss in the Arctic
Greenland, the world’s largest island, is a semi-autonomous Danish territory between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans that has 82% of its surface covered in ice.
This is a roaring glacial melt, under the bridge to Kangerlussiauq, Greenland where it’s 22C today and Danish officials say 12 billions tons of ice melted in 24 hours, yesterday. pic.twitter.com/Rl2odG4xWj
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) August 1, 2019
The area of the Greenland ice sheet that is showing indications of melt has been growing daily, and hit a record 56.5% for this year on Wednesday, said Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist with the Danish Meteorological Institute. She says that’s expected to expand and peak on Thursday before cooler temperatures slow the pace of the melt.
More than 10 billion tons (11 billion U.S. tons) of ice was lost to the oceans by surface melt on Wednesday alone, creating a net mass ice loss of some 197 billion tons (217 billion U.S. tons) from Greenland in July, she said.
One video shared by Twitter user @Laurie_Garrett, featured a “roaring glacier melt” which was gushing beneath the bridge to Kangerlussiauq in Greenland. It prompted many people to voice their concerns over what they were witnessing.
I think we’re a minute too late… it’s starting to look like ‘irreversible events’ have already started. Very scary stuff. Would also be a convenient ‘distraction’ from political media. Just sayin’.
— Tiny Prepper (@Tinyprepper) August 1, 2019
When we desalinate the ocean enough, we will trigger irreversible events.
— Emerald Zoo LLC (@EmeraldZoo) August 1, 2019
— aHEMagain^2 (@aHEMandias) August 1, 2019
Not having children is starting to look like a great idea. The next generations are going to suffer immensely.
— Brian McBurney (@brianmcburney) August 1, 2019
They hit high temps that have NEVER happened since we started recording temps. Thats how unusual.
— Chris Carpenter (@carpinsandiego) August 1, 2019
It’s almost like all of those people who were warning us 20 years ago that we were going to start seeing catastrophic effects of global warming within a couple decades were right?
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) August 1, 2019
This is officially scary.
— Rocky Mountain Views (@RockyMountViews) August 1, 2019
It’s more than terrifying!
— MS. VEE VANCE (@VLVANCE) August 1, 2019
And what happens in Greenland will be felt across the world. https://t.co/jJbpQDDNpd
— Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) August 2, 2019
The scope of Wednesday’s ice melt is a number difficult to grasp. To understand just how much ice is being lost, a mere 1 billion tons _ or 1 gigaton _ of ice loss is equivalent to about 400,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the Danish Meteorological Institute said . And 100 billion tons (110 billion U.S. tons) corresponds to a 0.28 mm (0.01 inch) rise in global sea levels.
Mottram said since June 1 _ roughly the start of the ice-loss season _ the Greenland ice sheet has lost 240 gigatons (240 billion metric tons) this year. That compares with 290 gigatons lost overall in the 2012 melt season, which usually goes through the end of August.
A June 2019 study by scientists in the U.S. and Denmark said melting ice in Greenland alone will add between 5 and 33 centimeters (2 to 13 inches) to rising global sea levels by the year 2100. If all the ice in Greenland melted _ which would take centuries _ the world’s oceans would rise by 7.2 meters (23 feet, 7 inches), the study found.
The current melting has been brought on by the arrival of the same warm air from North Africa and Spain that melted European cities and towns last week, setting national temperature records in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Britain.
(with inputs from AP )
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