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Greenland’s Summer Melt Late Starting

June 19, 2020

By Paul Homewood




I mentioned back in March that the winter in Greenland had been dominated by  high pressure systems, bringing cold, dry weather. As a result, the lack of snow meant the ice cap had added less mass than usual.

As weather would have it, the situation has reversed this month, with low pressure bringing lots of snow. Consequently Greenland has seen record amounts of mass gain on some days, and even now the ice mass continues to grow well after the time when it should have begun its summer melt:

Looking at the weather forecast for the week ahead, it does not look like there will be much change. So I suspect the ice mass will continue to grow until the end of this month, and probably return to the 1981-2010 average .

Summer melt usually ends in mid August, so this year’s may end up being one of the shortest on record.

  1. Ben Vorlich permalink
    June 19, 2020 10:41 am

    The DMI temperature North of 80′ has been below average for the last week or so, and has rarely gone abover average in any summer for the last 5 or 6 years. I watch Greenland and Arctic every two or three days and and the Promice weather stations have been showing some impressively low temperatures over the winter, especially the one in central Greenland.

  2. jack broughton permalink
    June 19, 2020 10:44 am

    Maybe a silly question as I know very little about snow, but why is there a gain in the average surface mass balance. a layman might expect that the average would go back to zero in August. The balance graphic also seems to show a gain of about 2 GT /d, or 700 GT/y which agrees with the other graphic. Where does the extra snow go: is Greenland getting deeper in snow every year?

  3. John Cooknell permalink
    June 19, 2020 11:18 am

    He is right that water demand will exceed supply, because no new reservoirs have been built.

    On everything else he is wrong.

  4. David Allan permalink
    June 19, 2020 11:54 am

    …..and, for the record, I live in Edinburgh and despite the BBC propaganda about the lovely hot lockdown weather, this had been one of the coldest springs here that I can remember. We have had little sunshine and have been subject to a constant northerly airstream (which, incidentally, always brings clearer air and explains why greens have been rejoicing in clear views. It has nothing to do with reduced co2 emissions). The temperature here today in 14c and it has risen above 20c on only three days his year so far.

  5. nick oleary permalink
    June 19, 2020 2:02 pm

    Has the BBC reported this strange phenomenon called weather.

  6. Joe Public permalink
    June 19, 2020 2:13 pm

    This prognostication didn’t age well:

  7. June 19, 2020 3:36 pm


    Expect a year on year fall in temperatures in the long and short term soon. The hiatus is the turning point, the next change is an increasing rate of decline, as with all the other cycles that have gone before.

    My question is related but not directly. However VERY important when comparing the end of the current warm phase of the short term 1Ka composite climate cycle with the MWP. As per link

    Is the Greenland location where the Vikings are known to have farmed from the records and archeological remains still unfarmable permafrost as I have read, but don’t know?

    If YES then something is wrong with either the 0.84 deg warming since 1850 or the ice core records to 1850, which suggest it should be warmer than the MWP. As I read it. Thanks for any help.

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