Europe’s record-breaking heatwave is on the move, and it could melt billions of tons of ice in Greenland, which already started melting earlier than normal this year, climate scientists warned on Saturday, July 27th.
Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist with the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), said: “As [heat] is forecast to move over the Arctic it will potentially bring a large amount of energy that will melt ice, both sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and the ice sheet surface over the next 3 to 5 days,” according to AFP.
DMI estimated that 170 gigatonnes of water have been added to the world’s oceans from melted ice and snow between July 1st to July 26th, contributing to about 0.28 millimetres (0.01 inches) of global sea level rise.
Greenland’s ice has been melting persistently this year, with relatively high temperatures day after day. In 2012, melting was much more driven by “several very extreme melting days,” according to Mottram.
Melting ice in Greenland is also closely linked to global temperatures. As global temperatures rise, Mottram expects more melting to occur.