Greenland suffered a large-scale melt this summer due to the high temperatures. What’s more, rain fell on the highest point on the island on August 14. This unprecedented phenomenon, which resulted in yet another melting episode, says a lot about the progression of global warming.
The latest IPCC report is uncompromising. Global warming is of increasing concern. Rising water levels, increasing extreme weather events, melting ice… We must drastically reduce our CO2 emissions in order to limit the damage. And to be convinced that there is an emergency, it suffices to observe the multiple illustrations of climate change at work in the world.
As in Greenland, which is experiencing a particularly hot summer, the thermometer sometimes rising above 20 degrees. Which is more than double the usual summer temperatures in the region. As a result, 8 billion tonnes of ice began to melt daily during this melting episode at the end of July. Twice the amount scientists had observed in previous summers.
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Rain at the top of Greenland: a worrying phenomenon
This extreme heat for the region led to an unusual event on August 14th. Namely, rain that fell on top of the highest mountain, more than three kilometers above sea level. A phenomenon never seen before. Because if it rains occasionally on Greenland, water normally never turns liquid in the heights, much too cold for that.
It’s simple: the National Snow and Ice Data Center station had never recorded rain on Mount Gunnbjørn since the second half of the 20th century and the start of observations. During the last decade, melted snow had already appeared at this altitude. But real rain had never yet invited on the top of Mt.
As seven billion tons of water fell on Greenland, a melt spreading over 872,000 km² occurred on the island. And this even in places that do not normally melt. “This event in itself does not have a huge impact, but it speaks volumes about the extent of the increasing duration and intensity of the melting in Greenland. “, Points out the researcher Ted Scambos, quoted by the Washington Post.