Greenland Loses 2 Billion Tons of Ice in 1 Day

Sled dogs are wading through Greenland’s melting ice, after the country lost two billion tons of ice in a single day.

Scientists Steffen Olsen was on a routine trip to Greenland. Typically, his sled dogs would be running over solid ice. Instead, they found themselves ankle-deep in water, over what Olsen says was a 1.2-meter-thick piece of ice.

Olsen was on a mission to collect oceanographic and weather monitoring tools that had been previously placed on the ice. Greenland has a “melt season”every year, which typically occurs between June and August but this year’s melt rate was unprecedented.

Nearly 40% of the country experienced melting in a single day, totaling nearly two billion tons of ice lost. That’s equivalent to 80,000 Statues of Liberty. Local scientist says the early loss of ice will likely lead to a record loss this season.

“Communities in #Greenland rely on the sea ice for transport, hunting and fishing,” Olsen tweeted. “Extreme events, here flooding of the ice by abrupt onset of surface melt call for increased predictive capacity in the Arctic.”

The Danish Meteorological Institute, which ran the trip, said it was too early to say if this specific melt is related to climate change.