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Greenland Ice Melt Accelerating, Says Jonathan Amos (Conveniently Forgetting What He Wrote In 2003!)

December 13, 2019
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood


h/t Adrian Kerton


From the “We’re all going to drown” department:


Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than it was in the 1990s.

The assessment comes from an international team of polar scientists who’ve reviewed all the satellite observations over a 26-year period.

They say Greenland’s contribution to sea-level rise is currently tracking what had been regarded as a pessimistic projection of the future.

It means an additional 7cm of ocean rise could now be expected by the end of the century from Greenland alone.

This threatens to put many millions more people in low-lying coastal regions at risk of flooding.

It’s estimated roughly a billion live today less than 10m above current high-tide lines, including 250 million below 1m.

"Storms, if they happen against a baseline of higher seas – they will break flood defences," said Prof Andy Shepherd, of Leeds University.

"The simple formula is that around the planet, six million people are brought into a flooding situation for every centimetre of sea-level rise. So, when you hear about a centimetre rise, it does have impacts," he told BBC News.

Greenland sea level contribution

What emerges is the most comprehensive picture yet of how Greenland is reacting to the Arctic’s rapid warming. This is a part of the globe that has seen a 0.75C temperature rise in just the past decade.

The Imbie assessment shows the island to have lost 3.8 trillion tonnes of ice to the ocean since the start of the study period. This mass is the equivalent of 10.6mm of sea-level rise. What is more, the team finds an acceleration in the data.

Whereas in the early 90s, the rate of loss was equivalent to about 1mm per decade, it is now running at roughly 7mm per decade.

Imbie team-member Dr Ruth Mottram is affiliated to the Danish Meteorological Institute.

She said: "Greenland is losing ice in two main ways – one is by surface melting and that water runs off into the ocean; and the other is by the calving of icebergs and then melting where the ice is in contact with the ocean. The long-term contribution from these two processes is roughly half and half."

In an average year now, Greenland sheds about 250 billion tonnes of ice. This year, however, has been exceptional for its warmth. In the coastal town of Ilulissat, not far from where the mighty Jakobshavn Glacier enters the ocean, temperatures reached into the high 20s Celsius. And even in the ice sheet interior, at its highest point, temperatures got to about zero.

"The ice loss this year was more like 370 billion tonnes," said Dr Mottram. 

Wow! That’s really scary!

Only one slight problem though. Back in 2003, the same Jonathan Amos reported that Greenland had experienced significant cooling over the previous 40 years:


So, temperatures fell by 1.29C between 1958 and 2001, and have recovered by 0.75C in the past decade. Does not sound like apocalypse to me! Neither will this come as any surprise to regular readers of this blog, who are fully aware that temperatures in Greenland are no higher now than in the 1930s and 40s.

For those not familiar the temperature graph is at the bottom of this page.

But it gets worse (well at least for the BBC). Amos went on to report back in 2003 that this warming and cooling were part of a natural cycle, linked to the NAO:

But Dr Edward Hanna, from the Institute of Marine Studies at the University of Plymouth, UK, said that, as with all climate science, a fuller picture emerges when long-term data are taken into account.

Climate phenomenon

"It really depends on what timescale you are looking at," he told BBC News Online.

"Certainly in the late 1990s, there was some warming but that’s just over a very short period. There are a lot of natural cycles in regional climate and if you take a longer trend over the last 40 or 50 years then there has been a statistically significant cooling, particularly in south-western coastal Greenland."

Dr Hanna together with Dr John Cappelen, of the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen, present their Greenland analysis in the journal Geophysical Review Letters.

It looks at data collected at eight stations. The cooling trend, they believe, is associated with an increased phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) that has been observed over the past 35 years.

The NAO is a natural and recurring pressure pattern that has a profound impact on the weather experienced in the North Atlantic region – at the moment bringing milder, wetter winters to Northern Europe.

Hanna and Cappelen believe the NAO is likely linked with temperature reductions along the Greenland coast and is responsible for slowing the island’s ice melting rate, in contrast to evidence of global warming.

In other words, we can fully expect to see the cooling trend return to Greenland soon, and it will likely last 30 years or so, linked of course to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

As Amos correctly noted in the original report, this will slow the ice melt there.

To compare ice melt rates now, during the warm phase of the cycle, with those from the cool phase, and then claim the rate is accelerating, is clearly grossly misleading as well as being statistically indefensible.

To then use the latest rate to forecast sea level rise up to 2100 fakery of the worst sort.

Finally let’s take a closer look at that graph.

Greenland sea level contribution



Far from showing acceleration, it is pretty clear that the rate of melt has slowed since 2012. Factor in 30 years of virtually zero melt, and the wild projections up to the end of the century are simply rubbish.


