AFP, Posted on Sunday 01 August 2021 at 15:31
A heat wave in Greenland, with temperatures above ten degrees above seasonal norms, caused an episode of “massive” melting of Greenland’s ice this week, glaciers warn.
Since Wednesday, about 8 billion tons of ice covering the vast Arctic land has been melting every day, more than double the average rate over the summer, according to data from the Polar Portal, a modeling tool managed by Danish research institutes.
According to the Danish Meteorological Agency DMI, local temperatures, with unusual temperatures, were recorded in Greenland recently.
At the small Nerlerit Inat airport in northeastern Greenland, mercury reached 23.4 degrees on Thursday, the highest level ever recorded by weather station measurements and warmer than the maximum temperature recorded in Denmark.
This heat wave also affected much of the vast Arctic, accelerating the melting of ice as a result.
In comparison, the polar portal insists that the enormous amount of molten water released daily in recent days – 8,000 billion liters of freshwater – “is enough to cover the entire surface of Florida with five centimeters of water”.
Greenland’s daily melting record has not been broken since the summer of 2019, but the site said the area of icy melted Greenland is larger than it was two years ago.
The second glacier after Antarctica, covering an area of nearly 1.8 million square kilometers, is of concern to scientists, including Greenland, where Arctic warming is three times faster than the rest of the world.
Its decline, which began decades ago, has accelerated since 1990 and continues.
According to a European study released in January, the melting of the Greenland icecape should contribute to a general rise in sea level to 10 to 18 centimeters by 2100 or 60% faster than previously estimated.
The cap of Greenland is large enough to lift the seas 6 to 7 meters.
According to the Polar Portal, the decline of snow cover in 2021 is within the historic average due to the relatively cold start to summer with snow and rain. The melting period lasts from June to early September.