Skip to content

Greenland Temperature Update

February 16, 2020

By Paul Homewood





You will recall all those stories from last summer about heatwaves and meltdowns in Greenland.

DMI have now published the temperature data for last year, which shows those claims to be fake:











Across Greenland, annual temperatures last year were no higher than in the 1930s and 40s.

The only exception was Narsarsuaq, at the SW tip of Greenland, and even there it was much colder than in 2010.

And at the long running site at Ilulissat, temperatures were even higher in the 19thC.






The temperature cycles in Greenland closely follow the AMO cycle. When that was in its warm phase in the 1930s and 40s, Greenland’s climate warmed. And when it went through its cold phase, temperatures correspondingly fell.

Based on past cycle lengths, the AMO will likely go cold again in the coming decade. In the meantime, we will still have to put up with ludicrous headlines.

There again, cooling in Greenland will probably blamed on climate change, just the same as every other natural event seems to be.

  1. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 16, 2020 8:12 pm

    Oh they’ve moved on to Antarctica now, please catch up. Record temperatures don’t you know, supposedly exceeded 20C for first time evahish. Sea Ice is still pretty much on 30yr average though – clearly had devastating consequences!

  2. February 16, 2020 8:57 pm

    Hey Paul – anyone – What happened with that reported record low temp at the Summit in Greenland that was in early Jan. There was nothing to be found in the media about it. Tony has it in one of his recent video’s, at -86.8 (didn’t note C, or F). The one [not MSM] news bit I saw said that it was waiting review from DMI.


    PS – Great post here, Paul; but it would be interesting to see the above graphs plotted with actual temps, rather than anomaly temps (wish I had that skill set).

    • LeedsChris permalink
      February 16, 2020 11:39 pm

      I commented on that low temperature record for Summit Camp, Greenland, a week or so back. From the NOAA data feed (at I can see a minute by minute 2 metre temperature for 2nd January 2020 with readings mostly below -62C and a temperature as low as -64.9C at 23:13, 23:15 and 23:16. This will, I assume, be subject to verification but is lower than the previous all-time low of -63.3C recorded on 21 Feb 2002. ‘Normal’ minima are about -48 in January, with maxima(!) of about -36C. This would also be a record low ever temperature for Greenland. This really should be publicised.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        February 17, 2020 9:54 am

        To be sort of fair, record lows don’t freeze any more ice but record highs do unfreeze more ice. Thus if we now have more record highs and more record lows, we might have a problem.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        February 17, 2020 12:34 pm

        Not necessarily, when a new record high is -12 instead of -13 it makes no difference whatsoever.

  3. Svend Ferdinandsen permalink
    February 16, 2020 9:16 pm

    And another day or two it can gain 10 to 15Gt of snow.
    I have not heard stories about Greenland beeing burried in snow.

  4. February 16, 2020 9:43 pm

    NASA estimates Greenland lost 281 billion tonnes a year between 2002 and 2016, from the GRACE satellite data.

    So 12.5 bn tonnes is 16 days worth.

    Since the Greenland icecap contains about 2,850,000 billion tonnes of ice that would mean only another 10,142 years before it all melts away with a small squeak. Panic!

