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The big thaw: Greenland ice cover is melting away

Published: Thursday, July 26 2012 10:53 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this July 19, 2011 file photo, rows of pressure ridges stack up, foreground, before tumbling over the ever-collapsing wide front of Jakobshavn Glacier and into the Ilulissat ice fjord, background, in Greenland. Greenland's glaciers are hemorrhaging ice at an increasingly faster rate, but it's not the breakneck pace scientists once feared, a new study says. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

Associated Press

Our take:

Scientists at NASA were amazed to discover that on 11 and 12 July surface melting had extended across 97 per cent of the ice sheet the most widespread melting they have witnessed in Greenland due to unusually high temperatures over the entire ice sheet.

The vast ice sheet of Greenland, which holds enough water to raise global sea levels by 7.2 metres, underwent a remarkable transformation for a few days this month when scientists observed an unprecedented melting of its frozen surface.

For the first time since satellites began recording changes to Greenland from space more than 30 years ago, scientists observed surface melting across almost the entire ice sheet — the second largest body of ice after Antarctica.

Read more about The big thaw: Greenland ice cover is melting away on The Independent.

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