Husky photo shows dramatic effects of melting ice in Greenland

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The striking photo shows huskies ankle-deep in water caused by melting ice amid unexpected high temperatures.

Credit: Steffen M Olsen / DMI

The photo was taken by Steffen M Olsen, a Danish climate scientist with the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) during a mission to retrieve oceanographic and weather monitoring tools in Inglefield Bredning, north-west Greenland.

The normally flat white ice was covered with meltwater, making it difficult to collect the equipment which is normally done around this time of year.

Dr. Olsen’s colleague Ruth Mottram told The Independent “In the project they place instruments on the sea ice that forms in the bay in winter each year and then retrieve them around about now in late spring/early summer before the sea ice breaks up, in order not to lose what are pretty expensive instruments into the ocean!

“This year the expedition to retrieve the instruments (by dog-sled, still the most practical way to get around in this region at this time of year) ran into a lot of standing water on the sea ice. The ice here forms pretty reliably every winter and is very thick which means that there are relatively few fractures for meltwater to drain through” she said.

Greenland’s ice melts normally between June – August, but the DMI said this year’s melting started three weeks earlier. When Dr Olsen took the photograph on the 13 June the country lost more than 2 billion tons of ice on that day alone.