News By/Courtesy: ANSHIKA JAIN | 03 Sep 2020 10:46am IST


  • Greenland lost a record amount of ice in 2019
  • 532 billion metric tons of ice melt in Greenland
  • Ice melt in 2019 surpassed the old record of ice melt in 2012

Greenland is the largest island in the world and is located between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Physiographically, Greenland is a part of the continent of North America, whereas it is politically and culturally associated with Europe.

During an extra warm 2019, Greenland lost a record amount of ice. A study said that the melt massive was enough to cover California in more than 1.25 meters of water. According to satellite measurements reported in a study, the summer ice melt had been minimal in two years but last summer shattered all records with 532 billion metric tons (586 billion tons) of ice melting which is equivalent to more than 140 trillion gallons (532 trillion liters) of water.

A study in Nature Communications Earth & Environment reported that the ice melt in 2019 is far more than the yearly average loss of 235 billion metric tons (259 billion tons) since 2003. The ice melt in 2019 has surpassed the old record of 2012 of 464 billion metric tons (511 billion tons).

A study lead author, namely Ingo Sasgen, who is a geoscientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany mentioned that the ice sheet in Greenland is not only melting but it is melting at a very fast pace. A study co-author, namely Alex Gardner who is a NASA ice scientist mentioned that the ice melt in Greenland for last year added 0.06 inches to the global sea-level rise. Alex mentioned that 0.06 inches may sound like a tiny amount but it is indeed huge. He further mentioned that since 2003, scientists have precise records on the number of ice melts because the NASA satellites measure the gravity of the ice sheets. This measurement is equivalent to putting the ice on a scale and then weighing it as it melts and water flows off.

Alex said that the ice melt was massive in 2019 and further mentioned that two years before that, there was only an average of about 98 billion metric tons (108 billion tons) of ice melt. He emphasized that there is a second factor called ‘Greenland Blocking’ that either dampens climate-related melting or super-charges that.

Alex mentioned that there are generally two factors in Greenland’s weather. In 2019, Greenland blocking a high pressure over Canada that changes the northern jet stream caused warm southern air to come up from America and Canada and flow into Greenland forcing more melting.

Ruth Mottram, an ice scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, mentioned that this year the summer melt in Greenland has not been as severe as recent times. In her study in the International Journal of Climatology, Ruth calculated that the coastal regions in Greenland have warmed on average 1.7 degrees Celsius (3 degrees) in the summer since 1991.

David Holland, an ice scientist at New York University mentioned that the fact that Greenland lost a record amount of ice in 2019 is highly concerning.


This article does not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect, or religion, etcetera. This article is based purely on the author’s personal opinion and views in the exercise of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(A) and other related laws being enforced in India for the time being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 03 Sep 2020 11:50am IST

Tags : #Greenland #IceMelt #RecordIceMelt

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