Good For The Greenland Ice Sheet, Bad For The Corn Belt

Guest essay by David Archibald

One thing that climate rationalists and warmers can agree on is that we all would like to have a healthy Greenland Ice Sheet. The good news on that front is that the ice sheet has put on 500 Gt this year as per this diagram provided by the Danish Meteorological Institute:

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Figure 1: Total daily contribution to the surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet

The ice sheet is on track to add 500 Gt this year. It was given a big push along by a large storm in October 2016. Most of that was added on the southwest flank as shown by Figure 2.

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Figure 2: Map of the accumulated surface mass balance (in mm water equivalent) from September 1st, 2016 to August 11th, 2017.

All this means that the shrinkage of the Greenland Ice Sheet since the beginning of the millenium is now over. Unfortunately now that the ice sheet has stopped shrinking, the NOAA has stopped updating their diagram. But, armed with the 500 Gt figure provided by the Danish meteorologists, we can make a stab at it:

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Figure 3: Monthly change in the total mass (in Gigatonnes) of the Greenland ice sheet between April 2002 and June 2016

The red crosses denote the values for the month of April of each year. The other result of this turnaround in the Greenland Ice Sheet is that sea level will be falling, not rising.

The colder weather that is good for the Greenland Ice Sheet is bad for the Corn Belt though. As this article says, many farmers in the Upper Midwest are becoming increasingly concerned about the possibility of an early frost. Temperatures in that region are expected to trend well below normal the second half of September, with the potential for a season-ending freeze somewhere between the 15th and 20th.

So let’s look at the corn crop progress for Wisconsin as up to August 6th:

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Figure 4: Wisconsin corn crop progess and condition

A frost hitting on 15th September would be when only 25% of the crop is mature.


David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

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150 thoughts on “Good For The Greenland Ice Sheet, Bad For The Corn Belt

  1. Stories like this tend to remind me that our actual historical record is so very tiny compared to the actual history of our planet. And yet some continue to paint a complete mosaic with just two dots on a page.

    • The Ice Sheet grows or declines annually based on snow cover. The idea these minor changes can have an effect on Midwestern crop growth is just short of absurd as weather patterns move west to east.

      • No where is it said or even implied that the snow cover on the ice sheet effects Midwestern crop growth, Creating a straw man just to call it ‘just short of absurd’ is beyond absurd.

      • Ice growth on the Greenland Ice Sheet signals cooling…which is bad for agriculture. His point really was that simple. I’ll bet he loves watching the warmtards freak out over this simple, yet logical connection.

      • Phil R,
        There aren’t any dots worth connecting in this post! The post doesn’t demonstrate any connection weather Midwest to Greenland ice.

        This post is apples and nuts… Anne some marshmallow and you’ve got a salad recipe

      • Where did David say the corn belt was affected by ice growth in the Greenland. It is a matter of correlation or possibly teleconnection.

    • It’s actually worse. We don’t know the “Nyquist Rate” for temporal and spatial sampling. Inference from circumstantial evidence far outside a limited frame of reference (i.e. scientific domain) only increases the inertia preventing development of knowledge and skill.

      • So we sampled in January one year, February the next…and by the time we got to July, we had established really scary global warming! For the N hemisphere.

        Meanwhile the S Hemisphere was heading into an ice age.

        Yup. I take your point…
        :-)

  2. When somebody can tell me what a healthy Greenland ice should look like then I will be the first to agree that it is a wonderful and desirable thing. After all, there is a little bit of Viking in my surname.

    That aside, it is interesting to learn more about harvest times. It is often done and dusted before August in this part of dreary Central England, though some fields seem a bit later this year.

    • Greenland is a dreadful place
      A land that’s never ever green
      There’s ice and snow and the whalefishes blow
      And daylights seldom seen, brave boys,

      • Actually a lot of corn is cut later than that. In Wisconsin, there is a lot of corn cut in the middle of November. The idea that cooler norther hemisphere temps may cause an early frost combined with the fact that planting this year took an extremely long time (multiple replants due wet conditions) which has delayed significant portions of the crops development has some in the trade concerned that there could be a frost issue, but the overall size of the crop in the US and South America means it shouldn’t have a significant impact.

      • Absolutely correct. However, the key is when the corn kernels are mature. Many fields were planted late due to the wet spring (late May and early June). I was born and raised on a farm in Northern Ohio. Tomato season ended around October 5th and soybeans & corn were harvested after tomatoes were done — mid-Oct. to mid-Nov.

    • It is often done and dusted before August in this part of dreary Central England…

      This weekend (Thurs-Sun) is my hometown’s annual country fair in central Wisconsin. When I was a kid, we could almost invariably count on those four days being one day hot, one day cold (sufficiently cold where you had to wear a light jacket or risk shivering uncontrollably), one day of rain, and one day being a repeat (or mix) of those other three conditions. The deciduous trees, the weaker ones at any rate, would be beginning to change colour as the peak of summer gave way to the cooler nights of early autumn. There were years where frost would form in the lower swales of surrounding farms and the older folks would start fires to take the chill off their homes during the morning hours. It’s been years since I’ve returned home to be part of the celebration, but claiming that a killing frost by the third week of September isn’t that far off from reality. More than likely, it will be cold enough for spotty frost by the middle of September with low-lying areas sufficiently chilly to yield a killing frost—but those low-lying areas are already of lower production value with poorly draining clay soils common to the region.

