Global warming has reached the coldest central regions of Greenland

(ORDO NEWS) — European climatologists have found that temperatures in the central regions of Greenland in the past two decades have become about 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than the average values ​​for the 20th century and previous historical eras.

This indicates the beginning of accelerated melting of the entire ice cap of the island, the press service of the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) said on Wednesday.

“We have tracked how the climate of the central and northern regions of Greenland has changed over the past thousand years.

An analysis of the data we have collected clearly shows that the warming of 2001-2010 is very different from all natural climate variations over the entire previous millennium.

We were surprised by how pronounced it was a consequence of global warming,” said AWI researcher Maria Hoerhold, quoted by the institute’s press service.

Hoerhold and her colleagues have discovered the first evidence that global warming in recent decades has begun to affect the deepest and coldest regions of Greenland’s glaciers, located in the central and northern part of the island.

Scientists came to this conclusion in the course of studying samples of multi-year ice collected at 16 different points in the central regions of Greenland.

As the researchers note, many of these samples were formed over a period of over a thousand years, which allowed scientists to study how the climate of the central regions of Greenland changed from 1000 to 2010.

To do this, the climatologists measured how many atoms of the two stable isotopes of oxygen, oxygen-16 and oxygen-18, contained year-long layers of ice in each sample. The proportions of these isotopes reflect the temperature at which the precipitation formed from which the island’s ice cap was formed.

Calculations carried out by scientists showed that typical temperatures in Greenland did not increase, but fell over almost the entire period studied.

This situation changed only at the end of the 19th century, when temperatures on the island began to gradually increase.

Cardinal changes in the climate of central Greenland occurred at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, when average temperatures in the most isolated corners of the island rose by 1.5 degrees Celsius in a very short time.

Such measurement results, Hoerhold and her colleagues note, suggest that global warming is now affecting all of Greenland, which could lead to a sharp acceleration in the melting of its ice cap in the coming years and decades.

This must be taken into account when making forecasts for the future fate of its ice sheet, scientists say.

Glaciers and global warming

The polar regions of the Earth and mountain glaciers are already becoming the first and main victims of global warming.

The temperature on their territory has already become 4-9 degrees Celsius higher than in past centuries, which will irreversibly lead to a noticeable reduction in their area and the release of large areas of Antarctica and the Arctic from ice.

In particular, climate satellites have been recording a sharp acceleration in the melting of Greenland’s glaciers for many years.

On average, the rate of decline in their volume has increased by about four times since the beginning of the century, and in total during this time the island’s ice cap has lost more than 5 trillion tons of mass.

The rapid rise in temperatures on the island leads to the fact that during the warm seasons, giant icebergs weighing several billion tons periodically break off from the Greenland ice mass.


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