Image: Southwestern coast of Greenland captured from orbit

Image: Southwestern coast of Greenland captured from orbit
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

Citation: Image: Southwestern coast of Greenland captured from orbit (2014, June 13) retrieved 27 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-06-image-southwestern-coast-greenland-captured.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more