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Ice Melting In Greenland? That’s What It Does In Summer!

June 20, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public


I’ve been away cycling in Norfolk for the last few days, even though it was apparently shut!

While away, this familiarly hysterical story appeared in the “Independent”:



An extraordinary photograph of huskies pulling sleds through ankle-deep meltwaters on top of an ice sheet in Greenland has brought attention to the uncharacteristically warm temperatures affecting the Arctic.

Danish climatologist Steffen M Olsen took the picture on 13 June while on a routine mission through the Inglefield Gulf in northwest Greenland.

The rapidly melting ice caused difficult and dangerous conditions for the team of climatologists who were retrieving weather station equipment from the area.

The thin layer of water was standing on top of an ice sheet around 1.2 metres deep, Dr Olsen said on Twitter.

“We know the ice is around 1.2m thick and that we have about 870m [of] water below us. Together with the local hunters we have been measuring also ice thickness from December to now. An ongoing activity for almost a decade now.”

Dr Olsen’s colleague Ruth Mottram, an expert on Greenland’s ice sheet, told The Independent the onset of unusually warm temperatures combined with very few cracks in the ice meant the rapid accumulation of meltwater was unable to drain through the solid sheet of ice.

“Last week saw the onset of very warm conditions in Greenland and in fact much of the rest of the Arctic, driven by warmer air moving up from the south.”

She added: “The DMI weather station nearby at Qaanaaq airport registered a high of 17.3C on Wednesday and 15C on Thursday, which is pretty warm for Northern Greenland, even in summer!”

Greenland is currently in the grip of near-record levels of ice melt, with the day Mr Olsen took the photograph – 13 June – seeing the country lose more than 2 gigatons (equal to 2 billion tons) of ice on that day alone.

The sudden spike in melting “is unusual, but not unprecedented”, Thomas Mote, a research scientist at the University of Georgia who studies Greenland’s climate, told CNN.

“It is comparable to some spikes we saw in June of 2012,” he said.

That year saw record-setting ice melt with almost the entire ice sheet experiencing melting for the first time in recorded history.


The first thing to point out is that this is nothing to do with Greenland’s ice sheet, despite the misleading inference to that effect in the first paragraph. It is in fact fjord ice, which freezes every winter and melts every summer.

This year it is beginning to melt slightly earlier than usual, because of warm air moving up from the south. This is called “weather”, and has nothing to do with “global warming”.

As is noted, such weather is not unprecedented. Indeed, the temperature peak of 17.3C is not even unusual for Qaanaaq, where the record is set at 20C.



At nearby Thule, similar temperatures have been recorded in many past years. On 29th June 1959, for instance, the temperature hit 17.2C. Recordings only began in 1951, and it is highly likely that temperatures were higher in the 1930s and 40s:



You may recall that just a year ago, they were complaining about Greenland’s lost summer, when the snow and ice persisted well into summer on Greenland’s east coast, causing havoc for sea birds trying to breed:



As to claims about 2 billion tonnes of ice melting in one day, such large numbers are intended purely to alarm people, but are in reality tiny and utterly meaningless.

The ice sheet gains that sort of amount of ice daily between October and May, with daily peaks of 5 Gt very common. In summer, daily losses typically run at about 4 Gt, and can often peak at 8 Gt.

Over the three summer months as a whole, the ice sheet normally loses about 200 Gt.



As is so often the case with these sort of stories, they are deliberately designed to alarm. But when the hype and exaggeration is cleared away, we are left with nothing out of the ordinary at all.

  1. Christopher Lynch Lynch permalink
    June 20, 2019 7:21 pm

    Another classic from the Politburo’s department of climate lies

  2. A C Osborn permalink
    June 20, 2019 7:39 pm

    That lower graph is quite misleading as despite whatever gain or loss is made the previous year it is always reset to Zero for the comparison.
    Notice 2011/12 is on there but not 2016/17 & 2017/18.
    Like the top graph you don’t know at what level gains & losses are based upon.

  3. June 20, 2019 8:27 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  4. Charles Wardrop permalink
    June 20, 2019 8:33 pm

    Why are these people lying or at least deliberately misleading us, if they can?

