Sign In
Register
July 30, 202110:13 AM PDTLast Updated 2 months ago
Europe
Greenland experienced 'massive' ice melt this week, scientists say
By Kate Abnett

3 minute read
BRUSSELS, July 30 (Reuters) - With climate change fueling high temperatures across the Arctic, Greenland lost a massive amount of ice on Wednesday with enough melting to cover the U.S. state of Florida in 2 inches (5.1 cm) of water, scientists said.
It was the third-biggest ice loss for Greenland in a single day since 1950. The other two records, also within the last decade, happened in 2012 and 2019.
The rapid melt followed warm air being trapped over the Arctic island by a change in atmospheric circulation patterns, scientists said, noting that there could be more ice lost.
On Wednesday alone, some 22 gigatonnes of ice melted - with 12 gigatonnes flowing to the ocean and 10 gigatonnes absorbed by the snowpack where it can refreeze, said Xavier Fettweis, a climate scientist at the University of Liege in Belgium.
Polar Portal, a group of Danish Arctic research institutions, described it in a tweet as a "massive melting event." While that volume was less than the record single-day ice melt in 2019, this week’s event covered a larger area, the group said.
1/4
A satellite image shows Ingolf Fjord, Greenland July 29, 2021. Picture taken July 29, 2021. European Union, Copernicus Sentinel-2 imagery - Processed by @DEFIS_EU/Handout via REUTERS
Such events can create feedback loops that drive further warming and melting in Greenland, said Marco Tedesco, a climate scientist at Columbia University. As snow melts, it exposes darker ice or ground beneath, which absorbs more sunlight rather than reflecting it back out of the atmosphere.
"It really positions Greenland to be more vulnerable to the rest of the melting season," said Tedesco, research professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Scientists have estimated that melting from Greenland's ice sheet - the second-biggest on Earth after Antarctica’s - has caused around 25% of global sea level rise seen over the last few decades.
Tedesco and other scientists have warned that models used to project future ice loss do not capture the impact of changing atmospheric circulation patterns - meaning they may be underestimating the future melting of Greenland, which is located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.
Meanwhile, the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet, due to factors including vanishing ice in the Arctic Ocean, which exposes darker water that absorbs solar radiation.
On Wednesday, air temperatures over Greenland were “worrisome,” the EU said, with temperatures in Constable Pynt on the east of the island hitting 23.2 C (73.8 Fahrenheit).
Reporting by Kate Abnett in Brussels Editing by Katy Daigle and Matthew Lewis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
More from Reuters
Play video on original page
Guinea junta defiant over Conde
Australia made 'huge mistake' - French ambassador
NZ police arrest woman over death of her children
In Kabul, U.S. apology for killing civilians 'not enough'
Hundreds more migrants head for Texas border
Trudeau warns against vote split in Canada polls
Some Afghan girls return to school in Kabul
SpaceX's all-civilian crew splashes down to Earth
Obrador pitches regional bloc for Latin America
Kabul hospitals worried over lack of COVID supplies
Read Next
Europe
Eight killed in Russian university shooting, gunman in hospital - police
3:46 AM PDT
Europe
Germany points to reports on "massive irregularities" in Russia's Duma elections
3:33 AM PDT
Europe
No target date for lifting coronavirus curbs, German govt says
3:25 AM PDT
Environment
'Alarm bell': U.N. chief, UK PM convene leaders on climate change
3:24 AM PDT

Sign up for our newsletter
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
Europe
Europe · 2:09 AM PDT
San Marino abortion debate heats up ahead of historic referendum
One of Europe's staunchest opponents to legal abortion could fall on Sunday when San Marino, a tiny and deeply Catholic republic landlocked in Italy, holds a referendum to overturn a law dating back to 1865.
Europe
SPD's Scholz wins third TV debate as German election draws close
September 19, 2021
Europe
Syrian migrants allowed in by Merkel vote to choose her successor
2:19 AM PDT
Europe
France cancels defence meeting with UK over submarine row, sources say
September 19, 2021
Europe
'Alarm bell': U.N. chief, UK PM convene leaders on climate change
3:24 AM PDT
Latest
Home
Media
Videos
Pictures
Graphics
Browse
World
Business
Legal
Markets
Breakingviews
Technology
Investigations
Lifestyle
About Reuters
About Reuters
Careers
Reuters News Agency
Brand Attribution Guidelines
Reuters Leadership
Reuters Fact Check
Reuters Diversity Report
Stay Informed
Download the App
Newsletters
Information you can trust
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Follow Us
Thomson Reuters Products
Westlaw
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
Onesource
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
Checkpoint
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Refinitiv Products
Eikon
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets - delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Refinitiv Data Platform
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
World-Check
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
Advertise With Us
Advertising Guidelines
Cookies
Terms of Use
Privacy
Corrections
Site Feedback

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved