Record warmth at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet

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

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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Good afternoon everyone... No tropical cyclones anywhere in the world today... The closest thing to being one is in the West Pac...

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Quoting pottery:

Yeah.
Hers what one of the UK mets said... "we could see 20mm (0.8") of rain fall in 6 hrs..... it will be very heavy..."

0.8" in 6 hrs here and we would probably not notice.....

Hey Pottery! Did you enjoy the ODI and T20 series against New Zealand and do you think that we'll win the test series?
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Say hi to El-Nino. Probably in the +.05C range now.

7/16/2012


7/19/2012






can you plzs stop jumping the gun on things and saying things that are not ture at all


you cant this say hi too EL nino by looking at a map


the ones that call things and say it is EL nino is noaa
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inre 796 WxGeekVA: More HERE
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Quoting yoboi:


that's about the same distance from my house to nola,when ya take time and learn stuff like this, it's truly amazing i will look at polar bears with a differ view now...

You better hurry.
They won't be around for long.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


If only people in the UK understood what real torrential downpours, the would freak over the sea breeze thunderstorm that dumped 4 inches here in one hour and produced more than 2000 lightning strikes in 15 minutes, lol.


I know they get a lot of rain there, but from what I know its not usually a deep moist convective kind of rain, and it sounds like this is normally their drier season, considering the average rainfall for June and July is less than 3 inches and over 5 inches is an all time record for them, that is pretty surprising, even here in Florida we can see 8 or 9 inches of rain in the dry season without breaking a record even though the average per month is only 2 to 3 during the drier period.



Climate of the United Kingdom

Hey Jedkins! What's up?
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Quoting Jedkins01:


If only people in the UK understood what real torrential downpours, the would freak over the sea breeze thunderstorm that dumped 4 inches here in one hour and produced more than 2000 lightning strikes in 15 minutes, lol.


I know they get a lot of rain there, but from what I know its not usually a deep moist convective kind of rain, and it sounds like this is normally their drier season, considering the average rainfall for June and July is less than 3 inches and over 5 inches is an all time record for them, that is pretty surprising, even here in Florida we can see 8 or 9 inches of rain in the dry season without breaking a record even though the average per month is only 2 to 3 during the drier period.


Yeah.
Hers what one of the UK mets said... "we could see 20mm (0.8") of rain fall in 6 hrs..... it will be very heavy..."

0.8" in 6 hrs here and we would probably not notice.....
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Quoting yoboi:



i was just making a comment about the bears i never knew they could swim that far i was amazed how far they could swim.

Pretty phenomenal, for true!
2 mph for 4 days is pretty good going.
Favourable currents would have to be in place I would think.
Still, that's a long swim.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Say hi to El-Nino. Probably in the +.05C range now.

7/16/2012


7/19/2012


No El nino yet so no. ;)
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Say hi to El-Nino. Probably in the +.05C range now.

7/16/2012


7/19/2012


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting nigel20:

Yeah. It's extremely wet in the UK...hopefully it'll not significantly affect the Olympics!

After wettest June, UK braces for more rain


If only people in the UK understood what real torrential downpours, the would freak over the sea breeze thunderstorm that dumped 4 inches here in one hour and produced more than 2000 lightning strikes in 15 minutes, lol.


I know they get a lot of rain there, but from what I know its not usually a deep moist convective kind of rain, and it sounds like this is normally their drier season, considering the average rainfall for June and July is less than 3 inches and over 5 inches is an all time record for them, that is pretty surprising, even here in Florida we can see 8 or 9 inches of rain in the dry season without breaking a record even though the average per month is only 2 to 3 during the drier period.

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Quoting JLPR2:
Well now, the very fictional CFS changed from showing one storm till August 28th, to a rather active August with 4-5 storms, it also seemed almost all were CV storms or born out of TWs, to note also is the Caribbean is as dead as it is now during this run...

Here is the link, you may all amuse yourselves, there is nothing else to do. XD

CFS


Yes, just for fun. Do you know how many times per week the CFS updates?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 16557
Quoting nigel20:
Good afternoon everyone!

Daily SOI: 7.7
30 Day SOI: -4.5
90 Day SOI: -3.6

Recent (preliminary) Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values

SST Anomaly



Looks warmer in the Nino 3.4 region.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Eastern Tropical Atlantic
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Quoting opal92nwf:

I lived right across the river in Illinois, it was really bad there too. I was home alone that afternoon. I remember shortly before the storm hit, it was just the most hot, humid, sultry conditions ever. There was only like a 30% chance of thunderstorms, so I was suprised to see an intense thunderstorm approaching. I remember on the weather channel there being a tornado warning with the severe thunderstorm itself capable of producing 80 mph winds. That really scared me. A day or two later, there was another wind storm (derecho) that hit the area, and it was worse than the July 19th storm, at least in our area. Our neighbors found a tree branch impaled in their roof afterwards, though no sign of a tornado.


