Greenland ice melting four times faster than in 2003, study finds

Public Release: 21-Jan-2019

Southwest part of the island could be major contributor to sea level rise

Ohio State University

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Greenland is melting faster than scientists previously thought–and will likely lead to faster sea level rise–thanks to the continued, accelerating warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, a new study has found.

Scientists concerned about sea level rise have long focused on Greenland’s southeast and northwest regions, where large glaciers stream iceberg-sized chunks of ice into the Atlantic Ocean. Those chunks float away, eventually melting. But a new study published Jan. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the largest sustained ice loss from early 2003 to mid-2013 came from Greenland’s southwest region, which is mostly devoid of large glaciers.

“Whatever this was, it couldn’t be explained by glaciers, because there aren’t many there,” said Michael Bevis, lead author of the paper, Ohio Eminent Scholar and a professor of geodynamics at The Ohio State University. “It had to be the surface mass–the ice was melting inland from the coastline.”

That melting, which Bevis and his co-authors believe is largely caused by global warming, means that in the southwestern part of Greenland, growing rivers of water are streaming into the ocean during summer. The key finding from their study: Southwest Greenland, which previously had not been considered a serious threat, will likely become a major future contributor to sea level rise.

“We knew we had one big problem with increasing rates of ice discharge by some large outlet glaciers,” he said. “But now we recognize a second serious problem: Increasingly, large amounts of ice mass are going to leave as meltwater, as rivers that flow into the sea.”

The findings could have serious implications for coastal U.S. cities, including New York and Miami, as well as island nations that are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels.

And there is no turning back, Bevis said.

“The only thing we can do is adapt and mitigate further global warming–it’s too late for there to be no effect,” he said. “This is going to cause additional sea level rise. We are watching the ice sheet hit a tipping point.”

Climate scientists and glaciologists have been monitoring the Greenland ice sheet as a whole since 2002, when NASA and Germany joined forces to launch GRACE. GRACE stands for Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, and involves twin satellites that measure ice loss across Greenland. Data from these satellites showed that between 2002 and 2016, Greenland lost approximately 280 gigatons of ice per year, equivalent to 0.03 inches of sea level rise each year. But the rate of ice loss across the island was far from steady.

Bevis’ team used data from GRACE and from GPS stations scattered around Greenland’s coast to identify changes in ice mass. The patterns they found show an alarming trend–by 2012, ice was being lost at nearly four times the rate that prevailed in 2003. The biggest surprise: This acceleration was focused in southwest Greenland, a part of the island that previously hadn’t been known to be losing ice that rapidly.

Bevis said a natural weather phenomenon–the North Atlantic Oscillation, which brings warmer air to West Greenland, as well as clearer skies and more solar radiation–was building on man-made climate change to cause unprecedented levels of melting and runoff. Global atmospheric warming enhances summertime melting, especially in the southwest. The North Atlantic Oscillation is a natural–if erratic–cycle that causes ice to melt under normal circumstances. When combined with man-made global warming, though, the effects are supercharged.

“These oscillations have been happening forever,” Bevis said. “So why only now are they causing this massive melt? It’s because the atmosphere is, at its baseline, warmer. The transient warming driven by the North Atlantic Oscillation was riding on top of more sustained, global warming.”

Bevis likened the melting of Greenland’s ice to coral bleaching: Once the ocean’s water hits a certain temperature, coral in that region begins to bleach. There have been three global coral bleaching events. The first was caused by the 1997-98 El Niño, and the other two events by the two subsequent El Niños. But El Niño cycles have been happening for thousands of years–so why have they caused global coral bleaching only since 1997?

“What’s happening is sea surface temperature in the tropics is going up; shallow water gets warmer and the air gets warmer,” Bevis said. “The water temperature fluctuations driven by an El Niño are riding this global ocean warming. Because of climate change, the base temperature is already close to the critical temperature at which coral bleaches, so an El Niño pushes the temperature over the critical threshold value. And in the case of Greenland, global warming has brought summertime temperatures in a significant portion of Greenland close to the melting point, and the North Atlantic Oscillation has provided the extra push that caused large areas of ice to melt”.

Before this study, scientists understood Greenland to be one of the Earth’s major contributors to sea-level rise–mostly because of its glaciers. But these new findings, Bevis said, show that scientists need to be watching the island’s snowpack and ice fields more closely, especially in and near southwest Greenland.

