Unprecedented May heat in Greenland; update on 2011 Greenland ice melt

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:53 PM GMT on May 31, 2012

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The record books for Greenland's climate were re-written on Tuesday, when the mercury hit 24.8°C (76.6°F) at Narsarsuaq, Greenland, on the southern coast. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, this is the hottest temperature on record in Greenland for May, and is just 0.7°C (1.3°F) below the hottest temperature ever measured in Greenland. The previous May record was 22.4°C (72.3°F) at Kangerlussuaq (called Sondre Stormfjord in Danish) on May 31, 1991. The 25.2°C at Narsarsuaq on June 22, 1957 is the only June temperature measured in Greenland warmer than yesterday's 24.8°C reading. Wunderground's extremes page shows that the all-time warmest temperature record for Greenland is 25.5°C (77.9°F) set on July 26, 1990. The exceptional warmth this week was caused by the combination of an intense ridge of high pressure and a local foehn wind, said the Danish Meteorological Institute. The unusual May heat has extended to Scotland, which had its hottest May temperature on record on May 25 at Achnagart: 29.3°C (85°F). Greenland's Narsarsuaq has seen a string of 3 consecutive days over 70°F this week--the 3rd, 7th, and 12th warmest days there since record keeping began in 1941. The ridge of high pressure responsible is expected to stay in place several more days, bringing additional 70° days over Southern Greenland. The warm May temperatures could be setting the stage for a big Greenland melt season this summer--the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) is predicting a 50 - 60% that the southern 2/3 of Greenland will experience above-average temperatures this summer. They forecast just a 10 - 15% chance of below-average temperatures.


Figure 1. Difference between the number of melt days in 2011 and the average number of melt days during the period 1979 - 2010. Large sections of the island experienced twenty more days with melting conditions than average. Image credit: Arctic Report Card

Why Greenland is important
If the massive icecap on Greenland were to melt, global sea level would rise 7 meters (23 ft). Temperatures in Greenland are predicted to rise 3°C by 2100, to levels similar to those present during that warm period 120,000 years ago. During that period, roughly half of the Greenland ice sheet melted, increasing sea level by 2.2 - 3.4 meters (7.2 - 11.2 ft.) However, the 2007 IPCC report expects melting of the Greenland ice sheet to occur over about a 1,000 year period, delaying much of the expected sea level rise for many centuries. While Greenland's ice isn't going to be melting completely and catastrophically flooding low-lying areas of the earth in the next few decades (sea level is only rising about 3 mm per year or 1.2 inches per decade at present), the risk later this century needs to be taken seriously. Higher sea levels will cause increased erosion, salt water intrusion, and storm surge damage in coastal areas, in addition to a loss of barrier formations such as islands, sand bars, and reefs that would normally protect coastal zones from battering by waves and wind. Additionally, coastal zones are sites of incredible economic and agricultural activity, which would also be negatively affected by higher sea levels. Currently, melting ice from Greenland is thought to cause about 0.7 mm/year of global sea level rise, which is about 20 - 25% of the global total, according to an international research group led by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, in an article published the latest issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1 June 2012. In 2007, the IPCC estimated that Greenland ice melt was responsible for only 10 - 15% of the total global sea level rise. Ice loss in Greenland is accelerating, and if current ice loss trends continue for the next ten years, Greenland's contribution to sea level rise will double to 1.4 mm/yr by 2022. The increased ice loss in Greenland is being driven by a combination of warmer air temperatures, warmer ocean temperatures, and loss of Arctic sea ice. Ocean temperatures surrounding Southern Greenland have increased by 1 - 2°C since 1990 (figure at right.)

Figure 2. Monthly unsmoothed values of the total mass (in gigatons, Gt), of the Greenland ice sheet from the GRACE satellites. On the horizontal axis, each year begins on 1 January. Each small + symbol is a monthly value. Between 2003 - 2009, Greenland lost an average of 250 gigatons of ice per year. In 2011, the loss was 70% greater than that. Image credit: Arctic Report Card

Update on the 2011 Greenland melt season
According to the 2011 Arctic Report Card, it was another very warm year in Greenland in 2011, which led to substantial melting of the ice. Here are some of the highlights from the report:

1) The area and duration of melting at the surface of the Greenland ice sheet in summer 2011 were the third highest since 1979.

2) Increased surface melting and below average summer snowfall in recent years has made the icecap steadily darker. In 2011, the icecap had the lowest reflectivity (albedo) of any year since satellite measurements of reflectivity began in 2000.

