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Shocking before and after photos show how much Greenland ice melted during hottest month ever recorded
Featured Image Credit: NASA

Shocking before and after photos show how much Greenland ice melted during hottest month ever recorded

The images show how much of the Greenland Ice Sheet melted

Images taken by NASA show how much the Greenland Ice Sheet melted across the ‘hottest month ever recorded’.

In the before shot, taken on June 14, there appears to be plenty more snow and ice covering the ice, while the second, taken on July 24, shows much less snow courage and exposes several patches of ‘dirty’ ice with impurities on display.

The two snaps were taken by satellites Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 in the US Earth observation programme, a collaboration between NASA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

In a blog post accompanying the images, the US Space agency said: "More than halfway through the 2023 melting season, Greenland has seen a substantial transformation of its snow cover.

"Melting has been above average for much of the season, including on several days in June and July when melt was detected across 800,000 square kilometers (302,000 square miles)—up to 50 percent—of Greenland Ice Sheet’s surface.”

A photo of Greenland taken in June.

The blog went on: “The changes are the result of the increasing warmth of summer weather that took hold across the region in late June. That’s when warm southwesterly winds and clear skies significantly enhanced the amount of melting on the ice sheet, especially toward the island’s south.”

However, it did say that - as yet - Greenland’s melting season have stayed below the ‘exceptionally widespread melting’ levels seen in 2012.

The images were taken as experts warned July will be ‘virtually certain’ to be the hottest month on record.

Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at Berkeley Earth and the tech company Stripe, also told The Washington Post: “Given the extreme global temperatures over the first half of July, it is virtually certain that July will set a record both as the warmest July and as the warmest month in absolute terms since global temperature records began in the mid-1800s."

The image taken just over a month later in July.

NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt told reporters at a press conference that July is likely to be the hottest month on record in 'hundreds, if not thousands, of years'.

"We are seeing unprecedented changes all over the world, the heat waves that we're seeing in the US in Europe and in China are demolishing records, left, right and center," he said.

"But we anticipate that 2024 will be an even warmer year, because we're going to be starting off with that El Nino event that's building now, and that will peak towards the end of this year.”

Topics: NASA, World News, Weather