I remember the morning storm of July 21st on the news.
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Quoting yoboi:



i never knew polar bears could swim that far...amazing creatures they are...


Why would you demean yourself by quoting such a flawed piece?

"temperatures have been falling since 2002" "Polar ice is growing"

Don't you read carefully enough to catch massive untruths such as that?
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I have a question'.......The models have the X factor of the SAL in his logic operation or only they have the dry air factor?
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Quoting 954FtLCane:

OMG, i thought you meant that someone by the name of Curt was trying to be Jeff. I'm so confused.
I still haven't found the person/face in the coffee beans. I ate 3 whole cans of tuna trying to up by protein but no luck yet. ;-).

Back to weather the local mets say that much of next week (s fla) will be affected by SAL. Per Trent Aric's words, (Met on Channel 10 Miami), this looks like it'll be one of the largest Saharan dust areas to move over the area in years.
I can say though on a brighter note for us, compared to the rest of the country the temps have been close to our average nearly all summer thus far.


Cannot say I am looking forward to the SAL outbreak next week. My dad, who moved to the Orlando area in 1981 recalls several episodes of the SAL occurring during the 1980s, sometimes so significant that a fine layer of sand/dust could be seen on smooth outdoor objects.

As for the weather, from here through the near future, it looks like we are in for above average day and nighttime temperatures and rain chances a bit below average. Interesting, but the summer until now (while hot as ALWAYS) has not been that hot and some mornings have actually been pleasant. Even a few afternoons have been warm but not at all hot. This is the first summer in a number of years here where I have not bemoaned it to be the hottest summer I have yet experienced. I think the second have of this summer will be a completely different story though.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Good afternoon nigel. The wave passage has brought some rain to the islands that need it more. Here in PR,scattered showers were prevalent today.

Hey Tropics! It's partly cloudy with light showers across the interior of Jamaica.
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I hope this new line of storms doesn't produce the amount of rain that happened yesterday...When storms get to D.C they blow up..The people over in Bloomingdale and Rhode Island ave have flooded yesterday and from the previous storm before that.This will only be insult to injury.
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Quoting nigel20:




Good afternoon nigel. The wave passage has brought some rain to the islands that need it more. Here in PR,scattered showers were prevalent today.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 16557
Quoting Tribucanes:
Any signs this far out to what the US winter will look like this year? Huge blocking highs causing the US and Europe to be in opposite extremes during the winter going to be the new norm? I'm over it from earlier, thanks all and WU for letting me get it out of my system.

Yeah. It's extremely wet in the UK...hopefully it'll not significantly affect the Olympics!

After wettest June, UK braces for more rain
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
This blog...


I love this clip
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might be an interesting day tomorrow..



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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Today is the 6th year anniversary of the worst storm I've ever seen in my life back in St. Louis. This storm will be remembered as it caused millions of people to loses the power for a week during one of those bad heat waves. This storm also hit Busch Stadium really hard during Cardinals/Braves game and the storm move in so fast that it caught many fans off guard as the winds went from 10 MPH to 100 MPH in a second and couple of debris fell into the crowd (portable concession stands were knocked over, the infield rain tarp was damaged, and plastic sheets used to protect the press box were dislodged). As a result of the storm at least thirty spectators were injured, of whom five were taken to the hospital. This storm causes Busch Stadium to installs "tornado shelters" and to show the radar on scoreboard before the storm strikes. As result, Busch Stadium is now one of the safest stadium to be inside of ANY stadium in USA during the storms. Meanwhile, I remembered seeing 90 MPH winds back in Chesterfield, MO and I witnessed the birth of tornado that eventually touch down in Eureka. Scariest storm I've ever seen. Luckily, I did not lost the power or I would've been fried by the heat.

Youtube video: Link

NWS Report on July 19, 2006 storm: Link

I lived right across the river in Illinois, it was really bad there too. I was home alone that afternoon. I remember shortly before the storm hit, it was just the most hot, humid, sultry conditions ever. There was only like a 30% chance of thunderstorms, so I was suprised to see an intense thunderstorm approaching. I remember on the weather channel there being a tornado warning with the severe thunderstorm itself capable of producing 80 mph winds. That really scared me. A day or two later, there was another wind storm (derecho) that hit the area, and it was worse than the July 19th storm, at least in our area. Our neighbors found a tree branch impaled in their roof afterwards, though no sign of a tornado.
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Any signs this far out to what the US winter will look like this year? Huge blocking highs causing the US and Europe to be in opposite extremes during the winter going to be the new norm? I'm over it from earlier, thanks all and WU for letting me get it out of my system.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Active Atlantic just means a different kind of madness...
I avoid the nuts/trolls on here during active periods in the Atlantic.I discuss what's going on with more sane people.
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845. JLPR2
Quoting washingtonian115:
I remember back when I was lurking in 2009 that the Atlantic was so dead people posted model runs like that.Lol.I wouldn't even be surprised if people started posting the model runs of the GFS 300 plus out.


