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Rapid ice melt in Greenland has scientists concerned

Enough ice melted last week to flood the entire state of Florida

In this aerial view icebergs float at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord during a week of unseasonably warm weather on August 4, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. Last week, ice continued to melt at a rate that left scientists concerned. (Photo by Sean Gallup)
In this aerial view icebergs float at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord during a week of unseasonably warm weather on August 4, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. Last week, ice continued to melt at a rate that left scientists concerned. (Photo by Sean Gallup) (Getty Images)

If Greenland ever becomes a land that is more green and less ice, that would likely be bad news for the environment.

Given that, researchers were a little nervous about a discovery last week.

This is typically melting season for Greenland and its massive supply of ice and glaciers, but there was more melting than usual, and it’s leaving many concerned.

Last Tuesday, 8.5 billion tons of surface mass were lost from the ice sheet on the world’s largest island, which is enough to cover the entire state of Florida in 2 inches of water, according to The Guardian.

Ice that melts away in Greenland then flows more climate-changing water in the ocean.

There was an all-time record high of over 67 degrees Fahrenheit over eastern Greenland last week.

“It’s a very high level of melting, and it will probably change the face of Greenland because it will be a very strong driver for an acceleration of future melting, and therefore, sea-level rise,” Marco Tedesco, a glacier expert at Columbia University and adjunct scientist at NASA, told The Guardian.

Government officials from Denmark, which controls Greenland as a territory, said 100 billion tons of ice have melted from the island since the start of June.

In 2019, 11 billion tons of ice were lost in a single day.

Scientists have calculated that Greenland is melting faster than any time in the past 12,000 years, according to The Guardian, and that the global sea level would rise by about 20 feet if all of the ice in Greenland melted.


About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.