Greenland Sets New Summer Melt Record

Greenland‘s massive ice sheet has melted at a record-setting pace this year–and summer isn’t over yey

Greenland’s massive ice sheet is melting at a record pace this summer.

By Aug. 8, this year’s summer melt had shattered the record set in 2010, according to a new analysis of satellite data by glaciologist Marco Tedesco of the City University of New York.

With four weeks to go before the end of Greenland’s melt season, Tedesco said this year could end up being “a goliath,” far outranking any other in the 30-year satellite record.

Areas that don’t normally melt or melt for just a few days each summer appear to have lost significant amounts of ice this year. That helped drive up this year’s “cumulative melt index,” a measure that takes into account the spatial extent and duration of thawing across the ice sheet.

“On the east coast, the west coast, at high elevations, in the north, there was a disproportionate amount of melting, both in terms of extent and duration, with respect to previous years,” Tedesco said.

Thomas Mote, a climatologist at the University of Georgia, said his independent analysis of the same Air Force satellite data Tedesco used confirms that Greenland has broken its seasonal melt record this year.

The news comes on the heels of NASA’s announcement that Greenland endured an unusually widespread, intense burst of surface melting for a few days in mid-July. During that brief period, an astonishing 97 percent of the surface of Greenland’s ice sheet showed signs of thaw — covering a larger area than any melting event since satellite records began 30 years ago (ClimateWire, July 25).

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See Also

via Scientific American – Lauren Morello and ClimateWire

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