3) The area of glaciers that empty into the sea continued to decrease, though at less than half the rate of the previous 10 years.

4) Total ice sheet mass loss in 2011 was 70% larger than the 2003 - 2009 average annual loss rate of -250 gigatons per year. According to satellite gravity data obtained since 2002, ice sheet mass loss is accelerating.

Resources:
Wunderground's Greenland page.
Wunderground's sea level rise page.
Danish Meteorological Institute's extremes page for Greenland.

Jeff Masters

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283. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #5
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 04
3:00 AM JST June 1 2012
=================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression (1004 hPa) located at 13.0N 127.4E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving northwest at 9 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Forecast and Intensity
=========================

24 HRS: 15.7N 125.8E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

324
WFUS54 KLIX 311955
TORLIX
LAC063-091-105-312030-
/O.NEW.KLIX.TO.W.0040.120531T1955Z-120531T2030Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
255 PM CDT THU MAY 31 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTH CENTRAL LIVINGSTON PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
SOUTHEASTERN ST. HELENA PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
WEST CENTRAL TANGIPAHOA PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF AMITE...

* UNTIL 330 PM CDT

* AT 252 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO 6 MILES SOUTH OF
MONTPELIER...OR 12 MILES SOUTHWEST OF AMITE...MOVING NORTHEAST AT
15 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
INDEPENDENCE AND ROSELAND

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS UNDER A WORKBENCH OR OTHER
PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE
BUILDING IN AN INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE
BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM
WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 900 PM CDT
THURSDAY EVENING FOR SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AND SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI. A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH ALSO REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 600 PM CDT
THURSDAY EVENING FOR SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AND SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI.



LAT...LON 3083 9043 3054 9038 3048 9067 3063 9078
TIME...MOT...LOC 1955Z 238DEG 15KT 3060 9063
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Link


So were using Eastern time on this and not GMT?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
8 hours 20 minutes.


I hope you aren't baking a cake. I'm not sure, but I think it could be a little overdone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi to all! Been lurking here for several years and enjoy all of the helpful information that everyone provides during hurricane season. Looking forward to the upcoming season and will be checking in daily for any information on any storms that may become a threat to the gulf coast area. Thanks again!!!
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Quoting Patrap:


Its going around the lake
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Yep Pat (and weatherh98), knew you'd be keeping eye on 'em, very strong tstms along the line coming across SE LA... And yeah, well aware we've been under a severe tstms watch - this one on the tail end of more notable convection above, rather exploded on top of us, the lack of warning I mentioned couldn't have been possible... Wow, the VIL presentation indicated up near 55-60 kg with the hail...

In the break now...
Safe wishes back atcha!
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Quoting RitaEvac:
According to the Navy.....






I'm really confused. Submerged when? Utah is completely underwater but Salt Lake City is at 4200ft of elevation.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Finally.

TONE

054
WUUS54 KLIX 311950
SVRLIX
LAC063-105-312015-
/O.NEW.KLIX.SV.W.0109.120531T1950Z-120531T2015Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
250 PM CDT THU MAY 31 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
EAST CENTRAL LIVINGSTON PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
SOUTHERN TANGIPAHOA PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF HAMMOND...

* UNTIL 315 PM CDT

* AT 248 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 7 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF SPRINGFIELD...OR 14 MILES SOUTHWEST OF HAMMOND...AND
MOVING EAST AT 25 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
ROBERT AND PONCHATOULA

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...PREPARE
IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS...DESTRUCTIVE HAIL...AND DEADLY CLOUD
TO GROUND LIGHTNING. PEOPLE OUTSIDE SHOULD MOVE TO A SHELTER...
PREFERABLY INSIDE A STRONG BUILDING BUT AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 600 PM CDT
THURSDAY EVENING FOR SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AND SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI.



LAT...LON 3033 9029 3032 9044 3034 9048 3031 9053
3028 9072 3046 9074 3055 9025
TIME...MOT...LOC 1950Z 264DEG 20KT 3038 9062
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting DocNDswamp:
Patrap -

Coming at ya... severe tstm hit here 2:05, had hail to 3/4" for about 3 minutes, over inch rain in 20 min, wind gust peak on my 11' height anemometer (lower than surrounding roofs) hit 36.5 mph so imagine adjusting for 10 meter / 33' standard might be near 55-60 mph range... leaves / limbs down all over... And no, no warning from KLIX on this one for Bayou Cane / Terrebonne before hit...

Heads up, bud...


