July 7, 2022

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Unprecedented rain on top of snow cover in Greenland

The Danish meteorological agency DMI reported on Monday (August 23) that it had rained more than 3,000 meters above sea level in Greenland in mid-August.

The U.S. Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported several hours of rain at the U.S. summit above the ice cap on August 14. “It only rains if the temperature is above or slightly below 0 C. So this is a serious situation because it has never happened before.DMI researcher Martin Stentel told AFP. “This may be a sign of global warming“, he said.

Unprecedented heat wave

Temperatures were above 0 C, meaning ice melts into ice, which has only happened nine times in the last 2,000 years, three in the last ten years (2012, 2019 and 2021), but not in 2012 and 2019, he noted. “We can’t prove whether it rained the previous six times, but it is very unlikely, which makes the observed rain even more noticeableยป, The researcher underlined.

This rainy season comes at a time when extraordinary temperatures above 20 degrees are recorded, with local records in northern Greenland during the summer. This heat wave increased the melting speed of the ice. Its decline, which began decades ago, has accelerated since 1990 and continues.

The height of the oceans is six to seven meters

The second largest ice sheet behind Antarctica, covering nearly 1.8 million square kilometers, is causing scientists to worry that the ice sheet covering Greenland is warming three times faster than the rest of the Arctic world.

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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, which is 60% faster than previously estimated. The Greenland cap is large enough to raise the sea level by six to seven meters.