Annual temperature anomalies for Merged SW Greenland Series from DMI

  1. December 13, 2019 10:27 am

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  2. John Palmer permalink
    December 13, 2019 10:34 am

    There are lies, damned lies and Climate Alarmist statistics!
    And the Bull***t Broadcasting Corp will publicise them all without any checking at all, as usual.

  3. Athelstan. permalink
    December 13, 2019 10:41 am

    Again and again, this old chestnut is rolled out, OK the Greenland Ice cap fluctuates in volume – no one argues that it doesn’t.

    What is the real question, melting and re freezing – accretion, what is the overall ice loss/gain balance, I don’t know but the thing I do know. It’s not a problem and won’t be, if it ever is, in the next few millennia.

  4. In the Real World permalink
    December 13, 2019 11:29 am

    Link to when they were were making a story about this in the summer .
    2 warm days caused more ice melt than normal .
    But this meant that , if it never got cold again in the Arctic Winters , then in 12.500 years the Greenland ice sheet would be half gone .

    With the climate conference on , they decided to try the same story again , claiming the ice sheet is still melting .
    But is you look at the Danish Arctic research site , it shows that the temperature in Greenland varies between -6c & – 50c , & the ice thickness has been increasing by large amounts again & is back up at the 40 year average .

    So the whole story is just more lies from the green loonies trying to keep the scam going .

  5. tom0mason permalink
    December 13, 2019 11:30 am

    So dear comrade J. Amos of the people’s British BullsĦit Collective when can we see ‘Greenland’ restored to the green and productive land that the people demand?
    Think carefully comrade before replying as your answer may hold career limiting consequences.

  6. Gamecock permalink
    December 13, 2019 1:30 pm

    The rate of SLR has been constant for a hundred years. Amos has just proved that Greenland ice melt DOESN’T MATTER.

    ‘”The simple formula is that around the planet, six million people are brought into a flooding situation for every centimetre of sea-level rise. So, when you hear about a centimetre rise, it does have impacts,” he told BBC News.’

    Nah. Not really. A centimetre is still just 10mm. So Sandy’s storm surge of 8 ft could have been 8 ft, 0.4 inches.

    Oh noes!

  7. Sheri permalink
    December 13, 2019 2:22 pm

    IF the Artctic is melting that fast, then it’s an admission they are WRONG in their theory. If it gets colder OR hotter, it’s evidence the theory is wrong. Somehow people do not understand this. It works BOTH ways, not just if it gets colder. It’s good to remind everyone one of the FACT.

  8. December 13, 2019 2:51 pm

    You people really need to watch Tony Heller on you tube. He does short videos on climate change.
    He did a piece on Greenland ice. There is no emergency about ice in Greenland. Hopefully Boris will put some of your nut bar alarmists in jail for spreading fake news.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      December 13, 2019 4:44 pm

      Judging by his speech this morning Boris is a fully-fledged, signed-up nut bar alarmist himself. Let’s see who he sends to Environment. If it’s Paterson there is hope, otherwise don’t hold your breath.

      • Athelstan. permalink
        December 14, 2019 12:11 am

        “nut bar alarmist” a nice turn of phrase, boris – he bends in the wind, he’s been pro and ‘con’ – ha, ha, ha not funny.

        A bit like sam cam, dave wasn’t bovvered but by heck she was, all rah, rah posh gal gweenie champagne watermelony, a similar thing with bojo and his new doxie.

  9. December 13, 2019 3:22 pm

    As per my reply to Iceland from
    It’s lack of clouds causing the melt !

    The summer months were only moderately warmer than average relative to 1981 to 2010, roughly 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher along the western coast. This confirms that the main driver of surface melt in 2019 was above average cloud-free days, not warm air temperatures as in the 2012 summer melt. This also explains the exceptional dry and sunny conditions at the south.

  10. December 13, 2019 4:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  11. December 13, 2019 4:46 pm

    Polar PortalSeason Report 2018

    Click to access polarportal-saesonrapport-2018-EN.pdf

    Fig 5 is in relation to the abrupt change in glacier retreat, with many advancing. Wish I could post the graphic.

  12. Broadlands permalink
    December 13, 2019 4:47 pm

    Once again, more scare tactics about the long term weather and the dire climate model forecasts, but not one paragraph or sentence about the solution. Why?

    Should we ask little St. Greta how to prevent this global emergency. She has all the answers?

  13. Phil Beckley permalink
    December 13, 2019 6:44 pm

    If we are in a climate emergency (of global warming), which will have catastrophic consequences in ten years or so, then worrying about sea level rise by the end of the century would seem pointless: unless the point is to hammer away with the same message regardless of consistency, logic or truth; the aim to bring out a climate of anxiety where people will go along with this ideology. The BBC is now an absolute disgrace. Rather than pay my licence fee this year, I am ditching my TV.