Ilive on the northshore dont look to good for me either
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
I don't know looks like an Indian behind that line now. Might be time to duck.
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Quoting Caner:


Yeah, I keep hearing this myth...

Every year that we have unusually low numbers of hurricanes, it's the fault of climate change.

Every year we have unusually high numbers of hurricanes, it's the fault of climate change.

Every year we have average numbers of hurricanes, it's the fault of climate change.

Every time we set a new record, it's the fault of climate change.

We used to just call them low, high, average and new records, before it was climate change... don't know if you are old enough to remember that.


Should you believe it to only be a myth then all you need to do is to disprove the AGWT. When you are able to do this then you will certainly win a Nobel Peace Prize for disproving the Laws of Physics, Chemistry and everything else mankind has learned through Science. Unless you are able to do this, then I suggest that perhaps you are believing in a myth ( that the AGWT is hoax to strip mankind of all of its independence, wealth and resources ) that is not based on knowledge that has been verified through testing and observations.

Confirm for us that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.

Confirm for us that mankind's activities do no emit tons/day of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Confirm for us that mankind's activities do not destroy sizable amounts of Earth's natural carbon sinks.

When it comes down to tropical weather discussions, confirm for us that global climate does not impact tropical weather and that tropical weather can be fulled understood only as an entity upon itself.
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Quoting Patrap:


Roger that Doc..Im a watching that Line coming up.

Thanx for the heads up, stay safe.
I always tell people that during my 20-odd years living in Metairie/Mandeville it would rain every summer day at 3:30. It looks like the train is running right on time!
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West Pacific and Indian Ocean temps are really high.

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Quoting Grothar:


I was just going to post this, funny! The high is very "low".





BAD position to have the high in for hurricane season.

Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
Quoting Patrap:


Roger that Doc..Im a watching that Line coming up.

Thanx for the heads up, stay safe.








BRING IT ON
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
It's getting nastier by the frame Patrap.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
8 hours 20 minutes.


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DocNDswamp:
Patrap -

Coming at ya... severe tstm hit here 2:05, had hail to 3/4" for about 3 minutes, over inch rain in 20 min, wind gust peak on my 11' height anemometer (lower than surrounding roofs) hit 36.5 mph so imagine adjusting for 10 meter / 33' standard might be near 55-60 mph range... leaves / limbs down all over... And no, no warning from KLIX on this one for Bayou Cane / Terrebonne before hit...

Heads up, bud...


Roger that Doc..Im a watching that Line coming up.

Thanx for the heads up, stay safe.






Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
8 hours 20 minutes.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Patrap -

Coming at ya... severe tstm hit here 2:05, had hail to 3/4" for about 3 minutes, over inch rain in 20 min, wind gust peak on my 11' height anemometer (lower than surrounding roofs) hit 36.5 mph so imagine adjusting for 10 meter / 33' standard might be near 55-60 mph range... leaves / limbs down all over... And no, no warning from KLIX on this one for Bayou Cane / Terrebonne before hit...

Heads up, bud...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
On a somber note, this is the 1 year anniversery of the Springfield, Massachusetts tornado, it was the deadliest Tornado in New England since the Worcester, Massachusetts tornado in the mid-50s.
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Quoting Caner:


Naw, i don't believe i will.

If you can't see a pronounced cycle of rising and falling temps and CO2 levels external to the influence of car engines, there, i don't believe you will see anything.


You can't see a cycle on that either, as the resolution of that graph - and the associated uncertainty bars - are not conducive to even eyeballing cycles. The fact that you think a scientist should do so speaks volumes.

If you ever decide to educate yourself in areas of climate science and would like some suggestions, I'm sure many (including myself) would be glad to help.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3167
Se. La. WunderMap®
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting weatherh98:


Dont attack anyone for any reason until its established your for real


Who is the judge of whether a blogger is for real? You? Me? Admin? Just use ignore
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Lookout 242 if we go into Theology here were all going to get banned.Next it will be politics, oh I shudder to think.Little spin coming of N. Honduras.
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Quoting ncstorm:
People who dont agree with the "agenda" are called fools and uneducated from the "so called respected" bloggers on here and they call other people trolls? Im really out this time!


come to the weather chat
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
255. MTWX
Also just wanted to apologize to anyone trying to use the Columbus, MS NEXRAD. We will have it back operational as soon as we can!

Message Date: May 30 2012 22:15:10

To All Users: UPDATE --- The KGWX Radar power supply parts are on order so will
be down until at least Friday and perhaps as late as Monday. EC
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Quoting hydrus:
2 please....Someone said never wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty, and the pig likes it..It does apply to these trolls..If I slaughter one, I end up getting banned.


