Minimize Ice loss from Jakobshavn Glacier

Summer is the season to watch for ice loss from the outlet glaciers lining the perimeter of Greenland. Jakobshavn-Greenland's fastest-moving glacier-is notorious for such losses; in 2014 the glacier shed kilometres of ice from its front. In 2015, the glacier lost yet another large chunk of ice.

This image was acquired in August 2015 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat-8 satellite. The image shows the position of the glacier's front on 16 August, after the ice calved.

Jakobshavn's ongoing retreat coincides with faster rates of flow. In the summer of 2012, Jakobshavn accelerated to speeds not seen before, surging at a rate of 17 kilometres (10 miles) per year. On average, the glacier moved nearly three times faster in 2012 than it did in the mid-1990s.

Scientists track the calving rate and speed of Jakobshavn in part because the glacier is responsible for draining a large portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet. This glacier alone could contribute more to sea level rise than any other single feature in the Northern Hemisphere.

View the full resolution image.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland


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