U.S. Climate Resilience Tool Kit: Greenland Stays Frozen in 2100… Even Under RCP8.5

Guest DIY by David Middleton

It looks like at least some of this money was well-spent.

U.S. Federal spending on Gorebal Warming. GAO

I stumbled across something very useful yesterday on Climate-Dot-Gov’s U.S. Climate Resilience Tool Kit page.

The widget generates CMIP5 or PMIP3 model outputs for specific countries and a temperature change map of the world.  You can also spit out plots of each model.  And these outputs display the actual temperature ranges rather than anomalies.

Since Greenland is such a great climatic playground, I started playing around with it.

Greenland Stays Frozen in an RCP8.5 Bad Science Fiction Nightmare

The first thing I did was to hit Greenland with RCP8.5.


Greenland RCP8.5 1980-2004 vs 2071-2095 –> 5.1 °C

While the histogram indicates a 5.1 °C rise in the average annual surface temperature.  It’s thought that the Sangamonian (Eeemian) interglacial was at least 5 °C warmer than today.  However, most of that 5.1 °C rise appears to be in winter and the average July temperature is projected to still be below freezing, only 2-3 °C warmer than the 1980-2004 mean.

Since we know that RCP8.5 is just bad science fiction and that global temperatures are behaving more like RCP2.6 to RCP4.5…

Let’s look at RCP4.5 and RCP2.6…

Greenland RCP4.5 1980-2004 vs 2071-2095 –> 2.9 °C


Greenland RCP2.6 1980-2004 vs 2071-2095 –> 1.8 °C

Again, note that most of the warming is in winter.  Greenland’s average July temperature barely changes.  The Greenland ice sheet will barely notice this.

“And Now For Something Completely Different”

Andy May’s brilliant analysis of NCA4 featured this image:

“A comparison of 32 climate models and observations. The observations are from weather balloon and satellite data. The two observational methods are independent of one another and support each other. The plot is after Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Christy 2016).”

Andy noted the following:

INM-CN4 is labeled and it, alone, is tracking the observations with enough accuracy, yet it does not predict dangerous temperatures in the future or any significant human influence on climate.

This drew some standard ad hominem and/or unsupported dismissals of Dr. Christy’s work and derision of INM-CM4.  So I downloaded UAH 6.0 and HadCRUT4 and plotted 5-yr running means at the same scale as Dr. Christy’s 2016 plot.

HadCRUT4 and UAH 6.0 plotted on Christy 2016.

UAH 6.0 generally plots within 0.1 °C of the average of 3 satellite datasets, closest to INM-CM4.  HadCRUT4 plots well-below the model-mean closest to the only model that runs hotter than INM-CM4.  Note that there’s not a lot of difference between HadCRUT4 and UAH 6.0.  (0.1-0.2 °C is not a lot of difference).

Here are the RCP8.5 and RCP 4.5 outputs for INM-CM4 in Greenland:



Greenland INM-CM4 model, RCP8.5. Greenland still frozen in 2100 AD, barely warmer than the coldest part of the Holocene, the Little Ice Age.


Greenland INM-CM4 model, RCP4.5. Greenland still frozen in 2100 AD, barely warmer than the coldest part of the Holocene, the Little Ice Age.

Both models indicate that Greenland won’t be significantly warmer in 2100 than it was in 1850.  Almost all of the warming comes from an increase in the minimum temperatures.

1850 was very cold by Holocene standards.

Alley’s reconstruction ends in about 1850… only very slightly warmer than the coldest Holocene temperatures.


Alder, J.R., Hostetler, S.W., Williams, D., 2013. An Interactive Web Application for Visualizing Climate Data. Eos Trans. AGU 94, 197–198. DOI: 10.1002/2013EO220001.

Alder, J.R. and Hostetler, S.W., 2013. CMIP5 Global Climate Change Viewer. US Geological Survey http://regclim.coas.oregonstate.edu/gccv/index.html doi:10.5066/F72J68W0

Alley, Richard, B. (2000). The Younger Dryas cold interval as viewed from central Greenland. Quaternary Science Reviews. 19. 213-226. 10.1016/S0277-3791(99)00062-1.

50 thoughts on “U.S. Climate Resilience Tool Kit: Greenland Stays Frozen in 2100… Even Under RCP8.5

  1. David, I’m curious about the Russian model….and I’m almost certain from what little I’ve been able to find….that it worked because they put in a lot less parameters…and lower CO2 forcing

    ….have you looked to into it? know anything about it?


  2. The fact that the best performing model (INM-CM4) vis-a-vis observations is ignored and homogenized with all of the other wild-ass models tells you all you need to know about climate science.

