Feeds

Greenland melt surprises NASA Earth-watchers

Giant slushy attributed to ‘heat dome’

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Repeated ridges of warm air passing over Greenland since May have induced what NASA says is the largest surface melt in the mostly-frozen island in the age of satellite observations.

The once-in-150-years surface melt – which will, it’s important to note, still leave most of the huge 3.2 km centre ice sheet in place – took place over just four days beginning July 8. According to NASA’s JPL, “nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland … experienced some degree of melting at its surface” in that short period.

Greenland in July: Dark pink areas show melting confirmed by two or more observations,

while pale pink areas indicate melting observed by one satellite.

The left-hand image is from July 8, the right-hand July 12.

Image: Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory and Nicolo DiGirolamo,

SSAI and Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory

JPL isn’t attributing this event to climate change, but rather to a predictable cycle in Greenland’s weather. "Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time," said Lora Koenig, a glaciologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

However, she added that repeated similar melts in the near future would be “worrying”.

According to NASA, the first observations – noted in an analysis of data from India’s Oceansat-2 – were so startling that a data error was suspected, but the Indian information was confirmed by MODIS data from NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites.

Further confirmation came from the University of Georgia and City University of New York, where Thomas Mote and Marco Tedesco repectively confirmed the Oceansat-2, Terra and Aqua observations with the US Air Force’s Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder satellite.

The analysis showed that by July 8, the melt covered 40 percent of Greenland’s surface ice, rising to 97 percent by July 12. The heat dome fingered as the cause of the melt began arriving on July 8, parked itself for three days, and finally started dissipating by July 16. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.