CNN - June 15, 2019
(CNN)Over 40% of Greenland experienced melting Thursday, with total ice loss estimated to be more than 2 gigatons (equal to 2 billion tons) on just that day alone.
While Greenland is a big island filled with lots of ice, it is highly unusual for that much ice to be lost in the middle of June. The average "melt season" for Greenland runs from June to August, with the bulk of the melting occurring in July.To visualize how much ice that is, imagine filling the National Mall in Washington with enough ice to reach a point in the sky eight times higher than the Washington Monument (to borrow an analogy Meredith Nettles from Columbia University gave to The Washington Post).
The sudden spike in melting "is unusual, but not unprecedented," according to Thomas Mote, a research scientist at the University of Georgia who studies Greenland's climate.
"It is comparable to some spikes we saw in June of 2012," Mote told CNN, referring to the record-setting melt year of 2012 that saw almost the entire ice sheet experience melting for the first time in recorded history.
This much melting this early in the summer could be a bad sign, indicating 2019 could once again set records for the amount of Greenland ice loss. ...
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