Greenland’s ice sheet lost 11 billion tons of ice in one day – a record number since observations began, CNN reported, citing Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist with Danish Meteorological Institute.
This astonishing level of reduction in Greenland’s famous ice sheet was recorded on Thursday, August 1. In comparison, 11 tons of melted ice is equivalent of 4.4 million Olympic pools.
Mottram added, the melt season usually starts in late May and lasts until the end of August, but in 2019, the season started at the beginning of May. Generally, Mottram continued, the ice sheet should only lose 60 to 70 billion tons this time of year, but 197 billion tons melted just last month.
Scientists fear the heat wave might result in Greenland’s most significant melt since 1950. They recorded unconfirmed temperatures of 2.7C at 3,000 meters above sea level on Thursday, which would be close to a new record if confirmed.
Greenland's ice sheet is the second biggest in the world and this season's ice melt has already contributed around half a millimeter to global sea levels. According to scientists, by the end of the century, this mark may rise by several meters.
Since 1980s, the rate of melting of the Greenland ice sheet has increased six fold. And over the past ten years, the amount of ice that it lost has reached unprecedented levels.