Greenland Is Melting Faster Than Ever

From LiveScience

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | December 5, 2018 02:00pm ET


Each summer, large rivers emerge on the surface of Greenland, swiftly sending meltwater from the ice sheet into the sea.

Credit: Sarah Das/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Greenland is melting faster today than it has at any time in the last 350 years, and probably much longer, new research finds.

Surface melt from the icy island has increased 50 percent in the last 20 years compared with the early 1800s, before the industrial era, researchers report today (Dec. 5) in the journal Nature. The runoff alone is now contributing about a millimeter to the global average sea level per year, said study co-author Sarah Das, a glaciologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

“Climate change has hit Greenland very hard recently, and the ice sheet is responding quickly,” Das told Live Science. [Stunning Photos of Greenland’s Supraglacial Lakes]

Dire straits

Scientiststracking Greenland’s ice by satellite and on the ground have seenincreasingly dire ice loss. Greenland loses ice both when icebergs calve off glaciers and when ice on the surface melts and flows to the sea as water. The meltwater flow is how themajority of the ice vanishes, and that’s what Das and her colleagues focused on.

The researchers analyzed ice cores drilled from the high-elevation center of Greenland, where each year’s snowfall melts a little bit and refreezes before being covered by a new season’s worth of snow. This layered pattern allows researchers to estimate how much melt took place each year, going back about 350 years. The team was then able to use modern, precise measurements of melt and correlate those measurements with the pattern seen in the ice cores, which allowed them to estimate what melt at lower elevations across the island would have looked like in each year recorded in the high-elevation cores. [Images: Greenland’s Gorgeous Glaciers]

The numbers weren’t good. The last two decades of melt show an increase in the rate of melting of 250 percent to 575 percent compared with the preindustrial baseline from before the mid-1800s. The researchers found that the rate translated to a 50-percent increase in the runoff of meltwater into the sea compared with the preindustrial era. Over the 20th century alone, the runoff of meltwater increased 33 percent.

“We show that although melt started to increase around the pre- to post-industrial transition, it really stayed fairly low and stable until about the 1990s,” Das said. “So, it’s really been in the last couple of decades that we’ve seen this exceptional rise.”

Read the full story here.

HT/Clyde Spencer


148 thoughts on “Greenland Is Melting Faster Than Ever

  1. Oh No! Yet another Melting glacier, rising sea level, liquidating Greenland Ice Surface, etc etc.? Yawn…. It’s always unprecedented, catastrophic, concerning and exceptional. Climate Change – Global Warming is becoming so predictable and boring.

          • Simple, that’s how glaciers work.
            Snow accumulates at the top, ice extrudes out at the bottom.
            Everything on the surface sinks along with the snow/ice surrounding it.

        • Perhaps they should collect that runoff melt water before it runs into the ocean. Then they could bottle it and sell it to Californians.

        • Glacier Girl sank and the Sun rises, right?

          The plane was buried under over 200 feet of ice that had accumulated over the years.
          The ice field may have sunk over 200 feet, but planes don’t sink into frozen ice.
          Provide references to support your claim.

          • I remember a school physics experiment when a wire is laid across a block of ice and a weight is attached to either end.

            The wire slowly cuts through the ice , which refreezes behind the wire.

            The explanation is that the considerable weight on the small area of contact causes a high pressure. Under pressure the ice melts allowing the wire to drop lower. Once the pressure is gone this water refreezes. So not water is lost and the wire “magically” moves through solid ice.

            I have not done any calculations to see whether this could be applied to Glacier Girl, but anyone making a claim about the plane sinking needs to cite a credible source or provide such calculations themselves.

          • See my response to chas.

            The surface snow sinks as the weight of new snow pushes it down. Eventually it extrudes out the bottom to form the glacier.

          • Greg,

            Glacier Girl’s landing gear could have sunk into the ice, but the wings and fuselage could not.


            We cannot know how much the layer of ice Glacier Girl rested on may have sunk, but we can be sure approximately 200 feet of ice accumulated on top of that layer.


    • Notice the language, do you know of any other field of claimed scietific endevour which uses emotional terms to discuss findings? That alone attracts my attention to dig.

  2. I always get suspicious when I hear phrases like: “Greenland loses ice both when icebergs calve off glaciers…”
    Our now dead Danish friend Svend-Erik from Greenland, told me back in 2007 that more calving is generally connected to more ice pressure. It is a bit like when you add more gravel to a pile of gravel, more and more gravel will calve out to the sides.
    If the 1mm yearly SLR increase per year suddenly comes from Greenland, do we see this in sea level measurement? The authors of the study are probably too scared to show.

    • Even most schoolchildren know that increased snowfall results in more ice being formed, which again gives more glacier movement and then more calving into the ocean. It is basic knowledge. But ask the alarmists when Greenland will have lost so much ice that the oceans rise with say 5 inches?

      • Perhaps the maximum thickness of ice in an open system is reached where the rate of calving and sub ice water flow is in equilibrium. In this case sealevel would be unaffected. This first principle idea should surely have been investigated thoroughly by now. Collecting data (worse, manufg data )is not science in itself. Thst is step one. Harvesting wheat is not baking the cake

    • I was thinking the same thing.

      Severe melting as Live Science bemoans might be expected to melt several years of ice buildup during our “unprecedented” summers. It’s odd that they didn’t mention this.

      I read the article and saw the author’s reference to warm waters melting glaciers from below was another Live Science article. This one was about Antarctica. Are they proposing that melting under an Antarctic ice shelf increases glacial melt rates in Greenland? Perhaps this is another example of Michael Mann’s “teleconnections.”

