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CO2 Budget Depletion

06 Jun 2023 | Greenland

UPDATE Greenland Heatwave

The early warning we issued on May 25th for the first heatwave in Greenland has occurred on May 31st to June 1st with a temperature anomaly event and high ice melt conditions. Temperatures were expected to reach +15°C (+59°F) above average in the south low-elevation regions of the ice sheet and surface melt and weather station data showed melt at elevations as high as at 7000 feet (2133.6 metres). This heatwave signals the beginning of the Arctic melt season. We will continue to monitor the forecasts and the live weather station data from Greenland to see how this melting period unfolds. 

This heatwave is still relatively early in the season and, as such, is a strong indicator of ongoing climate change and its impacts. Greenland and the Arctic region are highly sensitive to global warming, and these events provide further evidence of the increasing temperatures and changing climate patterns. 

The early onset of the melt season in the Arctic can lead to accelerated ice melt, particularly in Greenland. As temperatures rise, the melting of glaciers and ice sheets can contribute to the overall rise in sea levels. This poses a significant threat to coastal communities around the world, as sea-level rise can lead to increased coastal erosion, flooding, and the displacement of populations. Greenland is currently the largest single contributor to global sea level rise. A 2022 study shows that we have destabilised Greenland’s ice sheet so much that we have irreversibly committed a minimum of 27cm of global sea level rise even with no further emissions.



The following gauges show up-to-date data regarding key indicators in the Arctic. These indicators clearly point to the crisis at hand.

Greenland rate of ice loss
13 million l/s
on average
13 million tonnes/s
on average
Arctic Sea Ice Extent
2,161,499 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 20-Sep-2023
834,555 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 20-Sep-2023
Arctic Amplification
4 times
faster than global average
Arctic 66N+ Wildfire emissions
24,864.17 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2023 so far
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
4.89 microgram per cubic meter
on 21-Sep-2023
Global mean Sea Level
since 1993