Greenland lost 11 billion tons of surface ice in one day

Greenland lost 11 billion tons of surface ice on Thursday, scientists say.

The melt is Greenland's biggest of the summer and is equal to about 4.4 million Olympic swimming pools, CNN reported Friday.

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Danish Meteorological Institute climate scientist Ruth Mottram told the news outlet that Greenland's ice sheet has been "persistently" melting during the last four months amid record temperature highs. 

In July, the ice sheet lost 197 billion tons of ice, Mottram said, adding that the expected average is between 60 billion and 70 billion tons.

Mottram told the news network that warm weather in Greenland is expected to continue for several days and that the melting season lasts until the end of August. 

The ice sheet is the second largest globally and its melt this year has so far added about half a millimeter to sea levels, CNN reported.

Europe last week faced a record heatwave, which was expected to reach the Arctic and speed up the ice sheet's melting.