A Heat Wave is Turning Greenland’s Ice to Slush

August 5, 2019

On the Greenland ice sheet, high at the top of the planet, things are not well.

The heat wave that wreaked havoc on Europe in late July has now migrated northward, parking itself over Greenland. As air temperatures over the ice rise, the ice sheet is responding in the only way it knows how: by melting. By Tuesday, over half of the surface of the Greenland ice sheet had softened to slush.

This is the second major hot stretch to hit the ice sheet this season, and the second to cause melting across major swaths of the ice sheet. The heat waves were particularly impactful because they arrived after mild, dry winter and spring seasons that primed the ice sheet for melt. The result of this brutal setup is a summer melt season so intense that it’s on track to tie or break the record for the most water loss ever recorded.

Already, the melt extent is well outside the range of what’s normally observed at this time of year, said Ruth Mottram, a polar scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute.

“These are records we don’t want to see broken,” she says.

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More than 12 Billion tons of ice melts in Greenland in just one day

Shocking footage from Greenland shows melted glacier water gushing under a bridge after 12 billions tons of ice was lost in one day.

The grayish-white flood was filmed crashing into the surrounding channels of land and racing under a bridge in Kangerlussiauq on Thursday.

It’s believed that the melted ice is the equivalent of around four million Olympic swimming pools, according to CNN.

It was caused by soaring temperatures across the globe this year, which in July led to more than 197 billion tons of sea ice melting.

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