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 ProgressivePulse:
000
FXUS62 KMFL 182357
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
ISSUED 245 PM EDT WED JUL 18 2012

LONG TERM...
A TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED JUST EAST OF THE LEEWARD AND WINDWARD
ISLANDS WILL ALSO BE MOVING TO THE WEST NORTHWEST THROUGH THIS
WEEKEND. THE NORTHERN END OF THE TROPICAL WAVE COULD MOVE THROUGH
SOUTH FLORIDA LATE THIS WEEKEND BRINGING AN INCREASE IN MOISTURE
TO THE AREA. SO WILL CONTINUE THE ISOLATED TO SCATTERED COVERAGE
OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS FOR THE AREA FOR THIS WEEKEND.

ONCE THIS TROPICAL WAVE MOVES THROUGH THE AREA...ANOTHER SAHARAN
AIR (DUST) LAYER LOCATED OVER THE CENTRAL ATLANTIC WATERS IS
FORECAST BY THE LONG RANGE MODELS TO MOVE INTO SOUTH FLORIDA FOR
MOST OF NEXT WEEK
. THIS IN TURN WILL AGAIN ALLOW FOR THE
ATMOSPHERE TO DRY OUT OVER THE CWA NEXT WEEK. SO WILL KEEP THE
SLIGHT CHANCE OF POPS FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK BEFORE GOING DRY FOR THE
MIDDLE TO END OF NEXT WEEK.

Booooo!!!!!!! I hate when uncle SAL visits

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Quoting Kratje:
Could it be that just a small raise in sea-level, say about 1 cm, could produce such an upward force that the glacier broke?

Good question.
I am not sure, but would think it's very likely possible.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24024
278. wxmod
Another lovely day in the blue Pacific. MODIS satellite view, 600 miles wide.

Member Since: October 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1738
Quoting MississippiWx:
Plus this post if you can find the the mistake. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

There is no zero! :D
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
Plus this post if you can find the the mistake. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.


Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting wxchaser97:

Noooooooo, we need any rain we can get to stop drought from advancing in our area.


After a rather wet June that saw 26% more precipitation than average, July has had only one inch of rain here on Southern Ontario. Duluth, Michigan, on the other hand looks like it has been incredibly wet, as the US Midwest and lower Great Lakes bask in heat and drought. It was an incredibly warm 98F here yesterday, feeling much hotter.



Going to stay hot over the next two weeks, while the Pacific remains cool. If the NAO swings back to positive, we may see the eroding of the "death ridge" over the CONUS.



Wow, severe drought after a year of flood. Regular precipitation anomalies over the past few years.

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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Honestly, you're a hopeless optimist for any hint of a low or west wind anywhere in the Carib. I can't see how anything could come "at you" from the south or east at the moment and in the foreseeable future under the hostile conditions. It's possible, but it would be a 1 in a 1000 probability.
Quoting washingtonian115:
Wow 2009 part two in the caribbean.It could stay that way the rest of the year.
If anything goes into the Caribbiean that system is then sheared to shreads. Even with warm ssts the very high wind shear makes TS formation very unlikely. I think shear will decrease but for awhile conditins are very unfavorable.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Plus this post if you can find the the mistake. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.


What mistake?

Gullible is written on the ceiling.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting washingtonian115:
Wow 2009 part two in the caribbean.It could stay that way the rest of the year.

Strong westerlies across the Caribbean are typical for this time of the year. Don't count on it staying that unfavorable.

As an example, TS Don formed around this time (July 27) last year...remember how it encountered unfavorable conditions as it moved across the Caribbean as a wave.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Plus this post if you can find the the mistake. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
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i know this is probably a long shot, but do you think the massive amount of cold water runoff from greenland has to do with the fact that eastern atlantic is colder than normal? I mean its kind of weird every ocean is warmer than usuall while that area is average or slightly below normal and greenland is having these record high temps!
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anyway I am out of here be back soon
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Could it be that just a small raise in sea-level, say about 1 cm, could produce such an upward force that the glacier broke?
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Quoting wxchaser97:
Wow 2009 part two in the caribbean.It could stay that way the rest of the year.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16406
The final warning on TS Khanun has been issued... It is now inland near Seoul, South Korea.
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Scrooge?? LOL!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
FXUS62 KMFL 182357
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
ISSUED 245 PM EDT WED JUL 18 2012

LONG TERM...
A TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED JUST EAST OF THE LEEWARD AND WINDWARD
ISLANDS WILL ALSO BE MOVING TO THE WEST NORTHWEST THROUGH THIS
WEEKEND. THE NORTHERN END OF THE TROPICAL WAVE COULD MOVE THROUGH
SOUTH FLORIDA LATE THIS WEEKEND BRINGING AN INCREASE IN MOISTURE
TO THE AREA. SO WILL CONTINUE THE ISOLATED TO SCATTERED COVERAGE
OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS FOR THE AREA FOR THIS WEEKEND.

