Ice cap of Greenland in 2012 melting at record speed

Melting by mid-July swallowed up almost the entire area of the Greenland ice sheet — the largest island in the world, according to a Wednesday to the site of the U.S. space agency (NASA) with reference to the data received from the satellites.

Glacier currently covers about 80% of the Greenland and contains about 20% of the world's supply of ice. Scientists have calculated that if the entire Greenland ice melts, it will lead to a rise in sea level of 6.4 meters.

According to NASA, the melting of the Greenland ice this year, showing an unusual trend: satellite information received on July 8, showed a 40% melted ice, but measurements on July 12 showed that 97% of seized melting Greenland ice sheet.

According to the observations, which are conducted for Greenland for 30 years, on average, during the summer season the area melted ice have not exceeded 50% of the island.

The rapid melting of ice has coincided with an unusually strong fronts of warm air, which dominated the island from the end of May, the researchers note. The last such front began to dissipate over Greenland on June 16.

The researchers are not yet able to answer, how abnormal the melt season in Greenland could affect the overall loss of ice cover and increased sea levels.

According to a study published in 2009 in Geophysical Research Letters, in the period between April 2002 and February 2009 the Greenland glacier "lost" about 1.6 thousand cubic kilometers.

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