As the global community is gradually feeling the pinch of climate change, Greenland is losing its ice at an alarming rate. Experts are worried the amount of ice lost to melting may reach a record high this year.
Last week, the country lost above two billion ton of in a single day, equivalent to the weight equivalent of 12 million blue whales or 80,000 Statues of Liberty.
The phenomenon of ice melt is not new. The Arctic region annually loses ice during the melt season, which falls between the months of June and August, with maximum melting observed in July.
What is new, however, is the amount of ice being lost every year. Environmental experts are drawing a parallel between what the future may hold and the year 2012, when, for the first time in history, almost all of Greenland's ice sheet was had been exposed to melt.
It may only worsen this year as the ice began melting much before it did in 2012 and three weeks before it starts melting on an average, reported CNN.
What's worrisome here is that due to the interplay of a phenomenon called the albedo effect, the “premature” ice loss could trigger a further loss in the coming months.
In essence, the albedo effect concerns the amount of solar energy reflected back to space. Ice and white snow are known to reflect more of the solar energy, which helps keep the land cool, preventing any more ice from melting.
Which means, reduced snow and ice cover would allow more solar energy to be absorbed by the surface, making temperatures rise and eventually giving birth to a vicious cycle.