Summer melting season arrives in Greenland • Earth.com

Summer melting season arrives in Greenland

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Frederikshåb Glacier in southwest Greenland, which has been recently transformed by the summer melting season.

“More than halfway through the 2023 melting season, Greenland has seen a substantial transformation of its snow cover,” said NASA. 

“Melting has been above average for much of the season, including on several days in June and July when melt was detected across 800,000 square kilometers (302,000 square miles) – up to 50 percent – of Greenland Ice Sheet’s surface, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.”

According to NASA, seasonal changes are visible in the image, including the transition from “clean” snow to “dirty” ice and the presence of melt ponds. 

“The changes are the result of the increasing warmth of summer weather that took hold across the region in late June,” said NASA. “That’s when warm southwesterly winds and clear skies significantly enhanced the amount of melting on the ice sheet, especially toward the island’s south.”

“So far in Greenland’s 2023 melting season, spikes in daily melt area have stayed below those of 2012, a year with exceptionally widespread melting. Still, as of mid-July, daily melt extents have been consistently higher than the 1981-2010 average, and 2023 is on par with several other high melt years in recent decades.”

The image was captured on July 24 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI-2) on Landsat 9.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

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