Climate change is causing concern in Greenland. Now there is even rain where snow usually falls.
Greenland – On the formerly ice-cold island in the North Atlantic, the ice caps of the earth are still threatened by climate change. At the highest point of the Greenland ice cap is the summit station of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Here, as the name suggests, the ice and snowfall of the arctic region is observed by scientists.
As a result of climate change, the researchers in Greenland are now confronted with something that was previously unknown here: rain. At a height of three kilometers above sea level, snow had always fallen at this point of the inland ice since the beginning of the recordings, no liquid precipitation.
Climate change in Greenland: weather like never before
“We now have to take into account weather events that we have never had before in the history of our work on site,” said Jennifer Mercer of the NSDIC. “Increasing weather events such as melting, high winds and now rain have occurred outside of what is considered to be normal for the past decade.” And these seemed to be occurring more and more frequently.
Greenland: Seven billion tons of rainwater
Last weekend, the on-site temperatures rose above freezing point for the third time in less than a decade. The result: the warm air produced around seven billion tons of water, which fell on the ice sheet as rain – according to NSIDC the heaviest precipitation since records began in 1950. The ice mass lost on Sunday (August 15) was around seven times greater than on Sunday Daily average at this time of year.
Climate change in Greenland: warm air from the south
A severe low pressure area and a high pressure area southeast of Greenland caused the unusually warm and humid air flow, according to NSIDC. Much of the rain consequently fell on the land from the southeast coast.
The heat wave in Greenland in July had similar causes. Here, too, the air circulation through a high and low pressure area resulted in extreme precipitation and ice melting. This heat wave alone caused a permanent global rise in sea levels of 1.5 millimeters.
Ted Scambos, head of the NSIDC told CNN: “What is going on here is not just one or two warm decades in a wandering climate pattern.” (Nadja Austel)