Enough ice melted in Greenland in single day to cover Florida in two inches of water
Researchers say high temperatures in the Arctic are melting Greenland’s ice sheets so rapidly that the ice melt from Tuesday alone would be enough to cover the entire state of Florida in two inches of water.
The extreme melting, highlighted by the World Meteorological Organization, is not as bad as in 2019, but scientists say the area of land that is melting is larger this time around.
A massive ice melting event is taking place in #Greenland, according to @PolarPortal
It would be enough to cover Florida in 2 inches (5 cm) of water
Not as extreme as 2019 in terms of gigatons but the melt area is a bit larger than 2 years ago.#ClimateChange #ClimateAction pic.twitter.com/Ai7RaWWebK
— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) July 29, 2021
According to CNN, which first reported on the extreme melting, it’s the third instance of such a melting pattern in the last decade. On Tuesday, Greenland lost more than 8.5 billion tons of surface mass from ice melt.
In total Greenland has lost 18.4 billion tons of surface mass from ice melt since Sunday.
Experts told CNN the level of melt is “unusual,” and the changes in melting rates have been “severe” and “erratic.”
The melting has been exacerbated by the climbing temperatures in the region as well as rising ocean temperatures, which impact sea levels and break off massive icebergs.
“While such events are concerning, the science is clear,” Thomas Slater, a glaciologist at the University of Leeds, told CNN.
“Meaningful climate targets and action can still limit how much the global sea level will rise this century, reducing the damage done by severe flooding to people and infrastructure around the world.”
It was previously reported that Greenland’s ice sheet is expected to melt at its fastest rate in 12,000 years this century.
The researchers estimated that, due to climate change, the ice melt rate over the course of the 21st century will be between 8,000 gigatons and 35,900 gigatons tons per century, nearly six times faster than the early Holocene era rate.