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Home / World / Greenland is in the grip of a heat wave. That means it for all of us

Greenland is in the grip of a heat wave. That means it for all of us



That is, the heatwave is Greenland's problem now, right? Not quite. If records fall in Greenland, that's a problem for everyone.

Greenland is the second largest ice cap in the world. And if it melts significantly – as expected this year – it will affect the sea level and the weather around the world.

Greenland's ice cap usually melts in the summer. This year, it started melting earlier in May and the heatwave is expected to accelerate the melt this week.

The mammoth ice of the country rises over 3,000 meters above sea level. Predictors predict that the summit will be particularly warm this week at just under zero degrees.

"It's a very warm temperature for this altitude," said Ruth Mottram, climatologist at the Danish Meteorological Institute.

Now 2019 could reach the record year of 2012, said Jason Box, professor and ice climatologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. During this "melting year", he said, the Greenland ice sheet lost 450 million tons – equivalent to more than 14,000 tons of ice loss per second.

Global Impact

What happens in Greenland will make itself felt around the world world.

Box said that this year's melt flooded the North Atlantic with fresh water, which could affect the weather in northwestern Europe. The result could be stronger storms, he added, citing flooding in Britain in 2015 and 2016. "Whatever happens in Greenland radiates its effects down," he said on a highway in central Java, Indonesia on 2 February. "src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190730162354-indonesia-sea-level-file-restricted-small-169.jpg "src-xsmall =" // cdn.cnn.com /cnnnext/dam/assets/190730162354-indonesia-sea-level-file-restricted-medium-plus-169.jpg "src-small =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190730162354- indonesia-sea-level-file-restricted-large-169.jpg "src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190730162354-indonesia-sea-level-file-restricted-exlarge-169 .jpg "src-large =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190730162354-indonesia-sea-level-file-restricted-super-169.jpg "src-full16x9 =" // cdn.cnn .com / cnnnext / dam / assets / 190730162354-indonesia-sea-level-file-restricted-full-169.jpg "src-mini1x1 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190730162354-indonesia- sea-level-file-restricted-small-11.jpg "data-demand-load =" not-loaded "data-eq-pts =" mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781 "/>

For a year like 2012 or 2019, Greenland produced water According to Box, the ice cover raises global sea levels by more than a millimeter. But countries in the tropics could see a rise of two millimeters or more, he said.

Extreme is the new standard

It will be some time before the complete "melt" of 2019 is measured. But it is already ready to reach the proportions of 2012 – and we have not even reached the end of summer.

According to Clare Nullis, spokeswoman for the United Nations, Greenland's ice sheet in July alone lost 160 billion tons of ice World Meteorological Organization. That would be equivalent to about 64 million Olympic swimming pools, she told reporters on Friday.

One of the most notable things about the 2019 heatwave is not just the number of records it has broken across Europe – it's also the profit margin I've done, she said.

"Usually it's a fraction of a degree when a temperature record is broken," Nullis said. "What we saw yesterday were records broken at two, three, four degrees – it was absolutely incredible."

And it's not just the heat that breaks records. Greenland had the coldest year in decades last year, Box said.

  Visitors interact with blocks of ice from an exhibition called

Intense heat waves like those that cause temperatures in Greenland , "bear the hallmark of man-made climate change" [19659023] This view is shared by a group of European scientists, including Oxford University scientists, who concluded earlier this month in an analysis published in World Weather Attribution that the youngest French heatwaves have become five times more likely due to climate change.

The researchers also said that the world is "very likely" to see more extreme heat waves in the future due to climate change.

CNN's Isabelle Gerretsen contributed to this report.


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