Greenland Ice Sheet Slipping Under Hottest Temperatures Ever Recorded

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.

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24 Comments

  1. T.O.O.

     /  August 1, 2013

    Hi Robert, on July 23
    This is completely out of context, but so good, I thought I would share it. From David Thompson at the openparachute blog in a response to another blogger on July 23:

    “Seriously, you guys act as though you have authority and expertise in climate science despite no formal or structured training, no professional background and no resources beyond what is free on the internet and a few books. You conduct no research, have no primary data, belong to no professional associations, are bound by no codes or rules, are never required to engage in professional development and your behaviour is not subject to independent scrutiny.

    But for me the kicker is that if you’re proven wrong the only cost to you is your pride, and given you are largely anonymous, there is no risk.

    Then you have the scientists and allied professionals. They get found either deliberately lying or being so inept they miss something an amateur can find and decades of work goes out the window along with their reputation and any chance of a job better than pumping gas.

    Or organisations like NASA and NIWA who are dependent on government funding for their survival and NGOs like the WMO or the IPCC who are equally dependent on external funding. If the CEOs of these organisations find out that anyone working for them is either an idiot or a liar they would be pumping gas by lunchtime. If anyone discovered that the entire staff of, say, NASA, were a mix of idiots and crooks (how would you keep that under wraps for more than 8 minutes) you would have the story of the millenia and the US deficit would suddenly cease to be a problem

    And companies like PWC or McKinsey & Co have spent billions and decades building a reputation for being trustworthy and expert enough to command staggering amounts for their advice. If, say, a competitor got wind that the hundreds of millions they have been paid for climate change advice was all a fraud; that’s the end of the whole company.

    One group comprising everything from scientists to accountants says one thing, and if they’re wrong, they’re history. Then we have a few thousand people, mostly middle aged men with blogs, who says another thing and has nothing to lose by being wrong.”

    BTW, another good article from you.

    Reply
    • Fraud appears to be the typical charge leveled by deniers.

      I’m not certain highlighting scientific controversy, asking critical questions on an issue of key importance, or providing meta analysis of the research is harmful, though.

      So what do you think about the quote and how it applies to those of us who are bloggers?

      Reply
  2. T.O.O.

     /  August 1, 2013

    Robert,
    David was in a long discussion with someone who constantly linked to WUWT comments as his citations to “evidence”, whereas a different blog site, such as yours, which cites back to original source material is a different animal altogether.

    Reply
  3. Oh, I can completely relate to that experience!

    There’s really no reasoning with those guys. They seem to have a script they run on. It’s just weird. And the fraud aspect is very annoying. An honest critic would argue on merits, not endlessly resort to false claims of ‘he’s lying to us.’

    I spent years wrangling with them in chat rooms and now I try to keep them out of what I hope is a much more reasonable discussion here or take part in such discussions over at TAIB.

    NASA vs Watts? I choose NASA.🙂

    My sympathies for poor David in having to deal with such drones…

    ***

    I’ve been critical of some of the science, though. Most recently, I’ve provided what I believe are rational criticisms of Schmidt and Archer in their own criticisms of Wadhams. My view in that case is that even if Wadhams is too pessimistic on the issue of rate of methane release, we should be taking a very serious look at those methane plumes and we shouldn’t assume that methane release will not increase or have an impact. But a professional debate among professionals does not immediately devolve to accusations of ‘fraud.’

    I’m highly suspicious of use of the Eemian as corrollary, though. It appears to be something that luke warmers and even deniers tend to lean on over much. CO2 at 400 ppm +3 ppm per year puts the Eemian out of context with current issues except in the most transient of cases.

    Reply
  4. Steve

     /  August 1, 2013

    You should create a post that shows a link continuously that we can post articles showing new records. Before posting one should obviously look and make sure no double postings occur. Just found out that Puerto Rico has been seeing incredible amounts of rain in July. http://news.yahoo.com/puerto-rico-sees-more-rain-wetter-times-come-221840350.html Set daily all-time record on 7/18. China just recorded their hottest July ever. Another post showed Alaska and Spain joining the heat party with Greenland. It doesn’t sound like many are being left out of the party. My dad, who lives in Michigan, said they just set a record for the most continuous days in July without hitting 80 degrees. Of course the deniers would have a field day with that info.

    Reply
    • That’s an excellent Idea. I honestly don’t know how I would do it, though.

