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Greenland's Sweaty Summer

By Amelia Hennighausen - 2012-08-06T15:47:15Z

Photograph by James Balog/Aurora Photos

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Dark Areas Melt Faster

Dust-covered areas absorb more sunlight than the surrounding white ice, which makes them more susceptible to melting.

"Cryoconite is a powdery soot that is spread evenly all across the surface of the ice," photographer James Balog said. "The soot comes from slash and burn deforestation in the tropics and developing world, coal-fired power plants and diesel exhaust. This widely dispersed sediment absorbs the sun's heat, increasing the melt."

Read more energy & sustainability news.