green land- Last Saturday, something unusual happened at the highest frozen point on the Greenland ice sheet, two miles into the open sky and more than 500 miles above the Arctic Circle: It rained for the first time.
The rain that fell at a research station — not just a few drops or drizzle, but a torrent over several hours, while temperatures rose slightly above freezing — is another worrying sign of change. The Arctic, which is warming faster than any other region on the planet.
“It’s amazing because this writes a new chapter in the Greenland book. This is really something new,” said Marco Tedesco, a researcher at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
At the station, which is called La Cumbre and is occupied year-round under the auspices of the National Science Foundation, there is no record of rainfall since observations began in the 1980s.
Thomas Mott, a climate scientist at the University of Georgia, said computer simulations show no evidence that would go any further.
Conditions above freezing at the summit are also rare. Before this century, the ice sheet showed that this had happened only six times in the past two thousand years, Martin Stendel, a senior researcher at the Danish Meteorological Institute, said in an email.
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