Image: Southwestern coast of Greenland captured from orbit

Jun 13, 2014
Credit: USGS/ESA

On the southwestern coast of Greenland, multiple ice streams that drain the Greenland ice sheet are pictured in this satellite image.

Covering more than 2 000 000 sq km, Greenland is the world's largest island and home to the second largest ice sheet after Antarctica.

Scientists used data from Earth-observing satellites have discovered that the rate of ice sheet melting is increasing. Between 1992 and 2012, Greenland was responsible for adding about 7 mm to the average global sea level. Many areas in Greenland – especially along the coast – are losing up to one metre of per year.

Melting ice sheets caused by rising temperatures and the subsequent rising of sea levels is a devastating consequence of climate change, especially for low-lying coastal areas.

In addition, the increased influx of freshwater into oceans affects the salinity, which in turn impacts global ocean currents – a major player in the regulating of our climate.

In the lower part of the image, we can see icebergs speckling the waters of a fjord, with the mountainous Nuussuaq Peninsula visible along the bottom of the image.

This image was acquired by Landsat-8 satellite's Operational Land Imager on 12 June 2013.

Explore further: Earth from space: Ice in motion

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Earth from space: Ice in motion

Oct 04, 2013

Clouds blur our view of the snow below in parts of this image acquired over the southern tip of Greenland by the Landsat-8 satellite on 30 May.

Recommended for you

Sculpting tropical peaks

18 hours ago

Tropical mountain ranges erode quickly, as heavy year-round rains feed raging rivers and trigger huge, fast-moving landslides. Rapid erosion produces rugged terrain, with steep rivers running through deep ...

Volcano expert comments on Japan eruption

19 hours ago

Loÿc Vanderkluysen, PhD, who recently joined Drexel as an assistant professor in Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, returned Friday from fieldwork ...

User comments : 0