    • Yes. I never have thought the ice cores were as historically accurate as some seem to think. There might well have been a few years of melt here and there throwing things off terribly.

  3. Yeah start at the lowest point of the little ice age and work forward.

    If they had started when Greenland was green, well what a natural disaster it is now completely iced over metres thick.

      • Yup, more “Pick your period, pick your trend.”

        Start when it’s colder, end when it’s warmer, declare catastrophe (and of course, blame it on CO2 from hum,an fossil fuel burning).

        Rinse, and repeat.

      • At some point in the past, Greenland was covered with a forest of alder, spruce and pines, and was home to birds and insects such as butterflies. That was 450,000 to 800,000 years ago.

        “The oldest ever recovered DNA samples have been collected from under more than a mile of Greenland ice, and their analysis suggests the island was much warmer during the last Ice Age than previously thought.
        “The DNA is proof that sometime between 450,000 and 800,000 years ago, much of Greenland was especially green and covered in a boreal forest that was home to alder, spruce and pine trees, as well as insects such as butterflies and beetles.” – Live Science article 2007

        From LiveScience in 2007:

        I have a couple of questions:
        1 – What is it that these people are really afraid of? Is it fear of change, or fear of losing their grants money, or both?
        2 – Do they expect me to take them seriously when they seem unwilling to accept that change is a natural process and we have no control over it?

        I think my questions need answers. The rationale that generates this “don’t touch- don’t change anything” nonsense is built on falsehoods.

      • Oh come on! Don’t spoil the intended sensationalism. Aliasing data is a cornerstone of climate alarmism. You must pick your data and time periods carefully. Can’t show data further back in time if it shows an effect which contradicts the narrative. This is why all their temperature nonsense starts at the end or close to the end of the Little Ice Age and their CO2 data start a few hundred thousand years ago…. move either backward and the narative collapses. Also as ever notice NO ERROR bars. All numbers are absolute and 100% to be believed when they take only the extreme view looking forward.

    • Yup, starting with NO melting and then claiming a horrendous percent increase is disingenuous.


      The numbers weren’t good. The last two decades of melt show an increase in the rate of melting of 250 percent to 575 percent compared with the preindustrial baseline from before the mid-1800s.

      Well now, given the assumed fact that the Greenland glacier or ice sheet was NOT MELTING before the mid-1800s simply because the extremely low temperatures of the LIA prevented any such melting until post-1850’s when the climate began to warm up.

      So, from 0.0% melting during the LIA before the mid-1800s …….. to 250% or 575% melting during the current portion of the Late 20th Century Warm Period …… does not seem a bit unreasonable.

      • Nor does it seem alarming.

        And who came up with the moronic notion that the “baseline” is a “better” climate?! The “mod-1800s” climate making a comeback in the 21st Century, with a whole lot more people to feed, would be an unmitigated disaster. Warmer climate is BETTER, NOT WORSE.

  4. “The runoff alone is now contributing about a millimeter to the global average sea level per year”
    Oh really? Is that why study after study is not showing sea levels rising at any rate faster than it did at the start of the 20th century?
    Another trivial point – given that in these locations surface temperatures are well below zero for the great majority (if not all) of the year, given the present “catastrophic”, “unprecedented” (make up your own words of doom), just how long will it take to melt the Greenland ice-cap? The words “a very, very long time” come to mind.

      • John of WA “Sydney still at 0.67-0.74mm a year since the late 1800’s. Where has the rest gone?”
        One of the memes of the CAGW crowd was that the warming was local to Europe only. In the same vein, what happens in the northern hemisphere stays in the northern hemisphere. You’ll be OK. The rising seas will stay up here.
        Now if we could observe those rises ourselves, maybe Gore wouldn’t have purchased shore-front property in California.

    • I think it is also the case that much of the melt makes it’s way under the surface at some point before reaching the sea, and refreezes down there.
      Melting on the surface may not give a very good idea of how much water runs to the sea.
      And considering that tens of feet of new snow fall every year, it is expected huge amounts of melting will occur, or the ice sheet would be miles thicker than it is now.

  5. To quotethe article: “Surface melt from the icy island has increased 50 percent in the last 20 years compared with the early 1800s, before the industrial era, researchers report today (Dec. 5) in the journal Nature.”

    Well, wasn’t the Little Ice Age still in full swing during the “early 1800s”, inquiring minds want to know? So they chose the lowest-possible baseline in 300 years for comparison to “prove” that “Greenland’s glaciers are melting faster than EVAH”-conclusion, right?

      • Exactly. Which is a bit odd, considering that it was submitted in May 2018.

        The link above shows that the interval of fastest glacier retreat was 2003-2011, but that there was an abrupt break in the trend in 2012 and that glaciers actually started readvancing in 2017-2018 (while the GRACE satellites conveniently malfunctioned in 2017, and the replacement satellites seem to be very slow to start delivering data).

    • And still the melt/calving exceeds the snowfall…

      and you might look at why there’s a lot of snow recently in Greenland… given some very warm temps there at times.

      • Funny how you climate kooks ignore the fact that Greenland is gaining mass.
        And in typical climate believer circular thinking, you imply if it does gain mass, well that’s bad because it is allegedly warmer when it snows.
        Begging the question of how the icecap formed in the first place?
        The miasma of the climate change consensus true believer is pathetic.
        You are probably surprised that Macron Antoinette is having to deal with uppity deplorables.

      • Clearly a landlubber from a warm climate. It snows on the warmer days. When it’s really cold, the air holds no moisture and it can’t snow.

