The state of the Greenland ice sheet in 2021

#Copernicus, #Sentinel, #Snow & Ice, #Seas & Oceans, #Climate change

Published on 17 November 2021

Greenland's ice sheet was affected by two extreme events during the summer of 2021: a massive and widespread melting of the ice; and, for the first time since records began, meteorological observations of rain at the highest point of the ice sheet.

According to scientists at the Danish Meteorological Institute, these two episodes contributed to 2021 being the 25th consecutive year in which the ice sheet lost more ice than it gained. Scientists also estimate that, from 1 September 1986 to 31 August 2021, the Greenland ice sheet lost around 5,500 giga tonnes of ice. Further, it is estimated that this loss contributed to a sea level rise of about 1.5 cm.

This image, acquired by one of the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites on 7 November 2021, shows the Russell Glacier, one of the glaciers most studied by researchers to understand the connection between the melting of the ice sheet and rising sea levels.

Open data from Copernicus Services and Sentinel satellites enable scientists to study the ice sheets in the polar regions.

Check out this and tons more gorgeous (and sometimes alarming) Sentinel images
over on the Copernicus Image of the Day website