GPS systems in place now monitor Greenland’s ice margin sheet around most of its perimeter, but the network is very sparse in the southwest, so it is necessary to densify the network there, given these new findings.

“We’re going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future,” Bevis said. “Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?”

###

Co-authors on the study include researchers from Ohio State, the University of Arizona, DTU Space in Denmark, Princeton University, the University of Colorado, University of Liége in Belgium, Utrecht University in the Netherlands, University of Luxembourg and UNAVCO, Inc.

From EurekAlert!

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Dave
January 22, 2019 8:09 am

“…the only question is: How severe does it get?” No, I’d suggest those experts don’t even understand how many questions they’ve never even thought of, much less answered. But they produced their paradigm-altering study, so they’re happy.

Reply to  Dave
January 22, 2019 9:00 am

Surely they must be wrong, according to Bill Nye all of the Greenland ice has totally melted some 3 or 4 years ago.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=umVW9T-7j3U

rushus74
Reply to  vukcevic
January 24, 2019 11:52 am

My God!?! You must be kidding! We’re in so much more trouble then we thought.

I’m giving all my money to the UN right now. Surely they have such accurate models they will know what to do. Thank you for letting us know about this terrible occurrence.

ThomasJK
Reply to  Dave
January 24, 2019 5:23 am

…..And it is the area that is not being monitored closely that is causing the problem, obviously. Send more money. We need more instrumentation.

TomRude
January 22, 2019 8:10 am

Bevis and Butthead are doing science…

Rich Davis
Reply to  TomRude
January 22, 2019 8:41 am

Beavis and EurakAlert!

michael hart
Reply to  TomRude
January 22, 2019 2:33 pm

Oh, hot diggity, you beat me to it.
Butt you know what the reason is, don’t you?

ozspeaksup
Reply to  TomRude
January 23, 2019 3:36 am

snap!
my thought also;-)

2hotel9
January 22, 2019 8:14 am

And yet Greenland is still covered by ice. Hmmmm, imagine that.

Menicholas
Reply to  2hotel9
January 22, 2019 1:06 pm

And sea level rise has not increased, so where has all the melt gone?

John V. Wright
Reply to  Menicholas
January 22, 2019 2:22 pm

Well said. This, of course, is the key point -and, as far as I can make out, there is no reference to actual SLR data in the report.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Menicholas
January 22, 2019 3:01 pm

The melt water is hiding in the deep oceans, along with all the missing heat.

2hotel9
Reply to  Patrick MJD
January 22, 2019 3:28 pm

And you forgot Shillary’s emails.(They had to go somewhere!;)

Mr Bliss
Reply to  Menicholas
January 22, 2019 4:38 pm

It’s hiding at the bottom of the oceans Menicholas – or was that where the missing heat is? Or Lord Lucan – anyway something is hiding at the bottom of the oceans, which is a pretty good place to hide stuff

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Mr Bliss
January 23, 2019 3:38 am

cthulu must be getting crowded by now;-)

2hotel9
Reply to  Mr Bliss
January 23, 2019 7:16 am

It is always in the last place you look!

Philip of Taos
Reply to  Mr Bliss
January 23, 2019 7:28 pm

Cold water does sink, Duh!

Fred
Reply to  Menicholas
January 22, 2019 10:17 pm

Spot-on…if the melting has increased at this pace since 2003, 4 x faster, why hasn’t SLR significantly accelerated already? This didn’t happen overnight…SLR should have been accelerating all along and it hasn’t. Back to the drawing board Columbus, Ohio ‘Buckeye’ academic elites.

dalyplanet
January 22, 2019 8:14 am

I notice there is no discussion regarding accumulating snowfall on top of Greenland

Rich Davis
Reply to  dalyplanet
January 22, 2019 8:51 am

“Whatever this was, it couldn’t be explained by glaciers, because there aren’t many there,” said Michael Bevis. Butthead could not be reached for comment.

chris
Reply to  dalyplanet
January 22, 2019 2:34 pm

In the original paper that was considered. In the past 20 years the melting has greatly out-paced the snowfall accumulation.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  chris
January 22, 2019 10:18 pm

Yes but only because Greenland is melting from underneath the same as Antarctica is . The reason is because of volcanic ridges that extend hundreds of miles in the case of Antarctica and more than a 1000 miles in the case of Greenland. This is nothing new. Known for a long time. There was less ice in Greenland in the 1930’s. The surface of Greenland always builds up with snow. Proof: they found WWII bombers in 1988 that were buried under snow 260 feet deep.

