Black Day in July for Greenland Ice Sheet

Sat, 2012-07-21 10:38Evan Leeson
Evan Leeson's picture

Black Day in July for Greenland Ice Sheet

How hot is it this year?

Maybe the breaking of thousands of temperature records across the USA so far this year didn't get your attention.

Perhaps you have yet to be presented with the scary facts in Bill McKibben's latest article about Climate Change's New Math.

Well if you missed those cheery bits of reporting, have a gander at this shocking graph from meltfactor.org that shows a mind-blowing change in Greenland's ice sheet “albedo.” It has literally fallen off the chart in comparison to previous years.

The Albedo is the reflectivity of the Ice Sheet. When the ice sheet melts the remaining snow and ice become more granular and thus less reflective. If it is less reflective, it absorbs more heat. When it absorbs more heat, it melts, as you probably guessed.

The evidence of this melt can also be seen in the giant ice island twice the size of Manhattan that calved off of the Petermann Glacier a few weeks ago.

Something extreme is happening in Greenland.

Previous Comments

Coincidental with that final dive in 2000-2500 albedo graph, an unusual event was captured by NOAA's ASCAT radar satillite images. It was spotted by SteveMDFP who animated the period July 4-13 & posted it at Neven's ASI Blog. This is a melt event hitting the very summit of Greenland.

The white ring around the summit of the ice cap (which has featured on every published image since the earliest in 2010, growing down to lower levels in winter)  has since reformed as shown by the latest radar image.

Ahhh nuts.

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