      • Griff is back with new and improved incorrect “facts” to support his Socialist delusion.

        Hey Griff!
        It appears that Communist parties all over the world are losing members faster than they are fooling people. The Socialists will be gone long before the glaciers! Lol!

        • Gents and ladies, don’t jump all over Griff. He’s polite and thoughtful. We mustn’t act like “progressive” thugs do. We have game and can reply to him respectfully and educate him.

          Developing problems for catastrophists are Nature’s contribution to the debate. Also, with their impatience, they have been tipping their hand on the sociopolitical underpinnings of their position (see Cristiane Figueres remarks about even if global warming is not a problem, redistribution of wealth is the right thing to do). I suspect Griff is not actually a тотаliтаliтагуаи st00ge but assumes we are the knuckle draggers that the totes advertise us of being. Please up your game.

          • GP: She has no honesty so stop pussyfooting. Mendacity is merely disgusting except for the terrible harm it usually causes. Brett

      • So warmer means more snow.
        Then how is global warming going to cause coastal flooding from melting ice sheets and glaciers?
        It cannot be both ways…always a disaster, whether colder or warmer, more or less snow, more Winter or less Winter…
        The fact is warmistas just make up any crap they have to in order to save some face as one prediction after another falls by the wayside.
        It is bad news when they make a prediction, and bad news when the predictions fail and they make the opposite claim!

        • Their claims are little more than attempting to blame anything “bad” weather-wise on supposedly-human-CO2-emission-caused “climate change.” And counting on people to “forget” about their previous predictions when the latest ones about face 180 degrees.

      • Since the study evaluated ice cores, it likely does not pick up the recent Greenland mass balance increases (per the DMI web site). Even the over-zealous satellite MSL data shows a recent pause in sea level rise.

    • It’s far too early to say the past 2 years the start of a longer term trend or not, but given there has been no loss of summer sea ice for the last 10 years, it is starting to look like the Arctic has stopped warming and may be starting to cool. Given that the recent warming was most pronounced in the Arctic maybe cooling will be greatest there, and be noticeable before it is obvious on a global scale. Alarmists used to say the Arctic was the canary in the coal mine, warning of ever increasing warming, maybe they were right about the canary bit, and the Arctic is now warning us of impending cooling.

  6. Pasturelands, agricultural areas, and habitations under ice on Greenland? Just evidence of past local conditions. Current glacial shrinkage in Greenland? Evidence of global warming.

  7. It is unclear how the constant remelting and recycling of ice is so precise and uncorrupted that each year is distinct and is unchanged since its formation. Would appear the surface is recycled repeatedly before compaction. A band in the deep core may be from 150years of surface recycling, as an estimate. Then, as ponds form in summer, they cause water drill-down structures for deep recycling of ice. Then ice is plastic and develops banding planes parallel to the direction of stress as the sheet shifts position. A flawless and uncorrupted record comes from all that? How?

    • Good ice cores where accumulation and temperatures can be measured are only possible in the highest central parts of the ice-cap where significant melting (as distinct from sublimation) is quite rare. The melting over almost the whole icecap in 2012 was a very rare event (it last happened in 1889).

      This study used shallow ice-cores from more peripheral positions with more frequent melting and tries to quantify the frequency and extent of melting, which is not easy since the melted snow by definition isn’t there any longer. And extending this from 4 cores in a very limited area to the whole icecap is even more difficult.

      Another problem that they don’t seem to address is that glaciers move and always downhill, which means that the amount of melt in a particular core will on average increase over time even with constant climate.

      Also there is something very fishy with their averaging. If you look very closely at the diagrams in the extended data you can see the huge rise in 2012 which everybody agrees was a very exceptional melt-season, but you can also just see the melt go almost down to zero in 2013. However the five-year average (thick line) goes on rising right to the end. Now the only way you can carry an average to the end of a diagram is to use a trailing average, but in that case the average should start five years after the start of the data, and it doesn’t.

      • My feelings from the first time I saw this.

        They have had to make many assumptions in how they process the data. Too many things going on. The only scientific way to do this is to build up the assumptions prior to examining the data. Kind of a double blind approach.

        If they didn’t do that then the study is basically worthless.

    • Donald Kasper – December 7, 2018 at 3:05 am

      It is unclear how the constant remelting and recycling of ice is so precise and uncorrupted that each year is distinct and is unchanged since its formation. Would appear the surface is recycled repeatedly before compaction.
      A flawless and uncorrupted record comes from all that? How?

      And what about all of this, to wit:

      If it is settled Science that:

      1. The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is up to 4,688 feet thick with the lowest level dating back to roughly 9704 BC (11,700 BP).

      2. The accepted start of the warm Holocene Interglacial Period (HIP) began at 11,700 years BP.

      3. The Late Wisconsin Glacier (LWG) covered much of Long Island with ice up to 3,300 feet thick at 18,000 years BP when it stopped advancing.

      4. Via sea level proxies the LWG started to quickly melt at 21,000 years BP.

      Then would someone please answer my following questions which are:

      1. How thick was the Greenland Ice Sheet at 18,000 years BP?

      2. Did the GIS also start quickly melting at 21,000 years BP, ….. at 15,000 years BP …… or did it start quickly melting at 10,000 years BP?

      3. How much of the current GIS is a remnant of the LWG of 18,000 years BP: all, part, or none of it?

      4. If all or part of the current GIS is a remnant of the LWG then does the lowest level actually date much farther back than the settled Science date of 11,704 BP?

