Greenland has seen record melting in recent days over its ice sheet, according to The Washington Post.
The outlet reported that the amount of ice covering the Arctic Ocean has never before been so low in mid-June.
According to CNN, more than 40 percent of Greenland experienced melting Friday, with total ice loss estimated to be more than 2 billion tons. Temperatures on the island reached up to 40 degrees above average on Wednesday, leading ice to melt at an unprecedented rate, researchers said.
CNN reported that it is highly unusual for such significant ice melt to take place in June, with the typical melt season taking place between June and August and most melting occurring in July.
The Washington Post reported that open water now exists in places north of Alaska where it has seldom — if ever — been found in recent times.
Yesterday (13th June), we calculate #Greenland #icesheet lost more than 2 Gt (2 km³) of ice,, melt was widespread but didn't quite get to #SummitCamp which was just below 0°C— Greenland (@greenlandicesmb) June 14, 2019
The high melt is unusual so early in the season but not unprecedentedhttps://t.co/Ftg0fkC7AK pic.twitter.com/Y4jQ1FoFRZ
It's “another series of extreme events consistent with the long-term trend of a warming, changing Arctic,” Zachary Labe, a climate researcher at the University of California at Irvine, told the Post.
The sheet ice melting could also affect weather in the U.S., with the high-pressure Arctic zones displacing the typical cold air that’s found in the region, according to researchers.
This past week, areas of the central and eastern U.S. saw lower-than normal temperatures for this time of year, likely because of the displaced cold air that normally is contained in the region.
The Greenland ice sheet witnessed the most melting on record in 2012, but experts say melting this year could rival it, the Post reported.