      I do not lay claim to any increase in Greenland’s ice sheet having impacts in the upper Midwest, specifically Wisconsin, but historically speaking, my home state has always had a short growing season and a risk for killing frosts by the end of the second week of September.

  3. Stories like this remind me to read the linked article. The Danish page at the bottom says that
    “…Note that the accumulated curve does not end at 0 at the end of the year. Over the year, it snows more than it melts, but calving of icebergs also adds to the total mass budget of the ice sheet. Satellite observations over the last decade show that the ice sheet is not in balance. The calving loss is greater than the gain from surface mass balance, and Greenland is losing mass at about 200 Gt/yr. ”

    So Fig. 1 is misleading since it only tells half the story. It does not include losses due to glaciers flowing
    into the sea. So while there has been a lot of snow in Greenland the total gain is likely to be nowhere near the figure suggest.

    • Right. The author got a little too excited here and should have checked the numbers. As the old workworking adage has it: measure twice, cut once.

      Fig. 3 looks like the net loss is 200Gt/a. But the SMB shows a net average from snow of +400Gt/a. Thus in a typical year, if these figures are to be believed, the loss from the edge of the ice sheet is -600Gt/a. Thus, if this year the figure for SMB is +500Gt, the net is still -100Gt.

      • “Thus, if this year the figure for SMB is +500Gt, the net is still -100Gt.”

        No. That “average” is for 1981-2010, the -200 gt is for a later, shorter, but very nebulous interval. IPCC TAR 3 put annual calving at 235+-44 gt, which would imply a net increase this year at c. 250 gt rather than 500.gt.

      • Jit, where are you getting -600Gt from? Didn’t even the big one of 2012 achieve -474? The average of the past 3 years being under 200Gt.

        Let us also not forget 2013-2014, with -6Gt.

        I can see how the original posted could be right, but it would be nice if we didn’t have to rely on what previous years did as a baseline for it.

      • tty, if copies the 2013-2014: -6 Gt, it gets to the original posters +500.

        Can’t believe we need to guess at this stage based on past season numbers. No up to date data for this??

    • The important point here is that the ice loss in the NH does not seem to be related to increase in CO 2 ppm since the apparent turn around in snow added/loss is contrary to the claims of Gore, Obama, Sereze, the MSM and others. Other factors such as weather differences clearly cause ice gain/loss as noted in the article. as well as storms in the Arctic. Time will tell whether this is a trend or not. Unfortunately even scientists paid by taxpayer dollars allow those exaggerations and myths to go unchallenged or corrected, intentionally, contributing to the miss-information.
      What is this plot telling us about the claims of ice free in 2017?

      • You know, I have always wondered about something – very cold air hold very little moisture. Ergo, very cold air would deposit little, if any, additional snow and ice. Meaning, in very cold conditions, ice gain would be very low, if at all.

        In warmer conditions, the ice melts faster. HOWEVER, warmer air can hold more moisture (think of Buffalo and the lake effect). Ergo more ice and snow might be deposited during the winter, because it is not as cold!

        The same hold true for sunny/cloudy days – ice is sublimated in cold dry clear air with lots of sun, but does not when it is cloudy. Cloudiness is associated with warmer temperatures.

        Therefore warm conditions and cold conditions could both explain a gain or loss of ice. That is to say, the accumulation of ice in ice sheets is a complex process dependent on the interaction of several factors, only one of which is temperature.

        And yet, for most people, gaining ice = cooling, and losing ice = warming. When I think the correct answer would be “depends”.

    • Quite right, I was about to post the same but saw yours first. The graph is absurd on the face of it, so checking the original article was well indicated. Maybe articles as well as comments should be moderated.

  4. “But, armed with the 500 Gt figure provided by the Danish meteorologists, we can make a stab at it:”
    No, you need another figure, which is the ice that is lost by flow and calving. In steady state, the mass gain is positive very year. You can see that from the 1981-2010 average shown in the first graph (Fig 1). It gains about 400 Gt every year, despite that the total mass of the sheet in Fig 3 is going steadily down, averaging about 200 Gt per year. That 500 Gt gain is probably still below break even.

      • My calculator only has four decimal points and 500 GT is thus 0.0176% of 2,840,000 GT. I wonder if this is less than the tolerance in measuring this volatile object. I would think that the +/- figures per year are totally insignificant and open to questioning.

      • Total Greenland Ice mass since 1900 (The graphs says 2.6 x 10¹⁵ T but close enough)

        The trend is still the same.

      • To communicate the scale of the ‘calamity’ it is perhaps best to project that ‘if the ice loss continues at this rate, it will all be gone in…. 14,200 years.

        Or not.

        There is no way they have methods accurate enough to determine the ice mass to an accuracy of 200 km^3, One part in 14,200 with an uncertainty of less than 1? That is a precision of 0.007%. Dream on.

      • + John Peter: Seriously folks, no one is actually thinking that it is possible to measure surface ice mass balance to these levels of accuracy – are they? I mean, that would be properly delusional – wouldn’t it? Ice mass balance is derived from a combination of modelled gains from snowfall and estimated calving losses from satellite observations. So then surface ice mass balance is based on unvalidated model output and estimates and yet it is quoted to absurd accuracy with no error estimates. It would be interesting to see the error bars on the DMI charts but just possibly they are larger than the excursions causing so much hysterical angst amongst the alarmists.

        Sometimes I find it useful to just go and have a look at general ice cover in the Arctic and you can do that at Cryosphere Today http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/. There you can find records dating back to the beginning of the satellite era in 1979 and I went over there to compare today’s ice cover with the same date in 1979. The ice cover is significantly greater today. Human emitted carbon dioxide-driven runaway global warming? Apparently not.

      • cephus0 August 14, 2017 at 9:40 am
        Sometimes I find it useful to just go and have a look at general ice cover in the Arctic and you can do that at Cryosphere Today http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/. There you can find records dating back to the beginning of the satellite era in 1979 and I went over there to compare today’s ice cover with the same date in 1979. The ice cover is significantly greater today. Human emitted carbon dioxide-driven runaway global warming? Apparently not.

        You’re going to the wrong site, Cryosphere Today hasn’t updated properly since April 2016 due to the failure of the satellite they used.

        Here’s the map for Aug 14th 1979:

        Here’s today’s from a different source:

    • Agreed, but it’ll be close. It appears to be running somewhere around 150 Gt above average, this year, so far. If that margin is maintained, and if the iceberg calving rate is typical, then it should end up at about -50 Gt at the end of the melt season, the equivalent of about 0.13 mm sea-level rise (compared to the average of -200 Gt = 0.55 mm SLR).

      However, I don’t know how much faith to put in those DMI graphs. I know that the loss of the DMSP F17 & F19 satellites in early 2016 added a big question mark over recent sea-ice measurements. I don’t know what they’re using to measure the Greenland Ice Sheet, so I don’t know whether those measurements were also affected.

      Note that the DMSP F18 satellite, which was pressed into service after the failures of F19 & F17, isn’t very healthy, either. As of mid-2015 it had only 10 of 24 SSMIS channels still functional. I don’t know how much that degrades its capabilities.
      https://www.wmo-sat.info/oscar/satellites/view/65
      https://www.wmo-sat.info/oscar/satellites/view/65#inst-536
      https://www.wmo-sat.info/oscar/instruments/view/536

      • Its not a measurement. It is ECMWF precipitation modelling. And GRACE reportedly has battery problems. Very likely they will now prove to be so severe that no more GRACE data will be forthcoming.

    • And of course, Greenland Ice area is only just a tiny amount down from its highest extent in 8000 years.

      Its ANOMALOUSLY HIGH !!

      Any losses are purely and simply a RECOVERY from the extreme highs of the Little Ice Age, the COLDEST period in 10,000 years.

    • IPCC TAR 3 put calving at 235+-44 gt/year, I hope you’re not questioning the revealed word of IPCC, are you Nick?

    • Nick, I’m not entirely sure what month of the year the original poster is guessing for. The red dots on the NOAA graph are for April each year, so it would have made sense for him to put a dot for April and then if he wanted to go further out to either September or the year end, to use the black dot methodology.

      In any scenario, I don’t think it wise to assume that it would also be a break even or loss based on past year losses. Although I’m glad that just like the original posted you took a stab at it.

      Erm, can you also confirm what month you are guessing for?

  5. The data you show is the surface mass balance which doesn’t include the calving losses, in recent years the calving losses exceed the accumulation on the surface by about 200 GT/yr.
    Unfortunately now that the ice sheet has stopped shrinking, the NOAA has stopped updating their diagram.
    That graph is usually updated at the end of December so you need to be a little more patient and wait for this year’s Arctic Report Card. I think about -3500 GT is more likely than your estimate.

    • Agreed except for the last sentence. I don’t think you meant -3500 Gt, Phil. That would be the equivalent of 9.7 mm of sea-level rise, which is about more than 10x (probably almost 20x) what Greenland usually contributes to global SLR. Did you add a couple of extra zeros?

      • No I used the units shown in figure 3 “Monthly change in the total mass (in Gigatonnes) of the Greenland ice sheet between April 2002 and June 2016”. The author’s prediction is about -2600, we’ll see who’s closer by the end of the year. The mass of the Greenland Ice sheet is measured using the GRACE satellites which is why it starts in 2002.

    • From the NOAA site, it also seems the red dots are actually for the month of April as well. It therefore isn’t clear as to what month the poster is putting for his 2017 claim. (is it April 2017, September 2017, December 2017).

      • that would be a stab of the april value and to me it’s odd that suddenly there seems to be a certain turn in the graph it’s all of the sudden discontinued….

  6. David,
    You misinterpreted the data. Specifically, the top graph does not included ice losses due to calving from the ends of glaciers. As such, the 500 Gt number does NOT represent the actual net gain this year and the star you drew does NOT represent the expected value expected at the end of the year.

    This should be obvious from the facts that over that same time periods …
    1) the first graph of surface accumulation averages about +400 Gt each year (without calving)
    2) the second graph of total ice drops about -200 Gt each year (with calving).

    Clearly calving has typically outpaced accumulations but about 400+200 = 600 Gt/yr. I would put the star for “expected” 2017 value at or below the 2016 results — inline with all the other recent years.

    • Correct Tim, One needs to add-in iceberg calving and melt-water run-off to get to the total ice balance numbers.

      Generally, this year’s numbers should be positive after all the components of ice mass balance are added in.

