Greenland is typically known for its massive glaciers, but now the continent is making headlines for an extensive wildfire that has burned 3,000 acres. The fire is blazing through grasses and low-slung vegetation of ice-free tundra near Kangerlussuaq, a small town that houses researchers in the summer. Researchers believe that high temperatures in late July may have contributed to the spread of the blaze.
Although fires in Greenland are very rare, records indicate that wildfires in northern forests are increasing at a rate that is unprecedented for the past 10,000 years. Such a finding is troublesome because wildfires in northern regions drive ice melt in Greenland. How? The dark ash and soot from fires covers ice and speeds up melting, raising sea levels and causing other dangerous repercussions throughout the globe.