Record warmth at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:25 PM GMT on July 18, 2012

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The coldest place in Greenland, and often the entire Northern Hemisphere, is commonly the Summit Station. Located at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet, 10,551 feet (3216 meters) above sea level, and 415 miles (670 km) north of the Arctic Circle, Summit rarely sees temperatures that rise above the freezing mark. In the 12-year span 2000 - 2011, Summit temperatures rose above freezing only four times, according to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera. But remarkably, over the past week, temperatures at Summit have eclipsed the freezing mark on five days, including four days in a row from July 11 - 14. There are actually three weather stations located at the location--Summit, Summit-US, and Summit AWS. The highest reliable temperature measured at any of the three stations is now the 3.6°C (38.5°F) measured on Monday, July 16, 2012 at Summit-US. A 4.4°C reading at Summit in May, 2010 is bogus, as can be seen by looking at the adjacent station. Similarly, a 3.3°C reading from June 2004 is also bad. Records at Summit began in 1987.


Video 1. A 20-ton tractor attempting to repair a bridge washed out by the raging Watson River on July 11, 2012 in Kangerlussauaq, Greenland gets washed downstream. The driver escaped unharmed. Image taken from an article, Warm air over the ice sheet provides great drama in Greenland, at the Danish Meteorological Institute's web site.

Record heat leads to major flooding in Greenland
The record heat has triggered significant melting of Greenland's Ice Sheet. According to the Arctic Sea Ice Blog, on July 11, glacier melt water from the Russell Glacier flooded the Watson River, smashing two bridges connecting the north and south of Kangerlussuaq (Sønder Strømfjord), a small settlement in southwestern Greenland. The flow rate of 3.5 million liters/sec was almost double the previous record flow rate. The latest forecast for Summit calls for cooler conditions over the coming week, with no more above-freezing temperatures at Summit.

Another huge iceberg calves off of Greenland's Petermann Glacier
A massive ice island two times the size of Manhattan and half as thick as the Empire State Building calved off of Greenland's Petermann Glacier on Monday, July 16, 2012. According to Andreas Muenchow, associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment in his Icy Seas blog, the break-off point has been visible for at least 8 years in satellite imagery, and has been propagating at 1 km/year towards Nares Strait. The same glacier calved an iceberg twice as big back on August 4, 2010--the largest iceberg observed in the Arctic since 1962. The freshwater stored in that ice island could have kept the Delaware or Hudson rivers flowing for more than two years, or kept all U.S. public tap water flowing for 120 days. “While the size is not as spectacular as it was in 2010, the fact that it follows so closely to the 2010 event brings the glacier’s terminus to a location where it has not been for at least 150 years,” Muenchow said in a university press release. “Northwest Greenland and northeast Canada are warming more than five times faster than the rest of the world, but the observed warming is not proof that the diminishing ice shelf is caused by this, because air temperatures have little effect on this glacier; ocean temperatures do, and our ocean temperature time series are only five to eight years long — too short to establish a robust warming signal.”


Figure 1. The calving of a massive 46 square-mile iceberg two times the size of Manhattan from Greenland's Petermann Glacier on July 14 - 18, 2012, as seen using MODIS satellite imagery. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 2. Look familiar? Two years ago, a 100 square-mile ice island broke off the Petermann Glacier. It was the largest iceberg in the Arctic since 1962. Image taken by NASA's Aqua satellite on August 21, 2010. Image credit: NASA. I've constructed a 7-frame satellite animation available here that shows the calving and break-up of the Petermann Glacier ice island. The animation begins on August 5, 2010, and ends on September 21, with images spaced about 8 days apart. The images were taken by NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites.

Related posts

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

Greenland update for 2010: record melting and a massive calving event

Jeff Masters

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Quoting StormTracker2K:



Baha you are out of line. Let me get you straight on a few things I do provide scientific information as I did on a couple of my post this morning, two I never baited anybody as it was just a general question because of all this extreme heat around the globe and very strange wx patterns that have been occuring over the last few years, also I don't care if people see things my way as everybody has their own opinions, and to end this If anyone is starting a fight it is you sir with this outlandish post. My post was not to offend anybody as you were the only one who was offended. Infact everyone on here post like that so deal! What a piece of work this guy is today.
You realize my problem isn't with you, personally, just with the tone of that particular post?

