NSIDC launches ‘Greenland Ice Sheet Today’


By Jennifer Salva
Winter 2013

This February, the National Snow and Ice Date Center (NSIDC) introduced “Greenland Ice Sheet Today,” a website that aggregates the latest satellite data and surface melting analysis of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

“2012 saw a huge increase in melt,” said Dr. Ted Scambos, Lead Scientist at the NSIDC. NASA asked the NSIDC to create the website because July and August 2012 yielded remarkably high melt-rates, Scambos said.

The site features a daily melt image, analysis by the NSIDC science team, and satellite images updated daily, according to the NSIDC website.

“The goal of Greenland Ice Sheet Today is to get people to see what’s happening on a daily basis in the arctic,” Scambos said.

Scambos said the website is intended to serve the science-interested public as well as the research community.

The NSIDC uses data from about 20 different data collections, including NASA’s Operation IceBridge missions.

“It’ll be interesting to see how 2013 will play out in terms of ice melt,” Scambos said. He notes that May or June of 2013 will indicate whether 2013 will yield similar melt rates to last year.


Photo: Image courtesy of James Balog, Extreme Ice Survey, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder.