Greenland's ice sheet melted faster than ever before in 2019, study says

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 21, 2020, 10:59 AM(IST)

Greenland ice sheet Photograph:( AFP )

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The research found that in 2019, Greenland's ice sheet lost an annual record of 532 billion tonnes of ice, with 223 billion tonnes of ice lost during the month of July alone.

Greenland's ice sheet melted more last year than any year previously recorded, according to a new study.

Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, is the world's largest island. It's located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of Canada's Arctic Archipelago. Around 79% of its surface is covered in ice.

The said research was published in the journal Communications Earth and Environment on Thursday. It found that in 2019, Greenland's ice sheet lost an annual record of 532 billion tonnes of ice, with 223 billion tonnes of ice lost during the month of July alone.

On the contrary, between 2003 and 2016 the ice sheet lost about 255 billion tonnes of ice on average -- per year.

Greenland's ice sheet is the second biggest in the world after Antarctica's, and its annual ice melt during summer contributes more than a millimeter rise to sea levels every year.

In 2019, Greenland's ice sheet lost 15% more ice than the previous record set in 2012, the study found.

Last year was the third hottest year since records began and surface air temperatures at the Arctic were the second highest in 120 years of records.

Interestingly, two colder years that preceded 2019 saw a reduction in the ice melt.

The report follows another study published last week that found Greenland's ice sheet has melted to a point of no return.

Also read | Greenland ice has shrunk beyond return, study finds

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