I don't think you realize how offensive your comment sounded to somebody who is not you. I also note that I was not the only one offended; several pple plussed the post and two others responded positively to my comment.

I've noticed some other posts today that have been addressing the issue by talking about facts [or at least attempting to do so]. If this is your normal approach, I applaud it and hope you will continue to make such posts. The post I quoted, however, was a lot more condescending than you [may have] realized.
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Quoting aspectre:
Seriously, I'm curious... Name one other than Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter that acts in terms shorter than a few hundred years rather than over a period of tens of thousands of years.
Also explain what causes it; a hypothesis will do.

And no, sunspots and weather haven't been correlated... though folks have been trying to find such correlations since sunspots were first observed, well before the invention of telescopes.

Shorter than a few hundred years? There are several. Most of them are considered in the realm of "climate variability"; a few more well-known ones include ENSO, the PDO, the NAO, the AO. There is the 11yr solar cycle which has been shown to have maybe a ~0.1C peak-to-trough change. There are not-so-well-understood changes in volcanic activity that may have some kind of yet-unknown cycle/oscillation, or may not.

All of these things mentioned can cause minor climatic changes... although these would be on the order of a few years or maybe a half decade, so in the gray area between weather and climate. But... these are NOT responsible for current observed long-term changes and are just noise on the trend. In particular, ENSO/PDO/NAO/AO are just manifestations of the movement of heat around out planet's climate systems, they are not involved in the net loss/gain of heat.
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15 years ago yesterday, July 19, 1997, Hurricane Danny struck Alabama and dumped an estimated 43" of rain near Dauphin Island. If you doubt that record, there was a guy who stood out there during the storm with two yardsticks.


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting akailm:
http://co2au.blogspot.com/Study this for a real solution for Co2 .
That's a real solution for CO2 like bulimia is a real solution for obesity...
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Quoting zoomiami:
On a more serious note, every warming cycle in the earth's weather has been followed by a cooling cycle. For those of you who have been following the scientific info -- how long would the current warming cycle be expected to last vs. the beginning of a cooling cycle?

Rather like El Nino -- El Nina.


As with any change in climate, the "cycle" could be expected to last as long as the forcing mechanism driving it continues. Applying this basic physics/climate concept to today... once we stop changing the chemistry of the atmosphere in a way that enhances the greenhouse effect, our climate will slow in warming rate, reach an equilibrium, then stay roughly stable at this new equilibrium until the overall net forcing changes. This could be in either the cooling or warming direction.

"It always cools afterward" is not a logical or scientific answer. It provides no temporal or magnitude information and is purely hyperbole.



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Quoting LargoFl:
Just a thought here for floridians...had not that dry air and cooler waters been in the atlantic this month..we floridians would have had, 2-3-4 tropical storms crossing our state, every one of those tropical waves might have developed..what scares me is this..I do hope this next month..the weather pattern changes and all the storms coming INTO the gulf, dont cross over florida like all the last tropical waves did
Same thing I was saying to Levi last night... Twaves are well up in the ATL, and basically only the typical July climatology is holding them back...

Still wondering when we'll get to el nino.

Quoting Patrap:
There are weather cycles mostly ignored in the pro GW discussions

Please, show us this "cycle".

We have time.

There are now 154 days until the 2012 Winter Solstice.
I think the earlier poster was thinking about larger scale oscillations like PDO and the unnamed? cycle of active/inactive TC seasons. I agree with him to the extent that I believe there are even larger scale cycles out there that we may not fully understand simply because we haven't collected sufficient significant data to fully define them.

