Greenland experienced a massive ice melting event during a heat wave in the Arctic, the amount of which could have covered the entire state of Florida in two inches of water.
What is Happening?
- In what has been described as one of the most significant melting events of the year, Greenland’s ice sheet had experienced a massive melting due to a heat wave happening in the Arctic region, according to the Denmark Meteorological Institute.
- The heat wave saw temperatures rise more than 20 degrees above average numbers compared to previous years of the same period, in northern Greenland.
- Greenland has recorded more than 8.5 billion tons of surface mass on July 27 alone, and 18.4 billion tons since the week prior.
- The amount of ice that was lost on the 27th is said to be enough to flood the entire US state of Florida in two inches of water.
- Though the total ice loss experienced this past week did not surpass the event in 2019, the area of the melting ice sheet is larger than two years ago. Danish researchers have also reported the ice melt rate is currently twice its normal rate during summers.
- The 2019 ice melting event saw 532 billion tons of ice entering the oceans, which consequently led to global sea levels rise permanently by 1.5 mm.
- Greenland’s ice sheet is the world’s second-largest mass of freshwater ice, covering up to 1.8 million sq km. The largest ice sheet on the planet remains in Antarctica.
- Melting events have been recorded back in 1990 but have accelerated since 2000. The mass loss in recent years is approximately four times greater than it was before 2000.
- The heat wave in the Arctic is one of the many climate events occurring across the globe just this summer, as temperatures reached new heights in the west coast of Canada and the US last month, as well as in Siberia, which launched hundreds of wildfires in the region.
- Greenland’s ice melting event occurred days after the government of Greenland announced that they will suspend all oil exploration and future plans due to environmental concerns and climate change.