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Greenland Ice Cap Sees 2nd Year Of Above Average Growth

August 23, 2018

By Paul Homewood



It appears that the melt season has just about finished on the Greenland ice cap, and for the second year running ice accumulation has been way above normal.





Nearly all of the country has seen this accumulation:




Meanwhile climate alarmists continue to ignore the facts:



  1. Ian Magness permalink
    August 23, 2018 12:44 pm

    I gather the Dogbark crew (from today’s earlier post) were so disappointed with the sea route being blocked by ice, and having read your article from Science, that they are just about to em-bark on a land crossing of Greenland.
    A “trip of fools” this time?
    I look forward to reading their next set of triumphant blogs.

  2. Pethefin permalink
    August 23, 2018 1:12 pm

    Time for the DMI to cut the alarmists propaganda on their webiste for Greenland Icesheet Mass Balance which is quite embarrasing since they still display the outlier 2012 spaghetti but got rid of last year’s spaghetti after displaying it for a while. I suppose the political pressure against a purely scientific approach was too much for much for them to handle.

    LIkewise their information on the calving of the ice sheet and particularly the illustration of the mechanism behind it is truly embarrassing considering the newest scientific data on cross-sectional structure of the Greenland:

    There is something rotten in Denmark…

    • nigel permalink
      August 23, 2018 1:33 pm

      Well, the “glosses” and “spins” on sites such as DMI seem to be more and more divorced from the evolving facts being displayed. As yet, they have not dared to seriously “restate” the past. I watch them suspiciously, though!

      We should be glad that they show 2012. It was such a low outlier for both SMB and Ice Extent. And 2012 was a long time ago. After all, the real thing we were promised was an immediate ‘death spiral.’ They can not suddenly say 2018 or whatever was the worst evah with that line way down below.

      • nigel permalink
        August 23, 2018 1:50 pm

        Truth is, they can not restate their past data easily, as there is no plausible way they can say their earlier procedures were flawed or unbalanced or needed homogenizing. Their data is based on simple counts, with a big input of human expertise. Are they going to say their own personnel were all blind idiots?

      • A C Osborn permalink
        August 23, 2018 2:10 pm

        It hasn’t stopped NSIDC messing around.

      • nigel permalink
        August 23, 2018 6:06 pm

        That link from realclimate is fascinating.

        I only said these agencies could not change their past data without embarrassment. Changing the present – i.e. flat-out lying from now on – is easy!

  3. August 23, 2018 1:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    HUGE expansion in the Greenland ice sheet, despite record and rising CO2 emissions and climate models to the contrary. Yet, the mainstream media and “97%” of climate ‘scientists’ remain silent, in resolute “denial”. Mother Nature’s a bitch!

  4. nigel permalink
    August 23, 2018 1:54 pm

    “Mother Nature’s a bitch!”

    No, she merely slaps her most insolent child, sometimes.

  5. Athelstan permalink
    August 23, 2018 2:35 pm

    News about the diminishment of Greenlands icecap are always greatly and quite preposterously exaggerated and extrapolated from flimsey data based on inaccurate remote sensing and the capricious vicissitudes of glacial summer regelation and ice shift data focused on one minuscule locale of a vast island/nigh subcontinent.

    Indeedy but then, the propagandists know that nearly as well as realists and true scientists – we do, all this nonsense and melting BS and spin is about justification and augmentation, the maintenance of: N the great green myth and to prolong the scam – nothing else.


  6. August 23, 2018 3:05 pm

    I wait for Harrabin to report this for the BBC.

  7. August 23, 2018 3:06 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

    • nigel permalink
      August 23, 2018 6:31 pm

      ‘They’ have their little propaganda ‘victories.’ But, if the facts are against them, eventually it will become plain silly.

      How many times can you say ‘the ice is disappearing’ while it floats there on the sea and regrows, like a wart on the face, every winter? I suppose the answer would be ‘as often as you like’ if nobody checks for themselves.