My favorite is "Never try and teach a pig how to fly." "It's a waste of time and it annoys the Pig."
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People who dont agree with the "agenda" are called fools and uneducated from the "so called respected" bloggers on here and they call other people trolls? Im really out this time!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Things getting busy over Africa..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20493
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
249. MTWX
Squall line forming up from KY down through LA... Going to be another fun afternoon!! Link
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Thanks and No Thanks ,not interested.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


what problems would it cause?

Well, for one, look at the position of the high pressure. That would steer many storms into the USA. Secondly, that's a potent low pressure area across the USA...could cause a Severe Weather outbreak. Last, I guess its possible that development could occur in the Gulf of off the East Coast off the tail end of the front.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting Patrap:
..I never argue with a fool as he/she has me at a distinct dis-advantage ...

FRESCA anyone?
2 please....Someone said never wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty, and the pig likes it..It does apply to these trolls..If I slaughter one, I end up getting banned.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20493
Quoting cchsweatherman:


If the Azores-Bermuda high establishes itself in that position for hurricane season, then it could indeed set up for more landfalling storms, especially since the best breeding grounds for tropical systems will be in the Southwest Atlantic near the Bahamas and the Southeast United States and the Gulf of Mexico.

Also, that storm system coming across the Northern Gulf looks like a pretty nasty set-up for potential flooding and severe weather as ridging builds over top to the north.


I was just going to post this, funny! The high is very "low".



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Quoting stoormfury:
it is time for some tropical activity to ramp up to get out of this boring climate change and global warming discussions


Maybe Blog about it here at Community Member Blogs® ...in one's own blog entry.

We have plenty of server room for one mo'.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't possibly see how this could cause some problems.



If the Azores-Bermuda high establishes itself in that position for hurricane season, then it could indeed set up for more landfalling storms, especially since the best breeding grounds for tropical systems will be in the Southwest Atlantic near the Bahamas and the Southeast United States and the Gulf of Mexico.

Also, that storm system coming across the Northern Gulf looks like a pretty nasty set-up for potential flooding and severe weather as ridging builds over top to the north.
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Quoting Caner:


Naw, nothing like that.

I don't think daily high / low continental temps are remotely related to tropical weather systems, and even less to AGW.

I do believe they have a strong relation to the increasing age of the sun, the changing composition of it's fuel, and it's expected 10% per billion years rate of increased energy output.

Makes perfect sense to me.



It is all in the wording as you see he wrote "I do believe"
Thinking is rational believing is not.
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Quoting weatherh98:


Dont attack anyone for any reason until its established your for real
+ 100,000,000,000........multiplied by a google
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20493
Quoting RitaEvac:
Activity near me

* Peak wind gusts in vicinity...
El Campo, TX, El Campo HS... N 36 mph at 1:48PM CDT

* Peak rain rates in vicinity...
Pearland, TX, Glenda Dawson HS... 0.48 "/hr at 1:50PM CDT
Altair, TX, Rice HS... 0.60 "/hr at 1:46PM CDT
Sugar Land, TX, St. Laurence Catholic School... 0.72 "/hr at 1:43PM CDT
Needville, TX, George Observatory... 1.24 "/hr at 1:42PM CDT
Houston, TX, Horn ES... 0.52 "/hr at 1:41PM CDT



It lasted a whole 8 minutes here lol. Doesn't look like we will get anything else either. West and Southwest of Houston got a lot of rain and are still getting it
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Possible development of a system west of Central America. Heavy rains moving towards Florida.

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..I never argue with a fool as he/she has me at a distinct dis-advantage ...

FRESCA anyone?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
it is time for some tropical activity to ramp up to get out of this boring climate change and global warming discussions
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


what problems would it cause?


u got mail.
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Activity near me

* Peak wind gusts in vicinity...
El Campo, TX, El Campo HS... N 36 mph at 1:48PM CDT

* Peak rain rates in vicinity...
Pearland, TX, Glenda Dawson HS... 0.48 "/hr at 1:50PM CDT
Altair, TX, Rice HS... 0.60 "/hr at 1:46PM CDT
Sugar Land, TX, St. Laurence Catholic School... 0.72 "/hr at 1:43PM CDT
Needville, TX, George Observatory... 1.24 "/hr at 1:42PM CDT
Houston, TX, Horn ES... 0.52 "/hr at 1:41PM CDT

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:


Good luck with rain
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't possibly see how this could cause some problems.



what problems would it cause?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9720

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.