      • Thanks,
        It is not clear to me that the graph in figure 3 does not include calving into the ocean, clearly figure 1 appears to not include calving although it is clear that the addition has increased.
        Can someone provide the link please and explain why the claimed updating is apparently no longer provided

      • Catcracking August 13, 2017 at 8:13 pm
        Thanks,
        It is not clear to me that the graph in figure 3 does not include calving into the ocean, clearly figure 1 appears to not include calving although it is clear that the addition has increased.
        Can someone provide the link please and explain why the claimed updating is apparently no longer provided

        http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card/Report-Card-2016/ArtMID/5022/ArticleID/277/Greenland-Ice-Sheet

        This is an annual report card and as I posted above it is likely that the updated graph will be provided in December as usual (with the caveat that GRACE 2 is no longer fully functional).

      • When it updates in December, will it only be until June 2017? Since the last December update only took it to June 2016? Or is it supposed to be until the year end?

        Also, although people are encouraged to make predictions on the science and situation they have faith in, considering what happened last Autumn, one would need to be very brave to think they can guess where it is going to end up at the year end.

      • John August 14, 2017 at 7:52 am
        When it updates in December, will it only be until June 2017? Since the last December update only took it to June 2016? Or is it supposed to be until the year end?

        My understanding is that they update to the most recently available data at the time of preparing the report, the maximum seems usually to be in April so as long as they go past then we should learn something.

      • Phil. August 14, 2017 at 5:26 am

        This is an annual report card and as I posted above it is likely that the updated graph will be provided in December as usual (with the caveat that GRACE 2 is no longer fully functional).

        As a follow up to this GRACE is in its 15th year of operation (originally planned for 5) and as I indicated one of the satellites is starting to have difficulties. However the replacement mission is planned to be launched in January 2018 so hopefully we’ll have good data continuity.

      • Looking at the GFS model, it looks like Greenland is expecting a snow fest over the next 15 days. I wonder, are we about to see an early end to the melt season and also an early start to the grow season? Bets on August finishing at the top end of the two standard deviations?

    • I expect to see this post on retraction watch…

      not

      What is the point of readers peer reviewing, if the post stays published as is.

      • As I recall from a few years ago (so cold it will be snowing co2 in the Antarctic!!!!?!!!) watts liked to leave the incorrect articles As a learning exercise!!!!

      • Mosher: An argument could be made that in a standard scientific journal, when a result has been found wanting, the appropriate response from the journal editors is to issue a retraction of the original, since any article that refutes the original is likely to follow many months or years later, and in another journal or medium. That makes it more difficult to catch error in the absence of a retraction. However, on a website such as this, the error is caught essentially immediately, and is published directly below the original, so no retraction is necessary in the interests of advancing the debate. Science would benefit were more of it published on interactive sites like this one, rather than in episodic volumes like the IPCC reports – which should all be retracted by now but never are.

      • He is making a personal prediction and if it is based on a flawed assumption, people will catch him on that and hold him to account at the year end.

        I dunno why anyone needs to retract an opinion, but if he did make an incorrect assumption, maybe he will edit the post to admit it.

        In any event, I don’t think people should retract opinions and its nice that people put themselves out there and take a stab at things.

  7. I am REALLY tired of anti-Life being “good news,” even on WUWT. My purpose is to increase the carrying capacity of the planet for Life. Ice does NOT do that.

    • I think most of us would agree with that. Unfortunately the climate change community and their hangers-on and useful idiots as well as the “world domination” crowd at the UN don’t see it that way.

      We would like an extra 2°; they see it only as a disaster. So, regrettably, we need to cheer on the possibliity of falling temperatures and solar minima because it is likely at present to be the only way to shut them up and try to return to some form of sanity about climate and weather.

      Sorry, but there it is!

  8. We usually get frost in Alberta every September. Depending on which part of it you’re talking about, it could come anytime in the first week of September. In the Banff and Jasper ares it could be as early as the last week of August. There are no crops in those areas so it really doesn’t matter.

  9. Like this site and all the positive reporting. This researcher says that while the ice sheet is growing, its melt off rate is still higher than the growth rate. I’d like to hear some feedback on his observations. Thanks

    • Not sure why we need to guess so much. Also not sure why the original poster didn’t post more information from https://www.dmi.dk/en/groenland/maalinger/greenland-ice-sheet-surface-mass-budget/ and use it for his calculation.

      Because there you can see the daily gain/daily loss and that should be a basis of your guesstimates for the year end. Also keep in mind this is mass and not extent.

      So far, it doesn’t look like Greenland has shed too much of its volume this year and the melt season isn’t anything special. I guess one would need the figures in excel to play in more detail, though, and to produce something close to what was attempted.

      One would literally need to guess the weather until the year end to figure out where it will end up.

      • Agree with Joe.

        There is no linkage here with early freezes in the Cornbelt.

        The last significant one was mid September 1995. Prior to that, the freezes of historical note were the numerous early September “Labor Day” freezes of 1974.

        Would put the chance of a an early damaging freeze over a significant portion of the Midwest/Cornbelt in any one year as around 5%……or 1 out of 20 years.

        A factor that can increase the risk is late planting, that causes the crop to be behind on maturity or a very cool Summer, that slows maturity because of the low number of growing degree days. Maturity of the current crop is close to average right now but slightly more advanced in most places.

        http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/CropProg/CropProg-08-07-2017.txt

        The Eastern Cornbelt was late in planting but is usually less vulnerable to freeze risks in September because the coldest air masses from Canada often moderate more by the time they hit that region vs the Western Cornbelt, with less moderation.

