Rainfall in Greenland is causing ice sheets to melt, even in winters | GBRI

Ice sheets melting in Greenland

A new study has found that in Greenland, rainfall during the long winter months has become more frequent, which is causing the ice sheets to melt at a faster rate. This is quite worrisome as Greenland holds huge quantities of frozen water. The rapid melting of ice sheets could cause a considerable rise in the sea levels, threatening coastal populations around the world.

The scientists studied satellite pictures of the ice-sheet which reveal the areas where melting is taking place. They found that while there were about two spells of winter rain every year in the early phase of the study period, that had risen to 12 spells by 2012. On more than 300 occasions between 1979-2012, the analysis found that rainfall events were triggering a melting of the ice.

The lead author of the study, Dr Marilena Oltmanns of the GEOMAR ocean research centre in Germany, told BBC News: “We were surprised that there was rain in the winter. It does make sense because we’re seeing flows of warm air coming up from the South, but it’s still surprising to see that associated with rainfall.”

Read more here: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47485847

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