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 Grothar:
A baffling problem faced the glaciologists in Greenland. They have been aware of the warming trend,but still many glaciers were not retreating, but growing at an unprecedented rate. Greenland is covered with lakes or bodies of ice free water on the icecaps. What they discovered is that these lakes were getting larger and the water was slipping under the glaciers causing them to move faster. This was bad news because the quicker the glaciers move, the more water is lost from the ice caps. Some are now growing at more than 100 feet per day.



water is also melting the ice from below upward twice the melting effect
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Quoting redwagon:

You can see it has blob on it's mind.


Blobification will take a little time.
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Uploaded by ClimateProgressWorld on Jan 19, 2012

Scientists capture dramatic footage of Arctic glaciers melting in hours.

Scientists have captured dramatic footage of massive lakes in the Arctic melting away in a matter of hours http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/clima techange/4734859/Scientists...

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128667
Dr.Masters mentioned Japan in his report. Typhoon Vera was a devastating storm for that country..Wiki..Super Typhoon Vera (international designation: 5915) was the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in recorded history. With winds of 160 mph, Vera slammed into the southeastern coast of Japan in Wakayama Prefecture and then proceeded northeast across Honsh%u016B, causing widespread damage and flooding. 5,098 people were killed in Japan with an additional 38,921 people injured.[1] Typhoons in Japan are generally numbered each year (Typhoon Number 1, Typhoon Number 2, etc.), but because of its destructiveness, the Japan Meteorological Agency named this typhoon the Isewan Typhoon because much of the destruction was caused by flooding around Ise Bay near the city of Nagoya.Typhoon Vera Category 5 typhoon (SSHS)
Formed September 21, 1959
Dissipated September 28, 1959
Highest winds 1-minute sustained:
305 km/h (190 mph)
Lowest pressure 895 mbar (hPa); 26.43 inHg
Fatalities 5,238 direct
Damage $261 million (1959 USD)

Areas affected JapanA low pressure area between Guam and Chuuk slowly organized into a tropical storm on September 21. Named Vera, it intensified into a typhoon the next day as it tracked northwestward. On the 23rd, Vera rapidly intensified, possibly reaching peak winds of 190 mph winds. (The wind speed, which was measured by reconnaissance aircraft, are subject to dispute due to the unknown conversion factors. Regardless, the super typhoon was very intense with a pressure of 895 mb.)


Unlike most super typhoons, which weaken due to upwelling or other outside factors, Vera remained very strong, slowly weakening as it continued northward. Strong divergence aloft and continued warm water temperatures allowed Vera to remain the equivalent of a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. On September 26, Vera struck the coast of the Kansai region of Japan with winds of 160 mph. The storm weakened over the archipelago while rapidly moving the northeast and re-emerged into the northern Pacific Ocean on the 27th as a minimal typhoon. It continued to the east and became extratropical on the 28th.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21416
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
the arctic will be ice free by 2015
maybe even this year 2012
greenlands ice will be
by 50 percent by 2020


Wanna bet?
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 571
its closed now..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15678
Quoting washingtonian115:
Look by Africa.


its not close yet..but it looks like its trying..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15678
the arctic will be ice free by 2015
maybe even this year 2012
greenlands ice will be
by 50 percent by 2020
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A baffling problem faced the glaciologists in Greenland. They have been aware of the warming trend,but still many glaciers were not retreating, but growing at an unprecedented rate. Greenland is covered with lakes or bodies of ice free water on the icecaps. What they discovered is that these lakes were getting larger and the water was slipping under the glaciers causing them to move faster. This was bad news because the quicker the glaciers move, the more water is lost from the ice caps. Some are now growing at more than 100 feet per day.



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(1) THE AREA OF CONVECTION PREVIOUSLY LOCATED NEAR 17.0N
135.0E IS NOW LOCATED NEAR 15.9N 131.6E, APPROXIMATELY 540 NM NORTH-
NORTHWEST OF PALAU. ANIMATED MULTISPECTRAL SATELLITE SHOWS IMPROVED
ORGANIZATION WITHIN THE LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC) HAS
OCCURRED OVER THE PAST 24 HOURS, WITH A 180125Z ASCAT PASS
INDICATING WIND SPEEDS BETWEEN 10 TO 15 KNOTS ALONG THE WESTERN HALF
OF THE LLCC. CONVECTION HAS BEEN PERSISTENT OVER THE PAST 12 HOURS
WITH A RECENT 180124Z AMSU-B IMAGE INDICATING THE DEEPEST CONVECTION
IS LOCATED ALONG THE SOUTHEASTERN QUADRANT OF LLCC. UPPER LEVEL
ANALYSIS INDICATES NORTHEASTERLY FLOW OVER THE LLCC HELPING TO VENT
THE REGION TO THE SOUTHWEST IN A MODERATE VERTICAL WIND SHEAR (VWS)
ENVIRONMENT. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED AT 10 TO
15 KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 1008
MB. BASED ON FAVORABLE SURFACE CONDITIONS, OUTFLOW AND VWS, THE
POTENTIAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE
WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS IS UPGRADED TO MEDIUM.

