NASA satellites reveal that the surface of Greenland's massive ice sheet has melted this month over an unusually large area. NASA has been monitoring the Greenland melt for 30 years, and they're calling this one "unprecedented," partly because it's so large and also because it occurred at the COLDEST part of the country, Summit station. The thawed area went from 40% of the ice sheet to 97% in just four days, starting on July 8th.
BBC News (notice that you don't read this in the US papers?) quotes NASA scientist Waleed Abdalati as saying, "When we see melt in places that we haven't seen before, at least in a long period of time, it makes you sit up and ask what's happening. It's a big signal, the meaning of which we're going to sort out for years to come."
A large Greenland melt happened once before fairly recently, in 1989, satellites noted that 55% of the area had melted. Because melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years, scientists aren't sure whether this is a natural but rare event, or if it was caused by man-made climate change--or both.
BBC quotes NASA's Tom Wagner as saying, "This event, combined with other natural but uncommon phenomena, such as the large calving event last week on Petermann Glacier, are part of a complex story."
But just because it's complex, that doesn't mean we shouldn't pay attention to it. It's so complex that Whitley needed someone to EXPLAIN it to him, and in 1998, the Master of the Key burst into Whitley Strieber's hotel room and alerted him about the upcoming climate change, that can be seen by the photo accompanying this story, which shows recent "before" and "after" photos of Greenland.