Greenland Melting Breaks Record Four Weeks Before Season’s End
A system of meltwater streams and rivers in the Kangerlussuaq area of the Greenland ice sheet during a record melting year, July 21, 2012. (Credit: M. Tedesco)
Melting over the Greenland ice sheet shattered the seasonal record on August 8 - a full four weeks before the close of the melting season, reported Marco Tedesco, assistant professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences at The City College of New York.
The melting season in Greenland usually lasts from June - when the first puddles of meltwater appear - to early-September, when temperatures cool. This year, cumulative melting in the first week in August had already exceeded the record of 2010, taken over a full season, according to Professor Tedesco’s ongoing analysis.
“With more yet to come in August, this year’s overall melting will fall way above the old records. That’s a goliath year - the greatest melt since satellite recording began in 1979,” said Professor Tedesco.
This spells a change for the face of southern Greenland, he added, with the ice sheet thinning at its edges and lakes on top of glaciers proliferating.
Professor Tedesco noted that these changes jibe with what most of the models predict - the difference is how quickly this seems to be happening.