Satellites Observe Widespread Melting Event on Greenland

“Nearly the entire ice sheet covering Greenland—from its thin coastal edges
to its two-mile-thick center—experienced some degree of melting for several
days in July 2012. According to measurements from three satellites and an
analysis by NASA and university scientists, an estimated 97 percent of the
top layer of the ice sheet had thawed at some point in mid-July, the
largest extent of surface melting observed in three decades of satellite

“Such pronounced melting at Summit and across the ice sheet has not
occurred since 1889, according to ice cores analyzed by Kaitlin Keegan at
Dartmouth College. “Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this
type occur about once every 150 years,” said Lora Koenig, a NASA scientist
and member of the team analyzing the satellite data. “With the last one
happening in 1889, this event is right on time. But if we continue to
observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome.”

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