Greenland ice said melting at record rate

Jan. 21, 2011 at 8:24 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The melt of the Greenland ice sheet, expected to be a major contributor to projected sea-level rises in coming decades, set records in 2010, scientists say.

Researchers at City College of New York examined surface temperature anomalies over the Greenland ice sheet surface, as well as estimates of surface melting from satellite data, ground observations and models, a university release said Friday.

"This past melt season was exceptional, with melting in some areas stretching up to 50 days longer than average," Marco Tedesco, director of the Cryospheric Processes Laboratory at CCNY, said.

"Melting in 2010 started exceptionally early at the end of April and ended quite late in mid-September," he said.

In 2010, summer temperatures up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average combined with reduced snowfall, he said.

Bare ice was exposed earlier and remained exposed longer than previous years, contributing to the extreme record, Tedesco said.

"Bare ice is much darker than snow and absorbs more solar radiation," Tedesco said.

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