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No, Greenland Is Not Melting Down

April 30, 2016

By Paul Homewood 


h/t Malcolm Bell





Malcolm drew my attention to this article in New Scientist:


After record low amounts of sea ice across the Arctic Ocean last winter, spring has begun with an unprecedented early melt of land ice on Greenland.

Temperatures soaring above 10 °C caused more than a tenth of the island’s vast ice sheet to start melting on Monday and Tuesday this week, says Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen.

Previously, the earliest melting recorded over more than a tenth of Greenland was on 5 May 2010, Mottram said. Normally, significant melting does not begin there until at least mid-May.

The melt was driven primarily by weather fronts bringing warm air and heavy rain from the Atlantic Ocean to the south of the island, she says.

Meteorological records dating back to 1873 show temperatures this week are a record high for the time of year. “This would be a warm day in July, never mind April,” said Robert Fausto of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, in a blog post on Tuesday.


It is more of the usual alarmist nonsense we are used to seeing in New Scientist.

This is the actual report from NSIDC:


An early melt event occurred on April 10 through April 15, encompassing the central western and southeastern Greenland coastal areas. The event was a result of a large pulse of mid-Atlantic air moving northward, bringing record warm air to the entire ice sheet and rain along the western coast. Approximately 10 percent of the ice sheet surface melted on April 11, dropping to 5 percent on April 12 and less on later days. A melt event of similar magnitude occurred on April 6 to 9 of 2012, which became the current record surface melt and melt-runoff season for the satellite era (since 1978). (These values and dates are slightly different from those reported in other news releases, because they are based on different snowmelt mapping methods). Early melt events are important as they lower the surface albedo by increasing the snow grain size. A lower albedo allows for more absorption of the sun’s energy, fostering more ice melt.


Maps of melting and graph of melting extent



In other words, we are looking at a weather event, pure and simple. Nothing to do with “climate change”. And, as we know with weather, if it happens now, it will have happened in the past. One of the problems with this sort of “science” is that we have only been able to monitor these sort of occurrences for a very short period of time, and therefore tend to think they are somehow unprecedented.

And, as we can see from the bottom graph, the melt was a very short lived event. Within a few days, things were back to normal.

It is also worth looking at the snowfall stats.



Snowfall seems to have been at or above average for most of the country, with the exception of the South West.



To get a better perspective of Greenland’s climate though, we can look at the long term temperature trends for Nuuk, which is in that South West sector.





We see the usual pattern of a warm period between 1930 and 1960, the much colder spell that followed, and now a recovery to the sort of temperatures seen prior to 1960. There is certainly no evidence that “climate change” is making Greenland warmer, or, for that matter, that temperatures are currently rising. Indeed, last year was an exceptionally cold one in Greenland – in Nuuk, for instance, it was the coldest since 1974.

(For those who missed it, the full analysis of all Greenland stations shows the same sort of pattern – see here)


We can also take a look at April temperature trends, as this is in focus at the moment. Whatever happens this month, the fact remains that there is nothing “unprecedented” about April temperatures in recent years, and no sign of any upward trend.





The reality is that Greenland’s climate is much more stable than New Scientist would like you to believe.

  1. Malcolm Bell permalink
    April 30, 2016 11:50 am

    Thank you Paul.

    What about their claims for hottest Jan and Fed on record?

    • April 30, 2016 12:50 pm

      I’ll be updating satellite numbers next week, Malcolm.

      Currently, they are slightly above 1998

  2. Joe Public permalink
    April 30, 2016 11:50 am

    And 1 deg C temp above freezing would cause ice to start melting

  3. April 30, 2016 12:17 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Greenland gains 500 Gigatons of ice since September, has 1 “warm” day, so New Scientist and NOAA go into climate change “death spiral” mode !?

  4. A C Osborn permalink
    April 30, 2016 12:26 pm

    What the fools fail to realise is that that brief warming was Ocean heat disappearing into space via the arctic and it won’t be back for any time soon.

  5. Canadian Climate Guy permalink
    April 30, 2016 12:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Canadian Climate Guy.

  6. thechuckr permalink
    April 30, 2016 12:50 pm

    So NOAA and NASA haven’t had a chance to fiddle the data yet.

  7. Green Sand permalink
    April 30, 2016 12:59 pm

    DMI – Current Surface Mass Budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    2015 -16 Accumulated Surface Mass Balance is above the 1990 – 2013 average.

  8. April 30, 2016 12:59 pm

    Six reasons why the Danes are not worried about the Greenland ice sheet:

    • Climate Otter permalink
      May 1, 2016 11:42 am

      (Paul – that other email address and handle are ones I use when I go after Idjits. I forgot to change it back when I posted here. Please just delete that other post….)

      Ron: May I repost your article to another site where I argue climate change?

  9. April 30, 2016 1:03 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  10. April 30, 2016 1:38 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  11. joekano76 permalink
    April 30, 2016 11:00 pm

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

  12. Eve Wilson permalink
    May 1, 2016 10:13 am

    Please unsubscribe me to these emails as I receive too many

  13. Tim Hammond permalink
    May 1, 2016 2:32 pm

    “And, as we know with weather, if it happens now, it will have happened in the past. ”

    Actually I’m not so sure that is right. We have no way of knowing if we have experienced every “weather” that the Earth can have in every place over the very short timescale of us making reasonably accurate observations.

    This is an important point, as much of the claimed proof for man-made climate change rests on the assumption that a short time frame contains all the possible variation.

  14. May 6, 2016 4:35 pm

    great post

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