Skip to content

Greenland’s Ice Cap Above Average This Year

September 5, 2021

By Paul Homewood

You will no doubt recall the Greenland meltdown scare a few weeks ago, when the media went mental after a few sunny days there:


It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the ice sheet actually finished the summer with an above average volume of ice, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute:


The Greenland Icesheet Surface Mass Balance (excl Glacier Calving)

As I pointed out at the time, this year’s summer melt has been one of the shortest on record, beginning a month late. Indeed last year’s summer melt was also truncated, but you won’t see this reported anywhere in the media.

When glacial calving is added into the figures, Greenland is still losing ice, but at a much lower rate in recent years than a decade ago, mainly due to glaciers becoming more stable.

In the last ten years, 2403 Gt has been lost. This may sound a lot, but equates to only 6.7mm of sea level rise. A giga-tonne, by the way, is 1 Billion tonnes, and Greenland sits under 2.6 million of these. At the current rate, it would take 10,000 years for the ice sheet to melt, by which time we will probably in the middle of the next is age!!


  1. September 5, 2021 7:39 pm

    Why do politicians and their “scientific” advisers not note such findings?
    Could be explained by gullibility, with gnorace and groupthink respectively?
    How much does money play in these 2 groups, and how little common sense?

  2. Rasa permalink
    September 5, 2021 8:02 pm

    The Arctic is a cold place.
    Actually the Arctic is a freezing place.
    It has to do with the tilt of the earth and the Sun.
    It sort of developed into the concept of seasons.
    If you are worried about Global Warming?
    Take the kids camping in the Arctic ( or Antarctic) in their respective winters👌
    That little exercise will cure your anxiety of Global Warming.
    Trust me👌

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 5, 2021 9:32 pm

    Daily mean temperature for the Arctic area north of the 80th northern parallel is falling bang on the curve after most of the summer marginally below. Melt season is almost over.

    Sea Ice Volume is higher than 2020.
    Sea Ice area may by 1Mkm2 higher than 2020 (TBC bit of an odd blip in the chart.)

  4. September 5, 2021 9:58 pm

    ‘Death spiral’ cancelled. Phew 💤

    • Harry Davidson permalink
      September 6, 2021 4:11 pm

      You are joking, right? The data hasn’t been homogenized yet, then we’ll discover that “It’s worse than we thought”.

  5. MikeHig permalink
    September 5, 2021 9:59 pm

    A while back there was an article on WUWT (I think) about a professor from MIT who had an interesting angle on the melting of Greenland ice.
    He calculated how much heat would be needed to melt all of it by 2100 – per the alarmist hype. He found that, if the necessary heat could magically be extracted from the rest of the globe and applied to Greenland, global temperatures would drop by 6 degrees. We would be heading back into another ice age…..

  6. Mack permalink
    September 5, 2021 10:15 pm

    There’s more ice on the planet now than when James Hansen first intimated, at his infamous congressional hearing, that melting glaciers were going to drown us all and man made global warming/climate change became a thing. Fancy that! With Arctic ice coverage 20% up on last summer, Antarctic ice coverage booming and Greenland stubbornly refusing to follow the media narrative, I fully expect a Wadhams like figure to emerge shortly and lecture us all on how not to believe our lying eyes.

  7. Jackington permalink
    September 5, 2021 10:57 pm

    What a nice story to finish off the week – thanks Paul.

  8. John Hultquist permalink
    September 6, 2021 5:00 am

    From that headline: ice Greenland Florida covered in two inches

    What does Florida have to do with this?
    Why not pick the Isle of Man? Can the Manx swim?
    To match Greenland’s area takes 12.7 Floridas.
    Another view: Greenland has about the same area as the USA east of the Mississippi River.
    But the water from that ice melt is going into the World-Ocean. That is a huge area and the result is difficult to measure.

    • dave permalink
      September 6, 2021 1:19 pm

      “What does Florida have to do with this?”

      It is called putting it into context – but deliberately into the wrong context.

      Putting it into the right context would involve, perhaps, three steps:

      (1) Taking as the appropriate area the world-ocean

      ‘enough water in one day to raise sea-level everywhere by one thousandth of an inch..’

      (2) Using the correct scientific unit;

      ‘enough water in one day to raise sea-level everywhere by one forty-thousandth of a meter;

      (3) Pointing out that ‘melting’ is not the only process that takes place;

      ‘enough water in one day to raise sea-level everywhere by one forty-thousandth of a meter;
      while it is of interest that a few weeks prior there was an equally noteworthy event, a late spring snowfall which involved the abstraction and transfer to Greenland in one day of enough water to reduce sea-level everywhere by slightly more than the said one forty-thousandth of a meter.;

      Even if that were put under a biased headline, “Unusual Melt day in Greenland!” I would not complain too much, if the actual body included the paragraph as written.

  9. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 6, 2021 7:56 am

    Not jut an irrelevant comparison using Florida, also an ignorant one:-

    “Throughout most of its history, Florida has been under water. Portions of the Florida peninsula have been above or below sea level at least four times. As glaciers of ice in the north expanded and melted, the Florida peninsula emerged and submerged.”

  10. Cheshire Red permalink
    September 6, 2021 10:39 am

    What’s actually happening at Greenland right now is….normal. Ice SMB, precipitation, calving and ‘melt’ rates are all within a band of normal variation. There’s literally nothing to bother about.

    Such benign non-news doesn’t drive screaming headlines or research grants, mind.

    • dave permalink
      September 6, 2021 11:28 am

      “…non-news…doesn’t [sic] drive screaming headlines…”

      If only that were true!

  11. Stonyground permalink
    September 6, 2021 12:35 pm

    With ice caps and various glaciers around the world actually growing, doesn’t that strongly suggest that a period of cooling has already started? We have already seen the start of the claims that the cooling is caused by warming and that one about cloudy days giving the misleading impression that it isn’t sunny.

  12. Jack Broughton permalink
    September 6, 2021 2:15 pm

    Am I missing something here?
    The mass balance graph shows Greenland averaging an increase of 395 Gt per annum since 1981. Where does the loss come from, surely not entirely from calving?

  13. John Hultquist permalink
    September 6, 2021 4:36 pm

    Victoria Seabrook wrote about the melt on a Tuesday. She had nothing to say about the annum, or even a day when there was heavy snow.
    This is somewhat like giving a person your Pecan Pie recipe and forgetting to mention the eggs.

    And: Might I suggest that glacial calving is a sign the ice mass is growing and moving? The law of gravity has not been repealed.

  14. Vernon E permalink
    September 6, 2021 6:50 pm

    Have these projections taken into account that ice actually shrinks when it melts?

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      September 6, 2021 7:56 pm

      I doubt whether the modellers understand the basic physics of water. When ice melts the water sinks due to its higher density, this is why the ocean layers below about 500m are at 4 C permanently. The effect of salinity further complicates this flow.

      All part of what makes the models so fanciful as to be nonsensical, along with radiative forcing factor and clouds.

      They certainly do not understand acidity they call reducing alkalinity “increasing acidity.

    • dave permalink
      September 7, 2021 10:33 am

      “Have these projections…?”

      Yes. This is from the DMI’s website:

      “The density of snow and ice is different to that of water and the figures are therefore converted to water to ensure that the total mass is calculated.”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: