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Review of 2012 Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Season

February 14, 2013; 12:38 AM ET

Last year will go down as the first year since at least 1979 that the entire Greenland Ice Sheet experienced melting at some point during the season as the ice sheet experienced intense and widespread warmth.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) along with two prominent experts on Greenland surface melting have developed a new web site that updates the surface melting on the Greenland Ice Sheet on a daily basis.

To recap, the 2012 melt season was far greater than any year in the satellite record, which began in 1979.

Actual 2012 cumulative melt days for Greenland.

Average annual cumulative melt days for the period 1979 to 2007.

Other important events from the 2012 melt season.....

---There were over 120 melt days for low elevation areas along the southwest coast.

---There were over 100 melt days across parts of the far north and southeast coastal areas.

---Melting in 2012 lasted almost two months longer than average.

---There was even some melting at the 10,000 foot elevation summit in July, which is extremely rare.

Images courtesy of the NSIDC.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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