Greenland and Iceland Keeping Laying on Snow and Ice


It’s nearly summer in the Northern Hemisphere, yet reports from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) and from Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland indicate as spring wanes, winter has yet to fully release its grip on two countries, parts of which lie within or abut the Arctic Circle.

“Since the beginning of June, more than 50 billion tons of snow have fallen on Greenland, causing the ice sheet to gain considerable mass, EIKE reported citing DMI data, which shows a record breaking increase. “The Snow Mass Balance (SMB) chart shows daily increases of nearly 6 gigatons, which contrasts with the typical summer melt that usually begins after mid-May.

“Recent accumulations are well above the long-term average (1981-2010, [see the figure below]:”

Greenland was not alone in experiencing a sustained late burst of winter weather. Vatnajökull National Park, which contains the second strongest waterfall in Europe as measured in volume of water per cubic meters per second, was hit by a powerful snowstorm in mid-June, resulting in the park closing the route to Dettifoss Falls and the surrounding area.

The heavy volume of snow is currently in the process of melting, compromising the footpaths, roads, and trails through the area and leading to the falls and the Jöklulsá á Fjöllum river. The park has yet to determine when the area will reopen.



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