      • Stonyground permalink
        August 23, 2018 7:53 pm

        This has been more or less my view. There seem to be natural cycles that are now moving into the cooling phase and the Solar Minimum that now seems to be occurring. The warmists still have a few straws to clutch at as we have just had a hot summer and there have been new records set at various airports. Once the cooling cycle really sets in they will be left with no answers.

      • nigel permalink
        August 24, 2018 7:59 am

        “…the Solar Minimum…”

        I presume you mean “a Grand Minimum.” (That the Sun is at a “Regular Minimum” – between Cycles 24 and 25 – is a given.) Unfortunately, we will not know for ten years how good the Sun theory is.

        Another theory of the climate over the last fifty years, which dismisses the “CO2 matters” view, is in this work by the physicist Q B Lu

        But, again, it is going to be at least ten years before the ozone layer can “heal” enough to begin to undo the suggested effects.

        Perhaps chance will provide a cooling volcano!

  8. Lance permalink
    August 23, 2018 7:26 pm

    Will be interesting how NASA’s new satellite (ICESat-2) will show the ice gain/loss….and or the ‘necessary’ adjustments…

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 23, 2018 8:49 pm

      It’ll just add more noise to the data.

      It doesn’t matter how ‘accurate’ it is, it will never have consistent data across all the various ocean cycles etc., never have a consistent dataset spanning climatic timescales.

  9. matthew dalby permalink
    August 23, 2018 9:39 pm

    In the same way as a European heatwave and a few other record breaking temperatures don’t prove that global warming is real I fail to see how a couple of cold summers in Greenland in any way disprove alarmist claims. It’s all just weather. If we have 10 years of below average melting in Greenland that might start to prove something.

    • nigel permalink
      August 24, 2018 1:19 pm

      No, one of the (innumerable) alarmist claims was that there would be DEATH SPIRALS of both sea-ice and land-ice at both Poles. That was wild and extreme statement and it does not take much evidence to dismiss it – at least for the present. I agree that non-alarmist suggestion that some degree of warming (whatever that is really!) is taking place is hardly supported or refuted by the sort of data that is coming in.

      SUGGESTIONS can always be discussed, but CLAIMS are the province of ambulance-chasing lawyers.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 24, 2018 5:56 pm

      Matthew, rather than weather variations, I think the point is actually that the CAGW crowd just ignore it or find some other squirrel to point out. It shows fundamental dishonesty.

      The leaked Podesta/Steyer/Lehane emails showed the Obama team discussing setting up an “extreme weather SWAT team” to exploit any natural disasters or unusual weather by flooding the MSM with alarmist climate change attribution propaganda. “One cannot be handcuffed by data on a fundamental moral issue of this kind…..” it said!

      This is precisely what we have seen in the MSM on overdrive this year.

  10. SkepticalWarmist permalink
    August 24, 2018 10:41 pm

    Seems as if one can come to opposite conclusions depending on what data and time-frame one looks at. So “running ice accumulation” can be “way above normal” while (see below) total ice mass on the island is decreasing.

    I don’t understand what Paul Homewood thinks the implication of the current trend is.

    “Satellite observations over the last decade show that the ice sheet is not in balance. The calving loss is greater than the gain from surface mass balance, and Greenland is losing mass at about 200 Gt/yr.” —

    “For the ice sheet as a whole, there is a balance between the surface mass balance and the amount of ice that calves into the ocean as icebergs.

    If climate changes, the surface mass balance may change such that it no longer matches the calving and the ice sheet can start to gain or lose mass.”

    The meaning of “surface mass balance” doesn’t mean what a plain reading of the phrase would lead one to believe.

    • SkepticalWarmist permalink
      August 24, 2018 11:03 pm

      Noted: For this reader also does a poor job of explaining “surface mass balance” in context. A multi year graph of surface mass balance seems like the obvious missing element here.

    • nigel permalink
      August 25, 2018 6:11 am

      One can work backwards.

      “Surface Mass Balance” minus “Calving” = net loss of land ice

      In the period 1981- 2010 the yearly figures stated imply

      + 360 – Calving = -200, i.e. Calving = 560

      For 2011/2012

      + 50 – 560 = – 510

      For 2016/17

      + 500 – 560 = – 60

      For 2017/18

      + 500 – 560 = – 60

      So – (assuming the estimates are accurate) we have just had two years in a row in which the overall loss of land-ice is very slight :-

      60 out of 2,850,000 cubic kilometers.


