Research, Technology

In three days, 18 billion tons of ice melted in Greenland. Waiting for the flooding of cities?

The summer of 2022 turned out to be very hot - we recentlyIt has already been mentioned that the residents of Great Britain were especially hard hit by the heat. There, the air temperature has been kept at +40 degrees Celsius for several weeks, which has caused many fires and even deaths. All this is a consequence of global warming, which scientists have been warning about for a long time. The other day it became known that even the coldest corners of our planet, such as Greenland, suffer from excessive heat this summer. As a rule, on the largest island in the world, the air temperature rarely rises above +20 degrees even in summer. But this year, the island is so hot that Greenland's glaciers have begun to melt, which has increased the water level in the world's oceans. In just a couple of days, 18 billion tons of melt water was formed!

Greenland's glaciers are melting, and very quickly

What's the weather like in Greenland

Greenland is the largest island on earthand is located in the northeast of North America. With an area of ​​over 2 million square kilometers, Greenland's weather varies from region to region. Most of all, the climate is changeable in the coastal regions of the island - the most comfortable for life is the southwestern coast, where in summer the air can heat up to +20 degrees Celsius. And in the center of the island it is usually always cold - in summer the air temperature rarely rises above +12 degrees, and in winter frosts can occur up to -60 degrees Celsius.

Greenland is the largest island in the world

In the summer of 2022 in Greenland, compared toin other years, it is hot - in July the temperature was set at +16 degrees Celsius. According to climatologist William Lipscomb, they have been observing abnormal heat in Greenland for several years, and this year is no exception. Any warming above the freezing point of water can cause glaciers to melt. At the moment, scientists are just watching the melting process, and its speed is frightening.

How is global warming changing everyday life? Understood in detail here.

Melting glaciers in Greenland

According to researchers, between 15 and 17July, the melting of glaciers was so strong that the released water increased the level of the world sea. If the scientists' calculations are correct, the Greenland ice sheet has released about 6 billion tons of water every day due to warming - this means that during the three days mentioned 18 billion tons of liquid entered the world's oceans. According to researcher Ted Scambos, this volume would be enough to cover the US state of West Virginia with a 30-centimeter layer of water.

In just three days, Greenland released 18 billion tons of melt water

Researchers believe that most of the ice forthese three days melted on the northern part of Greenland. The melting of the ice was mainly due to the fact that a warm wind was blowing from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. In addition, there is a high-pressure dome over Greenland, which could also increase the rate of melting.

Canadian arctic archipelago

That the melting of the glaciers of Greenland isa consequence of global warming, there is no particular doubt. Historical data says that such a strong melting of glaciers was not observed in the 1980s. Of course, some ice melted, but the losses were quickly compensated by the accumulation of ice inside the island. An alarming rate of melting began to be observed after the 2000s, and over time the process began to proceed faster. In 2019, one of the largest melting events occurred, as a result of which the volume of leaked water amounted to 527 billion tons. Against the backdrop of this number, the current figure seems insignificant, but the melting is still ongoing - scientists predict that Greenland will become a source of 100 billion tons of melt water this year.

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City flooding in the future

This process is almost impossible to stop.In the course of studying satellite images, scientists came to the conclusion that since the 2000s, Greenland has been losing 200 billion tons of ice per year. In the long term, this threatens with serious problems - due to the rise in water in the oceans, some species of animals and plants may become extinct. In addition, land flooding can deprive many people of a place to live. A few years ago, my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova told me which cities could be under water as early as 2050 - here is the link.

Will our cities be under water in the future?

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Finally, I offer a bonus - there is a This Climate Does Not Exist service that can show the streets of your city in case of flooding. Here's how to use it.