Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Inconceivable amount of ice melted in Greenland in a single day

13 June 2019 was marked by a rather alarming phenomenon: an almost unbelievable quantity of ice melted in Greenland. In the course of a single day, 2 billion tonnes of ice turned into water.

Greenland is the world’s largest island, and only 10% of its surface area is free of ice Photo: Shutterstock

In Greenland, the melting season lasts from June to August each year, with peak rates of melting usually reached in July. This year, however, 40% of the ice sheet has already started melting in June, resulting in an extreme quantity of ice, 2 billion tonnes, melting on 13 June.

According Thomas Mote, a researcher at the University of Georgia, although far from usual, this spike in melting is not unprecedented: similar levels were reported for June 2012. However, many researchers predict that this summer we will see extreme ice losses on the island – it is quite possible that the records of seven years ago will be broken.

The extreme level of melting on June 13 relative to the average rate of melting in Greenland is shown in blue in the chart Chart: cnn.com
Further information: CNN

Indonesia has lost land equal to the size of Jakarta

Over the last 15 years, Indonesia has lost 29,261 hectares of its land surface area due to soil erosion and growing sea levels.

Storm and flash floods hit the Washington area

On 8 July, a torrential rain hit the region of the capital of the United States, even flooding a press room in the basement of the White House near the West Wing.

56 unknown lakes discovered under the Greenland Ice Sheet

The Greenland Ice Sheet is about seven times the size of Great Britain and it is three kilometres thick in some places. The ice sheet and the waters beneath it play an important role in sea level rise, which is causing increasingly severe problems.

Antarctic sea ice melting rapidly over the last four years

While the ice cap over the North Pole has been shrinking as a result of climate change for quite some time, observations from Antarctica indicated slow growth of the ice cap – until 2014.

Massive flooding in Russia

Floods hit the Irkutsk region of Russia at the end of June. Five people lost their lives in the natural disaster. According to a summary from the Russian Emergencies Ministry, 351 people, including 33 children have suffered injuries.

Himalayan glaciers are melting rapidly

Scientists at Columbia University have used Cold War spy satellites to determine the changes that the glaciers of the Himalayas have undergone over the last forty years or so. The result is disheartening: the melting of the glaciers has accelerated drastically in recent years.

Sled dogs wade in water on Greenland

A photo taken on the 13th of June in Greenland has shocked the whole world: Steffen Olsen, a climate researcher with the Danish Meteorological Service had set off with his sled dog team to collect a few meteorological instruments, but instead of ice, he found water.

Torrential weather in China

Record rains have savaged southern China, the heavy downpour has killed several people. Hundreds of thousands had to be evacuated and many roads and bridges were badly damaged.

What will become of the sinking metropolis?

The rising water level of oceans, soil erosion and the increased number of earthquakes have jeopardised a number of major cities. According to experts, Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia is worst hit: a third of the metropolis with ten million inhabitants could be submerged by 2050.

Before the Flood – a message for humanity

How could we stop or at least reduce climate change? In the documentary Before the Flood, Leonardo DiCaprio interviewed personages such as Barack Obama, Ban Ki-moon and Pope Francis, as well as committed activists working to save Earth at the local and the global level.