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Sudden Greenland Ice Melt “Extraordinary”

July 25, 2012

This should concern everyone, everywhere. 

The first image shows Greenland’s ice sheet on 8 July, the second, taken four days later, shows the area where ice has melted at the surface.

Scientists said the “unprecedented” melting took place over a larger area than has been detected in three decades of satellite observation.

Melting even occurred at Greenland’s coldest and highest place, Summit station.

The thawed ice area jumped from 40% of the ice sheet to 97% in just four days from 8 July.

Although about half of Greenland’s ice sheet normally sees surface melting over the summer months, the speed and scale of this year’s thaw surprised scientists, who described the phenomenon as “extraordinary”.

Nasa said that nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its centre, which is 3km (two miles) thick, experienced some degree of melting at its surface.

Until now, the most extensive melting seen by satellites in the past three decades was about 55% of the area.

2 Comments
  1. Alan permalink
    July 25, 2012 12:01 PM

    Got your ark ready yet?

  2. July 25, 2012 9:19 AM

    I’m concerned, but what’s the fix ? Everyone knows about it – but nobody seems to want to fix it…

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