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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1137 ktymisty: I get a lot of news about Fukushima from the Fukushima Dairy website. The chatbox is a bit depressing to 'listen to' but it's got some very good info.

The FukushimaDiary is garbage that detracts from serious reporting in the same way that the "flying saucer" folks buried good info about unidentified flying objects (much probably experimental military aircraft/missiles) under tons of "little green men" nonsense.
If TEPCO* ain't payin' Mochizuki for his blog, they should be outta pure gratitude for keeping their "plausible denial" BS plausible.

* The outfit that was running the Japanese nuclear industry down the toilet even before the GreatTohokuEarthquake... well before... at least, all the way back to doing the groundwork in preparation for building the FukushimaDaiichi powerplant.
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Last Year


Now



Going to be more of a home grown peak of the season coming up.
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1328. Tygor
Man it looks like this wave is going to go POOF again right off the coast.
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1327. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
everybodys gone to bed
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Quoting nigel20:
Eastern Tropical Atlantic



What are the chances of this wave affecting the northeastern Caribbean - development or not?
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From http://news.slashdot.org
Plan to Slow Global Warming By Dumping Iron Sulphate into Oceans
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Good night all :)
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Why is a public beach that close to an airport?

I'd guess because that's likely the flattest part of the island... and knowing a lot of the Lesser Antilles are relatively mountainous, or at least hilly, I'd bet that's the main answer.

This map of St. Maarten seems to suggest that's prolly the main reason...

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Nite GS, Im off to bed as well everyone.
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good night from dc all
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Nite nigel
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1319. nigel20
Have a good night fellow bloggers...I'm off to bed.
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Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
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Quoting EstherD:


That's really painful to watch! And in addition to all the obvious visible hazards, as someone who used to work in a hearing research lab, I can tell you on good authority that the intensity of the sound field behind a jet at takeoff is sufficient to cause permanent hearing damage after even a short exposure. (There's a reason why the all the airport ground crew wear ear protectors, ya know?)


Back in 1986 there were not so many warning signs like today... Also the 747 I watched was quite far from the cyclone fence (more or less 200 mts)...
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Hard to believe these little storms which were down near south Andros 1/2 hour ago are now making enough noise that they woke me up just now...

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1312. EstherD
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Here is a girl being blown away at that St Maarten beach.

Link


That's really painful to watch! And in addition to all the obvious visible hazards, as someone who used to work in a hearing research lab, I can tell you on good authority that the intensity of the sound field behind a jet at takeoff is sufficient to cause permanent hearing damage after even a short exposure. (There's a reason why the all the airport ground crew wear ear protectors, ya know?)
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Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
Power's back already!!!

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1309. nigel20
Eastern Tropical Atlantic

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Quoting sunlinepr:


I had my 4 yr. old daughter and was standing in that small concrete fence... When the heat began blowing I jumped down behind the wall into the sand an covered and protected her... The other people standing in the cyclone fence had a real bad time...



owwww
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WOOO! More rain for me! It was a rather nice lightning show.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Here is a girl being blown away at that St Maarten beach.

Link


I had my 4 yr. old daughter and was standing in that small concrete fence... When the heat began blowing I jumped down behind the wall into the sand an covered and protected her... The other people standing in the cyclone fence had a real bad time...

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http://sat.wrh.noaa.gov/satellite/loopsat.php?wfo=s ew&area=west&type=wv&size=4 check out the Fujiwhara effect on the two lows in the northwest corner of the image.
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1301. nigel20
Quoting Grothar:


Hello, Nigel. I'm not sure why, but I guess when you live on a small island, you have to approach the airport from the water at some point.

Hey Grothar! That's correct.
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Quoting nigel20:

Why is a public beach that close to an airport?


saw one of those in trinidad and tobago.

Quite a wind.
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1299. wxmod
Quoting weatherbro:


Those are chem trails



Of course they are bro.
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1298. nigel20
Quoting sunlinepr:


I think it is for security reasons.... The PR LMM international airport track ends also in a coastal area....
Quoting Astrometeor:


Airport probably couldn't buy the lands to keep people from doing that. Or maybe they thought people wouldn't dare try that.
Quoting CaribBoy:


Staying right in the airplanes axis is dangerous... BUT despite the jetblast danger, folks really like watching takeoffs and landings just behind the runway. Most of the time nobody is injured, but sometimes accidents occurs.

That seems to be a very dangerous practice
We had a terrible accident in 2009, but no one was seriously injured





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I think it is for crash security reasons.... If an accident occurs it will be over water not over a populated area...
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Here is a girl being blown away at that St Maarten beach.

Link
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1294. Grothar
Quoting nigel20:

Why is a public beach that close to an airport?


Hello, Nigel. I'm not sure why, but I guess when you live on a small island, you have to approach the airport from the water at some point.
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Quoting sunlinepr:


The first time I went to St. Maarten (1984) We spent a week in Pelican Resort (Does not exists today). I was one of those fools who stood there near the fence of the airport and the beach, to watch a 747 departure...


Almost 30 years after... things haven't changed much lol
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Quoting sunlinepr:


I think it is for security reasons.... The PR LMM international airport track ends also in a coastal area....


pr,here is a video of those people at St Marteen Beach.

Link
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Quoting nigel20:

Why is a public beach that close to an airport?


Staying right in the airplanes axis is dangerous... BUT despite the jetblast danger, folks really like watching takeoffs and landings just behind the runway. Most of the time nobody is injured, but sometimes accidents occurs.
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Quoting nigel20:

Why is a public beach that close to an airport?


Airport probably couldn't buy the lands to keep people from doing that. Or maybe they thought people wouldn't dare try that.
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Quoting nigel20:

Why is a public beach that close to an airport?


I think it is for security reasons.... The PR LMM international airport track ends also in a coastal area....
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Quoting Grothar:


Glad you cleared that up.


And right now is at -3.8.
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Quoting CaribBoy:


So right now we are in a neutral phase.


SI,yeah
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made it safely to DC after 3 hrs of 100ft visibility in VA and DC.
Im tired.
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Quoting stormchaser19:


Sustained negative values of the SOI greater than −8 often indicate EL NINO

Sustainted positive values of the SOI greater than +8 are typical of a LA NINA



So right now we are in a neutral phase.
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1283. nigel20
Quoting sunlinepr:


The first time I went to St. Maarten (1984) We spent a week in Pelican Resort (Does not exists today). I was one of those fools who stood there near the fence of the airport and the beach, to watch a 747 departure...

Why is a public beach that close to an airport?
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Quoting Patrap:
As the Warming increases the Global Water Vapor, we introduce more potential for Chaos as well.

And like CRS notes in the Loading the dice analogy,
well..it gloves nicely with the observations were seeing.


Patrap gets it.

More heat = more chaos

It's really not that complicated. Just like CO2 is a heat-trapping gas and if there's more of it, there's more heat trapped.

It's un-freaking-believable that some of these points have to be "debated."

Debate all you want about the degree to which our fossil fuel burning is part of the equation, but to say it's not part of the equation is denial, ignorance or both.

It's 2012 and we have barely evolved the discussion. Our political leaders are failing us and future generations.
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1281. Grothar
Quoting stormchaser19:


Sustained negative values of the SOI greater than −8 often indicate EL NINO

Sustainted positive values of the SOI greater than +8 are typical of a LA NINA



Glad you cleared that up.
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Quoting CaribBoy:


Could you please tell me what does that means?
Quoting CaribBoy:


Could you please tell me what does that means?


Sustained negative values of the SOI greater than −8 often indicate EL NINO

Sustainted positive values of the SOI greater than +8 are typical of a LA NINA

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About

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