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Monday, July 26, 2010

Snowcone Greenland: Not For The Faint of Heart

Snowcone Greenland: Not For The Faint of Heart
July 26, 2010

Reader Susan has pointed out that I posted on this last year:

Greenland Ice Sheet melt -- July 28, 2008, vs. July 30, 2009

July 28, 2008 (left); July 30, 2009 (right).

Be sure to click on the images to enlarge the details.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tenney,
I'm not able to infer anithing particular by visual inspection of this image,
can you provide some insight?

Your longtime fan

Tenney Naumer said...

Hi Paolo!

Well, it is not quantitative, just visual, but the southern portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet appears to have melted a lot more this year, by this particular date, July 26, than it did last year. I have the images on my PC, but was lazy and did not post it. Perhaps, I should do that now.

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

Hi Tenney!
Don't feel obliged to, I was just curious.

BTW, remember the dark region popping out during melt season in Western Greenland?
Check this out:


susan said...

That is un-buh-lievable!!!! I remember the images from last year (they are probably here from 2009). Because I'm interested, I printed them and looked at them for a long time. The difference between 2008 and 2009 was not very noticeable to the untrained eye, but I looked hard and saw some. At the time, it was considered scary.

But this is several orders of magnitude worse.

Now I need to look up a topographical map that shows where those mountain ranges are.

I think this is one of the most weirdly scarey things I've ever seen.

Tenney Naumer said...

Thanks Paolo, I think I have also seen photos taken of the darker ice on Western Greenland.

For those who are interested, here is the abstract:

The Cryosphere, 4, 261-268, 2010
doi: 10.5194/tc-4-261-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

An explanation for the dark region in the western melt zone of the Greenland ice sheet

I. G. M. Wientjes and J. Oerlemans
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (IMAU), Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract. The western part of the Greenland ice sheet contains a region that is darker than the surrounding ice. This feature has been analysed with the help of MODIS images. The dark region appears every year during the summer season and can always be found at the same location, which makes meltwater unlikely as the only source for the low albedos. Spectral information indicates that the ice in this region contains more debris than the ice closer to the margin. ASTER images reveal a wavy pattern in the darker ice. Based on these findings we conclude that ice, containing dust from older periods, is presently outcropping near the margin, leading to albedos lower than observed for the remaining ablation area. Therefore it can be concluded that the accumulation of meltwater is a result rather than a cause of the darkening.