We may see this upgraded to a TCFA tomorrow...

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7837
Quoting ncstorm:
144 hours..

Look by Africa.
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This is the USS Seadragon and the USS Skate at the North Pole in 1962. Don't take my word for it. Check it yourself.


Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 571
144 hours..where is that rocket fuel?

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15678
Quoting LargoFl:
.......................Is this..the world our grandchildren will know?


Could be... But that's ok!

New cities will be built. We will have to deal with that, but we WILL survive.
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Quoting ncstorm:
126 hours
Mmmmm.
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Quoting Grothar:
Not quite a blob yet.


You can see it has blob on it's mind.
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At present, sea levels around the world are rising. Current sea level rise potentially impacts human populations (e.g., those living in coastal regions and on islands)[1] and the natural environment (e.g., marine ecosystems).[2] Global average sea level rose at an average rate of around 1.7 ± 0.3 mm per year over 1950 to 2009 and at a satellite-measured average rate of about 3.3 ± 0.4 mm per year from 1993 to 2009,[3] an increase on earlier estimates.[4] It is unclear whether the increased rate reflects an increase in the underlying long-term trend.[5]

Two main factors contributed to observed sea level rise.[6] The first is thermal expansion: as ocean water warms, it expands.[7] The second is from the contribution of land-based ice due to increased melting. The major store of water on land is found in glaciers and ice sheets.

Sea level rise is one of several lines of evidence that support the view that the climate has recently warmed.[8] It is likely that human-induced (anthropogenic) warming contributed to the sea level rise observed in the latter half of the 20th century.[9]

Sea level rise is expected to continue for centuries.[10] In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that during the 21st century, sea level will rise another 18 to 59 cm (7.1 to 23 in), but these numbers do not include "uncertainties in climate-carbon cycle feedbacks nor do they include the full effects of changes in ice sheet flow".[11] Although IPCC explicitly refrained from projecting an upper limit of total sea level rise in the 21st century, one meter of sea level rise is well within the range of more recent projections.[11][12]

On the timescale of centuries to millennia, the melting of ice sheets could result in even higher sea level rise. Partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice sheet, and possibly the West Antarctic ice sheet, could contribute 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) or more to sea level rise.[13]
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
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126 hours
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15678
.......................Is this..the world our grandchildren will know?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
Quoting Grothar:
Not quite a blob yet.


Look at all those blobs over the Eastern US though!
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7837
look at what the GFS is trying to do with the wave..

Cuba
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15678
Not quite a blob yet.

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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248


Pop-up intense storms coming!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3475
There sure is a lot of water there,,Excerpt from Geographia..
Greenland is the largest island in the world. Its northerly location, at the point where the Atlantic meets the Arctic Ocean, means that Greenland is surrounded principally by cold ocean currents, so the coasts are constantly being cooled. This, combined with the radiation of cold from the inland ice, gives Greenland its arctic climate.
The ice cap or inland ice covers 1,833,900 square km, equivalent to 85 percent of Greenland's total area, and extends 2,500 km (1,553 miles) from north to south and up to 1,000 km from east to west.

At its center, the ice can be up to 3 km thick, representing 10 percent of the world's total fresh water reserves.If all the ice were to melt, the world's oceans would rise seven meters.

Climate

Greenland is often associated with cold and darkness and it can, of course, get very cold. However, there is also plenty of light and, although the polar darkness often reigns (in Qaanaaq, the sun doesn't rise for a whole three months!), it is never totally dark. Greenland enjoys more hours of summer than anywhere down south, but the weather is nowhere near as warm, even though the light is much more intense. Greenland summers won't give you an all-over tan, but your face and neck will turn a beautiful shade of brown.

The climate of Greenland is generally dry, and this means that the same temperature feels very different in Greenland from what it does in Europe. 10 - 15 C (50 - 60F) seems very warm, while -10C (-50F) seems a very pleasant temperature.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21416
... and I want the wave east of the island to become a big blob by dmax loool I love rain and thunderstorms!
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ok so that area in the CATL looks pretty good, and has a low to it

I know its attached to the ITCZ still, but I do think it is worth a mention
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Quoting winter123:
Here's "91L" from the NHC floater site. I'm thinking someone messed up.
BEGIN
HPC_ATCF
invest_DEACTIVATE_al912012.ren
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NHC should be looking for their yellow crayon... they have only 2hours left to do so :)
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Here's "91L" from the NHC floater site. I'm thinking someone messed up.
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This flood map of Grand Cayman shows the area of land covered by salt water during hurricane Ivan in blue. Not much that was not covered !.

