Climate scientists are beside themselves this month as record-breaking ice melt in Greenland devastates the nation’s ice sheet. New measurements from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) estimate there is melting over 12 percent of Greenland’s ice sheet. That amount is considerably higher than previous records, and the melt is occurring much earlier this year than normal, leaving scientists with lots of concerns about the future.

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The previous ice melt record was set on May 5, 2010 and covered just 10 percent of the ice sheet. Since the typical ice melt season runs June to September, breaking the ice melt record in April is, to put it simply, a really bad thing. For several consecutive days, the ice sheet melt measured more than one millimeter per day. Although it may not sound like much, it’s significant given how far out of season it is.

Related: One of the world’s largest glaciers just lost the biggest chunk of ice ever recorded

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The results were so surprising that scientists initially thought something may have been wrong with the data. “We had to check that our models were still working properly,” Peter Langen, climate scientist at DMI, told Polar Portal.

Temperature readings are in line with the ice melt, demonstrating how unusual the ice sheet’s condition is for this time of the year. The temperature readings exceed 10C (50F) in some places. At one weather station 6,000 feet above sea level, a maximum temperature of 3.1C was observed. Data analysts say that would be warm for July, let alone April. Given the trend, scientists are concerned about what May and June might mean for the northern Atlantic ice sheet.

Via The Guardian

Images via Wikipedia and DMI