June 22, 2004
Summer temperatures melt snow and ice on much of Iceland's surface, as shown in this true-color Terra MODIS image from May 24, 2004. The lack of uniform snow cover allows Iceland's permanent (though shrinking) icefields to show through (particularly Vatnajokull in the southeast), and highlight's the island's rugged coastline. Scores of fjords edge the island, resembling feathers or cilia waving out into the waters of the northern Atlantic Ocean (bottom) and Greenland Sea (upper left). Though Iceland's climate is relatively mild and humid thanks to the North Atlantic Drift, and though the island's active volcanism provides inexpensive heating, only about the a quarter of the island is habitable, most of that along the coastlines. Iceland is the westernmost European country, and Reykjavik is the northernmost national capital in the world.
Topics: Environment, Island countries, Geography, Europe, Vatnajökull, Outline of Iceland, Reykjavik, Republics, Nordic countries, Iceland, Greenland, western Europe