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Dec. 06, 2012

Greenland: "I'm Melting"

by Ira Flatow

Click to enlarge images
That line from the Wicked Witch of the West aptly describes stunning newly released photos and time-lapse videos showing the rapid melting of ice in the Polar regions, especially in Greenland. 
 
Here's the evidence. At the current meeting of the American Geophysical Union, climatologists released the 2012 Arctic Report Card documenting the widespread melting of Greenland's ice.  And the more it melts....the more it melts. The dark exposed surface of the ground, where ice used to be, heats up from sunlight, which melts more ice. A feedback loop. 
 
{"input":{"width":490,"photo":"greenland","row":"4540","table":"DOCUMENT"}}
The Report Card talks of record low snow cover in Eurasia and North America and how the "loss of spring snow cover affects the length of the growing season, the timing and dynamics of spring river runoff, permafrost thawing and wildlife populations." 
 
Artic sea ice extent was a new record low: "18% smaller than the previous record low, and 49% below the long term average. 
 
The speed and intensity of global warming in the arctic regions is stunning, and faster than any other part of the planet. You can watch a whole bunch of NOAA videos here.
 
And check out the latest SciFri interview I did with photographer James Balog who documented the massive melt down in Greenland showing glaciers receding and thinning.   Cameras follwed him and his photo crew and it was put together into a film called Chasing Ice that is now playing in select theaters. He told me this week the film has been nominated for an Academy Award.
 
About Ira Flatow

Ira is the host and executive producer of Science Friday.

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