Greenland's ice: beauty and threat

Associated Press
In this July 15, 2011 photo, a man walks past sleeping tents at Summit Station, a remote research site operated by the U.S. National Science Foundation, (NSF), situated 10,500 feet above sea level, on top of the Greenland ice sheet. Across Greenland's vast white landscape, teams of researchers from around the world are searching for clues to the potential effects of global warming on Greenland's ice. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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In this July 15, 2011 photo, a man walks past sleeping tents at Summit Station, a remote research site operated by the U.S. National Science Foundation, (NSF), situated 10,500 feet above sea level, on top of the Greenland ice sheet. Across Greenland's vast white landscape, teams of researchers from around the world are searching for clues to the potential effects of global warming on Greenland's ice. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

ILULISSAT, Greenland (AP) — Greenland's Inuit people have countless terms in their language to describe ice in all its varieties. This gallery of photographs by AP's Brennan Linsley likewise is something of a visual vocabulary for the striking and beautiful forms ice takes on and around the giant Arctic island.

Greenland's ice sheet and glaciers are melting more and more as the world warms, sending gushing water and towering icebergs into the sea, threatening to raise ocean levels worldwide in the years and decades to come. Researchers are hard at work trying to gauge how much will melt and when.

Some of the most spectacular icebergs are calved from the 6-kilometer-wide (4-mile-wide) Jakobshavn Glacier near this town on the west central coast, icebergs that push out into the 50-kilometer-long (30-mile-long) Ilulissat Ice Fjord, and then into Disko Bay and eventually the North Atlantic.

The ice, much of it tens of thousands of years old, originates in the 1.7-million-square-kilometer (660,000-square-mile) ice sheet covering 80 percent of Greenland.

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