      5. If the settled Science date of 11,704 BP for the lowest level of the GIS is correct then is it a scientific fact that the GIS had also completely melted prior to the accepted start of the HIP and has since reformed to its current 4,688 feet thickness?

      6. If the GIS completed melted prior to 11,704 BP then did the earth experience a much more pronounced period of warming prior to the accepted start of the HIP than it is currently experiencing?

      A curious mind is in search of logical answers.

  8. “Surface melt from the icy island has increased 50 percent in the last 20 years compared with the early 1800s”

    Say what? Could someone explain that sentence please, as it has me confused.

    • They are working very hard to create the impression that it is worse than they thought. Skirting around the truth without exactly telling a lie, but certainly creating a false impression.

    • It’s early in the morning and maybe I’m being a bit two-plankish but my problem with that sentence is HTF do they know what the melt rate was in the early 1800s? To my mind, an ice core layer is only an indication of what was left of a season’s snowfall at the start of the next season. There’s no note from the Snow God to say “This is how much snow was deposited” so that one can calculate how much is missing and presumably in the sea as run-off.

  9. Were the GRACE satellites deliberately sabotaged in 2017, before the delivered the bad news? The highly politicised “science” mission is politics first, scientific observational conclusions second, all the way down. Just read any NASA-sourced news article.

    GRACE-FO allegedly delivers the continuing good news (for environmental activists) with plenty of opportunity for “calibration adjustments” for the replacement satellites.

    But could an objective review of the data received come up with markedly different conclusions than the torrent of green garbage spewed out by the green scientists?

  10. Note the apocalyptic phrasing:

    “..large rivers emerge on the surface of Greenland, swiftly sending meltwater from the ice sheet into the sea…”

    Whenever I see this kind of language I go back to Nordenskiölds descriptions from his expeditions in 1870 and 1883 which were the first times ever that scientists penetrated the Greenland icecap. What he describes (in the deeps of the Little Ice Age) is exactly the same “apocalyptic” phenomena terrifying contemporary glaciologists. Large supraglacial rivers, large supraglacial lakes, huge moulins going right through the icecap, extensive melting far inland and up to 5000 feet altitude etc. The 1883 expedition report is here:

    Unfortunately it is in swedish, but the map after p. 216 shows the supraglacial lakes and rivers the expedition encountered, and a check with Google Earth:,-51.09909832,81.80394764a,112247.48347973d,35y,359.99999915h,0t,0r

    shows that the glacier where they started their traverse has, if anything, advanced slightly since 1883. And the supraglacial lakes and river are much the same then and now.

    • Good point, tty. To read this article without hurling all you have to do is replace the phrase “pre-industrial period” with “Little Ice Age”. Somehow burning coal in a relatively tiny area in England is supposed to have completely reversed a natural temperature decline, and it’s all our fault!

      Dr. Mann was actually more honest when he made his hockey chart spike up starting in the 50s. Today they all talk about the industrial revolution as though there were enough human-caused emissions in 1750 to make the slightest difference.

      But truly, if the industrial activities and land use changes brought us out of the Little Ice Age, when millions died from starvation and disease, bring on the industry! Many more would die today if they somehow succeeded in wrenching the Earth back to “baseline pre-industrial” conditions.

      • Yes, this is a point that needs t be hammered through the thick skulls of the True Believers – if they got their wish, it would be a bigger “climate disaster” than the one “we” are supposedly “creating” via CO2 emissions.

        The “baseline” was a period of crop failures, famine, disease, and death. A repeat of those climate conditions NOW, given the difference in population, would be a much bigger catastrophe than any of the imaginary hell they can dream up about “global warming.”

  11. compared with the early 1800s,
    Remind us about the level of measurements that where available of this factor in this area where available at the time , what was the degree of accuracy , rang and frequency of its data collection ?

    Let us guess MODELS and ‘bettre than nothign ‘ proxies . So oncewWe are treated to the trick of making claims based on guess work about historic event in comparison to known events now. And of course told this is ‘settled science’

  12. Macron Antoinette appreciates this study.
    Anything to keep those deplorables scared and under control.
    The audacity of using a few years of alleged runoff measurements to tell us about 350 years of melting is breathtaking.
    I wonder if it will turn out that Steyer’s propaganda group helpfully pre-wrote the paper like they did the US climate fraud paper?

  13. We’ve just had two very interesting TV programmes in the UK called “Iceberg” (on the BBC 4 channel), which I’d recommend to everyone interested in climate change — I’d actually urge Anthony to do a piece on this if possible. Do try to see this on catch-up if able to do so in your country. In summary, it covers a team of scientists carrying out new research into icebergs, including calving.

    What astonished me was how much of the science they carried out “had never been done before”. The core temperature of icebergs was much lower than expected, the water temperature gradient between ice and sea water was ‘a surprise’, with virtually no thermal current movement; and the actual calving mechanism of icebergs wasn’t understood before this expedition. Indeed, what was so astonishing is just how “surprising” the results turned out to be to the scientists, given we’re led to believe that climate science supposedly ‘understands’ this stuff. One of the scientists even said “we’ve had to guess this before now”.

    Another big surprise was how many polar bears were living on the iceberg they tracked. The naturalist (Chris Packham) wasn’t expecting to see any but when he carried out a population assessment reckoned there were almost 50 on that berg alone.

    What this demonstrated very clearly is just how little scientists really understand about the mechanisms associated with ice flows, the boundary conditions between ice and sea water and a whole lot more that I really thought would be common knowledge given what we’re led to be believe about climate science.

