TECH

The Ice In Greenland Is Melting Two Months Early Which Is A Big Problem

'This would be a warm day in July, never mind April.'

14/04/2016 10:41
DEA / M. SANTINI via Getty Images

Greenland's massive ice sheet has started melting a full two months earlier than expected.

The rapid melting came as such a shock that Peter Langen, a climate scientist at DMI who analyses Greenland's massive ice sheet, had to double check the instruments

“We had to check that our models were still working properly, fortunately we could see from the PROMICE.dk stations on the ice sheet that it had been well above melting, even above 10 °C."

Danish Meteorological Institute

While scientists believe the freak melting is probably caused by natural weather patterns, the underlying effects of global warming could mean that this early melting will start becoming more commonplace.

Greenland in general is undergoing an extreme period of warmth with temperatures reaching near-record highs.

 "At KAN_U for example, a site at 1840 m above sea level, we observed a maximum temperature of 3.1°C. This would be a warm day in July, never mind April” said Langen.

So what does this mean for humanity?

Well this is just a tiny part of the massive Greenland ice shelf, a body of ice which if it melted in its entirety would add 20 feet to the world's sea level.

While that would take centuries just a two feet rise in the next century is a matter of grave concern to scientists.

"Things are getting more extreme and they're getting more common," said NASA ice scientist Walt Meier to ABC News. "We're seeing that with Greenland and this is an indication of that."

 

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