Sled dogs walk on water instead of 4ft thick sea ice in Greenland as climate change brings dramatic thaw




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A PACK of Huskies appeared to be walking on water as they pulled a sled across melted ice in Greenland – showing the dramatic effects of climate change.

The startling image was captured by Steffen Olsen, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) following a bout of unusually warm weather.

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The planet losing something like 250 billion tonnes of ice a year on average due to climate change[/caption]

Steffen and his team were collecting equipment from a weather station in the Inglefield Fjord area and as they stepped on the 4ft thick ice, water began to pool on the surface.

He took to Twitter to share the bleak image he took on June 13.

Steffen wrote: “Communities in Greenland rely on the sea ice for transport, hunting and fishing. Extreme events, here flooding of ice by abrupt onset of surface melt call for an increased predictive capacity in the Arctic.”

We are losing something like 250 billion tonnes of ice a year on average.


William Colgan

Because the sea ice is so compact with almost no cracks, the image gives the impression that the dogs are running on water.

Due to the extreme heat, Greenland is estimated to have lost the equivilent of two billion tonnes of ice.

The temperatures were around 22C above normal the day before.

Greenland’s ice sheet melts annually – typically from June to August.

But this year climate change experts say that the melt has begun early.

Speaking to the BBC, William Colgan, senior researcher at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said: “It’s very unusual to have this much melt so early in the season.

“It takes very rare conditions but they are becoming increasingly common.”

In 2012 Greenland saw record-breaking ice sheet loss and it was down to two factors, which is what has happened this year.

One is high pressure lodged over Greenland and the other is low cloud cover and snowfall – meaning solar radiation can strike the sheet surface.


William pointed the finger at global warming, explaining: “What climate change is doing is increasingly loading the dice to set up weather conditions that can tip the ice sheets into these mass loss events.”

“You’re losing something like 250 billion tonnes of ice a year on average. A huge mass is being transferred from the land into the oceans.”


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