On the other hand, I do agree that the information we DO have suggests that the current warming trend we are experiencing is NOT following the pattern of the cycles we have been able to observe based on the available data. While previous shifts may have been similarly abrupt, they are also generally accounted for by some specific phenomenon, such as a volcanic eruption or meteor strike etc. When placed in that context, the one event with the most obvious correlation is the onset of the industrial age between 1800 and the present. Other factors may indeed play a role, but even an old skeptic like me finds it difficult to ignore this.

Quoting hydrus:
Yep.. We have to start somewhere, and once it is set in motion, the rest will most likely join in. There are a lot of people in high places that do not want the green path, because the huge monetary losses it will cost them..The reality is, that we will always need oil and petroleum for manufacturing many different types of products until technology can replace it with other substances. Some people would be amazed at the large percentage of oil that does not go to the gas stations and goes to use in factories. It is high time for the U.S. and other countries to ween off the oil, and go with alternative energy.
Can I plus this about 27 times???

Given the finite nature of fossil fuel sources, and the potential for development of alternative sources, on would think big business would jump at the potential. Additionally, given that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof", one would expect Christians to do as much as possible to take care of the planet and its resources. Anybody who knows anything about Genesis knows that the role of Adam, as the original man, was to husband - that is, take care of - God's creation. Thus it never ceases to amaze me that conservation is so out of style with people who consider themselves financially and religiously conservative.
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Quoting pottery:

Pretty good wave !
Will it make it????

Stay tuned................


That's the key. What does it look like 24hrs after splash down.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:



IMO, the exceptionally dry air out in front of the C-Atlantic wave will prevent any significant organization as that dry air is forecast by MIA NWS to reach SFL. The wave behind however could have a much better shot. I've noticed that each wave looks slightly more organized than the last as time goes on. IMO, the first couple weeks of August will be when we start talking seriously about development.


I agree with you there PPulse. That CAtl wave is acting like a plow to drive the dry air out. Really anxious to see what that really impressive wave just about ready to exit off Africa will do once it hits the waters. At least I hope it will be something worth watching
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1219
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
The latest image on West African Wave.


Pretty good wave !
Will it make it????

Stay tuned................
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718. MahFL
Quoting Gatorstorm:
Are there any predictions out there which depict how long el nino will last?


We don't have El Nino yet.
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:

HI wxchaser97, Thanks for the reply. The models usually don't agree this far out. lol Hoping the midwest gets some needed rain from this without any real bad severe to deal with.

Stormtracker2K,
Does your referral to "scientific info" include the Sask. tor info you posted, to which I spoke as quoted in comment 616? (Add: My original comment is at 514.)

(I learn. If I post to more than one quote in a single comment, I should address the blogger by handle, as it looks in the quote at 616 as though I was addressing someone else about the Sask. tornadoes and I was not.)

"Make Solutions, not Data."

(T-59)
Your welcome, the models never seem to agree this far out. Hope everyone can get lots of rain but that isnt going to happen.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Are there any predictions out there which depict how long el nino will last?
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714. MahFL
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

A small portion of the state only. Overall, Florida is drought free.



"In fact, FL is the only other state other than the pacific NW and Maine/NH not experiencing a drought of some sort"

Thats what I was commenting on, it's untrue.
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Quoting zoomiami:
So, here's the funny thing. Go back to a blog 3 years ago, when there was no storm to track.

It's the exact same argument. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm looking for different information after 3 years, to say nothing of a new argument for the season.

By the way, Baha has been here longer than most, is very knowledgeable, and absolutely entitled to HER own opinion. Give it a break.


Go back to the blog 2 years ago, same thing as well. Proof we need a storm to track soon before madness engulfs the blog.
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The latest image on West African Wave.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14899
Quoting Methurricanes:
you must have has an intresting day in Detroit.

Its a rainy day here which is good and a temp of 69F. First day in a long while with highs in the upper 60s to low 70s. I love hearing the sound of rain falling and that cool feeling. I'm in Berkley, MI which is a suburb of Detroit and we are lucky to get a day like today.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting Patrap:
13th planet ?



