Greenland ice sheet well above average in 2018

Posted: October 27, 2018 by oldbrew in climate, Natural Variation, News
Tags:

Rinks Glacier, West Greenland
[image credit: NSIDC]


However this is interpreted, ‘sixth highest on record’ doesn’t quite support the ‘rapid melting’ story so beloved of man-made climate alarm believers. It looks a lot more like natural variability, as the report suggests.

It’s time for the Greenland ice sheet’s annual health report, brought to you by scientists from the Danish Meteorological Institute and Polar Portal.

The end of August traditionally marks the end of the melt season for the Greenland ice sheet as it shifts from mostly melting to mostly gaining snow, says ScienceNordic.

As usual, this is the time when the scientists at DMI and our partners in the Polar Portal assess the state of the ice sheet after a year of snowfall and ice melt. Using daily output from a weather forecasting model combined with a model that calculates melt of snow and ice, we calculate the “surface mass budget” (SMB) of the ice sheet.

This budget takes into account the balance between snow that is added to the ice sheet and melting snow and glacier ice that runs off into the ocean.

The ice sheet also loses ice by the breaking off, or “calving”, of icebergs from its edge, but that is not included in this type of budget. As a result, the SMB will always be positive – that is, the ice sheet gains more snow than the ice it loses.

For this year, we calculated a total SMB of 517bn tonnes, which is almost 150bn tonnes above the average for 1981-2010, ranking just behind the 2016-17 season as sixth highest on record.

By contrast, the lowest SMB in the record was 2011-2012 with just 38bn tonnes, which shows how variable SMB can be from one year to another.

Continued here.

Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    Also from the report:

    Heatwave and the Atlantic see-saw

    While much of the northern hemisphere had a summer of record-breaking heat, Greenland had a rather cool and snowy summer, particularly in the month of June, which ended with a large storm that dumped a large amount of snow on the ice sheet on the last two days of August.

    This “see-saw” pattern is a feature of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), a source of variability over the Atlantic Ocean. If it is relatively warm over central and northern Europe, temperatures are below normal in western Greenland – and vice versa.
    – – –
    So ‘Hothouse Earth’ turns out to mean hot for some, cool for others.

    Iceland also had a dismal summer until at least mid-July.

    June saw less sunshine than any year since reliable monitoring began by the Icelandic Meteorological Office, more than 100 years ago. May also set a record for the wettest May on record. Unfortunately there is nothing to suggest July will be much better
    https://icelandmag.is/article/so-far-summer-2018-worst-record-reykjavik

  2. Jamie Spry says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    MORE inconvenient news from the CO2-induced “Ice-Free” Arctic!

  3. manicbeancounter says:

    What is most significant is that in 2017 there was very similar. As the article points out, there can considerable variability from one year to the next. By implication, two years was significant. Another is that 2017 was the end of a strong El Nino, when global average temperatures were unusually high.
    As Oldbrew quotes above, 2018 was characterized by unusually high temperatures in most of the global hemisphere. Two years when Greenland local conditions affected net ice melt more than the wider average.

  4. oldbrew says:

  5. Mike Thefordprefect says:

    it would be nice if you allowed this to be posted as it is totally factual
    The plots are showing ONLY the melt and precipitation – NOT including the calving loss!!

    http://sciencenordic.com/how-greenland-ice-sheet-fared-2018

    As usual, this is the time when the scientists at DMI and our partners in the Polar Portal assess the state of the ice sheet after a year of snowfall and ice melt. Using daily output from a weather forecasting model combined with a model that calculates melt of snow and ice, we calculate the “surface mass budget” (SMB) of the ice sheet.
    This budget takes into account the balance between snow that is added to the ice sheet and melting snow and glacier ice that runs off into the ocean. The ice sheet also loses ice by the breaking off, or “calving”, of icebergs from its edge, but that is not included in this type of budget. As a result, the SMB will always be positive – that is, the ice sheet gains more snow than the ice it loses.

    Total mass balance and looking forward to GRACE-FO
    Our analysis shows that the year-to-year variability in SMB can be high and is highly dependent on the weather. But what about the total mass budget – that also accounts for mass loss via calving and melting at the base of the ice sheet? Well there is good news and bad news.

    The bad news is that the GRACE satellite that can measure the mass change has not given any reliable data since June 2016. The good news is that the successor, GRACE-FO, launched in May and has already started giving some early observations.

  6. oldbrew says:

    For this year, we calculated a total SMB of 517bn tonnes, which is almost 150bn tonnes above the average for 1981-2010, ranking just behind the 2016-17 season as sixth highest on record.

    By contrast, the lowest SMB in the record was 2011-2012 with just 38bn tonnes, which shows how variable SMB can be from one year to another.

    Nothing alarming this year or last.

  7. ivan says:

    Just to add that our local mountain here in the south of France got a quite heavy coating of snow today.

  8. oldbrew says:

    From: http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=27&month=10&year=2018
    – – –
    Note: the ‘hot’ 1960-ish peak (1958?) was around the time of frequent above-ground nuclear weapons testing.

    Shot Argus I of Operation Argus, on 27 August 1958, was the first detonation of a nuclear weapon in outer space when a 1.7-kiloton warhead was detonated at 200 kilometers altitude over the South Atlantic Ocean during a series of high-altitude nuclear explosions.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_weapons_tests

    Most powerful tests
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_weapons_tests#Most_powerful_tests

  9. oldbrew says:

    It’s time for the Greenland ice sheet’s annual health report

    By what criteria would more ice be ‘healthier’? Ice ages aren’t considered ‘healthy’.

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