(ORDO NEWS) — An unusually hot summer in the Northern Hemisphere has led to a number of worrisome consequences, including the very rapid loss of Greenland’s ice.
In just three days, 18 cubic kilometers of melt water got into the ocean from the island.
The time in which we live – Holocene – is a break between ice ages, that is, interglacial. The last continental glaciation ended almost 12 thousand years ago, but large accumulations of ice and snow did not completely disappear then.
Now the largest of them are called two ice sheets: the Antarctic one, which occupies the whole continent, and the Greenland shield, about eight times smaller than the first in mass, but still huge.
Greenland is the largest island on the planet, located in the North Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of America. It is almost completely covered with ice about one and a half kilometers thick, which presses with great force on the surface of the island.
This ice sheet stretches from south to north for 2900 kilometers, and its maximum width from west to east is about 1100 kilometers.
In recent decades, scientists have closely watched the reduction in the volume of Greenland ice. This process has been linked to global climate change, along with other warning signs around the world.
In addition, in July of this year, very hot weather was established: this summer is decisively breaking temperature records.
In Greenland, meanwhile, especially intense ice melting began: the air temperature reached 15 degrees, which is five degrees above the climatic norm.
From July 15 to July 17, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, 18 billion tons of melt water, that is, 18 cubic kilometers, entered the ocean.
“This past week’s melting in the north is anomalous, given the average temperatures over the past 30-40 years,” said meteorologist Ted Scambos (Ted Scambos). “However, the ice had melted before that, this episode was rather the peak of melting.”
Some scientists, such as Kutalmis Saylam from the University of Texas (USA), are watching what is happening right on the glacier in Greenland. “Yesterday we could walk around in T-shirts – no one expected this,” the researcher shared.
With the advent of summer, scientists every time fear a repeat of the 2019 scenario, when the ice sheet lost 532 cubic kilometers – twice as much as in the Sea of Azov.
In that season, almost its entire surface melted and a huge mass of water entered the ocean, which caused a sharp rise in its level by one and a half millimeters.
Recall that the ice island contains enough water to completely melt the level of the oceans rose by 7.5 meters.
Scientists have found that even the lowest layers of the Greenland shield are melting – this causes melt water to drain from the surface.
And this is especially worrying, as it could cause a sharp, self-amplifying melt in the future and associated global consequences.
There are already reasons to believe that the ice of Greenland has passed the point of no return and will continue to rapidly collapse, regardless of how the climate behaves.
In this case, we will soon see the huge northern island in a completely new look.
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