Rhys Jaggar
January 22, 2019 8:15 am

How on earth did earth survive the Medieval Warm Period, when farming was practiced on Greenland?

There is a ridiculous assumption that there are no feedback mechanisms going to kick in before all the ice has melted.

Climate systems are cyclical and have huge numbers of thermoregulatory components.

MIKE MCHENRY
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
January 22, 2019 8:20 am

Also Danish aerial survey’s in the 1930″s (1938?) show the glaciers melting and in recession.

john
Reply to  MIKE MCHENRY
January 22, 2019 9:31 am

Recession? Hell, it was a depression!

marque2
Reply to  john
January 22, 2019 10:15 pm

+1

troe
January 22, 2019 8:15 am

I stopped accepting faster, scarier back when they told me the science was settled.

Bevis and But%head have been doing science or at least selling science-like products for years.

Lasse
January 22, 2019 8:16 am

Now suitable for settlements?
The Vikings left round 1500 as the climate grew bad.

Pieter Folkens
Reply to  Lasse
January 22, 2019 2:08 pm

The 400-500 years of Vikings living on Greenland started to go bad around 1300. The last Viking of Greenland is believed to have left around 1430 ±15. The last document from there was a marriage document dated 1408. Greenland was essentially cut off from the rest of the world by ice from 1410 until the 1720s.

knr
January 22, 2019 8:17 am

unprecedented levels, compared to what and when ?
the atmosphere is, at its baseline, warmer.. compered to when and how was this measured ?
One thing you have to do with students is to make clear that claiming things are ‘true ‘ should only be done logically they area , so the sun comes up in the east , of you can offer the proof to support the claim .

Scary headlines and lots of ‘may , will , should , could , models say so, do not offer that proof even if they are normal for climate science where facts be dammed it’s all about the impact .

Ken Irwin
January 22, 2019 8:19 am

Key phrases :-

Faster than previously thought = first clue its a con-job

They “Believe” its caused by global warming – faith without proof is a religion.

Hallmarks of alarmism – consign to dustbin.

January 22, 2019 8:21 am

“Bevis said a natural weather phenomenon–the North Atlantic Oscillation, which brings warmer air to West Greenland, as well as clearer skies and more solar radiation–was building on man-made climate change to cause unprecedented levels of melting and runoff.”

Well, significant + insignificant == significant, but unprecedented is stretching the arithmetic a bit too far, especially since even the exaggerated contemporary change isn’t at all unusual relative to the rates of temperature change seen in the ice cores and other proxies.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  co2isnotevil
January 22, 2019 11:40 am

And at night when it is not solar radiating,clear skies mean temperatures fall noticeably below what they would be if pesky warming hadn’t driven cloud cover away. Did these good little tail wagging spot on pc authors of this latest panic mongering story not notice all the climate refugee cuckoos around them when they working up their scare.

sycomputing
January 22, 2019 8:22 am

“As in the previous year, 2018 was yet another year with a low degree of melting of the Ice Sheet”

http://polarportal.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/polarportal-saesonrapport-2018-EN.pdf

David Jay
Reply to  sycomputing
January 22, 2019 12:40 pm

The 2016-2017 season was also a doosey. As I recall, something like 600GTon. So over a Tera-Ton of additional snow pack in 2 years.

But let’s talk about 2013 instead…

Reply to  David Jay
January 22, 2019 1:11 pm

That was the “Surface Mass Balance” (SMB), David. DMI estimated a positive SMB of 544 Gt over the 2016-17 glaciological year:

http://polarportal.dk/en/news/news/end-of-the-smb-season-summary-2017/

However, that doesn’t include ice loss from glacier calving and submarine melting, which they estimate runs at about 500 Gt/year. So the net ice gain was just barely positive.

A typical glaciological year in Greenland has about 300 Gt SMB gain, with about 500 Gt ice loss from glacier calving and submarine melting, for a net of 200 Gt ice loss (equivalent to about 0.55 mm sea-level). Two years in a row with no net ice mass loss, and in fact probably slight ice mass gains, is unusual.