  14. The Old Bloke permalink
    December 13, 2019 10:25 pm

    Fire below, Ice above. Nothing to do with Greenland being one tectonic plate and it just so happens that the areas of greatest melt are the same where plate activity takes place. Nothing to do with a spreading plate introducing warmer sea and air temperatures the?

  15. December 13, 2019 10:53 pm

    Ireland news wind farm rules
    The Times report is bizarre basically reports that rules will cost each household £100/year extra … without mentioning that each household would be £500/year better off if there were no windfarms in Ireland.

    BTW In the mid-2000s in Ireland the Progressive Democrats (failed)
    used a slogan “Lets make the Irish the wind Arabs of Europe”

    Wind farm rules ‘will cost consumers’
    New guidelines that will ban wind turbines from being built close to homes will make it more expensive to develop renewable energy and undermine the government’s climate action plan, an industry head has claimed.
    David Connolly, the chief executive of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), also said that noise limits set out in the draft wind planning guidelines would cost every person in Ireland “€550 over the next 25 years”.
    Eoghan Murphy, the housing minister, and Richard Bruton, the environment minister, began a public consultation on proposed revisions to the wind energy development guidelines yesterday. The main changes are proposed to the noise levels permissible of turbines, setback distance and shadow “flicker”. They propose that turbines be shut down if they do not keep…

  16. December 13, 2019 11:00 pm

    talk about a job for life –
    “Using three regional climate models, we show that reduced surface mass balance has driven 1,971 ± 555 billion tonnes (52%) of the ice loss owing to increased meltwater runoff. The remaining 1,827 ± 538 billion tonnes (48%) of ice loss was due to increased glacier discharge, which rose from 41 ± 37 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 87 ± 25 billion tonnes per year since then”

    Then add a pretty pic (model generated) with red bits,
    job done, nobody asks/queries the statement – “which rose from 41 ± 37 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 87 ± 25 billion tonnes per year since then”

    a few billion +/- gives us all grants/thanks

  17. December 13, 2019 11:09 pm

    If you extrapolate from the particular to the general and then extrapolate the extrapolation you can wind up with a wonderful scary story. Rich grant pickings.

  18. Michael Olsen permalink
    December 14, 2019 1:03 am

    A few months back, I tried to point out to the geniuses at Skeptical Science that Greenland ice melt had slowed in the last few years. As good climate scientists, they responded by blocking me from commenting on the rubbish on their website.

  19. December 14, 2019 5:52 am

    “The simple formula is that around the planet, six million people are brought into a flooding situation for every centimetre of sea-level rise”

    Except that we don’t really know that.

  20. December 14, 2019 9:51 am

    So, as with most of the CC propaganda, Greenland is simply experiencing normal cyclical weather patterns.

  21. Mike Higton permalink
    December 14, 2019 10:57 am

    Willis E made a telling comment on WUWT. He pointed out that sea level has been rising consistently for quite a while. So, if their metric about the number of people endangered by each 1 cm rise is correct, the last 40 – 50 years should have seen an additional half billion put at serious risk. Not credible.

  22. Gordon Stewart permalink
    December 14, 2019 12:43 pm

    When talking to those who have chosen to believe in the IPCC climate warming the discussion always comes to the Arctic being free of ice. My answer is to give them the Canadian governments web site Nunavut Weather Conditions and Forecast by Location. You will find the Canadian Ice Services on the same page. Is the Arctic ice free? See for your self!

  23. December 14, 2019 2:52 pm

    Tip : The Times is using Tom Parfitt an alarmist who also writes in the Independent
    “A polar bear might be around the corner thanks to climate change
    · In the village of Ryrkaypiy in the Russian Arctic the locals fear the threat that lurks around every corner.
    Not falling icicles, as in the rest of the country in mid-winter, but an altogether more unpleasant surprise: a chance meeting with a 1,000lb polar bear. Ryrkaypiy is the front line of a growing problem in the far north as Climate Change erodes the natural habitat of …”

  24. Patricia simon permalink
    December 15, 2019 12:01 pm

    Would like to sign on for site

  25. December 16, 2019 6:27 am

    It is the IPCC lies that are accelerating.

    Seal levels are just fine.

    Click to access Morner.pdf

    Click to access G0608014851.pdf

  26. December 16, 2019 9:50 am

    Reblogged this on Utopia, you are standing in it!.

  27. December 21, 2019 8:16 am

    A team of climate scientists have released a new study in the journal Nature showing that the Greenland ice sheet is now melting seven times faster than it did in 1992.

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