It rained on top of Greenland, unheard of

This is one of the consequences of climate change. As reported Numerama, rains were observed for the first time on August 14 in Greenland. Usually it never rains in this area. This is indeed what the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the American center for information and reference on polar and cryospheric research, found. “On August 14, 2021, rain was observed at the highest point of the Greenland ice sheet for several hours, and air temperatures remained above freezing for about nine hours.”

Strong snowmelt observed

This is the third time in ten years that temperatures above the freezing point, that is to say close to melting, have been observed. On the other hand, it is the first time since the start of the observations, which began in the second part of the 20th century, that a rainy episode has been recorded.

These phenomena would be linked to a strong snowmelt observed in mid-August in Greenland. Rainwater (no less than 7 billion tonnes of water) and unusual heat are said to have caused a significant loss of ice cap mass. Even reaching areas that do not normally melt.

A phenomenon that will recur

However, this precipitation does not bode well. Indeed, when it freezes, rainwater, darker, absorbs the sun’s rays, unlike snow which, being very white, reflects them. It therefore risks melting more easily.

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Unfortunately, this phenomenon is likely to occur more and more often. According to the latest IPCC report, global warming would lead to an increase in precipitation across the globe. Especially at the North Pole. Depending on the scenarios considered, at +2, +3 or +4 degrees Celsius, the Arctic would become a particularly rainy region.

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