    • mikewaite permalink
      February 16, 2020 10:41 pm

      There is an interesting paper by MacGuth et al (2013) which supports you :
      From their summary:
      -“We calculate the future sea-level rise contribution from the surface mass balance of all of
      Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps (GICs, ca. 90 000 km2) using a simplified energy balance
      model which is driven by three future climate scenarios from the regional climate models
      HIRHAM5, RACMO2 and MAR. Glacier extent and surface elevation are modified during the
      mass balance model runs according to a glacier retreat parameterization. Mass balance and glacier surface change are both calculated on a 250 m resolution digital elevation model yielding a high level of detail and ensuring that important feedback mechanisms are
      considered. The mass loss of all GICs by 2098 is calculated to be
      2016 +/- 129 Gt (HIRHAM5 forcing),
      2584 +/-109 Gt (RACMO2)
      and 3907+/- 108 Gt (MAR). This corresponds to a total contribution to sea-level rise of
      5:8 +/- 0:4,
      7:4 +/- 0:3
      and 11:2 +/- 0:3 mm, respectively. “-
      The future sea-level rise contribution of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps
      H Machguth1,2, P Rastner1, T Bolch1,3, N M¨olg1, L Sandberg Sørensen4,
      G Aðalgeirsdottir5, J H van Angelen6, M R van den Broeke6 and
      X Fettweis7
      Online at
      Even if subsequent calculations modified these figures they are unlikely to be an order of magnitude higher and the sea level rise to 2098 calculated here is at most 11mm (not cm or feet or metres).
      Can’t someone take these activists, sit them in a quet room and just read the literature to them since they seem incapable of such study themselvves.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      February 17, 2020 10:29 am

      So we will be well into the next glaciation before it melts.

  5. kathy marquard permalink
    February 16, 2020 10:45 pm

    when the cycle goes cold again and temperatures drop, climate change will be causing that for the same exact reason it is causing global warming. But then, it will be global cooling and we are going to freeze if we don’t do something about it. I can hear it now….too much CO2 is keeping the warmth of the sun off of the earth and in just x years it will be irreversible. Panic attack to follow. Oh yea, and 99% of climate scientists agree! What is there to life if we are not in a crisis about…..well…..something?

  6. Jason permalink
    February 16, 2020 11:53 pm

    Don’t miss the correction now added at the bottom of the article!!!

  7. February 17, 2020 4:48 am

    The complete reliance on atmospheric composition to explain all ice melt phenomena in the Arctic overlooks its geological features. The Arctic is a geologically active area. Please see

  8. February 17, 2020 8:40 am

    Trying to understand the competing claims. I assume you would be in total disagreement with NASA’s position here:


    • February 17, 2020 9:56 am

      The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century.

      Sorry, that was debunked over 100 years ago. Gases can’t ‘trap’ anything, and science isn’t validated by opinion polls.

    • February 17, 2020 10:27 am

      Yes, NASA are merely looking at 1992 to 2018, the upward part of the cycle. Yet they pretend that temperatures/ice melt will continue to rise at that rate.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      February 17, 2020 10:35 am

      Those CO2 levels are close to extinction of all life on Earth. Thank gawd for fossil fuels and humans saving and greening the planet!

    • bobn permalink
      February 17, 2020 10:46 am

      yes Knudgeknudge. The NASA link you post is factual garbage. When you follow the ref nos for the assertions it makes you find they lead to debunked falsehoods such as ref 3 being based on the M Mann faked hockeystick shaped climate history (challenged in Court and shown to be faked). Ref 2 in the nasa (giss) is meant to show evidence but when you check it just shows a hypothesis (long since debunked). Ref 1 is to a political policy statement. It isnt a science article, its a political advocacy piece. Your articles, which use fairy tales as evidence can be thrown in the bin – the articles you link are politics not science.

      • bobn permalink
        February 17, 2020 11:31 am

        further on the 2nd article. The science bit is Ok.
        ‘In all, Greenland lost 3,800 ± 339 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2018, causing the mean sea level to rise by 10.6 ± 0.9 millimetres.’ ‘Between 2013 and 2017, the total rate of ice loss slowed to 217 ± 32 billion tonnes per year, on average, as atmospheric circulation favoured cooler conditions15 and as ocean temperatures fell’.
        So during a warming phase – yes climate changes in natural phases and cycles (30yr AMO here) and we are lucky to be in a 600yr warming phase – theres been some net melt giving sea rise of less than half a mm per yr. Scarey!! All this agrees with the natural rise of @12mm per decade we naturally expect over this century.
        There data shows melt has DECREASED over the last decade while CO2 in atmosphere has increased. Therefore the ICE sheet shows that CO2 is not the cause of climate change as it doesnt correlate! A good data point negating manmade warming theory.
        The article then waffles off into talking about doom and gloom predicted by false climate models that fail to match reality. Shame they had to spoil a nice nugget of science with fake climate model fortune telling silliness.

      • February 17, 2020 12:52 pm

        Ok, so the claim that greenhouse gases lead to global warming…such as the 1.5c increase since the ‘little ice age’ are a phantasy…and such an increase is just quite normaL? And there is no reason to think it will increase…?

      • February 17, 2020 12:57 pm

        I suggest the phrase “little ice age” might give you a clue!

      • bobn permalink
        February 17, 2020 2:26 pm

        Yes Knudger, all quite normal as explained in numerous books. Try Prof Ian Plimers ‘Heaven and Earth’, Prof bob carter is pretty good too. There is a 600yr climate cycle (one of 23 climate cycles ive now counted) that hit its coldest part around 1700, we are now in the upswing to a peak @2300. However more minor cycles (11yr, 30yr, 60yr) will cause ups and downs along the way of what is an approx 1c per century warming to 2300. The solar minimum we are entering is likely to cause a cooling dip (as happened in the 1960s and 70s after the warming peak of the 1930s) over the next 20yrs (alas because it’d be nice just to get warmer). The decrease in greenland glacier melt that your 2nd link identifies may be a clue to the cold blip we are entering.
        So yes it should naturally get about 2c warmer by 2300 before the downturn to colder temps after that. By 2300 we should be as warm as when the Romans came to Britain, though unlikely to get as warm as during the Minoan warm period before that.
        Natural causes explain all the climate change we see. CO2 has next to nothing to do with it. H2O, which is THE ‘greenhouse gas’ plays a major role via clouds in regulating climate. Strange the Climate alarmists arent trying to slow the output of the vastly dominant H2O ‘greenhouse gas’. Why not?
        Cloudy night = warm, clear night = cold. But the CO2 level hasnt changed! Why doesnt the CO2 keep in the warmth like clouds do?
        Answer = it cant because it doesnt hold bugger all energy.

  9. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 17, 2020 9:51 am

    Wow, it’s almost as if there was a Little Ice Age when the Thames froze and we got all those Dicjensian snowy winters and then a very quick rebound to high temperatures in the 1930s…

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 17, 2020 9:55 am

      Oh and there was a cooling scare in the 1960s-79s..

  10. Michael Adams permalink
    February 17, 2020 11:13 am

    Completely off topic but I have just got the phone to a parish councillor who has responsibility for co-ordinating flood defences etc.

    The background to this is in 2000 we experienced, in common with many areas, flooding in our village. The river that borders my garden rose a breeched the bank. Due to this an overflow channel was dug to alleviate future problems and has been used a couple of times since. It works well. The river has risen again due to all the rain but the EA has refused to open the channel because they say that they are using the increased flow of the river to clear away silt that has built up. It now looks like gardens will be flooded and maybe property as well when a perfectly good purpose built solution remains unused. You may ask why the EA has not dredged the river in the past if they are concerned about the silt build up.

    This attitude by the EA is echoed in many stories I’ve heard coming out of the Northern areas that have been flooded recently. Clearly the EA needs reforming.

    • StephenP permalink
      February 17, 2020 1:56 pm

      The floods a few years ago on the ẞomerset Levels were aggregated by three main factors:

      The EU directive that wanted the levels to be wetted, supposedly for the benefit to wildlife. The head of the EA said that she would like to have put a limpet mine on every pumping station on the levels.

      The lack of dredging of the rivers resulting in reduced flows. This was exacerbated by the EU declaring the dredgings, which previously been used to build up the river banks, to be toxic waste that had to go to landfill. This resulted in a massive increase in the costs of dredging when they got round to it.

      Extensive building in local towns causing faster run-off from hard surfaces. One farmer in the middle of the levels said that whereas it used to take three days for heavy rainfall to work it’s way down to the levels, it now took just half a day.

      The end result of the flooding was that most of the birds they were trying to encourage had their nests flooded out, all the small rodents that provided food for avian predators were killed and the after population took quite a bit.

      In all, the law of unintended and ignorant consequences.