Latitude
January 22, 2019 8:28 am

“that the largest sustained ice loss from early 2003 to mid-2013”

for some reason…these “scientists” love to cherry pick 2003-2013

….see if you can tell why

comment image

January 22, 2019 8:30 am

Ice has been melting for 20,000 years.

The rate of melting today is much slower
than it was 10,000 to 20,000 years ago.

When measured by the most accurate
methodology, weather satellites,
the average temperature of our planet
barely changed since 2003.

So this study, about melting from
2003 to 2013, needs to find another
cause of the melting.

Because there was
virtually no global warming
in that period they studied
(which was before the temporary
late 2015 early 2016 EL Nino heat spike
in the Pacific Ocean, that accounted
for most of the slight warming in the
2003 through 2018 period.)

A second thought:
These so-called scientists
always seem to claim
things were worse than
they originally thought
— why not something better
than originally thought?

Such as warming not
increasing as fast as
originally thought?

Or sea level not rising
as fast as originally thought?

Would they even report good news
if they found some?

It’s very suspicious that things
are ALWAYS getting worse …
yet the past 20,000 years
of global warming, starting
with a mile thick glacier
over my property in Michigan,
has been 100% GOOD NEWS !

Past ACTUAL climate change
has been good news.

But future PREDICTED climate change
is always bad news!

And climate change predictions
are ALWAYS wrong!

Very suspicious.

My climate science blog,
with ten new posts today,
because it was too cold
in Michigan to go outside
in the past few days !

Where’s that $#%@& global warming
when we want it ?
http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

Menicholas
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 22, 2019 1:12 pm

It is strange that every pronouncement is worse than they thought, and yet every one of these predicted events fails to materialize.

Richard Hood
January 22, 2019 8:41 am

I read the article by the guy that claims Greenland is melting, and saw him as a greeny and decided that I would not believe him no matter what he says, After all, these a-holes are saying wood and biomass do not emit any CO2 when they are burned. They emit about the same omunt of CO2 as the average coal.

joe
January 22, 2019 8:43 am

Ah the infamous ‘tipping point’ argument.

But the academics will continue to fly, continue to drive gas guzzling SUVs, as will the rest of the climate change proponents.

Greg McCall
January 22, 2019 8:46 am

A decade or so ago I attended a public presentation by an OSU Greenland researcher. In it he explained his multi year research into glacier acceleration. Very interesting. At the end of the presentation he showed time lapsed video of a massive glacier breaking up in a single event. It was a scary message.
Later I searched this researcher’s webpage and found that what he presented was research from a couple summers ago, and his most recent summer in Greenland found the same glacier had stopped or slowed it’s acceleration. He knew this at the time of the presentation but failed to mention the confounding/conflicting information (it’s possible I missed it, but doubtful).
I’m not sure how this experience relates to the announcement above, but I’m convinced we are still in the very early stages of understanding many of earth’s processes.

Menicholas
Reply to  Greg McCall
January 22, 2019 1:09 pm

Increased calving of glaciers means more ice has accumulated at the source region, and it is therefore flowing faster.
Glaciers recede when they are melting…they do not calve more.

Greg McCall
Reply to  Menicholas
January 24, 2019 9:04 am

Menicholas,
Thanks for replying!
Help me understand this. We were told the faster flow was an indication of a warming Greenland (and by extension, global warming). Your response seems to indicate that receding (slower or no flow?) glaciers are a sign of melting (warming Greenland?). Am I not understanding your post?

Vicus
Reply to  Greg McCall
January 28, 2019 6:12 pm

Glaciers accelerate and calve with increased snow mass, meaning no warming.

Bart Tali
January 22, 2019 8:46 am

The paper isn’t published yet, but I was able to find the abstract here: http://geoweb.princeton.edu/people/simons/fjspubs.html

“Abstract: From early 2003 to mid-2013, the total mass of ice in Greenland declined at a progressively increasing rate. In mid-2013, an abrupt reversal occurred, and very little net ice loss occurred in the next 12–18 months. Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and global positioning system (GPS) observations reveal that the spatial patterns of the sustained acceleration and the abrupt deceleration in mass loss are similar. The strongest accelerations tracked the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The negative phase of the NAO enhances summertime warming and insolation while reducing snowfall, especially in west Greenland, driving surface mass balance (SMB) more negative, as illustrated using the regional climate model MAR. The spatial pattern of accelerating mass changes reflects the geography of NAO-driven shifts in atmospheric forcing and the ice sheet’s sensitivity to that forcing. We infer that southwest Greenland will become a major future contributor to sea level rise.“

January 22, 2019 8:51 am

The GRACE satellites do not measure ice. They measure gravity. NASA has published opposite results on ice in Antarctica than those of NOAA.

