Greenland‘s massive ice sheets have started melting more than a month and a half early, setting a record in the melting season schedule known to date. This season normally begins in late may or early June.

The melting weather came with heavy rains that sparkled the warm temperature in the ice, where 12 percent of it went into meltdown mode mostly in southwest Greenland, as reported by Discovery News.

Ice sheets melting
According to a new study, the emission of gases could lead to the disintegration of ice sheets in the next few decades. Photo credit: Eric Rignot, JPL / AGU

When at least 10 percent of the ice sheets experienced surface melt, is officially considered the meltdown season to have started, according to Polar, which monitors the ice’s evolution in the Arctic. The earliest season until now started on May 5, 2010.

The team even had to check their monitoring equipment and their analysis before officially announcing the season, however, they found everything to be on point. “It is disturbing,” said Peter Langen, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute.

“Something like this wipes out all kinds of records, you cannot help but go this could be a sign of things we are going to see more often in the future,” added Langen.

The temperatures reached as well a record high of 20.3 ºF (-6.5 ºC) compared to the average temperatures in previous times. In addition, the can get as high as 57º F above normal during this week.

Back to normal

It is expected that the temperatures return to normal, but the consequences this early season will remain in the ice sheet. The energy of all the melting ice tends to wend its way a bit deeper into the ice, which makes it easier for the melting to continue later.

The melting of the Greenland’s ice sheet, which represents one of the biggest ones on the planet, would raise the oceans about 20 feet, this will affect as well the ocean circulation and even the drift of the North Pole.

However, its melting depends on the weather  N which can sometimes be unexpected. Just last year the melting stopped thanks to a cool spring that kept the ice solid before the summer heat.

Source: Discovery News