In DepthClimate

Sea ice retreat said to accelerate Greenland melting

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  17 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6292, pp. 1377
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6292.1377

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Last summer the northern parts of the Greenland Ice Sheet experienced record melting as summer temperatures rose as high as 19°C (66°F), while southern Greenland was unusually cold, with just average melting. Now, scientists have linked the melt pattern with a 500-kilometer-wide, high-pressure vortex, known as a block, that loitered north of the island during June and July 2015, wreaking weather havoc. Such atmospheric blocks are expected to result from melting sea ice, some researchers say—a claim that has added fuel to a contentious dispute over the global influence of the warming Arctic. Until now, the dispute has focused on how disappearing sea ice might be favoring extreme midlatitude weather, such as floods in Texas or heat waves in Russia. The new study is one of three recent papers that have expanded the debate to the melting of Greenland.