Record Summer Melt in Greenland in 2010

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Abstract

[1] As Arctic temperatures increase, there is growing concern about the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which reached a new record during the summer of 2010. Understanding the changing surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet requires appreciation of the close links among changes in surface air temperature, surface melting, albedo, and snow accumulation. Increased melting accelerates surface snow grain growth, leading to a decrease in surface albedo, which then fosters further melt. In turn, winter accumulation contributes to determining how much snow is required before a dark (e.g., lower albedo), bare ice surface is exposed in spring (Figure 1).

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