Between 1889 and 2012, the Greenland sheet saw large-scale surface melting, according to the best available evidence. But claims that the melt events were driven by warming alone are incorrect, according to a new study. Ash from northern hemisphere forest fires contributed to an extent not previously recognized.
Continued climate change could result in nearly annual widespread melting of the ice sheet's surface by the year 2100 and a positive feedback mechanism may be set in motion. Melting in the dry snow region does not contribute to sea level rise; instead, the meltwater percolates into the snowpack and refreezes, causing lower albedo and leaving the ice sheet surface even more susceptible to future melting. Albedo is the surface's ability to reflect sunlight.