Ice melting rapidly as heatwave hits Greenland

Climate scientists are warning that a record level of melting has been reached this year and will contribute to sea levels rising.

Average temperatures in Greenland rarely exceed 10C (50F) during the summer but are forecast to reach 14C (57F) over the weekend and stay in the low teens into next week.

Roughly 82% of the surface of Greenland is covered in ice, but climate scientists with the Danish Meterological Institute have found it is melting at a record rate.

Ruth Mottram, a scientist at DMI, said 56.5% of Greenland’s ice sheet had melted on Wednesday, which is a record for this year.

Dr Mottram stated that 197 billion tons of ice was lost throughout the whole of July.

The DMI said that a single billion tons of ice being lost was equivalent to 400,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water.

The institute added that 100 billion tons equalled a 0.28mm rise in global sea levels.

Mountains stick up through a massive ice sheet covering Greenland near the eastern coast of the country, March 13, 2018. Picture taken March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Image:An ice sheet covers 82% of Greenland’s surface

According to the Danish Polar Portal, Greenland’s ice sheet would raise global sea levels by seven metres if it completely melts – and this process has sped up significantly since June.

July 2012 saw the Greenland ice sheet melt at its fastest rate ever, which resulted in such stark satellite data that NASA scientists were initially convinced there had to be a mistake.

In a blog post, the space agency said 97% of the ice sheet had thawed less than halfway through the month.


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