Are the Greenland glaciers melting?

Dear Tom,
Are the Greenland glaciers melting? I have read that they are but with such cold temperatures up there, it is hard to believe that melting could occur.
— Ade Kleffert, Chicago
Dear Ade,
The Greenland ice sheets are indeed melting, and the melting rate is increasing. Recent studies have found that the largest source of ice loss has been in southwest Greenland, which has few glaciers. Rising temperatures there are causing the region’s ice sheets to melt, resulting in greatly increased runoff into the Atlantic Ocean. Previous studies have focused mainly on Greenland’s northeast and southeast areas, where large amounts of glacial ice at the coasts are falling into the ocean.
Much of Greenland lies north of the Arctic Circle, and climate warming in the Arctic is proceeding at twice the rate of warming across most of the rest of the planet.

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