Greenland just lost more than 12 billion tons of ice in a single day

The ice sheet shed enough water last month to raise sea levels by half a millimeter.

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As a heatwave reached Greenland last week, the Arctic island’s ice sheet experienced massive ice loss, including the 10 billion tons of ice on July 31, and another 12.5 billion — a new record for largest single-day melt — on Aug. 1.

With historically high temperatures of 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 F), scientists from Denmark’s Meteorological Institute said the Greenland ice sheet ended July with a net mass loss of 197 Gigatonnes from the beginning of the month. The loss from this July is enough to raise sea levels by half a millimeter, a Danish researcher told The Washington Post.

[Europe’s heatwave threatens to push Greenland toward record melting]

As the melt unfolded last week, documentary filmmaker Caspar Haarloev shot videos of the ice sheet while producing a climate change documentary titled “Into the Ice.”

“It has been incredibly fascinating to explore the big and mysterious cryosphere. All this ice is just lying there like a big sleeping monster. No one cared about it before it started to melt. Now everybody cares. And for a very good reason,” Caspar told Reuters as he continues producing his documentary.