ONCE THIS TROPICAL WAVE MOVES THROUGH THE AREA...ANOTHER SAHARAN
AIR (DUST) LAYER LOCATED OVER THE CENTRAL ATLANTIC WATERS IS
FORECAST BY THE LONG RANGE MODELS TO MOVE INTO SOUTH FLORIDA FOR
MOST OF NEXT WEEK
. THIS IN TURN WILL AGAIN ALLOW FOR THE
ATMOSPHERE TO DRY OUT OVER THE CWA NEXT WEEK. SO WILL KEEP THE
SLIGHT CHANCE OF POPS FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK BEFORE GOING DRY FOR THE
MIDDLE TO END OF NEXT WEEK.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:

Noooooooo, we need any rain we can get to stop drought from advancing in our area.


Then I hope you get it..
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Unfortunately Gustav caused server damage in Havanna and later went on to hit L.A and ended up causing over 100+ deaths during it's life time.Hanna ended up killing 800 people and Ike went on to become Cuba's worst hurricane and the 3rd expensive hurricane in U.S history also killing almost 200 people.
Good job you know your stuff!!
Member Since: June 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 873
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
ok I get that shear is high in the Caribbean but it may chage let us just keep an eye on it for the next week or two ok lets see what happens by then
Honestly, you're a hopeless optimist for any hint of a low or west wind anywhere in the Carib. I can't see how anything could come "at you" from the south or east at the moment and in the foreseeable future under the hostile conditions. It's possible, but it would be a 1 in a 1000 probability.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


i can.
hey, no hard feelings.

good night everybody, auf wiedersehen
is that German?
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
ok I get that shear is high in the Caribbean but it may chage let us just keep an eye on it for the next week or two ok lets see what happens by then
If it goes north of the Caribbean it has a chance, but not sure the big high over the Atlantic will let it.
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Quoting 954FtLCane:
Maybe we need a good poll to liven things up a little. So by popular demand here we go.

How long do you think it'll be before we have our next named storm.
A) 1-10 days (on or before July 28th)
B) 11-20 days (between July 29th & August 7th)
C) 21-30 days (between August 8th & 17th)
D) 31 days (on or after August 18th)
E) *Who cares the world is coming to an end and most hurricane prone areas will be flooded due to global warming before the next one hits so everyone abandon the blog and run for your lives.......
F) I'm not partaking in this poll and I'm voting "F" so you will never post one again.

*disclaimer, I do believe in global warming just having a little fun.


Final results:
A) 2.5 votes
B) 5 votes
C) 1.5 votes

Thanks to all whom participated.
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With the rest of July and August to go reaching or surpassing the record 11 days for temps at or higher than a 100 here in D.C has about a 85% chance of happening.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16406
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

dude will you quit humbuging me yeah none of those thing now but it could happen in a week or two time and you can not say it will not happen


i can.
hey, no hard feelings.

good night everybody, auf wiedersehen
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey guys just checking in that tropical wave with low in E/Central Atl need to be watched I have a gut feeling that is our next invest and could be our next storm in terms of track it will be a caribbean gulf tracker and with our TCHP being quite high in the Caribbean it could become a major

now before you go off on me for this I am just saying this could very well happen although models are not predicting it there is something out there and conditions warants it so just keep an eye out


no, shear is out of control all through the carib, and the GOM its probably the most healthy it will ever be right now.
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Quoting pcola57:


It has alot of territory to cover before it comes even near Detroit...
I'd say it will probably die down alot before it get's near ya...
Just goin' by what I'm lookin' at... :)



Noooooooo, we need any rain we can get to stop drought from advancing in our area.
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ok I get that shear is high in the Caribbean but it may chage let us just keep an eye on it for the next week or two ok lets see what happens by then
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NWS ‏@usNWSgov

