Beautiful maps. Snows and Glaciers: Greenland.
Posted on 02 Dec 2016
The face of our planet is changing constantly. There are several reasons of this process, they are of natural and technogenic (i.e. a result of human activity) origin.
One of such processes that we can observe during the past decades is ice melting. And in particular, there is melting of big glaciers. This factor is a crucial one that impacts changing of the Earth’s surface the most. The matter is that this type of ice melting has the most influence on the level of the World Ocean, in comparison with melting of sea ice which is already in the water. Thus, observation of glacier melting has a great significance not only as a signal point in global warming, but also due to its impact on the level of a global ocean.
Recently Greenland has lost a considerable amount of ice. According to the Ohio State University, during 2003-2013 years the loss of ice is estimated as 2 700 gigatons.
Furthermore, the loss of ice varies from year to year greatly. For example, 2012 was a year of the biggest recent loss comparing with other years of observation. In accordance with satellite records for the latest 38 years, year of 2016 takes 10th place (we assume 2004 was a peak year of ice loss), while year of 2015 comes as 12th.
To entirely comprehend the tendencies of ice cover changing, high resolution measurement is necessary during a prolonged period of time. And nowadays it becomes possible with modern technologies of obtaining and processing of satellite data. These technologies contribute to evaluation of susceptibility of ice cover to changes of environment, and they also facilitate gaining of reliable forecasts of sea level rise. Therefore, satellite data have essential importance for systematic monitoring of the Earth’s climate.