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High winter temperatures wash over Greenland

High winter temperatures wash over Greenland

An iceberg calving with a mass of ice breaking away from the Apusiajik glacier, near Kulusuk (aslo spelled Qulusuk), a settlement in the Sermersooq municipality located on the island of the same name on the southeastern shore of Greenland on August 17, 2019. Photo: VCG

Temperatures have soared in Greenland recently, the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) said on Wednesday, in line with warming trends experts have linked to global warming.

In the capital Nuuk, the mercury hit 13 C (55 F) on Monday, compared to the -5.3 C that is average for this time of year. In Qaanaaq in the north, temperatures reached 8.3 C, when the seasonal average is usually -20.1 C, DMI said.

DMI did not say whether the temperatures recorded had broken records set on the island.

“One of the reasons we’re seeing high temperatures is the foehn meteorological phenomenon,” a warm wind that is common in the world’s largest island, DMI climatologist Caroline Drost Jensen told AFP in an email.

“It is a bit unusual that it is simultaneously happening across such a vast territory and for so long,” she said.

“Global warming is supporting the elevated temperatures that we are currently observing over Greenland,” she said.

Over the summer, temperatures 10 degrees higher than average led to loss of glaciers across the vast territory.

On some days, the glaciers were recorded to have lost a record 8 billion tons of ice, double the average they usually shed in the summer.

AFP