The heat wave coming to the Arctic after its passage through Europe has caused record temperatures and an acceleration of the thaw in Greenland in recent days, a phenomenon that experts relate to climatic oscillations.
The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) station at Summit, in the center of the permanent ice sheet, recorded the first two days of this month 2.7 and 4.7 degrees, exceeding the 2012 record of 2.2 degrees, although the figures must still be contrasted with those of another station next to be definitive.
The Greenlandic ice cap lost last Thursday 11 billion tons, another record figure, more than double the daily average at the time of thaw, and 60% of the surface of that layer was subject to a melting process.
Greenland, an autonomous territory belonging to Denmark, has experienced above-average temperatures since April, which has caused the beginning of the thawing season, which normally occurs at the end of May, has been advanced one month, explains Efe John Cappelen, one of the DMI chief climatologists.
Cappelen is cautious in explaining the causes of the phenomenon and recalls that Greenland has already experienced similar situations in previous years.
“Such high temperatures are not unusual, it happens occasionally, due to climatic oscillations,” says the expert, who adds that although it is not yet known when the defrosting season will end this year, it does not seem likely that It will prolong more than usual.
Although 197,000 million tons of ice melted in Greenland alone in July, Cappelen does not believe that the registered trademark will be beaten in 2012, when more than 90% of the surface of the permanent ice sheet came to be seen affected by the thaw in the month of July.
According to data from the Danish Polar Institute, the thawing process has slowed down compared to last Thursday’s record, although it still exceeds the usual average: on Saturday 8500 million tons were melted and, on Sunday, 7600.
Attributing this particular phenomenon to the effects of the climate crisis can be rushed, warns Cappelen.
“It cannot be determined exactly, although it could be a sign of climate change,” says the expert.
Greenland covers an area of just over 2 million square kilometers, of which about 80% are permanently covered by ice.