Chart showing Greenland melt
Microwave data from the Special Sensor Microwave
Imaging radiometer was used to create this image of
the 2007 Greenland melting anomaly which reflects the
difference between the number of melting days occur-
ring in 2007 and the average number of melting days
during the period 1988 – 2006.
Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory

As if the Arctic Ocean record meltdown wasn’t bad enough, NASA scientists say the Greenland ice pack has been melting faster.

Remember: Loss of the Greenland ice sheet is one of the final, city-swallowing catastrophes of runaway climate warming. Put that ice in the ocean as water, and sea level rises almost 24 feet.

This summer, melt ranged over the entire ice sheet. But with a twist:

“Melting in high-altitude areas was greater than ever at 150 percent more than average,” NASA reported in this online story. “In fact, the amount of snow that has melted this year over Greenland could cover the surface size of the U.S. more than twice.”

The results came from Marco Tedesco, a research scientist at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, cooperatively managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County.

With satellite data, Tedesco comparged average snow melt between 1988 and 2006 with the melt observed during 2007. What he found matches may as alarming as the sudden shinkage of the polar ice cap north of Alaska and Siberia.

“In high altitude areas over 1.2 miles above sea level, the melting index — an indicator of where melting is occurring and for how long — was significantly higher than average,” NASA reported in this online story.

“Melting over those areas occurred 25-30 days longer this year than the observed average in the previous 19 years.”

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