Photograph Of Dogs Walking Through Water Shows Reality Of Greenland's Melting Ice Sheet
A photograph has emerged showing sled dogs wading through ankle-deep, rapidly melting sea ice in Greenland - making it look like they're 'walking on water'.
DMI's klimaforsker @SteffenMalskaer er i disse dage NV-Grønland for i samarbejde med lokale fangere at hente vejr- og havmålere, og endte med at dokumentere ekstreme forhold på en usædvanlig varm dag, hvor smeltevandet bogstaveligt talt flød på isen. pic.twitter.com/vmYBxyhiWr
- DMI (@dmidk) June 17, 2019
Steffen Olsen, a scientist with the Danish Meteorological Institute, was attempting to retrieve oceanographic and weather monitoring tools during a routine mission when he stumbled across what is usually flat white sea ice.
He quickly snapped a picture which shows seven dogs ankle-deep in the water - illustrating a situation which was caused by temperatures reaching around 40 degrees above average.
According to CNN, when Steffen took the photograph (on 13 June), Greenland experienced a total melt of more than two billion tons of ice.
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Ruth Mottram, climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, told The Guardian: "This year the expedition to retrieve the instruments - by dog-sled, still the most practical way to get around in this region at this time of year - ran into a lot of standing water on the sea ice.
"The ice here forms pretty reliably every winter and is very thick, which means that there are relatively few fractures for melt water to drain through. Last week saw the onset of very warm conditions in Greenland and in fact much of the rest of the Arctic, driven by warmer air moving up from the south."
Scientists have already predicted a record year for melting on Greenland's ice sheet with Thomas Mote, a research scientist at the University of Georgia who studies Greenland's climate, telling CNN last week that while previous melt periods occurred in 2007, 2010 and 2012, "we didn't see anything like this prior to the late 1990s."
He added: "Greenland has been an increasing contributor to global sea level rise over the past two decades and surface melting and runoff is a large portion of that."
Featured Image Credit: Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut