Thursday, August 1, 2019, was one of the worst days in history for the Greenland ice sheet. It set a record for single-day volume loss, with an estimated 12.5 billion tons of ice melting and pouring into the ocean, reported Smithsonian.
Combining the melting events of Wednesday, July 31 and Thursday, August 1, Martin Stendel, climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, explained on Twitter that the amount of ice melted would enough to cover the entire state of Florida in nearly five inches of water. It’s the biggest melt that has occured since scientists began tracking data in 1950.
This summer’s extreme melting has been caused by the same weather system responsible for Europe’s intense July heat wave. The system caused Greeland’s temperatures to rise 15 to 30 degrees above average, transforming the usually pure-white ice sheet into a gray stretch of land, allowing it to absorb more heat and melt faster.