July 25, 2012 by David K. Sutton
NASA: Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt
NASA reports unprecedented melting of Greenland’s ice sheet according to measurements taken by three independent satellites. The picture on the left dated July 8, 2012 shows about 40 percent thawing of the ice sheet. The picture on the right taken only 4 days later shows 97 percent thawing. NASA says about half of Greenland’s ice sheet melts naturally over an average summer. In 30 years of measurements they have never seen this level of thawing.
“The Greenland ice sheet is a vast area with a varied history of change. This event, combined with other natural but uncommon phenomena, such as the large calving event last week on Petermann Glacier, are part of a complex story,” said Tom Wagner, NASA’s cryosphere program manager in Washington. “Satellite observations are helping us understand how events like these may relate to one another as well as to the broader climate system.”