    • matthew dalby permalink
      June 21, 2019 3:15 am

      We are being deliberately misled because journalists and scientists need publicity to advance their careers, and may also believe that there is a “climate crisis” and they have a moral responsibility to bring it to people’s attention.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        June 21, 2019 1:44 pm

        It is far more exciting to be reporting on a crisis than just everyday life. Long gone are the days of the media being there to inform us. These days they tend to do the opposite which probably explains their dwindling circulations, especially now the internet gives an easy voice to those who disagree.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      June 21, 2019 8:56 am

      It’s not like they haven’t been doing it for years in other areas – the economy, social sciences, geopolitics. It’s fascinating to read about US journalists travelling to the USSR in the 1950s and then lying about what they saw. The Left has no concept of an objective ttruth.

    • Up2snuff permalink
      June 21, 2019 12:44 pm

      The Business News correspondent of the BBC, Dom O’Connell, has been talking about a fresh round of new tech companies being ‘brought to market’ and highly valued despite still not being profitable. A crazy situation, especially when one was valued at $17bn yesterday, when the prior estimates of its inflated value on Day 1 topped out at $2bn below that.

      Dom has used the phrase ‘FOMO’ ie. Fear Of Missing Out to explain this madness for two days running now. I think something similar or the same applies to AGW & CC and now this latest Climate Emergency.

      You get to stand close to The Emperor by praising him for how good he looks in no clothes. By standing close to The Emperor you then get invited to his feasts. Then, when you are at The Emperor’s feasts, and telling him he looks wonderful in his new, latest, unclothes you have a chance to share in the gifts of money & authority that The Emperor dispenses to all at the feast.

  5. John F. Hultquist permalink
    June 20, 2019 8:33 pm

    Because Huskies can’t swim they have to walk on water.

  6. John, UK permalink
    June 20, 2019 9:22 pm

    This pretty much tears it to shreds as well….

  7. tom0mason permalink
    June 20, 2019 9:29 pm

    So Harry Cockburn (and all at The Independent ) when will we really be out of ‘the end of the LIA’, and can again have Greenland as the green and productive land it once was?
    Hopefully Harry the warming will continue making Greenland eventually turn productive again but with the solar minimum upon us it is highly unlikely to be anytime soon. Probably not within the lifetime of anyone alive today.

  8. Gamecock permalink
    June 20, 2019 9:34 pm

    ‘But when the hype and exaggeration is cleared away, we are left with nothing out of the ordinary at all.’

    But wait! We are left with PROOF that Greenland ice is irrelevant! The rate of sea level rise hasn’t changed in a hundred years. Their breathless statements of melting along with no change in the rate of rise means the melting DOESN’T MATTER.

    If they can’t show an increase in the rate of sea level rise, they are shooting themselves in the foot.

  9. June 20, 2019 9:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  10. LeedsChris permalink
    June 20, 2019 9:47 pm

    And it is the pattern of the jet-stream this year. It is why we have had the current cool and wet weather in the UK, Germany has heat and Greenland and Iceland have been warm. The bends in the jet-stream have led to high pressure in the region of Greenland-Iceland, a deep low over the British isles and a further high over eastern Europe and Finland. This is a typical pattern when there is ‘blocking circulation’.

  11. June 20, 2019 10:33 pm

    It’s unlikely we’ll ever see the BBC reporting –

    “Jakobshavn has spent decades in retreat—that is, until scientists observed an unexpected advance between 2016 and 2017. In addition to growing toward the ocean, the glacier was found to be slowing and thickening. New data collected in March 2019 confirm that the glacier has grown for the third year in a row, and scientists attribute the change to cool ocean waters.

  12. Saighdear permalink
    June 20, 2019 10:50 pm

    !! ? This was reported t’other morning on TV breakfast time news – I nearly choked – never saw it repeated later in the day – was it the BBC?

    ALSO FWIW – the saga of the BP Rig in the Cromarty Firth and Greensqueak. BBC kept reporting it as having turned BACK from it’s destination East of Aberdeen yet Marine-Traffic showed Greensqueak making a nuisance of itself off Aberdeen. I happened to be in the Area at this time and there was NO sign of the around Cromarty as the Newsclips implied….

  13. June 20, 2019 10:59 pm

    It’s revealing to compare the same report from the BBC’s own weather service which reports the event without ‘alarmism’ and even mentions the Jakobshavn news! One wonders what sort of ‘expert’ wrote the BBC version. Incidentally, imho the BBC are now ‘fair game’ for complaints of bias since Climate Change is now a political issue.

    • matthew dalby permalink
      June 21, 2019 3:19 am

      The BBC may have reported the event without “alarmism”, but just reporting a non event still fed into their alarmist agenda.

