• 03.15.11

Infographic of the Day: Greenland Is Melting Away

The Greenland ice cap is dissolving faster than the Wicked Witch of the East in a downpour.

Infographic of the Day: Greenland Is Melting Away

Despite the obfuscations and lies of climate-change denialists, global warming is continuing at record levels, and the arctic regions are indeed melting at an incredibly fast pace.


As evidence of the latter, NASA has created a remarkable infographic that shows just how alarmingly fast Greenland is melting away. And while the message might be familiar and terrifying, the data viz techniques are gorgeous.


That chart shows, quite elegantly, the length of the melting season at various points along Greenland’s ice cap.

For most of the year, Greenland is totally frozen. But during summer months, some melting does occur. Because of rising temperatures, that melting season is starting earlier and lasting longer than ever before–in fact, in the places colored deep red on that map above, the melting season has lasted 60 days longer than the average of the last 30 years. That’s a whole hell of a lot of melting.

NASA gathered the data from meteorological satellites that measure tiny amounts of microwaves being emitted by ice and water. Since the signatures of each are slightly different, scientists can tell exactly when the ice cap is melting and when it is frozen.

[Via NASA]

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.