Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows a record amount of meltwater across Svalbard. The melting has been caused by unusually hot temperatures this summer.
“The abundant meltwater, much of which flowed to the ocean, is the latest expression of a rapidly warming climate in Norway’s ice-covered archipelago,” says NASA.
Xavier Fettweis, a climatologist at the University of Liège, said the cumulative melting across Svalbard throughout June and July was 1.5 times larger than the previous record in 2018. He said that since the start of summer, about 44 billion tons of meltwater have poured into the ocean.
“The melt anomaly is 3.5 times larger than the 1981 – 2010 average, and 5 times the interannual variability,” said Fettweis. “Only a changing climate can explain this.”
Svalbard is located halfway between Norway’s mainland and the North Pole. It is one of the fastest warming places on Earth.
The image was captured on July 29, 2022 by the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory