Greenland in MODIS imagery

There is a lot happening at the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet as summer progresses, and the MODIS sensor on the TERRA and AQUA satellites is a wonderful way to observe it.

I noticed the other day (8 July 2015) this beautiful image of fast ice breaking out of a Fjord on the east coast at 76N

Fast ice breaking out of an East Greenland fjord
Fast ice breaking out of an East Greenland fjord

The full image can get down to 250 m per pixel and it is amazing stuff. The image below (from Google Earth) shows the location.

Location of the enlargment
Location of the enlargement

And now in the 9 July MODIS image you can see very many large pools of water on the edge of the Greenland Ice sheet. Again, remember each pixel of this image is 250 m across - they look small but that are large pools.

Lakes are forming on the edge of the Greenland ice sheet
Lakes are forming on the edge of the Greenland ice sheet
Area of the enlarged image
Area of the enlarged image

To really see what is happening on Greenland now you should visit the Danish Polar Portal. This is the Surface Mass Balance.

Surface Mass Balance of Greenland up to 9 July 2015 from Polar Portal.
Surface Mass Balance of Greenland up to 9 July 2015 from Polar Portal.

From Polar Portal

surface mass balance is used for the isolated gain and melting of the surface of the ice sheet – excluding that which is lost when glaciers calve off ice bergs and melt in contact with warm sea water.

 

I strongly recommend Following @greenlandicesmb on twitter for more up to the minute information.

Finally a great blog by Tom Yulsman on Discover gives some more context for what is happening now.

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