        Recent weather patterns have featured a dent northern stream and upper level trough in the Northeast US, along with an upper level heat ridge in the West, that has delivered some cool air masses this Summer. That would be a favorable pattern for an early freeze but only if it greatly amplified in early September in order to capture an air mass from Northern Canada and transported it strongly southward, then flushed it bodily and deeply into the Midwest.

        There is no indication that I can see of this happening but its too early to do anything but speculate.
        Since this is August 14, and weather models can give us a good idea of the pattern for the next 2 weeks, we are entering the time frame when an absence of the extreme pattern needed for a freeze on the maps going out 2 weeks will quickly diminish the chance of a freeze.

        Let’s say for example, we are now at August 28th and the weather models show no extreme pattern for the 2 week period starting on August 28th. This would start taking us into mid Sept with no pattern that can produce a freeze.

        A late Sept freeze can still do “some” damage if it’s widespread and a hard freeze but by then, the amount of damage potential is dropping fast.

        We have only mentioned the corn crop here. The reality of this is that the soybean crop is usually much more at risk for substantive yield effecting early freeze damage and with absolute certainty, it would effect prices much more.
        However, the risk for soybeans of a significant early freeze are also around 5% in any one year.

        Because of the ridge west, trough east pattern this Summer, one can make a case for increasing that risk a bit because that pattern would assist in the delivery of cold air masses from Canada to penetrate south in the eastern half of the US.

        However, moderate cold does not generate widespread early freezes. It will take an extreme brand of cold to do it that comes from a high latitude and continues to have a favorable path, straight south, thru Canada, deeply into the Cornbelt.

        A pattern like that features an upper level high in a new position in Canada, pretty far north that connects with an upper level low/trough in the mid latitudes.

      • “One would literally need to guess the weather until the year end to figure out where it will end up.”

        The melt season will be over in about two weeks. That is why the DMI data runs from Sep. 1 to Sep. 1. That is the annual minimum.

      • tty, sure, it also looks quite likely it already ended or close to. My point being that the prediction was until the end of 2017, but looking at what happened in the last 4 months of 2016, it would be quite a guess.

        I’m not in agreement with some posting here that this will still result in a net loss, as I don’t think the melt season this year has been significant enough and the grow season was too long. Added to that, there doesn’t appear to be a late season spanner in the works. I think the mass of the sheet will be showing a growth by the end of the year.

        DMI obviously have this data and it would be nice if they presented things or shared data to that the only uncertainty over the next 4 months is how much more there is to be gained. At the moment, trying to guesstimate based on what they show and assuming they don’t omit some kind of shredding from their melt stats, I don’t see how this year ends up as a loss year.

      • John, thanks for the link it is more revealing than that shown in the write up.
        Good points, looking at your link ( https://www.dmi.dk/en/groenland/maalinger/greenland-ice-sheet-surface-mass-budget/) which includes data through mid August 2017. It is quite possible that there will be little if any ice mass loss for April 2017 (red dots) since the daily addition has been considerably greater than the previous years. Looking at Figure 3 in David’s article it is clear that the the loss varies considerably, and in some years there is no loss as the red dots year to year are on the same horizontal line. On the other hand the mass loss was much greater in 2012.
        I agree,one would need to guess the weather, but it appears that a turn upward is entirely possible and David might be close to the final number.
        I also note that the red dots are mostly at the peak for each year; however there are several where the ice mass accumulated past April in Figure 3. .

      • Catcracking,

        I guess all depends on what dot he is sticking and where. April? September? December? Some people are posting in this topic suggesting that because some earlier years averaged a net loss of blablabla, that this will still be a breakeven or still a loss. That seems like quite a massive assumption to me, based on the data I see. If the original poster is close to being right, is he going to end up being right for the wrong or right reasons? If other posters here are right, was it for a wrong or right reason?

        Looking at the GFS model, it seems that Greenland should see two weeks of fairly good snow fall and we can see that it has already started gaining mass, rather than losing. Considering the pace it has been shown it can add mass over the past year, I don’t understand how some posters can be so confident of their final prediction, considering the amounts they predict could be quickly accounted for in just a few weeks of activity in either direction. Looking at the GFS model and looking at the last few days of Gt/day, the next two weeks could, in theory, add between 50-90 Gt.

        It is very difficult to work out though, as so many different past data sources are counting the season differently.

  10. Just for fun comment: I have recently been doing work in the UAE and have flown the LAX to Abu Dhabi direct flight a number of times in recent months. The polar route flys right over central Greenland. All I can say is there is a lot of ice up there!

  11. ?????? How is the Greenland ice sheet having any bearing on US weather. Given analogs to 04-05 there is a chance that a major rally in temps over the lakes and northeast perhaps into the northern plains starts after Aug 15. Not following the linkage between Greenland cold and possible early freeze. Then again every year I hear about early freeze threats. Heard it last year also and Sept wound up well above normal. In any case currently while not able to rule out early cold start, think the core of below normal temps in Sept may be further south in the southern plains. I still dont understand the Greenland linkage as early cold shots have occurred even in years where Greeland was decreasing. Interesting thought tho.. will watch for it

    • I am sure the comparison of the Greenland ice sheet with the grain production in the USA is only a satirical comparison. This is similar to the accumulating sea level on the other side. Even a skeptic can sometimes be ironic. And stork populations compare with Babyrats, which show an astounding correlation in Switzerland …….
      In addition, this year is an amazing year for Greenland. Why it came to this mass of snowfall, it would be worth evaluating. Interesting in any case and it shows that glacier growth and retreat depends not only on warming or cooling, but also on the rainfall rate. And this can also change under global warming.