The GPS signals for altitude have huge error bars.

What does it all mean, if anything?

lee
Reply to  Michael Moon
January 22, 2019 5:46 pm

And GRACE died in 2017. poor GRACE.:'(

JMichna
January 22, 2019 8:53 am

Maybe my math is dicey, but a figure cited in the article doesn’t pass the sniff test.

“Greenland lost approximately 280 gigatons of ice per year, equivalent to 0.03 inches of sea level rise each year.”

Given the density of ice as 0.9167 Gt/km3, the volume of Greenland ice loss given works out to ~305 km^3.

Ocean surface area is ~362 million square kilometers (139.7 million square miles),

305 km^3/362,000,000 km^2 = 0.00000084 km = 0.00084 mm = 0.000033 inches

I believe they are overstating whatever Greenland ice SLR exists by a factor of a thousand.

Or did I mess up somewhere?

JMichna
Reply to  JMichna
January 22, 2019 8:58 am

I caught my error just after posting… km –> mm is 10^6 not 10^3 (I missed km to m to mm). 0.033 inches is proper math.

Rich Davis
Reply to  JMichna
January 22, 2019 2:55 pm

Except that if the mass balance is actually slightly positive net of snowfall, then we should be seeing sea level unchanged or slightly lower.

Amazing, ice melts for the few weeks of the year when the sun is shining on it almost continuously, who woulda thunk it?

Reply to  JMichna
January 22, 2019 9:06 am

280 gigatons of ice will give you 280 gigatons of fresh water, so density of ice has nothing to do with melting ice.

JMichna
Reply to  Ashok Patel
January 22, 2019 10:39 am

Ashok,
You are correct of course. Mea culpa. 0.77 mm = 0.03 in

Phil R
Reply to  JMichna
January 22, 2019 12:34 pm

Heh, that’s funny. I did a calculation in February 2017 based on some info that was published back then (don’t have original source offhand), and came up with a SLR rate of 0.74 mm/yr, very close to what you got. That report said Greenland was losing ice at an average rate of 269 Gt/yr, hence the discrepancy.

Wharfplank
January 22, 2019 8:53 am

Great news! Now perhaps all the rising sea level targets will be hit. 18 inches by 2050! 4 feet by 2100! Gaia, forgive us our sins!

Editor
January 22, 2019 9:00 am

“Greenland ice melting four times faster than in 2003, study finds”… Then it must be freezing four times faster than in 2003… somewhere… Because sea level isn’t rising any faster now than in 2003…

john
Reply to  David Middleton
January 22, 2019 9:37 am

Well that’s awkward!

Anthony Banton
Reply to  john
January 22, 2019 10:12 am

“Well that’s awkward!”

Well, yes it is ……

https://www.pnas.org/content/115/9/2022

“Satellite altimetry has shown that global mean sea level has been rising at a rate of ∼3 ± 0.4 mm/y since 1993. Using the altimeter record coupled with careful consideration of interannual and decadal variability as well as potential instrument errors, we show that this rate is accelerating at 0.084 ± 0.025 mm/y2, which agrees well with climate model projections. If sea level continues to change at this rate and acceleration, sea-level rise by 2100 (∼65 cm) will be more than double the amount if the rate was constant at 3 mm/y.”

Reply to  Anthony Banton
January 22, 2019 10:17 am

Oops…

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  David Middleton
January 22, 2019 10:34 am

So the 1993-2010 linear trend was basically identical to 1930-1950…great job.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
January 22, 2019 10:45 am

SLR alternates from about 1 to about 3 mm/yr roughly every 30 years. It averages out to about 2 mm/yr since the end of Neoglaciation.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  David Middleton
January 22, 2019 10:55 am

“So the 1993-2010 linear trend was basically identical to 1930-1950…great job.”