  3. Looks like 97% of the models have got it wrong.

    To me the kink in Andy May’s graph at around 1993/4 seems to indicate that there must have been some general change in the algorithms/methodology used in all the models with the exception of IMO- CM4 ; for suddenly they all seem to start running hot. Perhaps they were worried by the preceding 5 year temperature drop and needed to boost the agenda a bit. A touch of Groupthink ? After all they all look over their shoulders at the competition comparisons.

      • +100

        This is an, as yet, unexplained direct effect of magical CO2 on mercury, thermocouples, thermistors and other temperature transducers. It could be worth a grant application!

      • I just completed an online, real time Face-book survey of millenniums (under 30) who think “climate change” is a severe problem that must be solved NOW ! When asked why they held that belief (religion), 97% replied that their teacher told them, so it must be true !.. The other 3% believed that Unicorn farts will empower their generation ! As of 10 minutes ago, I was bocked by Face-book?

  4. Ross McKitrick created the following website of temps in cities throughout Canada with actual temps. The upward slopes in the graphs on this page appear to reflect many of Canada’s largest cities….when you get to other smaller cities? Not so much.


  5. It annoys me no end that people discus Greenland and Antarctica melting. They may be gaining or losing ice, but temperature has nothing to do with it.

    • Temperature has *something* to do with it, particularly in Greenland.

      While it may be impossible to melt the interiors of the ice sheets, the margins of the Greenland ice sheet do experience melting and the top few mm of most of the ice sheet can experience melting during periods of abnormally warm temperatures.

      During the Sangamonian (Eemian), the Greenland ice sheet experienced significant melting.

      That said, most of the ice mas loss from Greenland and almost all of the ice mass loss in Antarctica is due to calving and sublimation.

      • Greenland mostly melts from underneath because of a volcanic ridge as was explained in a post last year on WUWT. In the early 1900’s Greenland’s ice sheets were less than today.

        “Although retreat was scarce post-ETCW (1955-1970), retreat was more common
        than not prior to 1920 in spite of relatively low temperatures.”

        Over the years since WW2 allied bombers were found under 91 meters of ice.


        So if global warming was causing Greenland to melt from the top, how could 91 meters of ice form on top of those planes? That means every year Greenland is adding snow/ice from the top not losing it. So whatever the temperatures are at top, and they are always cold, except in a very few days in the summer., then ice is not being lost from the top. Calving of ice goes on from the glaciers descending to the seas but that process has been going on for millions of years. 8000 years ago when temperatures were 5C warmer in Greenland it took 3000 years to melt 20% of Greenland’s ice. Greenland ice melting is another BIG LIE of climate science.

        • There are places where the Greenland ice sheet melts from the bottom due to geothermal heat flow and places where it doesn’t. A few mm of periodic surface melt isn’t going to prevent Greenland from accumulating ice. The volume of Holocene ice appears to be as large or larger than the volume of Pleistocene ice. In much of Central Greenland about 12,000 years worth of Holocene ice is thicker than over 100,000 years of Pleistocene ice. This is due to the fact that glacial stages (AKA ice ages) are very cold and very dry. The snow accumulation rate during the Holocene has been much higher than that of the last Pleistocene glacial stage.

          Vinther et al., 2009 reconstructed the elevations of four ice core sites over the Holocene. There has been very little change in elevation of the two interior ice core sites (NGRIP and GRIP), while the two outboard sites (Camp Century and DYE3) have lost 546 and 342 m of ice respectively.

          “Our thoughts were that the tails would be sticking out of the snow,” Taylor says with a grin. “We’d sweep snow off the wings and shovel them out a little bit, crank the planes up, and fly them home. Of course, it didn’t happen.”


          This past July 15, fifty years to the day after his crash landing, Brad McManus found himself standing once again on the ice cap. “I must say, it hadn’t changed a bit. It was the same exactly as it was when we were there,” he says.

          Richard Taylor echoes this observation: “It’s totally featureless. It doesn’t change.” But when Taylor and Epps formed the Greenland Expedition Society in 1981 and traveled that year to the coordinates the B-17 crew members had recorded, they discovered change did come to the ice cap. The airplanes abandoned there 39 years earlier were nowhere in sight.

          In retrospect, it seems obvious that the airplanes would be buried under a good deal of ice. But no one was prepared for how much. “That year the tail wasn’t sticking out, so they were ten feet under,” Pat Epps says, recalling the team’s confidence. But they didn’t find them on their second visit to Greenland later that year, or their third, or their fourth.


          Within days, the radar teams had pinpointed the exact location of all eight airplanes. And it immediately became obvious why they hadn’t been located earlier. The shifting ice had carried the airplanes about two miles from their original location. And a high-pressure steam probe revealed that they lay beneath 264 feet of solid ice.



