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Greenland temperatures soar 40 degrees above normal

Temperatures in Greenland soar 40 degrees above normal causing record melting of the ice sheet. Click here to read the full story.

The annual Arctic thaw has kicked off with record-setting ice melt and sea ice loss that is several weeks ahead of schedule, scientists said, as the New York Times reported.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, there is open water in areas north of Alaska where it is rarely, if ever, seen, the Washington Post reported.

The accelerated ice melt in Greenland was caused by an usual weather pattern, where high-pressure air lingered, bringing warm air up from the south, which pushed the mercury 40 degrees Fahrenheit above normal temperatures. Add to that continuously cloudless skies and snowfall that is well below normal, and the conditions were ripe for melting across most of the ice sheet.