    • Recent weather patterns have featured a dent northern stream………..should say “decent” northern stream

      Must have been thinking of dent………a state of development for corn (-:

    • The actual point was that both the Greenland ice sheet and U.S. Weather depend on the same external climactic conditions, which seem to be getting colder.

  12. It will probably only grow 100 Gton because the calving is not in the diagram. Only the melting is there.

  13. It will probably only grow 100 Gton because the calving is not in the diagram. Only the melting is there.

  14. It’s hypothesized that Greenland’s net land ice accumulation is closely tied to AMO 30-yr warm/cool cycles.

    Once the AMO enters its 30-yr cool cycle from around 2019, global temps start cooling from the 30-yr PDO cool cycle (which already started), additional global cooling occurs from the coming La Niña cycle, and even more cooling occurs from the approaching 50~100-year Grand Solar Minimum event, I think it’s highly likely 2017 could mark the turning point of gradual Arctic Sea Ice and net Greenland Ice Mass recovery.

    We’ll see soon enough.

  15. NOAA is waiting to see how many warmists it can calve before it posts more concentrated groups of warmists in anyone’s direction.

  16. The great Arctic ice recovery of 2017.

    It was very warm in the Arctic above the 80th latitude last winter. Late summer two hurricane strength storms broke up a lot of ice up and transported it south to areas where it was bound to melt. The ice area reached a new low, except for the year 2012, but the ice volume hit a new all time low on Sep 9 2016.

    Since then the ice volume has recovered to equal the previous all time winter low around April 20, 2017, but the ice area hit an all time low maximum as early as March 5.

    What happened?

    The unusually warm temperatures averaging 7 degrees C above normal with a spike as high as 20 degrees C above normal and no days below was not because of increased CO2, but because it snowed. Anyone that has shoveled snow knows that while it snows it is usually not that cold, especially if the winds are calm. Then, when the snowing stops it gets cold indeed. Nowhere is that shown better than what happened on Greenland this winter. It snowed and snowed from one winter storm after another starting in the Philippines, raining and snowing over California, regaining strength from the Mexican Gulf and then racing up the Eastern Seaboard snowing out over Greenland.

    Then on May 5 it all changed. From having been warmer than normal the Arctic became colder than normal, in fact there has been no day since then that temperatures has been above normal. Today, Aug 13 it even dipped below freezing for the first time since summer max, five days before normal.

    The ice area will still decrease for another month or so since sea ice does not start forming until temperatures are -4 degree C, but the ice volume is near its minimum since show season in the Arctic has already started, and new snow on ice stays, and fresh snow has a higher albedo than old, tired ice.

    How much more ice? As of today the sea ice volume is 500 to 1000 km3 larger than last two years, not much, but enough to make a trend. In addition the ice on Greenland has increased by 150 km3, reversing many years of decline.

    The prediction that the Arctic ice would be melted by 2016 was foolish extrapolation, but the chart looked good at the time.

    This year’s minimum will be about 6,000 km3.

    The moral of this story. Beware of extrapolations. Don’t trust models, go with observations.

    And one more thing. In 2016 the sailboat Polar Ocean Challenge managed to sail through both the North East Passage and the North West Passage in the same season. In 2015 it would have been no problem The North East Passage choke point Cape Chelyuskin was ice free late July. In 2016 it was still ice covered Aug 5, but the first summer storm cleared out the ice plug. This year Cape Chelyuskin is still full of ice

    This year they could not have made the journey. There is not enough time left until the North West Passage freezes over.
    with the charts: https://lenbilen.com/2017/08/13/the-great-arctic-ice-recovery-of-2017/

    • Thanks for that excellent summary.
      One minor typo.
      “but the ice volume is near its minimum since show season in the Arctic has already started”
      Show=Snow

    • lenbilen August 13, 2017 at 9:01 pm
      And one more thing. In 2016 the sailboat Polar Ocean Challenge managed to sail through both the North East Passage and the North West Passage in the same season. In 2015 it would have been no problem The North East Passage choke point Cape Chelyuskin was ice free late July. In 2016 it was still ice covered Aug 5, but the first summer storm cleared out the ice plug. This year Cape Chelyuskin is still full of ice

      This year they could not have made the journey. There is not enough time left until the North West Passage freezes over.

      You made the same prediction last year that they wouldn’t make it, you were wrong then. Your track record isn’t good on this subject.

  17. Breaking news in Australia.
    Number of Volcanoes under West Antarctic ice shelf doubled by new seismic survey.

    • Not to worry, IPCC has conclusive consensus that ONLY Anthropogenic CO2 causes Climate Change and CAGW.

    • They keep adjusting the number up.
      I don’t believe it.
      Show me the pictures of these so called volcano.

