Record warmth at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet

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

Share this Blog
50
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 480 - 430

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30Blog Index

Intense tropical wave passed over Dominica and rest of Lesser Antilles during the night now moving into the Caribbean Sea. Heavy rain and thunderstorms. Streams on more mountainous islands overflowing and some landslides.

As the system enters the Caribbean, the west coasts of the islands are beginning to experience above normal sea swells. We will see if it intensifies now that its through the island chain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The daily SOI continues in positive for 12 days now.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Any deniers on GW still? No matter if we change our ways to better the enviroment the damage has already been done and there is no stopping our warming Globe now!
wait.till.winter.A TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 18N62W IN THE CARIBBEAN SEA...15N60W...
AND 11N57W IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. SCATTERED STRONG CONVECTIVE
PRECIPITATION IS ON TOP OF THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA ISLANDS
BETWEEN 60W AND 63W FROM SAINT VINCENT NEAR 13N TO 16N NEAR
GUADELOUPE. SCATTERED MODERATE TO ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTIVE
PRECIPITATION CONTINUES FROM 17N TO 19N BETWEEN 62W AND
65W...FROM ANTIGUA/BARBUDA TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Any deniers on GW still? No matter if we change our ways to better the enviroment the damage has already been done and there is no stopping our warming Globe now!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This post is in reference to Doc Masters blog.

WASHINGTON -- An iceberg twice the size of Manhattan tore off one of Greenland's largest glaciers, illustrating another dramatic change to the warming island.

For several years, scientists had been watching a long crack near the tip of the northerly Petermann Glacier. On Monday, NASA satellites showed it had broken completely, freeing an iceberg measuring 46 square miles.

A massive ice sheet covers about four-fifths of Greenland. Petermann Glacier is mostly on land, but a segment sticks out over water like a frozen tongue, and that's where the break occurred.

The same glacier spawned an iceberg twice that size two years ago. Together, the breaks made a large change that's got the attention of researchers.

"It's dramatic. It's disturbing," said University of Delaware professor Andreas Muenchow, who was one of the first researchers to notice the break. "We have data for 150 years and we see changes that we have not seen before."

"It's one of the manifestations that Greenland is changing very fast," he said.

Researchers suspect global warming is to blame, but can't prove it conclusively yet. Glaciers do calve icebergs naturally, but what's happened in the last three years to Petermann is unprecedented, Muenchow and other scientists say.

"This is not part of natural variations anymore," said NASA glaciologist Eric Rignot, who camped on Petermann 10 years ago.

Ohio State University ice scientist Ian Howat said there is still a chance it could be normal calving, like losing a fingernail that has grown too long, but any further loss would show it's not natural: "We're still in the phase of scratching our heads and figuring out how big a deal this really is."

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:

Should clear out the SAL, looks really nice over land.

Most t-waves look nice on land. It will be interesting to see how this strong t-wave is once it moves over the EATL. It will be an indicator if this is the start of the CV season.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Another blistering day across most of the US.




Geesh it's even hot in Europe. Look at Madrid 39C OUCH!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:


That is one nasty wave about to come off Africa.

Should clear out the SAL, looks really nice over land.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7887
Quoting wxchaser97:


That is one nasty wave about to come off Africa.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I hope people realize that Global Warming is FACT! There is record heat happening all over the Globe right now and I'm affraid that these weather patterns are only going to get more extreme over the coming years.

Also talk about AMAZING this tornado was in Saskatchewan, Canada.




This is where Saskatchewan is located folks. 10 more years then we will be hearing about tornadoes in Alaska at the pace were going.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

7 day for Detroit(from wxyz Detroit)
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7887
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7887
From 28storms
15 Year Anniversary of Hurricane Danny
Today marks the 15 year anniversary of Hurricane Danny landfalling along the Alabama coast. Danny was only a Category One hurricane, but a prolific rainfall maker. Due to the slow and erratic movement of Danny, the storm produced a doppler radar estimated 43 inches of rainfall near Dauphin Island. If ...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
...............7-day for Tampa Bay area...never thought I could say....come on down to florida...to cool off, gee the middle of the country..100+ all week long
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
..................................7-day for Kansas City,Mo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
No way! I seriously think this is the first time in history they've put out a Day 8 outlook!


In the discussion it says outlooks this far out are not uncommon. I hope I stay in the severe risk area.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7887
..........................................Geez..7 -day for Tulsa OK
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The whole of the gomex ,carib and the tropical atl will be devoid of tropical activity for awuile, until the ULLS go away and the SAL disperses;
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
An approaching upper level wave will have more than enough moisture to work with today as it approaches Southeast Michigan. Widespread rainfall and a few rumbles of thunder are expected today as temperatures remain in the 70s. In fact, if the rain is persistent enough, a few places might not even reach 70 degrees. This moisture will shift south of the area tomorrow morning, resulting in a drying and clearing trend with temperatures near 80.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7887
ZCZC SPCSWOD48 ALL
ACUS48 KWNS 190850
SPC AC 190850

DAY 4-8 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0350 AM CDT THU JUL 19 2012

VALID 221200Z - 271200Z

...DISCUSSION...
AN UPPER RIDGE WILL HOLD OVER THE CNTRL U.S. FOR THE D4-D5
PERIOD...WITH MODEST NW FLOW ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES INTO THE NE.
FORCING FOR STORMS...ANYWHERE FROM THE NRN PLAINS INTO THE GREAT
LAKES...WILL BE WARM ADVECTION...WITH A FEW SMALL CLUSTERS OF STORMS
WITH MARGINAL WIND AND HAIL THREATS EACH DAY.

