- 氷河（後出 ice は氷、ice sheet は氷床、写真説明の iceberg は氷山）
- Arctic Circle
- ～ metric ton
- eat away
- 縮小する（後出 shrink (→shrunk) は縮む）
- sea level
- 【写真説明】 navigate
This is where Earth's refrigerator door is left open, where glaciers dwindle and seas begin to rise. The ice is thousands of years old. It will be gone within a year or two, adding yet more water to rising seas worldwide.
Summer this year is hitting Greenland, just inside the Arctic Circle, hard with record-shattering heat and extreme melt. By the end of the summer, about 400 billion metric tons or more of ice will have melted or calved off Greenland's giant ice sheet, scientists estimate. That's enough water to flood the country of Greece to a depth of about 35 centimeters.
In just the four days from July 31 to Aug. 3, more than 53 billion metric tons melted from the surface. And that 53 billion metric tons doesn't even count the huge calving events or warm water eating away at the glaciers from below, which may be a massive factor.
One of the places hit hardest this hot Greenland summer is on the southeastern edge of the giant frozen island: Helheim, one of Greenland's fastest-retreating glaciers, has shrunk about 10 kilometers since scientists came here in 2005.
A NASA satellite found that Greenland's ice sheet lost about 255 billion metric tons of ice a year between 2003 and 2016, with the loss rate generally getting worse over that period. Nearly all of the 28 Greenland glaciers that Danish climate scientist Ruth Mottram measured are retreating.
Several scientists, such as NASA oceanographer Josh Willis, who is also in Greenland, studying melting ice from above, said what's happening is a combination of man-made climate change and natural but weird weather patterns. Glaciers here do shrink in the summer and grow in the winter, but nothing like this year.
Willis said that by the year 2100, Greenland alone could cause more than 1 meter of sea level rise.
"It takes a really long time to grow an ice sheet, thousands and thousands of years, but they can be broken up or destroyed quite rapidly," a scientist said. (AP)
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