Pluto is once again accompanied by Mickey.. dontcha know
Member Since: July 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1320
NASA spies bright-blue daytime lightning on Saturn

By Tariq Malik
Published July 19, 2012
Space.com


A NASA spacecraft orbiting Saturn has captured an amazing view of lightning in broad daylight on the ringed planet.
The Cassini orbiter captured the daytime lightning on Saturn as bright blue spots inside a giant storm that raged on the planet last year. NASA unveiled the new Saturn lightning photos Wednesday (July 18), adding that the images came as a big surprise.
"We didn't think we'd see lighting on Saturn's day side —only its night side," said Ulyana Dyudina, a Cassini imaging team associate at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, in a statement. "The fact that Cassini was able to detect the lightning means that it was very intense."


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129848
13th planet ?



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129848
Quoting Ftmyersstorm1:
The scientist that choose this can not and will not deal with the fact that the sun is getting hotter

Nope.
Quoting Ftmyersstorm1:

because of the approach of the 13th planet.

LOL... nope.
Quoting Ftmyersstorm1:
No one talked about the fact the the other planets are warming just as fast!!

Absolute nonsense. Not all planets in the solar system are warming and the implication of this claim is that the sun is doing it, yet the sun has shown no long term trend since 1950 (a slight cooling trend if anything). There are explanations for why other planets are warming that do not apply to Earth's situation.
Quoting nativhoustonian:
There are weather cycles mostly ignored in the pro GW discussions which, when the cycle completes, leaves most of the advocates of GW silent.

Abosolute nonsense. It's just not even remotely true. In fact it is scientists themselves telling us not to look at the ups and downs from climate variability - said "cycles" - because of how they obscure the long term trend due to the enhanced greenhouse effect.
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Quoting Methurricanes:
you must have has an intresting few days in Detroit.
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Quoting wxchaser97:
What happens when it goes over water, we shall see.
you must have has an intresting day in Detroit.
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http://co2au.blogspot.com/Study this for a real solution for Co2 .
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I think I need something stronger than a Fresca today!
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Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
We keep waiting for the models to start to latch on something to develop into a TD or TS. 12z GFS still doesn't have anything thru August 4.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14899
Quoting MahFL:


You must need glasses, there is moderate drought in the panhandle of FL.

A small portion of the state only. Overall, Florida is drought free.

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Im hoping for a El Nino!! Usually means more rain for me. Hope it peaks in the DJF OR JFM time frame at the end of this year or beginning of next year.
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696. MahFL
Quoting Jax82:
Not surprising that FL is pretty much drought free. In fact, FL is the only other state other than the pacific NW and Maine/NH not experiencing a drought of some sort.

Drought Monitor



You must need glasses, there is moderate drought in the panhandle of FL.
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I will begrudingly admit that there were several severe thunderstorms around the desert mostly to cause flash flooding,but none in the mountains where I live. The word mountains is not quite a misnomer,as the elevation of my home is 3,325feet and sitting on my porch I can see Mt Palomar elevation 6130 feet I believe. Its the one with the 200" Hale Telescope.
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Quoting Chicklit:


Maybe this means the blogger from Detroit will get his rain.
We've got around an inch of rain so far today. Anything can help but hopefully nothing crazy. We need the rain but others across the nation need it more but not a lot of relief is coming to them.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
693. ARiot
Quoting jeffs713:
As the bickering is increasing, how about we talk about something weather related? As much as I would like to go back and forth about the merits of trolling, it gets tiresome after a while.



RE: The drought monitor data and the Houston area in particular, as it applies to precipitation totals, potential future storms, and the Addicks / Barker problem.....

Having lived in Houston, the Addicks / Barker system built to contain/control flooding was always an interesting topic.

Allison (2001 I think) filled it up, and it was scary to see a place normally dry so full of swirling water.

The 09 rain event exposed weaknesses in the dams.

Now we have an interesting situation where Houston has been getting summer rains and broken the drought. However, as rains continue to soak the area, let us hope a major tropical storm does not park itself there when the season gets active.

That would seriously stress Addicks / Barker (again).