      • Michael Adams permalink
        February 17, 2020 4:38 pm

        There is quite a debate about whether dredgings are waste or a resource. I understand that the EU regulations on this are not explicit, leaving it open for local agencies to make their own minds up. Marine dredging regulation is more tightly worded.

        I’m not sure how you can call dredging from rivers anything but a resource but the EA seems to live in a conservatorial bubble for which calling it waste serves it very well.

        I’ve been told that the EA has plans to intrude beavers in to our river again. This will do wonders for the river flow.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      February 17, 2020 1:58 pm

      No, the EA needs abolishing. Drainage boards responsible to the local people should take over watercourse management.

    • bobn permalink
      February 17, 2020 12:07 pm

      Excellent link. I recommend everyone look at it. lots of growing glaciers.

  11. Glenn T permalink
    February 17, 2020 1:23 pm

    Looking at the graphs, it does appear that the current warm period is more ‘dense’ and consistent than the earlier 1930-40s warm period which had more cold intervals. Temperature seems to show higher spikes as well in the current period.

    The averages may come out looking similar but the profile of this warm period is definitely different.

    Can anyone explain these differences?


    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      February 17, 2020 4:04 pm

      $Trillions spunked on ‘climate science’ can’t explain or model that!

      Common sense says that there are multiple cycles and trends interacting, some half-understood, many unknown.

      On a coarse level, we have been warming since the LIA, so it would make sense that each iteration of the AMO would produce slightly warmer temperatures than the last.

      Expecting natural cycles to repeat like clockwork with pinpoint similarity is just daft.

      The alarmists try to disparage the GISP2 Ice Core series, the reason is obvious. It isn’t as warm as the Minoan, Roman or Medieval times – and you’ll note all three ‘spikes’ came and went in a very short time – indistinguishable in reality from the current warm – but not as warm – period.

    • bobn permalink
      February 17, 2020 4:06 pm

      Glenn, I think not. What we see is an up and down of many interacting cycles. These 10-20yr cycles are minor in the billion yr history of climate change. We dont have detailed enough records to see if these minor changes form a pattern in the past (were they mirrored in the 1400’s- who knows?). Because very little funding is given to researching REAL climate change and the cycles that drive it (orbits of the moon, saturn, jupiter all influence earths climate but no support to research them), we are guessing a bit.
      Likely to be a few cycles falling into alignment cause the stronger moves. The ocean cycles probably dominate Greenland as while greenland shows more warmth in 1990s than 1930s, USA show more warmth in 1930s than 1990s. Icecores from Greenland show that it is still colder there today than between 800 and 1200AD.

  12. February 17, 2020 4:10 pm

    Thank for comments…I’ll be looking at Ian Plimmers and Bob Carter!

    • February 17, 2020 4:33 pm

      Altho, I note that both these authors, Plimers and Carter are quite contentious. It’s hard for me to understand how the IPCC and many gov’ts – including the Brit Conservatives, could be so ignorant of the real causes 🙂 I know the standard argument…the scientists are scared of losing their jobs….I don’t think BoJo is losing his job any time soon.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        February 17, 2020 6:18 pm

        The IPCC & UN do NOT do Climate Change Science.
        It does, as their original charter stated, find Anthropogenic causes for Global Warming.
        What do you expect Scientists paid to look for CAGW to find?
        What do you expect governments to believe, what they are told by the UN or for them to do indiviual research?
        If you want to know why all this is happening just look at the UN Agendas and how much money Banks and the rich will make from Carbon Credits.
        We are talking a $Trillion/year industry.

        If you really want to understand start digging, it doesn’t take long to find some of the truth.

  13. Dlee permalink
    February 17, 2020 9:48 pm

    Yet in the Netherlands they dredge the rivers.Probably a reasonable idea considering a city such as Rotterdam is below sea level.

  14. February 18, 2020 6:37 am

    Hilarious to see Jeff Bezos spending $10bn on something that doesn’t exist.

    • Bertie permalink
      February 19, 2020 7:03 am

      His new Mrs must be another eco-nut like Carrie. ‘Behind every man …’

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: