According to reports from Weather Underground, Greenland experienced its hottest temperature ever recorded on July 30th, 2013. The new record, 78.6 degrees Fahrenheit, was measured at Maniistoq Mittarfia on the western coast of Greenland near Baffin Bay. The event occurred during a period of rapidly increasing Greenland melt as a high amplitude wave in the Jet Stream surged over Greenland, pulling warm air up from the south.
This southerly flow set up conditions for what is called a foehn event — a warm, dry airflow that occurred in the slopes of Greenland’s western mountains. This associated warm flow amplified heat over a broad region of Greenland, creating 2013’s largest melt spike, even as it set new temperature records. The previous record was 77.9 degrees (F) which was set in 1990 at Kangerlussuaq on July 27th.
As Greenland was experiencing its hottest foehn wind event ever recorded, a number of Arctic specialists were putting together the above video summary explaining how the Greenland ice sheet has sped up in recent years. Peter Sinclair, Jason Box and other experts provide an in depth analysis of this planet-shaping event in the video above. Live filming occurs at the site where a large melt pulse from the Greenland ice sheet washed out a bridge, road and threatened a nearby airport during the record 2012 melt year.
A rapid melt pulse from Greenland could set off an abrupt release of ice into the North Atlantic known as a Heinrich Event. Such a major release of glaciers and melt water would have a severe disruptive effect on both local and global climates. Local cooling would result in vicious weather for Europe and the rest of the world has hot tropical air, amplified by human warming, came into direct and violent conflict with air chilled by what is known as the ‘ice berg cooling effect.’
In order for such an event to take place, the speed of Greenland’s ice sheets would have to greatly accelerate. The fact that we are starting to see the early stages of such an acceleration is not cause for comfort.