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

Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific

7 hours ago

A new study released Monday found that warming temperatures in Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of North America over the past century closely followed natural changes in the wind, not increases in greenhouse ...

NASA image: Wildfires in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia

7 hours ago

Most of the fires captured in this image burn in Khabarovsk Krai, a territory occupying the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk. Dozens of red hotspots, accompanied by plumes of smoke mark active fires. The smoke, ...

NASA sees Tropical Depression Polo winding down

10 hours ago

Infrared satellite imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed only a swirl of low-level clouds some deep clouds around Polo's weakening center on Sept. 22 as the storm weakened to a depression.

User comments : 0