Reagan Natl in #DC reached its 7th 100+ degree day for 2012, tying 1988 for the second most in one year. Record is 11 in 1930. #NWS #dcwx


only 3 more
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Quoting stormchaser19:


where you can see the pressure in west pacific


try the GFS at ncep
its easier to see on WU though
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It feels like we got plenty of rains for Raleigh, yet we're still below the rainfall rates for the year of 2012 (although the past 12 months is above normal)...
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

dude will you quit humbuging me yeah none of those thing now but it could happen in a week or two time and you can not say it will not happen

...but he just did.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


no major.
no hurricane
no tropical storm
no tropical depression

dude will you quit humbuging me yeah none of those thing now but it could happen in a week or two time and you can not say it will not happen
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Quoting cajunkid:


meanwhile...how much snow and ice is forming in the Southern Hemisphere?

It is all cyclical.

You got to be real brutal about this.
What goes on down there is not of concern to us at the moment as they have not got a Greenland down there to stock up on ice. The do have a steady state Antarctica of course.
The main factor will be the melting of the ice sheet that covers the North pole regions, this will instigate climatic changes that will devastate many national economies and lead to "Global Stress," for want of a better term.
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Back to work (big project). Will try to check in tomorrow. Have a good evening folks and stay safe (lots of rain and strong t-storms out the in the Central-Eastern part of the US tonight)....WW.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey guys just checking in that tropical wave with low in E/Central Atl need to be watched I have a gut feeling that is our next invest and could be our next storm in terms of track it will be a caribbean gulf tracker and with our TCHP being quite high in the Caribbean it could become a major

now before you go off on me for this I am just saying this could very well happen although models are not predicting it there is something out there and conditions warants it so just keep an eye out
The Caribbean is currently closed for business, so long as King TUTT rules the area.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


based on the GFS my prediction was it will rise some more and may drop in the extended as high pressure overtakes tahiti.


where you can see the pressure in west pacific
Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2150
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey guys just checking in that tropical wave with low in E/Central Atl need to be watched I have a gut feeling that is our next invest and could be our next storm in terms of track it will be a caribbean gulf tracker and with our TCHP being quite high in the Caribbean it could become a major

now before you go off on me for this I am just saying this could very well happen although models are not predicting it there is something out there and conditions warants it so just keep an eye out
Is shear wasn't high in the caribbean I would have believed you a little more.But shear is pretty high in that area and could rip it apart which is probably why the models don't do much with it.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16406
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


quit monkeying around :)

It's a gorilla though.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Quick Poll about AOI in Atlantic:

Will NHC have a yellow circle at 8 PM TWO?

A=Yes
B=No

I say A.

no
Member Since: June 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 873
Quoting Grothar:


If I take one from column A and one from column B,can I get a free egg roll?


I believe with two you get eggroll.
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I know people will not want to hear this But GW may be true But theres not a D thing we can do about it!! The damage has been done and with China and India putting more Carbon in the air they not going to stop any time soon. I have 3 grand kids and I do not want leave them a world that is like this
Member Since: June 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 873
Wow anticyclone over our AOI in the Central Atlantic:

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Quoting wxchaser97:
How many hours until this is impoacting the Detroit Metro area and will it be severe?


It has alot of territory to cover before it comes even near Detroit...
I'd say it will probably die down alot before it get's near ya...
Just goin' by what I'm lookin' at... :)


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Quoting Articuno:
So I heard you want rain....




There you go.


quit monkeying around :)
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey guys just checking in that tropical wave with low in E/Central Atl need to be watched I have a gut feeling that is our next invest and could be our next storm in terms of track it will be a caribbean gulf tracker and with our TCHP being quite high in the Caribbean it could become a major

now before you go off on me for this I am just saying this could very well happen although models are not predicting it there is something out there and conditions warants it so just keep an eye out


no major.
no hurricane
no tropical storm
no tropical depression
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hey guys just checking in that tropical wave with low in E/Central Atl need to be watched I have a gut feeling that is our next invest and could be our next storm in terms of track it will be a caribbean gulf tracker and with our TCHP being quite high in the Caribbean it could become a major

now before you go off on me for this I am just saying this could very well happen although models are not predicting it there is something out there and conditions warants it so just keep an eye out
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So I heard you want rain....




There you go.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
The 30 day SOI continues with the uptick. El Nino is not in a hurry to appear.



based on the GFS my prediction was it will rise some more and may drop in the extended as high pressure overtakes tahiti.
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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.