AS AN UPPER LOW MOVES INTO THE NRN ROCKIES ON D6...A MORE
SUBSTANTIAL SEVERE THREAT MAY MATERIALIZE OVER ND AND NRN MN TUE
NIGHT...WITH THE THREAT PERSISTING ACROSS MN/WI/MI ON WED/D7 AND
INTO THE LOWER LAKES REGION BY THU/D8. THIS TROUGH WILL BRING
FORCING WITH A COLD FRONT...AS WELL AS STRONG FLOW AND SHEAR FOR
SEVERE INTO AN AREA THAT WILL BE UNSTABLE. THIS GENERAL SOLUTION IS
SUPPORTED BY BOTH THE ECMWF AND GFS MODELS...WITH RELATIVELY LITTLE
ENSEMBLE SPREAD. WHILE POSITION ERROR MAY BE ON THE ORDER OF 200
MILES WITH THE EVENTUAL COLD FRONT...THIS IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR AN
OUTLOOK THIS FAR OUT. ADJUSTMENTS WILL BE MADE IN SUBSEQUENT
OUTLOOKS AS THE EVENT NEARS.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7887
.............................................good morning,we now have a few days to dry out thank goodness, back to normal
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
456. beell
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
morning the catl wave has now lost steam and only has a mid level cyclonic turning ,near 9n 45w. although the wave is moving with a ulac over it, conditions will not be favourable for development
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Aussie...excellent pic (#450)!!! tx
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sunlinepr:
This next wave looks more powerfull.... We will have to check it out in the water....



Looks like Cape Verde season is about to kick off.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
No way! I seriously think this is the first time in history they've put out a Day 8 outlook!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ATL


EPAC


CPAC


WPAC






TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY:
(1) THE AREA OF CONVECTION PREVIOUSLY LOCATED NEAR 16.6N
129.6E, IS NOW LOCATED NEAR 17.1N 126.7E, APPROXIMATELY 365 NM EAST-
NORTHEAST OF MANILA, PHILIPPINES. ANIMATED MULTISPECTRAL SATELLITE
IMAGERY DEPICTS A BROAD, ILL-DEFINED LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER
(LLCC) WITH DEEP CONVECTION FLARING PRIMARILY OVER THE WEST AND
SOUTH SEMI-CIRCLES. THE 19/00Z SURFACE ANALYSIS INDICATES STRONG
CONVERGENT FLOW IS FUELING THIS CONVECTION WITH 20 TO 25 KNOT
WESTERLY FLOW SOUTH OF 15N AND SOUTHERLY FLOW OVER THE EAST
PHILIPPINE SEA. ALTHOUGH RECENT SCATTEROMETER DATA SHOWED A BROAD,
DEFINED CIRCULATION, A 190246Z TRMM 37 GHZ IMAGE INDICATES POORLY-
ORGANIZED CONVECTIVE BANDING. UPPER-LEVEL ANALYSIS REVEALS BROAD,
DIFFLUENT FLOW WITH MODERATE VERTICAL WIND SHEAR. IN GENERAL, THE
DYNAMIC MODELS INDICATE SLOW DEVELOPMENT OVER THE NEXT TWO DAYS AS
THE SYSTEM TRACKS WEST-NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD LUZON. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED
SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA LEVEL
PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 1008 MB. THE POTENTIAL FOR THE
DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 24
HOURS REMAINS MEDIUM.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
447. JLPR2
El Niño is really trying but slowed down in July.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sunlinepr:
This next wave looks more powerfull.... We will have to check it out in the water....

Check it, it might have a low pressure already attached to it. Look at the cyclonic turning.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JerseyCapewxguy:



dang...thats practically cat 5 pressure. I doubt the winds in that extra-tropical system are 130-150 mph, though...maybe 90-100, however...

Anyone know the record low barometric pressure for a cold core system like this?


936mb.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
beautiful condensing clouds

They are actually called Lenticular Clouds.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Last silly comment, Sunlinepr is that the HAARP weather machine on your satellite in motion.Look at the massive energy it's pumping into the low. Almost like pumping the ridge. God bless old StormW,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Boy that looks like a winter storm in the NE Pacific.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Pat although upon further review, what was that dog doing in the tank. Lucky dog.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 82 Comments: 7056
Next African waves into the Atl....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125630
Where are the bloomers or petticoats. The hell with uncle Joe.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis | Sea ice data updated daily

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125630
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
again, even stronger Antarctic Low, now at 921mb




dang...thats practically cat 5 pressure. I doubt the winds in that extra-tropical system are 130-150 mph, though...maybe 90-100, however...

Anyone know the record low barometric pressure for a cold core system like this?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This next wave looks more powerfull.... We will have to check it out in the water....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 82 Comments: 7056

Viewing: 480 - 430

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30Blog Index

Top of Page

About JeffMasters

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