Mighty Greenland glacier slams on brakes

Posted: May 15, 2019 by oldbrew in climate, Natural Variation
Tags: , ,

Jakobshavn glacier, West Greenland [image credit: Wikipedia]

Even the climate alarm oriented BBC has finally had to admit the inconvenient truth about Greenland’s largest glacier. Instead of dropping in height by 20m. a year, it’s now thickening by 20m. a year. This isn’t supposed to happen when one of the stock phrases of the fearmongering media is ‘the rapidly melting Arctic’. Of course logic says that since glaciers can grow naturally they can also retreat naturally, despite attempts to blame humans.

European satellites have detailed the abrupt change in behaviour of one of Greenland’s most important glaciers, says BBC News.

In the 2000s, Jakobshavn Isbrae was the fastest flowing ice stream on the island, travelling at 17km a year.

As it sped to the ocean, its front end also retreated and thinned, dropping in height by as much as 20m year.

But now it’s all change. Jakobshavn is travelling much more slowly, and its trunk has even begun to thicken and lengthen.

“It’s a complete reversal in behaviour and it wasn’t predicted,” said Dr Anna Hogg from Leeds University and the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM).

“The question now is: what’s next for Jakobshavn? Is this just a pause, or is it a switch-off of the dynamic thinning we’ve seen previously?”

The glacier is sited in southwest Greenland. It’s famous for its spectacular production of icebergs – colossal blocks calve from its terminus and drift down its fjord, out into Disko Bay and onwards to the North Atlantic.

More than likely, it was Jakobshavn that spawned the iceberg that sank the Titanic.

Scientists’ interest in the glacier lies in its role as a drainage outlet for the Greenland Ice Sheet. It’s a key channel for the export of ice that can then raise global sea levels.

The rapid flow, thinning and retreat of Jakobshavn’s front end in the mid to late 2000s were probably driven by warm ocean water from Disko Bay getting into the fjord and attacking the glacier from below.

The phase change, scientists think, may be related to very cold weather in 2013. This would have resulted in less meltwater coming off the glacier, which in turn might have choked the mechanism that pulls warm ocean water towards Jakobshavn.

Full report here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    “The rate of sea-level contribution from Greenland has slowed in recent years and it’s because some of the biggest ice evacuators like Jakobshavn aren’t contributing as much as they used to.”

    The writing is on the wall for madcap alarmists.

  2. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Oh how the Beeb must have choked publishing this story, especially when it has this #MoneyShot to finish;

  3. hunterson7 says:

    “Ice evacuators”
    Interesting term.
    I can see how it could be very attractive to the catastrophist obsessed.

  4. oldbrew says:

    BBC climate propaganda evacuators has a certain…er, ring to it 😀

  5. Gamecock says:


    ‘one of Greenland’s most important glaciers’


  6. oldbrew says:

    Jakobshavn Glacier drains 6.5% of the Greenland ice sheet[1] and produces around 10% of all Greenland icebergs. Some 35 billion tonnes of icebergs calve off and pass out of the fjord every year.
    . . .
    Ilulissat Icefjord (Greenlandic: Ilulissat Kangerlua) was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
    . . .
    Airborne altimetry and satellite imagery shows that Greenland’s largest glacier Jakobshavn has been re-advancing, slowing and thickening by over 100 feet from 2016 to 2018.
    [bold added]


  7. Gamecock says:

    “Greenland’s largest glacier”


    That affects me how?

  8. oldbrew says:

    Come on Gamecock. The Arctic is supposed to show that man is warming the planet, but this evidence of cooling is now staring alarmists and everyone else in the face.

  9. Colin MacDonald says:

    Fear not, the latest thing is accelerated melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, now judged to have contributed a colossal 5mm to world sea level since 1990. And after that turns out to be a damp squib something else will come along.

  10. oldbrew says:

    The times they are a-changing…

    Date: 16/05/19 Roger Pielke Jr.

    More than 283 million Americans currently live in regions experiencing no drought. This is the most people in the history of the US to experience no drought conditions at once.

    – – –
    ‘Permanent drought’ scares will have to be shelved at least.