      • wert permalink
        August 25, 2018 8:07 am

        The linked article, a figure subtitle there, says surface melt ‘now’ exceeds calving (dated feb 2017).

        The total mass balance was near zero in 2017. Since calving is about 500 Gt/year, and surface melt was more, I’m not sure the Marco Tedesco attributed visualization is to tell.

        You need more than 500+500-60 = 940 Gt of new snow to balance the claimed melt + calving in the Tedesco picture. This is simply not true.

        So there is some misunderstanding/spin/inaccuracy in the scimag picture subtitle. The key could be variation in calving so you could claim an individual year had a small calving. This would be disingenious since the summed surface melt does not grow more significant simply because it happened to exceed calving at a certain timeframe.

        Rather, we’re interested in the TMB, and the SMB because it shows the yearly gain that should match calving to keep the glacier in balance in the long run.

        In conclusion, cherry-picking statistics (spatially, temporally, and ‘kind-wise’) runs rampant.

      • Pethefin permalink
        August 25, 2018 3:09 pm

        You can find webarchive sreenshots of the DMI pages here:*/

        between 2013-2018 in order to go further with your calculation.

        It was not untli June 2018 that the DMI decided to cut the spaghetti for the previous year that they used to show until then, I suppose it was just too non-PC to show two successive years of inconvenient data.

        The web-archive also shows that the -200 GT story has been there for at least that past 5 years without any changes. Embarassing but so post-modern of the DMI to continue with such misinformation.

  11. nigel permalink
    August 25, 2018 12:54 pm

    It is not cherry-picking when you take the extremes for the purpose of establishing the range and hence the natural variability. The extremes are exactly what you need!

    And it is not cherry-picking to give extra weight to the most recent data so long as you give due weight to past data (and do not simply pretend it never happened). Exponential Moving Averages are a simple and effective way of doing this, except of course that there is as much art as science in choosing the up-date parameter. If you want to get fancy, you can use an Extended Kalman Filter – but you have to have a good prior idea of a generating model.

    In 2012 it was absolutely right to say “This is an interesting and rather extreme melt. I wonder if this is the ‘new normal’?” Indeed, I said it at the time! It is absolutely right NOW to say “The last two years have had interesting and rather extreme combinations of heavy snow and slight melt. I wonder if THIS is the new normal?”

    • nigel permalink
      August 25, 2018 1:05 pm

      BTW, ‘Calving’ has to be a catch-all for actual calving and edge-ablation. There is no real way to accurately calculate all this from day to day, or even from year to year.

      We do know that a freshening of the waters around Greenland large enough to matter, would show in an increase in large ice-bergs sailing south – there should be a thousand a season. That would be an omen! It is not happening yet.

      • nigel permalink
        August 25, 2018 1:13 pm

        “…a thousand a season…”

        My mistake. That is (very roughly) the annual total now. There would be TEN thousand.

      • nigel permalink
        August 25, 2018 1:23 pm

        I have now found a reference that states true calving from Greenland is
        225 +/- 65. Run-off and edge-ablation must account for the difference between this and the 560 number that seems to be implicit in the DMI figures.

        Click to access Icebergs.pdf

      • nigel permalink
        August 25, 2018 6:46 pm

        The article on ice-bergs – written in 2001 – also contains the interesting information that the annual mass lost by calving in ANTARCTICA varies between 750 and 3000 cubic kilometers. I seem to remember screams of “It never happened before!” when that big table-berg finally split away last year.

      • wert permalink
        August 26, 2018 5:01 pm

        OK, thanks nigel. Never use numbers before first checking them….

        Anyway, it is interesting to see a claim that surface melt ‘now’ exceeds calving as scimag did, when the yearly SMB is about what – ~400 Gt positive – except a few exceptional years when it could be much larger or very small. How much spin you get by using small words like ‘now’ I wonder?

        Claims that Greenland ‘could be’ unstable are, simply put, political talk targeting political goals.

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