"Shocking" Greenland Ice Melt: Global Warming or Just Heat Wave?
Nearly entire sheet surface melted after four days—fastest thaw seen by satellites.
Most of the thawing occurred in a span of four days. Melt maps from satellites show that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet's surface had melted. By July 12 that figure had jumped to 97 percent. (Best Satellite Pictures: Winning "Earth as Art" Shots From NASA.)
For comparison, satellite records from the past three decades show that, on average, about half of Greenland's ice sheet surface melts at some point each July (interactive: Greenland's vanishing ice).
The swiftness and extent of the July thaw surprised some scientists. "This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: Was this real or was it due to a data error?" study team member Son Nghiem of