Tuesday, May 21, 2024

When Greenland melts in September

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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In fact, in normal times, summer there ends as early as August, and September is the time when winter snow begins to form again. Not this time: from September 3, several consecutive days of rain Melting accelerated Part of the ice sheet covering this island-continent. Melting eventually measured in tens of billions of tons of ice: it will be One of the most important meltdowns that occurred in Septemberfor 40 years that such data is harvested. And some weather stations recorded, between September 3 and September 6, their highest temperatures, not September, but this year.

The immediate culprit: a stream of warm air coming from the south, over the Baffin Sea and western Greenland.

Extent of dissolution (% of area). In blue: 1981-2010 average, in red: 2022.

This is clearly not the first time in recent history that glaciologists have been concerned about seeing new records emerge. But the discovery this year comes after two weeks study About “tipping points” – those thresholds beyond which certain Earth systems are at risk of collapse. One of the systems identified in the study published in the journal Science, is the Greenland ice sheet: At some point, the researchers wrote, when the increase in our planet’s average temperature has crossed the 1.5°C threshold, the melting of this ice sheet will become irreversible. At the rate things are going, this threshold could be reached soon after 2030.

It should be remembered that when we talk about an increase in the average temperature of our planet by 1.5 degrees since the industrial era, in Greenland, on the other hand, the increase is like 3 degrees. The early September anomaly ranged between 10 and 17 degrees above average for the years 1979 to 2000 depending on the group. Climate Realizerfrom the University of Maine.

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