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Thin Ice: Melting Greenland Might Be Set for a Mining Boom

The vast island is nearly pristine, but not for long.


These NASA maps show how, within the space of four days earlier this month, Greenland's vast ice sheet faced degree of melting not seen in three decades of satellite observations as temperatures there rose. The image at left shows the ice sheet on July 8, with a large part of it experiencing no melting in summer, as is typical. By July 12, the surface of virtually the entire ice sheet was melting, a phenomenon not seen in three decades of satellite imaging. (NASA)

Last week we had big climate change news out of Greenland (well, sort of) with a NASA report that shows that the entire ice sheet that covers the vast majority of the country dramatically melted in mid July. On the heels of the news that an iceberg twice the size of the island of Manhattan had calved from Greenland as well, the doomsday talk was reaching fever pitch.

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Interactive Map: The Melting Ice in Greenland Would Blanket New York in 41 Feet of Snow

Climate Central's interactive tool lets you place the ice Greenland is losing on top of your home state.

It's really, really hard to comprehend the massive volumes of ice that are melting from our planet's higher latitudes and elevations. Fortunately, Climate Central has built a handy interactive tool that can help you get your head around it.

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On Friday, the Petermann glacier in far northern Greenland calved a massive iceberg four times the size of Manhattan. That's 97 square miles worth of ice, at "a thickness up to half the height of the Empire State Building."

"The freshwater stored in this ice island could keep the Delaware or Hudson rivers flowing for more than two years. It could also keep all U.S. public tap water flowing for 120 days," University of Delaware ocean science professor Andreas Muenchow told the college paper.

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