We nearly lost New Orleans, and we sure as hell dodn't want to lose Houston....

Food for thought

http://www.houstonpress.com/2012-07-19/news/addic ks-barker-dams/





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By the way, record floods, droughts, above-freezing in Greenland reports have been predicted by scientists (i.e. Ph.D.'s who know how to spell "professor," for example) in peer-reviewed articles (meticulously examined scholarly articles by experts in the field) about global warming.
Then there are the Joe Bloes who are using their gut feelings and conspiracy theories to form their opinions...

Umm...I am thinking about it in terms of if I were on a deserted island and I had to survive but could take one person along with me, would I choose the expert in native flora and fauna or the person I met at the coffee shop with the ability to think imaginatively and create stories?
Hmm...
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
"It's only an island if you look at it from the water."

"Now that makes a lot of sense."

The GW debate always makes me think of this scene from Jaws. It's all about point of view and perspective.
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nino/nina regions

compare jun/jul

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56075
On a more serious note, every warming cycle in the earth's weather has been followed by a cooling cycle. For those of you who have been following the scientific info -- how long would the current warming cycle be expected to last vs. the beginning of a cooling cycle?

Rather like El Nino -- El Nina.
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compare maps 2011 2012 ice cover


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56075
So, here's the funny thing. Go back to a blog 3 years ago, when there was no storm to track.

It's the exact same argument. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm looking for different information after 3 years, to say nothing of a new argument for the season.

By the way, Baha has been here longer than most, is very knowledgeable, and absolutely entitled to HER own opinion. Give it a break.
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AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
310 AM PDT WED JUL 18 2012

.SYNOPSIS...
WARMER THROUGH THE WEEKEND AS HIGH PRESSURE EXPANDS ACROSS THE
ROCKIES AND INTO THE DESERTS. SOME DRYING TODAY WITH LESS CLOUD
COVER. MOISTURE WILL BEGIN TO INCREASE AGAIN ON SATURDAY WITH
ISOLATED AFTERNOON THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE OVER THE MOUNTAINS.
THE CHANCES FOR SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL INCREASE EARLY NEXT
WEEK AS AN EASTERLY WAVE MOVES ACROSS NORTHERN MEXICO.

I hope this forecast Easterly wave is better than the last one,last week, which only supplied enough rain to wet the street.Still,No measureable rain since April!!!!
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this will be the next step of the earth cycle after the global warming


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Quoting Bobbyweather:
Hmm... why are you guys arguing about a small disagreement? (IMO it's a small disagreement if you go back a few pages)

Anyways, the tropical Atlantic is mainly quiet.
And as you know already, we are now tracking two areas of interest; one in the CAtl, one about to emerge from Western Africa. They don't look that bad, but the former doesn't look that good either. They have the potential to form into a tropical cyclone in the next 72~96 hours, in my opinion. I'm only looking at satellite pictures, so I could be wrong. Speaking of satellite images, here is one for the North Atlantic basin, plus a current tropicl cyclone probability map:





IMO, the exceptionally dry air out in front of the C-Atlantic wave will prevent any significant organization as that dry air is forecast by MIA NWS to reach SFL. The wave behind however could have a much better shot. I've noticed that each wave looks slightly more organized than the last as time goes on. IMO, the first couple weeks of August will be when we start talking seriously about development.
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north pole cam 2
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56075
Is there saharan dust over C IL? Really nice blue clouds to northwest this a.m. when headed to work. Got here pulled up radar and just watched them poof as they got to I-55, couple of drops. At least some areas got some, but... Oh well, maybe next week
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north pole cam 1

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56075
543 nativhoustonian: There are weather cycles mostly ignored in the pro GW discussions

Seriously, I'm curious... Name one other than Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter that acts in terms short of a few hundred years rather than over a period of tens of thousands of years.
Also explain what causes it; a hypothesis will do.

And no, sunspots and weather haven't been correlated... though folks have been trying to find such correlations since sunspots were first observed, well before the invention of telescopes.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860

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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.

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