          The Glacier Girl crash site is in an area where there’s a little bit of summer melting on occasion. Tasiilaq, which is not too far away, gets about 1 meter of precipitation per year, with most of it coming in winter as snow. A little bit of melting and a lot of snowfall can bury a P-38 under a lot of ice fairly quickly.

          While ice accumulates and moves around in the interior, some of it melts around the margins. 2012 was the most intense melt season on record (since 1979)…


      • most of the ice mass loss from Greenland and almost all of the ice mass loss in Antarctica is due to calving

        Just a curious question, ….. doesn’t a glacier have to be gaining ice mass in order to be losing ice mass due to calving?

        • Kind of like the ice maker in your refrigerator overflowing.

          There can be a net loss, but iceberg calving is definitely indicative of upstream ice mass gain.

        • “In much of Central Greenland about 12,000 years worth of Holocene ice is thicker than over 100,000 years of Pleistocene ice. This is due to the fact that glacial stages (AKA ice ages) are very cold and very dry.”

          Wrong. This is mostly due to the way ice flows in an icesheet, which compacts and “squeezes out” the deeper layers. It is not unusual to have half the total age of an ice core in the lowest few percent of the core. If you check the antarctic cores, which span several glacial cycles you will find that while accumulation is larger during interglacials the older ones are proportionally as compressed as the neighboring glacials

        • No, not in the short run. Glaciers are driven by gravity, not temperature, and will keep on calving for a long time even if losing mass. Of course the calving front will in such cases retreat until it reaches the shore and much slower peripheral melting takes over. This will slow down glacier movement and make the glacier considerably steeper.

          This is why the ice in north-central Greenland was actually slightly thicker during the Eeemian when the ice-front had mostly retreated onto dry land.

      • David Middleton November 30, 2018 at 8:55 am…
        That said, most of the ice mas loss from Greenland and almost all of the ice mass loss in Antarctica is due to calving and sublimation.

        News media would have us believe something else. Here’s the first page results from a Google News Search on “Greenland melting”:

        The bittersweet beauty of Greenland’s melting glaciers
        Mother Nature Network (blog)-Nov 16, 2018

        Exploring the Tragic Beauty of Greenland’s Melting Ice Sheets
        Atlas Obscura-Nov 5, 2018

        Greenland’s Melting Ice Sheets: The Beautiful but Harrowing Changes …
        The Weather Channel-Nov 6, 2018

        Interview: Melting Greenland Ice Sheet Captured in Ominous Aerial …
        My Modern Met-Nov 2, 2018

        Where the ocean is ‘upside down’ is essential for showing us how fast …
        The San Luis Obispo Tribune-Nov 17, 2018
        During the summer months, copious amounts of freshwater melt from the glaciers of Greenland

        Climate change is more extensive and worse than once thought
        Phys.Org-Nov 29, 2018
        They missed how much ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland would melt

        Story image for greenland melting from Phys.Org
        Melting Antarctic ice could slow global temperature rise, study says
        Carbon Brief-Nov 20, 2018
        While prior studies have added ice-sheet melt from Greenland

        Rutgers researcher: Greenland’s glaciers are melting faster than …
        News 12 New Jersey-Nov 9, 2018

        • A little bit of melting goes a long way in headlines… particularly when all ablation is referred to as melting.

        • Well in a way they are right. All that ice ultimatele does melt somewhere, though not on Greenland or Antarctica.

  6. “We measure changes in temperature and CO2 over time.
    (Then) we put that data in dozens of different climate models and ignore the ones that look wrong to us.”
    Dilbert (Scott Adams).

    • Well, that’s OK.
      I think.
      Isn’t it????

      Ignoring the ones that ‘look wrong’.

      That is – of course – blatant look-ism.
      Utterly unacceptable.
      Equivalent to – well, I guess – all the other isms we are so troubled by and all seriously seek to overturn.
      Don’t we? Every minute of our waking hours?
      Don’t we all??


  7. generates CMIP5 or PMIP3 model outputs

    For some reason whenever I see that, I see CHIMP or PIMP model outputs……

  8. Not to nitpick, but you are plotting mid-tropospheric and surface temperature together, and they are not the same thing, as you would notice if you were in the mid-troposphere now.

    The thing is that mid-troposphere and surface temperature are supposed to behave slightly differently in response to increased GHGs.

    That Greenland doesn’t significantly melt even if global warming continues for many centuries is a well established fact. It would take several thousands of years of global warming to make a significant dent in that ice block. East Antarctica isn’t even warming. Sorry, the Ice Age is here to stay. We ain’t running out of ice rocks for our whiskeys. The Anthropocene is a joke, at least from a climate perspective.

  9. David

    Could you explain how you derived your chart for the GISP2 Ice Core Temperature Reconstruction?

    I have the Alley (2000) paper but the relevant data doesn’t seem to be in the paper.

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