    It was also telling how relatively little reference was made to climate change. Otherwise, I’m certain, much more would have been made of the ‘catastrophic’ activities of man. I suspect the evidence supporting it just wasn’t there.

    • With Chris Packham’s involvement I’m surprised there wasn’t a great deal of Climate Change chit chat. Having said that hris Packham is very knowledgeable a d a good talker on the su ject of wildlife.

    • Amazing what you find when you go out into the field. This should be de riguer in such a science. Like broken social sciences, that are the model for climate science, the assumption that humans (particularly old шнуте guys) are responsible for all ills, it corrupts their selection, collection and interpretation of results. Where it doesn’t it is ligitimate to filter and statisticize it until it gives up its subversive real data!

      Disclosure, I am an old шнуте guy, but I swear I had no hand in the dawning of the Age of Reason/The Enlightenment, nor in the Industrial Revolution, the Technical Revolution, slavery, colonialism nor other products of these histories. Though not qualified to be a part of Diversity, I too, am an ultimate’victim’ of its provenance like everyone else.

    • Also if you go to

      Ya gotta love the Danes. Even though they have to go along with the alarmist message, the Danes always have to present the real facts cause they are more honest than other climate scientists.
      look at those 2 graphs of surface temperature comparisons at 20 cm and 1 meter . Take note those are coastal sub ground temperature stations. The inland stations would show readings that much colder. The comparisons to past years is what is important. As you can see there is no difference in sub ground temperature for either station for 2018 in comparison with the 1990 to 2013 average. If there was significant melting at the surface the readings for the 20 cm depth would show a vast difference.

      Even NOAA sometimes tells the truth.

      “According to an end of season summary from Greenland experts with the Danish Meteorological Institute, 2017 may turn out differently. According to the Institute’s preliminary estimates, about 544 billion tons more snow fell on the ice sheet between September 2016 and August 2017 than melted away. In an average year (1981-2010), net snow accumulation is closer to 368 billion tons.”

      THE ABOVE IS DESPITE THE FACT THAT CO2 levels in the atmosphere keep increasing.

      the claim that calving losses exceed the snowfall only means that Greenland is not melting from the top. It is melting from the bottom 1/1000 th of its mass per year. Not very scary. THE CAUSE. Greenland has underground volcanic ridges that stretch from Iceland all the way through the Arctic.

  14. I expect this paper to be “discredited” once the alarmist cabal realise that it points to the LIA being a global phenomenon.

  15. For the medieval settlements in Greenland the water run off during the MCA period (at least as warm , maybe a tad warmer than present) was literally a life line .
    The farms were initially situated far up the fiords to avoid the coastal climate and take advantage of the more continental climate close to the glaciers – hotter , but dryer in summer . To produce enough hay in the 3 months growing period , irrigation and ditches were used , as at the large farm at Gardar , described in a fairly recent paper:
    Antiquity Vol 82 Issue 315 March 2008
    Land management at the bishop’s seat, Garðar,
    medieval Greenland
    Paul Buckland, Kevin Edwards, Eva Panagiotakopulu & Edward

    -” ….It appears that waste materials from the farm, including the byres – the bishop’s stalls for about 100 cattle are out of all proportion to anything else in Greenland (McGovern 1992) – were being liberally spread across the hayfield to create a plaggen soil. This, combined with the evidence for wetlands in an area which might otherwise be prone to drought, implies a management of resources similar to the English use of water meadows, although considerably earlier than any known example there (cf. Bettey 1999), and Scandinavian sources (e.g. Emanuelsson & Moller 1990) imply that examples of these systems in Norse homelands may derive from English prototypes.”….

    Interesting that the Norse settlers may have learnt from, presumably , the Viking farms in northern England – but remembering that many of the original female settlers were of British origin , perhaps not so surprising.

  16. “The numbers weren’t good.” Au bleedin’ contraire: they are just the numbers you want, to guarantee that your results are publishable and that your career is thereby advanced.

    As for growth or depletion of ice cover: it presumably depends on an imbalance between “in” and “out”. Discussing only “out” is at most half the story.

  17. “The numbers weren’t good.”
    — That seems to me a backwards perspective on things, at least how it pertains to Greenland. Nobody would say, “Great News! Parts of New York will have a snowpack year-round!”

  18. Paper paywalled at Nature, but it’s not always clear whether they are referring to ice sheet mass balance or surface mass balance, which are two different things and a conveniently useful of misleading the casual reader.

    Either way the references cited (in the abstract) don’t use data which would include recent years of ice sheet mass balance, which is also convenient for the usual alarmist narrative. Also it gives the usual appearance of the authors making sure they add a little something extra not in the paper when talking to the press.

  19. “ice cores drilled from the high-elevation center of Greenland”

    “What maximum summer temperature would that reach ?

  20. The real question is “so what?”
    If Greenland is gaining mass or losing mass, neither change implies any real world significant impact.
    No one lives near where the mass change is allegedly taking place.
    And almost no one lives in Greenland anyway.
    The impact of the changes either way do not harbinge any big change in Greenland over the next many hundreds – if not thousands- of years.
    It is clear, if data is used to guide thinking, that Greenland, like everywhere else in the world, changes over time and cycles between states.
    But in the age of climate consensus any change anywhere is presented without historical context, and always in the most fear mongering inflammatory way possible.
    It is time for us all to don yellow vests and demand an end to the elite obsession with climate.
    No climate crisis exists.
    There is no justification for the constant deceitful hype the world’s elite are inflicting on us.
    Greenland poses 0 threat to the rest of the world.
    No wonder these climate fear mongers want to make certain that they control even how we discuss their obsession.
    Look at the pathetic grif who trolls here:
    Never any critical thinking. Only derivative slogans to sound all sciencey. Unable to address actual issues.
    Just like Macron Antoinette, Obama, Gore, Mann, Hansen, etc.: living in an echo chamber where the obvious solution is to have the deplorables in their place, silent.

