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May 31, 2013

Glacier Sermeq Avangnardleq

The glacier Sermeq Avangnardleq, located about 35 kilometers northeast of the coastal town Ilulissat in west Greenland, has been flowing at an accelerated speed towards the ocean since 2000. In the last century and up to 1999, the glacier surface was smooth and used by the people of Ilulissat with their dog sledges to access the ice sheet. But in the last decade, surface air temperatures started to increase in summer and now, the glacier moves with a speed of several miles per hour into the ocean, leaving its surface heavily crevassed and only accessible by helicopter. Climate and glacier studies have been carried out in this region since 1990 and have documented the rapid increase in ice flow during the warming climate.

This picture was taken as part of the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net), supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation for logistic support (also, a grant through Polar Resources for Twin Otter support for hours to maintain the Greenland climate network).

To learn more about the GC-Net, visit the project's website Here. [This picture was taken at 69 degrees 21' 43.70" N, 50 degrees 18' 11.01" W; Glacier Sermeq Avangnardleq, 35 kilometers northeast of Ilulissat on the western slope of the Greenland ice sheet. Picture taken from a helicopter 25 meters above the surface using a Nikon 700, 1/1600, f8.8, ISO 200.] (Date of Image: August 2009)

Credit: Konrad Steffen, CIRES/University of Colorado

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