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Quoting JeffMasters:


My top climate change concerns between now and 2030:

1) Drought
2) Floods from increased heavy precipitation events
3) Increased storm damage from sea level rise
4) Stronger storms (hurricanes? severe thunderstorms?)

Jeff Masters


1) Drought and 4)Stronger storms (hurricanes? severe thunderstorms?)
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It's not going to be long until we get our first Cape verde storm.

Conditions in the east Atlantic are not neary as bad as they were expected to be by this time. Wind shear is running below average and SSTs are generally slightly above average.
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Hoping these outflow Boundaries can trigger some Heat Busting Storms here Uptown.

Itsa Hotsui'

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128667
Located 50 miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea, the Carteret Islands are disappearing into the ocean. Climate change is destroying the atoll, forcing the islanders to search for homes on Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea. Though this is the story of one remote community, scientists estimate climate change will displace up to 50 million people by 2050.

This report is part of Pulitzer Center-sponsored project "The Next Wave: Climate Refugees in the South Pacific"
(http://bit.ly/t9dVUx).

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128667
2030?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15678
Greenland ice sheet may melt if temperatures increase by just 1.6 degrees Celsius:


The Greenland ice sheet may melt completely if there is an increase in global warming by 1.6 degrees Celsius — a much lower increase in temperatures than previous studies have indicated.

A new study published in "Nature Climate Change" by a team of researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid used mathematical models and computer simulations of the ice sheet and the regional climate of Greenland to determine the melting point.

While it establishes a new tipping point, so to speak, it isn’t immediately catastrophic, one of the researchers said. The melting of the ice sheet would take place over time.

“It depends on how high above the threshold we go,” Alexander Robinson, one of the authors and a post doctoral researcher and physicist at both institutions told the Star.

“If we had a constant temperature (increase) of 2 degrees Celsius it would decline or melt over 50,000 years.”

Still the extended period of time that it would take does not take away from the seriousness of the event. And if the temperature increase is from global warming is higher, it will not only rapidly speed up the process but will have profound consequences for the planet.

For example if the increase in global warming was 8 degrees Celsius that would mean the whole ice sheet would melt in 2,000 years — 20 per cent would happen in the first 500 years.

And that would mean according to Robinson that you would have 30 centimetres per century of sea level rise.

This could have profound implications for many populations who live at sea level because if the ice sheet melts it will eventually cause a rise in sea levels worldwide.

Previous studies had put the benchmark or tipping point for the Greenland ice sheet to melt at a 3.1 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures.

But this new study calls that into question. It also shows the seriousness of the consequences of global warming.

“What we’re doing to the planet today has implications for the earth for a long time into the future,” said Robinson.

“If we go above this threshold we’re ensuring within a certain period of time there will be seven metres of sea level rise — that’s the entire volume of water contained inside the Greenland ice sheet.”

Currently, the temperature has already risen 0.8 degrees Celsius, Robinson said. “So from today we only need another 0.8 degrees Celsius to reach that threshold” before the ice sheet begins to melt — albeit slowly.

“What it shows is very soon we may take the first step across this threshold,” added Robinson.

“It’s very hard to decrease increases in temperature. As long as CO2 is in the atmosphere temperatures will stay warm for a long time.

“And even if temperatures cool later — if we’re able to cool the climate — once the loss of ice has begun and ice has started melting it easily becomes irreversible once you lose a certain amount of ice.”

For the common person this study shows how strong an impact global warming can have on the planet — to the point it can melt a continental scale ice sheet, Robinson concluded.

Link
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Quoting Patrap:
Dr. Jeff Masters Webinar from last Tuesday

And sadly, nuclear war look realistic in future especially with all of the crisis in Middle East... especially between Iran and Israel.
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Quoting JeffMasters:


My top climate change concerns between now and 2030:

1) Drought
2) Floods from increased heavy precipitation events
3) Increased storm damage from sea level rise
4) Stronger storms (hurricanes? severe thunderstorms?)

Jeff Masters
Dr. M, how would climate change affect winters in the north(less snow and warmer, same, or cooler and more snow). Also with the great lakes getting warmer will that mean more lake effect snow?
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faster and faster doc

thanks for update
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Boston news station got hit by lightning during broadcast.

@KateMerrill: wow. thats a first. Station just got hit by lightning and knocked us out during newscast! #wow #wildweather
bad storms up there
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248

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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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