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Rain on the ice summit of Greenland. It was noticed for the first time in history

The main building at Summit Station, a remote research site more than 10,500 feet above sea level on top of the Greenland ice sheet, in 2011. Photo:AP


The World Daily | News Desk           AUGUST  20th   2021 


For the first time in history, rainfall has been recorded at the Summit research station in Greenland, located more than 3,000 meters above sea level, scientists from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre said.


Greenland, like much of the Northern Hemisphere, experienced a massive heatwave this year. At the top of the glacier, the temperature has hit zero degrees Celsius for the third time in less than 10 years. On August 14, 2021, several hours of rainfall was recorded at Summit Station, owned by the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). This is where it is usually too cold for the water to come out liquid.

"There are no previous reports of rainfall at this site, which is 3,216 meters above sea level," the NSIDC tweeted, noting that the amount of ice lost in a day was seven times the daily average for the season.

Greenland, like other parts of the world, is experiencing climate change.

"Greenland, like the rest of the world, is changing," Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, told The Washington Post. 'We saw three melts in Greenland in a decade, and before 1990 it was about once in 150 years. And now rainfall has appeared in an area where it has never rained. This is something that is hard to imagine without the impact of global climate change," he added. 


The researchers explain that rain not only melts snow, contributing to an increase in the amount of meltwater, but also has the additional ability to disrupt the long-term dynamics of the ice sheet. The rain exposes and then creates a layer of ice that is darker and therefore more heat-absorbing than plain white, compact glacier ice. After freezing, it also creates a smooth barrier, preventing seepage of meltwater under the surface. This can then flood the ice sheet surface, causing even more melting and surface runoff at higher elevations.

"During thaws, these processes can take place in parts of the ice sheet that don't normally experience thaws, making the impact more extensive," said Lauren Andrews, a NASA glaciologist.

The Greenland ice sheet contains enough freshwater for sea and ocean levels to rise six meters, which will have a big impact on the weather and climate. In a recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that if the global average temperature rises by 2 degrees Celsius, it will cause this huge ice sheet to collapse. 


© The World Daily 2021 | News Desk

Source: Science Alert, National Snow and Ice Data Centre