      How about posting an open blog each weekday where I post updates as you guys provide them, giving credit where credit to the OP? I’m helping a friend move tomorrow, but I can agregate the one’s you’ve posted over the past couple of days when I get back. Then we could start in earnest on Friday?

      Thoughts?

      Reply
  5. Thank you for reading and liking so many of my posts. I have no scientific background whatsoever – so any charges leveled against me are probably appropriate.

    Reply
    • David, as T.O.O. noted, was referring to climate change deniers. Mainly people who tend to willfully mislead and promote dubious single sources like Watts endlessly without considering the real experts like NASA etc.

      I’d brought up the larger issue of bloggers because I believe we can play a positive role to help counter such nonsense and to popularize the science.

      Also, you’re clearly not a middle aged man😉

      Reply
  6. Allen Gray

     /  August 1, 2013

    Just to point out that there is only one country on the face of the Earth that measures temperatures in that stupid Fahrenheit scale – as a consequence of which, the rest of us have but little idea of how hot 78 degrees F is.

    Reply
  7. “Vicious weather for Europe and the rest of the world…” reminds me of what I had come to expect after I read Art Bell and Whitley Strieber’s The Coming Global Superstorm, until Hollywood got ahold of it and made The Day After Tomorrow (yes, that film) with it. Fun to watch, yes, but the movie discredited the book! Now with expert scientists like James Hansen predicting frontal storms the size of continents with the strength of hurricanes, perhaps the discrediting of the book was a bit hasty. Alas, with out-of-control human-induced global warming a very real possibility and business interests still blocking meaningful action, perhaps a global superstorm would be our last, best hope.

    Reply
  8. May I reblog this?

    Reply
  9. Steve

     /  August 2, 2013

    It would have to be 130 degrees for me to hop in photo #2. Wow, it must be hot! http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/31/world/asia/china-heat-wave

    Reply
  10. OT, but relevant to climate solutions: “Climate scientists must not advocate particular policies” – in order to stay credible. Well well, do your research, and leave the society to deal with it. But thats what we are doind 20 years! And nothing happened… opposite is true: doing just research and educate the public occasionally is, obviously, not enough.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2013/jul/31/climate-scientists-policies

    Reply
    • At this point, I think it’s highly relevant to ardently advocate solutions, no matter what field you’re in. The research is no longer an abstract, with little direct impact on the present. We’re chugging head-long toward a planet that doesn’t support much in the way of complex life (including humans), so I think we all have an imperative to do all we can to change course.

      Reply
  11. gerald spezio

     /  August 3, 2013

    Robert, your synopses are always on point, scientifically sound, & clearly written.
    I unhesitatingly send them to my social group.
    Please give us a concise report on your background.because I can’t find much about you.

    Reply
    • Relevant background:

      Intel Analyst, ARNG
      Editor, Emerging Threats, Janes Information Group
      Analyst/Consultant, Emerging Threats
      Author Growth Shock (Upcoming)
      Author Speculative Fiction: Luthiel’s Song

      My focus has been on writing and editing science related subject matter. As an editor, I managed subject matter experts, aided them in their professional development and contributed original written material based on the latest research.

      Growth Shock is a work analyzing the combined impact of resource depletion, climate change, population growth and institutionalized wealth concentration mechanisms that broaden income inequality and amplify the problems listed above.

      I’ve written related speculative fiction that explores a feminist brand of heroic character development as well as the innate morality, sustainability and compassion surrounding the choice not to consume meat. These works also explore hyper-individualism, objectivism, and narcissism as an origin of the impulse to dominate and all the evils that go along with it.

      I’ve spoken at over 150 schools and been invited as a keynote speaker at numerous events.

      My main purpose in blogging is not to promote myself but to raise awareness for issues that I feel are of critical and immediate importance (justice issues, emerging threats) and, hopefully, to raise money for causes that I feel are currently much needed (350.org, Center for American Progress, Dark Snow, The Humane Society of the United States, Amnesty International, NRDC, The Sierra Club etc) and to promote industries and cooperatives that I feel are a part of solutions (EVs, American Wind, American Solar, Non GMO, Localized Food, Organics, Sustainable Farming, Wild Farming, Verticle Farming, Polyculture, Arc Foundations, Seed Banks etc).

      Reply
  1. Extensive Dark Snow, Very Large Melt Lakes Visible Over West Slope of Greenland as Late Season Melt Pulse Continues | robertscribbler
  2. Another Week of Climate Disruption News, August 4, 2013 – A Few Things Ill Considered

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