Rain Falls On Greenland's Highest Peak For The First Time On Record

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Rain Falls On Greenland's Highest Peak For The First Time On Record

Rainfall has been recorded for the first time in history at the highest point on the Greenland ice sheet.


Due to the fact temperatures almost never fall below freezing in this area, rain in the form of water is almost never experienced. However, as a result of global warming, temperatures in the region stayed above freezing over a number of days allowing rain to fall. At the 3,216-metre summit temperatures remained above freezing for 9 hours.


This is the third time in a decade that temperatures have risen above freezing in Greenland, a phenomena that was almost unknown prior to 2010.


It is calculated that 7 billion tonnes of rain fell across Greenland over just 3 days, which is the largest amount recorded since 1950. This is seven times the average rainfall for a normal August.


What worries climate scientists is that rainwater falling on the ice makes the ice more likely to melt due to it being warmer than snow, likewise, because the water is darker than snow it absorbs more of the Sun's energy and transfers it to the ice.


Indrani Das, a glaciologist with Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said:


"That's not a healthy sign for an ice sheet. Water on ice is bad. … It makes the ice sheet more prone to surface melt."


The melting of the polar icecaps is of great worry as it will eventually result in the global sea level rising. In the last few decades, 25% of the rise in global sea levels has been caused by the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.


The Greenland ice sheet is the second largest in the world after Antarctica and suffered a major ice melt in July that saw large parts of the icecap break off into icebergs. In July enough ice melted in a single day to cover the whole of the US state of Florida.


Twila Moon, deputy lead scientist with the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre, added her concerns, saying:


"This alarming rain at the summit of Greenland is not an isolated event. We really have to stay laser-focused on adapting, as well as reducing the potential for those to become truly devastating."


In November, world leaders will gather in Glasgow to discuss how best to tackle climate change and global warming.


[h/t: Reuters]


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Thinking Humanity: Rain Falls On Greenland's Highest Peak For The First Time On Record
Rain Falls On Greenland's Highest Peak For The First Time On Record
Rainfall has been recorded for the first time in history at the highest point on the Greenland ice sheet. Due to the fact temperatures almost never f
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