  21. “Greenland is melting faster…”? Really? Literally “Greenland”?

    Yeah, we know what they mean, but it’s this kind of sloppy language (and poor proofing) that contributes to diminished credibility of sources and the content of their publications.

  22. Greenland is melting faster today than it has at any time in the last 350 years, and probably much longer, new research finds.

    The laws of physics would be broken if Greenland wasn’t losing ice faster than it was 350 years ago.

    350 years ago was during the coldest phase of the entire Holocene.

    • I did, but by the time I reached into my pocket and took my phone out to get it on video, it had disappeared again.
      Consarn it!

  23. Melt rate has only been monitored for about 30 years but they’re CERTAIN the rate is faster than the last 350 years… 200 of which nobody even knew it was melting or had even laid eyes on it.


    This one needs a fraud charge.

  24. I’m starting from a fairly well publicized, comprehensive study of Greenland ice melt somewhere around 10 years ago. Time to Greenland being “green” again: Centuries, if at all.

  25. Their summary says-

    “The runoff alone is now contributing about a millimeter to the global average sea level per year, said study co-author Sarah Das, a glaciologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.”

    They estimate the runoff at 350 gigatons. So now we have a basic relationship been anual runoff amounts and ocean level.

    Their report also clarifies-

    “The amount of annual meltwater runoff from Greenland has increased from between 200 and 250 gigatons a year before humans started burning fossil fuels in large amounts to 350 gigatons a year today, Das and her colleagues reported. It takes about 360 gigatons of meltwater to raise the global sea level by a millimeter, Das said.”

    So it looks like what they are trying to get across is that ~250 gigatons is normal (before people), and that the additional 100 gigatons is attributable to people warming up the arctic through their activities.

    Of everything that adds to or deletes from the ocean’s water, the additional 100 Gigaton mass of fresh water (Greenland runoff) is equitable to 0.3 mm sea level increase.

    • That’s run-off, but how much snow is being added every year, and has that amount changed?
      Warmer waters around Greenland should result in more snow on Greenland.

  26. Did the article say anything about the multidecadal arctic oscillation? Greenland is significantly affected by this seesaw which was at one time thought to be a harbinger of human caused global climate warming. Until it reversed direction on Hansen leaving him red-faced.

    • ‘alarmism amounts to someone swatting a fly and declaring it world news.’

      But that’s part of the art of lying while not stepping outside the literal truth – perspective and context.

  27. This layered pattern allows researchers to estimate how much melt took place each year, going back about 350 years. The team was then able to use modern, precise measurements of melt and correlate those measurements with the pattern seen in the ice cores, which allowed them to estimate what melt at lower elevations across the island would have looked like in each year recorded in the high-elevation cores.”

    A) It’s all estimates based upon estimates. The reference to “modern, precise measurements” is a strawman dodge. Accuracy of measurement does not automatically correlate or lead into accuracy estimate.

    B) “This layered pattern”, meaning layers of frozen water are accumulating. If they are accumulating, they are not melting faster than their accumulation.

    C) It is unstated exactly how they determine the age of the layers or whether layers are missing or accumulated more than a layer per year.

    D) “allowed them to estimate what melt at lower elevations across the island would have looked like in each year recorded in the high-elevation cores“; a claim that sounds like a “model”. i.e. another programmed daydream turned into press release research.

  28. The last two decades of melt show an increase in the rate of melting of 250 percent to 575 percent compared with the preindustrial baseline from before the mid-1800s

    Greenland is melting much faster than during the LIA. Okay then.

    The runoff alone is now contributing about a millimeter to the global average sea level per year, said study co-author Sarah Das, a glaciologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


    • Naw – I’m an old man. I’ll just stand here. So at 25mm per inch my 3″ duck boots will keep my feet dry for about 75 years. I’ll be >150 yo by then. Probably won’t care anymore.

  29. Sad really, I used to like singing Heber’s ‘From Greenland’s icy mountains, From India’s coral strand, Where Afric’s sunny fountains, Roll down their golden sand…’

  30. So Real Soon Now I should be able to buy beachfront property for a song as the sea levels are going to rise really really fast? Yeah, I didn’t think so…

  31. Why do alarmist love to point out melting glaciers as a problem. Isn’t it called an interglacial period for that exact reason?

  32. I saw Judith Curry explain perfectly to Michael Mann why Greenland was melting faster than the rest of the world. Had something to do with the atlantic decadal oscillation being in its warm faze. I wonder why they never mentioned that in the article? Sarc!

  33. As long as Viking settlements keep appearing from under the ice, I am not going to worry about Greenland’s ice melting.

  34. Greeland is just following natural variability that governs the North Hemisphere’s temperature trends. Since the ~60 year AMO periodicity characteristic for the NH is at its peak the next 30 years will lead to some cooling but the exetent of it depends on if and when the next solar grand minimum occus. In this link
    I looked at possible alternatives:
    – If the grand minimum doesn’t start during next 4-5 cycles than cooling will be minimal, about 0.2- 0.3 degrees (faint blue line)
    – Since grand minima tend to last (intriguingly?) around 60 years, if a GM is about to start with SC25 then it’s greatest effect might coincide with the AMO just lifting of the floor with total fall of about 0.7- 0.8, since the cumulative solar GM cooling is about 0.5C (dark green line).
    However there is an elephant in the room, nothing to do with the CO2, in form of a undercurrent periodicity which is due to peak in about 60 to 70 years, by that time the AMO will be hitting next peak and any pending solar GM may well be over, resulting in the temperature rise of about 0.5C on the current level. It could be expected that it gets up to about 1.5C on preindustrial levels. From there on is all way down hill. Our grand or great grandchildren will be told that the CO2 restrictions were fully justified.

