ENVIRONMENT – This is a new symptom of climate change. For the first time in history, rain was recorded atop Greenland, a place usually far too cold for water to fall in liquid form. This is the station National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Summitwho confirmed these observations on August 18. The station, which observed this phenomenon on August 14, is located at the highest point of the ice cap.
Several hours of rain at an altitude of more than 3000 meters Greenland were found, while “there is no previous report of precipitation at this location” a reported the NSIDC. In total, 7 billion tonnes of water were dumped on the ice cap, enough to overflow more than 230,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.
This precipitation phenomenon was made possible because of the temperatures too high. For the third time in less than a decade, above freezing temperatures have been recorded atop Greenland.
“Greenland, like the rest of the world, is changing”, a declared University of Colorado Boulder glaciologist Ted Scambos, Washington post . “We are now seeing three melting events in a decade in Greenland – and before 1990 it happened about once every 150 years. And now the precipitation: in an area where the rain has never fallen. ”
A melting accelerator
This precipitation caused significant melt at the top and along the southeastern coast of the ice sheet over the weekend. The amount of ice mass has even decreased seven times more than the daily average for this time of year.
While rain increases snowmelt, it also contributes to disrupting the dynamics of the ice sheet in the longer term. The water is darker and therefore absorbs more energy from the sun than white snow. But as it freezes, it can also form a smooth floor, preventing meltwater from seeping below the surface. This favors flooding which will in turn cause an even greater melting.
“During melt events, these processes can occur on parts of the ice sheet that generally do not melt, making the impact more widespread,” said Lauren Andrews, glaciologist at the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office. NASA, in a statement to NASA’s Earth Observatory. .
This new episode is in addition to the recent heat wave experienced by Greenland in July, losing more than 8.5 billion tonnes of surface mass in a single day. This heightens concerns about the acceleration of the rising waters in the world.
See also on The HuffPost: In Greenland, an expanse of ice the size of Florida melted in one day
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