Fraid not…..

https://sealevel.nasa.gov/understanding-sea-level/by-the-numbers

Total Sea Level
PERIOD ESTIMATE (mm/yr) UNCERTAINTY (+- mm/yr) REFERENCE MEASUREMENT / FORECAST MODEL
1993 – 2017 3.1 0.4 Cazenave et al., 2018 Satellite altimetry
1901 – 1990 1.1 to 1.9 0.3 Dangendo l., 2017 Tide gauge reconstruction
1993 – 2010 2.8 to 3.1 0.7 to 1.4 Cazenave et al., 2018 Tide gauge reconstruction

Reply to  Anthony Banton
January 22, 2019 1:56 pm

This was written in English…

“So the 1993-2010 linear trend was basically identical to 1930-1950…great job.”

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  David Middleton
January 22, 2019 5:17 pm

Hey Mr. Banton,

1993-2017 is not 1930-1950, nor is it anywhere close.
1901-1990 contains 1930-1950 but also contains 3 additional decades on the front end and 4 additional decades on the back end (which we know from Mr. Middleton’s posted graph and others to have had a slowdown in sea level rise)
1993-2010 is also not 1930-1950, nor is it anywhere close.

Getting the point?

In the meantime, your link shows 3.1 mm/yr from 1993-2017 and 2.8-3.1 mm/yr from 1993-2010.

As Mr. Middleton’s graph showed, there was a linear trend of 3.15 mm/yr from 1993-2010 (almost spot-on with the data you presented) and 3.08 mm/yr from 1930-1950 (or, if you prefer, 3.2 mm/yr and 3.1 mm/yr, respectively, to keep with the same number of decimal places at the data you presented).

Hence, we are still at the linear trend in sea level rise from 1930-1950 being almost identical to that of 1993-2010 (or even 1993-2017 for that matter). It’s indistinguishable.

Hopefully the math and use of dates in this discussion has been simplified to the level of a junior high student, if not a level that a retired UKMO meteorologist can understand.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Anthony Banton
January 22, 2019 10:47 am

I see the Jevrejeva et al paper was submitted in 2014 David.
The below 4 years later.
Science moves on you know.

“Oops”
Indeed.

Climate-change–driven accelerated sea-level rise detected in the altimeter era

R. S. Nerem, B. D. Beckley, J. T. Fasullo, B. D. Hamlington, D. Masters, and G. T. Mitchum

PNAS February 27, 2018 115 (9) 2022-2025;
Published ahead of print February 12, 2018
https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1717312115

comment image

“Fig. 1.
GMSL from the adjusted processing of ref. 15 (blue) and after removing an estimate for the impacts of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo (12) (red), and after also removing the influence of ENSO (green), fit with a quadratic (black). The acceleration (0.084 mm/y2) is twice the quadratic coefficient.”

Reply to  Anthony Banton
January 22, 2019 10:57 am

Try to follow along…

1993 to today: 3.2 mm/yr

1993-2010: 3.2 mm/yr, 1930-1950: 3.1 mm/yr

Dave Fair
Reply to  Anthony Banton
January 22, 2019 1:46 pm

Anthony, I note that your data does not cover the earlier period of comparison. Misdirection?

lee
Reply to  Anthony Banton
January 22, 2019 5:43 pm

AB, about that 3mm. You mean the Topex, Jason 1. 2 ,3 that have an accuracy on 42mm down to 33mm. Amazing that they can find SLR and order of magnitude finer than the accuracy. Then the additional problems of tides, waves, swell and storm surge. 😉

H.R.
Reply to  David Middleton
January 22, 2019 9:45 am

Don’t you recall a post from a few weeks ago where it was discovered that the water was draining from the ocean into the mantle faster than we thought?

We all better be hoping the ice melts faster because it appears someone pulled the plugs from the Atlantic and Pacific bathtubs.

Andy Pattullo
January 22, 2019 9:07 am

So according to the authors Greenland is losing ice 4 X faster in 2012 compared to 2003. It will in the future dramatically affect sea level rise, whereas sea level rise presently continues to chug along at about 1.7 mm/yr (unless you want to throw in imaginary and irrelevant decent of the ocean basins which is now added to satellite data). So where is that water from six years of a dramatic melt increase being kept in the mean time, and don’t say “in the deep ocean with all the missing heat”.

James Snook
January 22, 2019 9:23 am

“When combined with man-made global warming, though, the effects (of the NAO) are supercharged.”
“We are watching the ice sheet reach a tipping point.” etc. etc….

