Ice sheet surface melting above average in July
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A heatwave in Greenland culminated last week in the highest temperature recorded on the Arctic island since record-keeping started in 1958.
The official weather station at Maniitsoq/Sugar Loaf in southeastern Greenland reported a July 30 reading of 25.9 degrees Celsius (78.6 degrees Fahrenheit), breaking the old Greenland record of 25.5 degrees, set in 1990 in the same area of Greenland.
The Danish Meteorological Institute confirmed the record temperature in a press release. According to the weather experts, the regional heatwave resulted from a strong high pressure system over Greenland combined with a low pressure system over Baffin Island, leading to a flow of warm, dry air from the southeast.
The Danish meteorologists also said that reflected sunlight may also have been a factor in the reading, which has yet to be officially confirmed as the all-time high temperature record.
From the press release:
“The unusual temperature and the weather conditions that created it can not be regarded as ‘unnatural’, but on the other hand, there is an indisputable gradual increase in temperature in Greenland. Along the way, any ‘warm event’ thus have a higher probability of being slightly warmer than the previous one.”
Climate scientists are carefully monitoring temperature trends in Greenland because the island’s ice sheet has the potential to raise global sea level considerably.
A sudden and rapid meltdown of the entire icecap is unlikely, but scientists have been measuring more surface melting, which may be causing glaciers to speed up.
The Greenland Today website tracks Greenland melting and other climate-related information on a regular basis. Data from the website shows there has been widespread surface melting on Greenland, well above average seasonal levels, during much of July.
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