  35. We’re in a warm phase. The last climate phase was cold. They occur constantly and are part of normal cycles of warm and cold climate. We have ZERO control over them. They will occur with or without our existence.

    What is the REAL problem here? Fear of lack of control of something we can’t control anyway?

  36. What is happening is all natural and has nothing to do with mankind. For example the previous inter glacial period, the Eemian, was warmer than this one with more ice cap melting and higher sea levels yet CO2 levels were lower than today. The cause of the climate change we are experiencing today is the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. The current modern warm period is not much different than the previous Medieval warm period. More melting should be taking place during the Modern Warm Period when compared to the Little Ice Age. We need not worry because the next ice age will cause ice sheets to build up and sea levels will drop however it may be thousands of years before that really begins to happen. We need to enjoy the current inter glacial period as long as it lasts.

  37. How ironic, and stunning, that the Danish Meteorological Institute has just release a report to the effect that Greenland’s ice sheet contains the 6th highest amount of ice on record, some 150 billion tons above the average of the last 30-or-so years. Here I thought that the Danes would know something about that since they own the place, but if ” Nature ” says different, it must be so, right? Right.

  38. I just did a quick smell test. Google says Greenland has a surface area of 836,300 sq-miles. If the island was circular shaped the radius would be 516 miles. An island with half this area has a radius of 364 miles. Picture 2 concentric circles with these radii. The difference between these 2 radii is 152 miles. If we are considering only ice loss from a warmer climate (not from basal melt and assuming sublimation is equal across the entire surface and wind born snow is negligible, and glacial calving will be accounted for in a below comment) all of each seasons new snow would have to melt completely in the outer ring while all of each seasons new snow in the inner ring would remain frozen for there to be no net difference.

    As I understand it, the interior of this island never gets above freezing. The coastal capital city Nuuk has above freezing average temps for only 2 month per year. (That golf course sure looks sweet) So does that mean warmer ocean air reaches in toward the island center 152 miles each summer and melts all new snow? Pictures from Google Earth show a different story. Otherwise, surface snow and ice on the interior has to melt at temperatures below freezing!

    The same is true for glacial calving. Is half each years accumulation equivalent ice mass discharged each year? I can’t see how. Is the total area of the island connected to a discharging glacier? Are there places where ice accumulates and does not flow down hill eventually to the ocean? There must be other larger forces like the earth melting the 3km thick ice from below. If there is a net loss, it must be a warmer earth below. Not a warmer climate above.

    So although this was just a smell test, the odor of bs is strong. Or did I miss something obvious?

  39. The press release claims that the “runoff alone is now contributing about a millimeter to the global average sea level per year”. Since the surface area of Greenland at 2.17E6 km^2 and the surface area of the oceans is 3.16E8 km^2, the average height of the Greenland ice sheet would need to be dropping by ~167 mm/year, or about 6.5 in / year, neglecting the difference in density between water and ice. This should be directly measurable. Is there any indication of this?

    • They could be right. Enough melt water could be flowing flowing into the ocean to raise SL 1 mm, if only the same amount of water equivalent didn’t also fall as snow in Greenland each year.


  40. I’m impressed thar this website still exists. The alarmist camp exerts such a power now that I often think that the site will be outlawed. We need more of them.

    I have only one friend who doesn’t buy the alarmist stuff, and who doesn’t think I’m a ‘conspiracy nut’.

    Even my wife actually told me she’s seriously worried about me. She says she would rather believe David Attenborough than me because he’s been in the business of Nature for so long.

    My son doesn’t want to talk to me because of my beliefs about climate change ( which I have had since about 2005).

    This site has excellent content. Truth does exist ! (Our post modernist world prefers opinion to fact.)

    • Ivan,

      What SLR? You mean the one that started in 1900, and is not accelerating? If you look at any of NOAA’s long-term tide gauges you see no acceleration of sea level rise, which on average is about 3mm/year, which is the thickness of three pennies laid flat and isn’t alarming. There’s no acceleration of sea level rise since the earliest tidal records around 1900, and if sea level has been rising steadily through the mid-1940’s warm period in the US and the ensuing global cooling scare of the 1970s, then it seems that it’s just rising steadily regardless of minor temperature fluctuations.

      The problem is one of causation. Why is sea level rising? If it’s because of CO2, then why has it been rising steadily even before the period when it’s agreed that CO2 effects would begin to be seen, which is around 1950? It makes more sense to say that sea level is rising in response to the general warming that followed the Little Ice Age, which ended in about 1850. What caused the LIA? Lack of CO2? I doubt it; it’s generally acknowledged that the Maunder Minimum of sunspots was responsible. What caused warming after the LIA? CO2 rising? I don’t think so, as it makes more sense to see this as a resumption of sunspot activity. In any case if we look around we can pretty much say that it wasn’t CO2.

      The actual evidence is telling us that CO2 is having a very minor, even barely detectable, impact on the troposphere, and this is supposed to be where we’d be seeing the most impact according to the mainstream theory of CO2 warming. We must conclude, then, that the basic theory of CO2 warming, although internally consistent, does not correspond to our observations, and therefore the theory must be modified or even discarded.

