Melting Snow on Greenland
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Melting Snow on Greenland

June 30, 2004
As this season's white winter snow melts, the darker bare ice of Greenland's permanent ice cap is being exposed. The contrast between the white snow and the gray-blue ice makes it possible to track melting snow on the ice sheet in satellite imagery, such as this image, captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite on June 22, 2004. In similar images taken in mid-June of 2001, 2002, and 2003, more and more ice was exposed in each successive year. This year seems to have broken the trend. Though more of the gray ice is exposed this year than in 2002, the melt is far less significant than last year's melt. There is evidence in this image that snow is melting along the southwest coast of Greenland, south of Qeqertarsuaq Island. In addition to the exposed ice sheet, bright blue pools of liquid water puddle near the snowline on the glacier.

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