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Summer Ice Retreat
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Summer Ice Retreat

July 2, 2011
In this image, acquired on 23 June 2011, Envisat captures part of Greenland's ice sheet and east coast as the winter sea ice recedes. Covering roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland, this ice sheet is the second largest body of ice in the world, after that of Antarctica. Positioned in the Arctic, the 100 000 year-old Greenland ice sheet is particularly vulnerable to climate change.

Last year's temperatures, along with those of 2005 and 1998, were the highest since modern global temperature record-keeping began in 1880, heightening concerns about the rates of ice melt. Ice melt from the sheet is likely to cause substantial sea-level rise in the coming decades.


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