Climate Crisis: Greenland Loses 2 Billion Tons Of Ice In A Day
June 17th, 2019 / 2:01 PM
Leading to a loss of over 2 billion tons of ice in a single day, over 40% of Greenland experienced ice melting on Thursday (13 June 2019). According to researchers, the Greenland melting event occurred due to atmospheric circulation in the Arctic and North Atlantic region.
Greenland, a twitter handle run by Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) which focuses on monitoring Greenland’s Ice Sheet, shared the news that more than 2 gigantons of ice melted on a single day.
This #Greenland melt event is due to atmospheric circulation in the #Arctic + North Atlantic, if #NorthAtlanticOscillation is persistently negative this year -> likely to see high #ice loss from #icesheet. Early melt preconditions for high melt later on due to #albedo feedbacks pic.twitter.com/IXveEmeNVU
— Greenland (@greenlandicesmb) June 14, 2019
Melting Season Started Early
The Greenland melting season started on 30 April, which is the second earliest in the satellite record since 1979. Scientist Peter Langen in a statement released by Polar Portal said, “On average, the melt season starts around the 26th May, so we are almost a full month earlier this year,” reported Outlook.
It is highly unusual for this amount of ice to be lost in the middle of June, as the bulk of the melting occurs only in July and the average melt season for Greenland runs from June to August.
Further due to early season melt, the snow cover is already lower than average in Western Greenland. According to researchers, 2019 is likely to be a very big melt year and may exceed the record of 2012 – when 97% of ice sheets in Greenland indicated surface melting.
“Unusual But Not Unprecedented”
Referring to the melting of ice sheets in 2012, Thomas Mote, a research scientist at the University of Georgia who studies Greenland’s climate, told the CNN that the sudden spike is “unusual but not unprecedented”.
Stating that such melt years were unheard of until the 1990s, Moot said, “We’ve seen a sequence of these large melt seasons, starting in 2007, that would have been unprecedented earlier in the record.”
However, melting of ice in summer is a natural phenomenon, in recent decades its mass has been diminishing at a greater pace. The melting of Ice Sheets can raise sea levels to flood coastal areas where people live around the world. “Greenland has been an increasing contributor to global sea level rise over the past two decades,” said Mote.
Written by : Satendra
Edited by : Bharat Nayak