Sad thing is there is nothing on the GFS 300hrs+ out. xD
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Quoting LargoFl:
..................one dangerous line of storms here


Uh oh, thank you, I'm right in the line of fire :)
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825) rem that, coworker I share season tix was at game in left field bleachers where most got hurt - he was under grandstand fortunately. Would have taken a little severe today just to get some moisture in the ground though. Just dried up like we were the TX coast for last year's D(?) storm.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Dead Atlantic equals madness on the blog.

Active Atlantic just means a different kind of madness...
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5958
Quoting JLPR2:
Well now, the very fictional CFS changed from showing one storm till August 28th, to a rather active August with 4-5 storms, it also seemed almost all were CV storms or born out of TWs, to note also is the Caribbean is as dead as it is now during this run...

Here is the link, you may all amuse yourselves, there is nothing else to do. XD

CFS
I remember back when I was lurking in 2009 that the Atlantic was so dead people posted model runs like that.Lol.I wouldn't even be surprised if people started posting the model runs of the GFS 300 plus out.
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Quoting yoboi:


do you have a picture before they built the airport?

No, I was stationed there in 1968. The airport... or Air Base was built in 1941. I tried finding a picture of what Russell Glacier would look like today as approaching the airport. Couldn't find one.
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Quoting nigel20:

Yeah...what's up Mississippi?


Just dodging rain! It's nice to be able to say that after no rain in June. Hope all is well with you.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


SOI continues to be slightly positive on the dailies, but the SST anomalies are holding steady now.

Yeah...what's up Mississippi?
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834. JLPR2
Well now, the very fictional CFS changed from showing one storm till August 28th, to a rather active August with 4-5 storms, it also seemed almost all were CV storms or born out of TWs, to note also is the Caribbean is as dead as it is now during this run...

Here is the link, you may all amuse yourselves, there is nothing else to do. XD

CFS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Today is the 6th year anniversary of the worst storm I've ever seen in my life back in St. Louis. This storm will be remembered as it caused millions of people to loses the power for a week during one of those bad heat waves. This storm also hit Busch Stadium really hard during Cardinals/Braves game and the storm move in so fast that it caught many fans off guard as the winds went from 10 MPH to 100 MPH in a second and couple of debris fell into the crowd (portable concession stands were knocked over, the infield rain tarp was damaged, and plastic sheets used to protect the press box were dislodged). As a result of the storm at least thirty spectators were injured, of whom five were taken to the hospital. This storm causes Busch Stadium to installs "tornado shelters" and to show the radar on scoreboard before the storm strikes. As result, Busch Stadium is now one of the safest stadium to be inside of ANY stadium in USA during the storms. Meanwhile, I remembered seeing 90 MPH winds back in Chesterfield, MO and I witnessed the birth of tornado that eventually touch down in Eureka. Scariest storm I've ever seen.

I can understand how people in an enclosed stadium could not know if a storm is coming, but I would think the management would know to keep a channel tuned to a weather channel. I don't know, but I guess I am used to looking to the sky as well as radar to see what the weather is going to do. I guess it becomes habit when you are "out to sea" as are the keys. Although one July 4th there was a storm building I noticed after I had just finished my volunteer hour at the Hospice picnic. You could see the sky, it was BLACK and the sea was White. And NO ONE was clearing things to come inside. I took one look at that sky and got out of there before it broke. And when it hit land several tents flew and it was a deluge. That's how squall lines work down here. Especially in the summer.
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Dead Atlantic equals madness on the blog.
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Quoting nigel20:
Good afternoon everyone!

Daily SOI: 7.7
30 Day SOI: -4.5
90 Day SOI: -3.6

SST Anomaly


SOI continues to be slightly positive on the dailies, but the SST anomalies are holding steady now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good afternoon everyone!

Daily SOI: 7.7
30 Day SOI: -4.5
90 Day SOI: -3.6

Recent (preliminary) Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values

SST Anomaly
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Grizzlies in Lake Clark National Park
Mount Redoubt Lava Dome
Matanuska Glacier
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