      [snip]

  18. Most of that was added on the southwest flank as shown by Figure 2.

    A shame that what is shown is the south EAST flank…

  19. What is a ‘healthy Greenland ice sheet’ and why should it be ‘healthy’ as against ‘unhealthy’? It only exists because where it sits on earth’s surface receives lower-than-average amounts of incoming solar radiation, no other reason. The sole reason why there’s an ice sheet on Greenland is because it’s feckin’ cold.
    It’s not meant to be, not designed, not a pre-requisite, not desirable nor undesirable and serves no specific purpose or function whatsoever. It merely exists. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • unhealthy would be one melting… which would make it unhealthy in low lying areas of Cheshire later…

  20. The ice sheet can show an increase in SMB, but still be losing volume.
    The two charts above are not incompatible and are showing different things… the volume is likely to still be decreasing despite this winter’s unusually high precipitation (snowfall)

    Look at what the DMI says about SMB:

    “For an ice sheet that neither grows or shrinks, there is at all points averaged over the year a balance between

    the amount of snow that falls and is compressed to ice
    the amount of snow and ice that melts or evaporates (sublimates) and
    the amount of ice that flows away due to the ice motion
    The two first contributions make up the surface mass balance. For the ice sheet as a whole, there is a balance between the surface mass balance and the amount of ice that calves into the ocean as icebergs.

    If climate changes, the surface mass balance may change such that it no longer matches the calving and the ice sheet can start to gain or lose mass. This is important to keep track of, since such a mass loss will lead to global sea level rise. As mentioned, satellites measuring the ice sheet mass have observed a loss of around 200 Gt/year over the last decade.”

    this is the key:
    “the surface mass balance may change such that it no longer matches the calving and the ice sheet can start to gain or lose mass”

    Melting is accelerating loss thru Greenland’s glaciers… despite the SMB, the ice sheet decreases

    • As you well know by now, griff

      Greenland Ice area is only just a tiny amount down from its highest extent in 8000 years.

      Its ANOMALOUSLY HIGH !!

      Any losses are purely and simply a RECOVERY from the extreme highs of the Little Ice Age, the COLDEST period in 10,000 years.

      Nothing to get all chicken-little about. !!

      And it would almost certainly be beneficial to those living there for the amount of ice to decrease a bit further… say back to the levels of the MWP?

      But you don’t care about what might be beneficial to people, do you griff..

      just so long as you can keep up your child-minded panic.

      Life must be very hard for you, perpetually in manic fear of a tiny amount of beneficial ice loss.

    • So in your long life you have never seen a forgotten tray of ice cubes in your freezer sublimate away to useless slivers? Or do you go through several trays a day.
      PS Same thing happens to those in the bin under the automatic Ice Maker. Pull it out and dig around in it. I have even watched the ice on my driveway (north side and in the shade) disappear in a few hours from just the wind. Thus, I conclude that quite a bit will sublimate away just due to the sun shining on it.

    • Also, Why have you not listed the effects of volcanoes under this ice? Especially since they just recently discovered 90+ volcanoes under the Antarctic, causing problems down there. Seeme to me that these could easily cause more havoc than the doubling of the level of CO2. At least they are looking for them down there unlike simply claiming there are none under the ice in Greenland.

    • AndyG55 August 14, 2017 at 6:59 am
      As you well know by now, griff

      Greenland Ice area is only just a tiny amount down from its highest extent in 8000 years.

      Its ANOMALOUSLY HIGH !!

      Any losses are purely and simply a RECOVERY from the extreme highs of the Little Ice Age, the COLDEST period in 10,000 years.

      Presumably you’re basing this on your fake graph with the incorrect annotations?
      As I pointed out above, that graph (min area 1.8 million km^2) is incompatible with the present area (1.7 million km^2) and it’s impossible to make any realistic conclusion from it.

      • Exactly:

        Current Greenland IS area is put at 1.7 mil km^2 – which puts it below any point the graph from Briner et al.

        Who also say …
        “. The Greenland Ice Sheet retracted to its
        minimum extent between 5 and 3 ka, consistent with many sites from around Greenland depicting a
        switch from warm to cool conditions around that time. The spatial pattern of temperature change
        through the Holocene was likely driven by the decrease in northern latitude summer insolation through
        the Holocene, the varied influence of waning ice sheets in the early Holocene, and the variable influx of
        Atlantic Water into the study region”

        So – no “recover from the LIA” … seems a plunge below the lowest area since … well, who knows how many Kyrs… but as Phil says “it’s impossible to make any realistic conclusion from it.”

  21. Greenland ice balance is estimated, not measured. And the estimation is directed to close the sea level budget.

    What is clear is that 2017 is a significant departure from previous years. I don’t think we can know with certainty if the total balance will be positive this year. Nor it matters much. Fears of Greenland melting are totally unjustified. Greenland melted 125,000 years ago. It wasn’t the end for polar bears. It won’t melt in the present interglacial, that with all that CO2 is cooler.

    • Yes but Griff claims the melt is accelerating, but he forgot the minus sign.
      “Melting is accelerating loss thru Greenland’s glaciers..”

    • Remember that the SMB is only 2 of the 3 elements affecting the amount of ice in the Greenland ice sheet…

  22. DMI revised their page earlier this year to alter some graphs that weren’t alarmist enough. And they keep the 2012-2012 yearly accumulation line with its large loss even though many of the recent years have not exhibited the same large loss. What are the odds that next year the 2011-2012 line will still be there, but the 2016-2017 line won’t be?

    http://web.archive.org/web/20170210141439/http://beta.dmi.dk/en/groenland/maalinger/greenland-ice-sheet-surface-mass-budget/

  23. OH, puh-leeeeezzz!! Early frost? Like, when? August? Only in Wyoming or Montana.

    Farmer’s Almanac says “clearing and COLD Sept. 24-27″ in Great Lakes/Ohio Valley & Midwest, while in the Plains for the same period, mostly ‘severe thunderstorms, possible tornadoes”. They predict unsettled weather, some wet snow in higher elevations of Montana the last week of September, but that’s not the Corn Belt, is it ? Naw, it isn’t.

