The Greenlandic town of Ukkusissat, which had just 150 inhabitants. Photo: Linda Kastrup/Scanpix
Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at a pace of ten cubic kilometres per day, DMI’s climate research team said in a press release on Monday.
The mass of inland ice on the sparsely-populated island is significantly less than is normally seen at this time of year and has been melting rapidly the past week.
“The warm weather has had a major impact on the melting of the inland ice,” DMI’s Peter Langen said.
The ice sheet is losing some 10 billion tonnes per day, which amounts to ten cubic kilometres of new water every day and is close to a record set in 2012. During a two-day stretch in that summer, the ice melted at a pace of 15 billion tonnes per day.
“[The melting] hasn’t been as powerful this year, but if the warm weather continues the cumulative mass tally could fall significantly,” Langen said.
Parts of Greenland have seen record temperatures in July. On July 8th, the northern town of Qaanaaq set an all-time record of 20.4C, a full 2.5C above the previous record, set in 2012.
Greenland is an autonomous and largely self-governing member of the Kingdom of Denmark. With a population of just 57,000 and a land area of 2.2 million square kilometres, it is both the largest and most sparsely-populated island in the world.
Queen Margrethe and Prince Consort Henrik are currently touring the island.