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Scientists alarmed as 97% of Greenland ice sheet surface melts

One News Page Staff
Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Scientists alarmed as 97% of Greenland ice sheet surface meltsby

Recent satellite data has revealed that nearly all of Greenland's ice surface has melted this month - an unprecedented and alarming fact

The ice sheet of Greenland has melted at a faster rate this month than at any other time in recorded history, NASA scientists warned.

Analyzing recent satellite data, scientists were able determine that 97% of Greenland's ice surface experienced melting during four days after July 8. Melting even occurred at Summit station, which is Greenland's coldest and highest location.

"When we see melt in places that we haven't seen before, at least in a long period of time, it makes you sit up and ask what's happening," Nasa chief scientist Waleed Abdalati said.

Scientists are not yet sure how this rapid melt—jumping from 40% ice sheet melt to 97% melt in four days—will affect the summer's total ice sheet loss or sea levels.

"It's a big signal, the meaning of which we're going to sort out for years to come," Abdalati warned.

Scientists cannot say yet if the melting is from global warming or natural.

Image: Nicolo E. DiGirolamo/SSAI/NASA GSFC/Jesse Allen/NASA Earth Observatory
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