Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier, Greenland

The Kangerdlugssuaq glacier and its ice stream are pictured in this week’s image, acquired on 19 September 2012 by Landsat-7. It is the largest outlet glacier on Greenland’s east coast, discharging ice into the surrounding oceans. In this image we can see hundreds of icebergs speckling the water. A recent study based on satellite observations revealed that over the past 20 years the ice melting in Greenland and Antarctica has contributed about 11 mm to the global sea-level rise. This image clearly shows the glacier’s calving front, where ice breaks away. Over the years, satellite images have shown that this front has retreated – an indication that the glacier is getting smaller over time.

This image is featured on the Earth from Space video program.

Photo credit: USGS/ESA

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