  14. June 20, 2019 11:03 pm

    Following Paul’s observation re sea ice, my complaint to the BBC was upheld!
    Thank you for getting in touch with your comments on the accuracy of a couple of statements about melting Arctic sea ice, in an article on summit negotiations which took place in Finland in May this year, at

    Firstly, I’m sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.

    On review we agree that it is more accurate to say that sea ice ‘melts’ rather than ‘retreats’, and we have updated the article accordingly.

    We also accept on further examination that melting sea ice displaces the same volume of water as icebergs and frozen sea water, and this reference has been removed from the article.

    A correction was added today to inform readers about this change.

    We can assure you that there was no political motive in the way this story was written and we are sorry for any concern it may have caused you.

    Thank you again for raising this issue, and I hope this response addresses your concerns.

    Best wishes,

    C Stuart

    BBC News website

    • matthew dalby permalink
      June 21, 2019 3:28 am

      Once again the corrections will be seen by far fewer people than saw the original story, and the BBC know this. Therefore the damage has been done and the BBC will continue to publish misleading articles because they know it could help them advance their political agenda. Well done for complaining, but in reality I fear that the BBC are so convinced that they have a moral duty to educate the public about the “impending climate crisis” that no amount of complaints will deflect them from their self appointed mission.

      • Charles permalink
        June 21, 2019 7:30 am

        There is one answer to PUBLICATION OF UPHELD COMPLAINTS TO THE BBC. That is the BBC Website should have a page, title visible on the main topics bar, that actually publishes the letter that upholds the complaint. Moreover, such letters are not withdrawn but are available to viewing for some months after publication before moved to an archive on that website, available to later researchers and to BBC staff as part of their annual professional training.

      • June 21, 2019 10:01 am

        So very true. It should be mandatory to give the correction the same amount of prominence as the original story had.

  15. June 21, 2019 10:26 am

    The implication of all these kinds of stories is of course that so-called climate change must mean man-made climate change.

    But as no-one can determine what is or isn’t natural climate change, the whole thing is invariably nebulous nonsense.

    • dave permalink
      June 21, 2019 11:00 am

      The psychology of belief in a ‘right-here,right-now’ global-climate catastrophe seems to be evolving. Ordinary, moderately educated, people have given up on trying to understand what ‘global warming’ might actually be, and have, instead, eagerly embraced a simple equation – global warming is anything melting at any time. It is clear that they are strangely comforted by stories containing such ‘evidence.’ It does save thinking, and it avoids the terrible REAL danger – which is to be out of step with the crowd.

    • Gamecock permalink
      June 21, 2019 10:27 pm

      C’mon old brew, they don’t even tell us what CLIMATE CHANGE means!

  16. June 21, 2019 12:39 pm

    Must be why I put the snow shovel away and have had the mower going since mid-April. Who knew?

  17. tom0mason permalink
    June 21, 2019 1:14 pm

    Toy Heller has a pretty good video of where the picture came from and how the ‘story’was invented and propagated by the MSM.

    Yep, 2 days of warmth in Greenland followed by an avalanche of MSM distortion, screwed perceptions, and lies.

  18. June 21, 2019 1:55 pm

    I started to think about the Icelandic Viking settlements on Greenland during the MWP, as agriculture and animal breeding was much easier there back then, compared to today. They saved lives during the great famin in Scandinavia at the time, by exporting butter, crops etc.

  19. Joel Phillips permalink
    June 21, 2019 6:17 pm

    Thank you for telling the truth! Bravo!

  20. K Tomczyk permalink
    June 21, 2019 6:38 pm

    If this is a global warming propaganda it might be much needed to perhaps alarm people. Global warming exists and it is going to massively change the planets climate but I don’t believe that one can see a significant effect of it over one month’s time. We are talking about tens of years at least I think on a scale and in comparison. And in these terms most people don’t understand I think, the usual thinking and seeing usually goes as far as one front yard. Beyond that there is no bother.
    All in all, I think we should see this propaganda to balance out the status quo of plastic usage, meat consumption, driving cars and flying planes. It’s a shame that we need to lie in simple terms to ourselves, exactly like the politicians sometimes do in their campaigns, i.e. offering people simple, individual benefits.

  21. Gamecock permalink
    June 21, 2019 10:29 pm

    “going to massively change the planets climate”

    The planet doesn’t have a climate, dumbass.

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