The researchers noticed that it rained for the first time in history at the top of the Greenland ice sheet. This is only the third time when the temperature in this area was above zero.
Scientists have confirmed that it rained for the first time at the Summit Research Station, located atop the Greenland Ice Sheet. This is the first report of rain on a usually cold summit and the third time a temperature above zero has been recorded at an Arctic research station. This was announced by the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Rare precipitation has caused melting at the summit and along the southeastern coast of the ice sheet, just weeks after massive melting occurred in the region in late July 2020. This warming exacerbates scientists’ fears that climate change is causing the Arctic ice to melt rapidly, accelerating sea level rise worldwide.
At Summit station, located at an altitude of 3215 meters above sea level, according to estimates by the National Center for Snow and Ice Data, 7 billion tons of precipitation fell over the ice sheet in three days. Some of them fell out in the form of water.
The rains and warmer than usual temperatures are caused by an area of low atmospheric pressure over Baffin Island and a high pressure ridge over southeastern Greenland that has brought warm air and moisture from the south.
Scientists note that the 1.71 million square kilometers of Greenland ice sheet expands and contracts during annual fluctuations. But global warming has affected it much more dramatically. Several climate models show that without aggressive climate intervention, the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free in summer by 2050.
The consequences will be catastrophic. If the Greenland ice sheet completely melts, then, according to scientists, the world ocean level could rise by more than 6 meters, which will affect coastal cities around the world – most notably Shanghai, Amsterdam and New York.