    Farmer’s Alamanac has this for October 20-23 GLakes/Ohio Valley/Midwest: Severe thunderstorms, clearing and unseasonably cold with a widespread frost.

    Sorry, don’t have this year’s Old Farmer’s Almanac. Got busy and forgot to buy it.

    It seems as if these “experts” (is that another term for desk jockey?) have forgotten or don’t know that most of the weather in the Midwest and Plains States comes generally from the northwest, not from Greenland’s icy fields, and is stirred by winds from the southwestern CONUS. They could look at a weather or wind map occasionally instead of computer models. In the summer, the warmer air from the southwest flows northward. In the winter, the infamous Alberta clipper comes shrieking like a banshee out of the northwest, across the Arctic from Siberia.

    So if the Farmer’s Almanac is right and those Science Guys are wrong, do I get a prize? (snerrkkk!)

    I’ve spent my whole life in the Midwest, at least third of it south of me in the Corn Belt. Now I live 35 miles north of Chicago, 3.5 miles west of Lake Michigan. The lake is more likely to influence Midwestern summers than Greenland, for Pete’s sake. It depends on how strong the southbound flow is when there’s a plume of air flowing down from the north. The Beastly Blizzard of February 2011 didn’t come from Greenland. It came from a large volume of cold air flowing southwest from Siberia.

    Seriously, we’re getting nice, cool pre-autumn weather now. Two summers in a row with cooler weather is nice, and the spat of beastly cold and snow last December was supplanted by a mild, damp winter. I’m hoping for a replay of the mild, damp winter this time around. I’ll leave the light on for you.

    • Dad-burn it, didn’t proof read: “cold air flowing southwest from Siberia” – that should be southEAST from Siberia. Sorry. My bad. Must deprive self of chocolate ice cream for a few minutes.

    • Good point about how the remnants of large storms can, and do, have a large effect in other places of the planet from where they originate (or have the most “impact”.) And precisely why it will be interesting in about a week’s time as to what results from the remains of Tropical Storm Gert off the eastern Bahamas as it gets picked up and transported rapidly to the NE:
      https://weather.com/storms/hurricane-central/AL082017

  24. NASA’s GRACE satellite data isn’t showing much of a change in the rate of ice loss for Greenland up through their January 2017 data point. The trend is -286 Gigatonnes per. The loss rate increased a little between 2010 and 2013, but for the last few years it looks similar to the loss rate between 2002 and 2010.

    https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/land-ice/

  25. Is GRACE any good at ice, being designed for ocean level gravity changes. It has been debunked for Antarctica…..

    • It is much more reliable for Greenland where the GIA uncertainty is much less. GRACE raw data for Antarctica aren’t significantly different from zero.

  26. And I would be prepared to listen to the Upper Midwest Farmers, after looking at the Growth Map…..

  27. FLASH! Unprecedented summer snowfall in Greenland. Icecap increases 4 GT in a single day.

    (well, it actually is unprecedented at least since 1980, which is more than you can say for most CAGW “unprecedented” things)

    • It would be worth asking the question: so, how come there was so much snowfall across Greenland (and the Central Arctic) last winter… and looking hard at changes in the region when trying to find the answer.

      • Hey Griff, you keep saying the ice cap is melting at a dangerous rate so when is it going to disappear? Tony M. bet me the North pole would be Ice free this year and if he loses he will never post on WUWT again. How about you give me the date you think the North pole will be ice free and I’ll bet you, whatever date that is, that it won’t be ice free, the loser leaves WUWT for good.

      • The change in the Greenland smb gains started 3 winters ago. The second of the 3 winters was larger than the first, and now this 3rd winter has led to a massive gain in smb which is stil maintaining well above average levels. Two months ago I forecast that the Greenland melt would likely end early, perhaps by the middle of August. Here we are, and that forecast is now a strong probability that the smb has reached bottom. The reason why has to do with the ever evolving surface wind changes in the arctic region

        Today’s change is most interesting as a block has developed south of Greenland which is keeping surface winds from moving north up the Atlantic, and into the Eastern Arctic. That will have cooling consequences. The change is happening right in front of our eyes. …https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-0.51,59.48,497/loc=-13.968,51.818

  28. “Unfortunately now that the (Greenland) ice sheet has stopped shrinking, the NOAA has stopped updating their diagram. ”
    If a supposed scientific organisation pushes a narrative against evidence, is that scientific? What if it suppresses facts to keep its narrative alive? Would you call that reprehensible? criminal even? In science isn’t evidence supposed to make the narrative? Isn’t evidence supposed to be king?

    • Richard August 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm
      “Unfortunately now that the (Greenland) ice sheet has stopped shrinking, the NOAA has stopped updating their diagram. ”

      As I pointed out above that statement isn’t true. Hopefully GRACE will last another year (already way beyond its design lifetime) to allow continuity with its successor mission.

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