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TEMPERATURES – Greenland has recorded temperatures 20 or even 30 degrees above seasonal averages in recent days, with positive temperatures in many parts of the vast arctic territory, the Danish meteorological institute, DMI said on Wednesday.
In the capital, Nuuk, it was 13 ° C on December 20 when the average temperature is usually -5.3 ° C while in Qaanaaq, in the north, the mercury rose to 8.3 ° C. for a usual temperature of -20.1 ° C.
“One of the reasons we see high temperatures is the foehn weather phenomenon,” a hot wind fairly common across the world’s largest island, explained in an email to theAFP a climatologist from DMI, Caroline Drost Jensen.
“It’s a bit unusual for it to happen over such a large area and simultaneously over a long period of time” as it spans most of the west coast and part of the east coast, she said.
However, these temperatures are not without precedent, according to the meteorologist: neither the absolute records, nor the records of the last thirty years for a month of December have been broken.
In the Arctic, warming is three times faster than elsewhere in the world.
“Global warming underlies the high temperatures that we are currently seeing in Greenland, and that they are generally higher (…) than in the past”, summarized Ca Drost Jensen.
During the summer, a heat wave with temperatures more than ten degrees above seasonal norms had caused an episode of “massive” melting of the ice cap in Greenland.
Losses of eight billion tonnes of ice every day, double the average rate during the summer period, had been recorded.
On August 14, in another alarming signal, it had also rained at the summit of the highest point in Greenland (3,216 meters), never before seen.
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