      A legitimate question to ask is, are we in an era of Oreskianism, wherein dissent outside the mainstream consensus isn’t tolerated? If your answer is no, then why do proponents of the mainstream view, such as Oreskes and Santer, argue against any audit of climate science, while at the same time arguing that climate science is transparent? Why is it that skeptics are barely heard in the mainstream media, and that if you try to argue in a supposedly rational forum like skeptical science or the Huffington Post, you’ll be shut down in a hurry? Why is it that in a recent opinion piece the economist Paul Krugman argued that skeptics were depraved? Why is it that we assume that good, honest scientists who agree with the consensus view that CO2 does have an effect, but that that effect is very minimal (and this is by far the most prominent skeptic view,) why do we assume that these scientists are paid off or anti-science? Why is it that we hear the debate is over when there are so many complexities to the climate and so many uncertainties, and yet everything is supposed to be irrefutable? Why is it that the general public does not know what all climate scientists know, and that is that the tropical troposphere isn’t warming nearly as much as models predicted, and that the predicted water vapor rise, which will amplify CO2 warming and is the real driver behind catastrophic warming, isn’t rising as predicted either? Why did the IPCC obfuscate this fact in a series of virtually unreadable graphs?

      No, this scientific attitude has much in common with eugenics and with Lysenkoism. The entire basis for the perpetuation of the theory of catastrophic CO2 warming is to silence opposing views, either by calling them paid-off, anti-science, or mentally deranged, or else by doctoring the facts to ensure that they conform to the consensus view. The theory cannot survive without silencing opposition! It cannot survive without cherry-picking evidence, and then working to marginalize anyone who opposes what was done!

      Most people have no idea what the skeptic position is; instead, they know what their reaction to skeptics must be: ignore them! Think about it. You are being conditioned to ignore any views that oppose the mainstream consensus. Is this open-minded scientific debate, is this open and transparent inquiry, is this an open debate in a democratic society, or is this a dangerous form of Lysenkoism? Why are consensus scientists so afraid of allowing dissenting voices, and why do they argue so strenuously against this? Why do they argue so strenuously against any scrutiny of the science and maintain that only consensus scientists can be the keepers of the transparency under which climate science supposedly operates?

      This is not science. This is Lysenkoism. Some of us are tired of it.


          Check out long-term data for NYC, Honolulu, Newlyn, or any other place where you find longer-term data. Where do you find this supposed acceleration in the tidal data? I don’t see it. This is long-term data whereas satellite data only goes back to 1992.

          Is NASA cherry-picking evidence to “prove” that CO2 warming must be happening? Is real data being subverted? Are we seeing Oreskianism at work? As a counter to NASA’s take on things, I invite you to read this and this

          In the second link, note the sentence: “We had to do so, otherwise there would not be any trend.” Note the context.

          I do not ask you to believe me. I ask you to look at both sides of the story because there are ALWAYS at least two sides to the story, and Oreskianism, like Lysenkoism before it, wants to erase one side of the story so that you’ll believe in their theory, and more importantly, act upon it. I suggest that we give this theory careful scrutiny before we start acting on it, and doing so would be the proper application of the precautionary principle, which is so carelessly invoked these days. Yet careful scrutiny is exactly what the Oreskianists oppose, as they have stated clearly numerous times: transparency is only open to members of their club.


  41. Eric van Damne, the meteorologist at CNN, does a great job at explaining climate change.
    When it comes to the Greenland ice sheet melting this will contribute to SLR. If sea ice melts it does not contribute to SLR – just like ice cubes in your drink. However, if land ice melts this is a major contributor to SLR.
    2 metre rise by the end of this century will affect our children. Big impact on coastal communitiies around the world – India, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia in particular.

    • Before we swallow the sea rise catastrophe narrative, we should weigh what those scientists say who disagree with the consensus, and decide who makes sense.

      The scientists-priests should not simply be taken at their word, with the assumption that we mortals can’t understand. The truth is that if you can’t state your theory and your evidence clearly and distinctly so that any rational person can understand, then you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      Once again, look at NOAA sea level records. Where exactly is this accelerating sea level? It simply isn’t there. This should be enough to make us stop and question why we’re being told that sea level rise is accelerating, and why this contradicts tidal records. No doubt some twisted reasons will be found for discarding one data set and going with the one that supports the consensus theory, but in that case I would ask: is this Lysenkoism at work, or are things are the level? Who can we trust and how do we figure this out? We can only do this is we get both sides of the story and let the evidence speak for itself, but this is exactly what we’re discouraged from doing by the “skeptics are just paid off” meme.

      I say let’s hear both sides.


    • “2 metre rise by the end of this century will affect our children.”

      How old are your children now? Because that is 81 years away. And humans are not living as long.
      You think that the ocean is going to rise two meters…at best its about 11 inches a century. And that is backed by more science than I think you have read.
      Its about an eight of an inch each year.
      But since the start of the Solar Minima, that reversing, and will stop…and if this cold sun turns out to be a LIA, then a reversal will happen.

      Where in hell, did you get 2 meters from?….that 0.972 inches a year?

  42. “Greenland is melting faster today than it has at any time in the last 350 years, and probably much longer, new research finds.”

    This is the funniest thing I have ever read…in ‘probably’ the last 350 years….ahahahahahahahahhahahahaha…BTW who named it Greenland…it was “probably, named before 350 years ago, much longer…maybe?

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