And the CAGW congregation swayed in ecstasy.
Prof Bevis has missed his vocation, or perhaps he hasn’t?

tom0mason
Reply to  James Snook
January 22, 2019 1:17 pm

Yes indeed,
“When combined with man-made global warming, though, the effects (of the NAO) are supercharged.”
“We are watching the ice sheet reach a tipping point.” etc. etc….

And the CAGW congregation swayed in ecstasy, …
“We believe! Wee Beelieve!!” The consensus congregation chanted as one unite voice.

Such is modern science with its projections of virtual reality visions and vistas, all rounded out with doom-laden fables and parables.

January 22, 2019 9:24 am

This is a prime example of how using an average plus cherrypicking dates obscures reality.

They say “satellites showed that between 2002 and 2016 Greenland lost approximately 280 gigatons of ice per year”

What they don’t say is Greenland had been gaining ice from 1960s to early 90s. From the mid 90s in association with reduced cloudiness melting caused a loss of ice but that loss peaked in 2012. Since then the loss of ice has steadily decreased and by 2017 and 2018, Greenland was slightly gaining ice!

Their distortions allow them to fear monger saying “The findings could have serious implications for coastal U.S. cities, including New York and Miami, as well as island nations that are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels.”

If an honest full accounting was to be presented, the real implication is Greenland undergoes decadal cycles of melt and ice gain, and it has little to do with CO2 warming! The last 2 years Greenland did not contribute to sea level rise at all!

John Peter
January 22, 2019 9:25 am

Paul Homewood at notalotofpeopleknowthat.com has a very good and extensive explanation of the 2012/13 increase in melt as a one year weather event.
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/latest-fake-claims-about-greenland-ice-loss/#more-37337
He concludes by stating
“But what happened in 2012?
Due to that weather event, the NAO, Greenland experienced an unusually mild year, with in particular a sunny summer.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the Surface Mass Balance of the Greenland ice sheet shrank slightly, due to both reduced snowfall and ice melt:comment image
However, that was the exception. Last year, for instance, the SMB grew much more than the long term mean, as it did the year before.”

It is worth reading the whole article. It represents a comprehensive debunking of the whole paper.

ResourceGuy
January 22, 2019 9:26 am

In the new era measurement system error can get you published.

Chris Marrou
January 22, 2019 9:42 am

“This is going to cause additional sea level rise. We are watching the ice sheet hit a tipping point.”

And…they missed the best line, which would have been “We are watching the ice sheet hit the fan.”

rbabcock
January 22, 2019 10:04 am

Greenland is melting faster than scientists previously thought–

From reading all the comments above and some of the links, perhaps the lead in sentence should be:

Greenland was melting faster than scientists previously thought–

tty
January 22, 2019 10:42 am

If anyone wonders why a study published in 2019 stops in 2012, the answer is here, in Figure 5:

http://polarportal.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/polarportal-saesonrapport-2018-EN.pdf

By the way, if this citation is correct:

“Whatever this was, it couldn’t be explained by glaciers, because there aren’t many there,”

Then this Beavis fellow is quite amazingly ignorant, because there are any number of glaciers there. Apparently he thinks that only tidewater glaciers, i e glaciers that reach the coast are called glaciers.

Also it is odd that he should be surprised that glaciers in SW Geenland retreat more than elsewhere, for this is the area with most ice-free country and the area where the ice-sheet has retreated most during past warmer periods (including the early Holocene). The area is in rain-shadow and there is a saddle between the northern and southern ice domes.

I can’t help wondering about how often these “climate science” innocents express amazement and alarm about things that have long been known and understood. Are they actually that ignorant, or is it all a sham?

Reply to  tty
January 22, 2019 1:02 pm

Thank you for the link to that DMI PolarPortal report, tty. I hadn’t noticed that they’d posted it on their site. They were a lot quicker this time; the previous one didn’t go up until February 28.
http://polarportal.dk/en/news/news/end-of-the-smb-season-summary-2017/

Confirmed: that’s two glaciological years in a row with no net loss of ice mass from the GIS, compared to about 200 Gt net ice loss (equivalent to 0.55 mm of sea-level) in a typical year.

It’s hard to tell with only the abstract, but it sounds like they looked at data through 2014. (Still ridiculous for a paper published in 2019!) The abstract says, “In mid-2013, an abrupt reversal occurred, and very little net ice loss occurred in the next 12–18 months.”

Ryan Otte
Reply to  Dave Burton
January 22, 2019 8:36 pm

If it is ridiculous or wrong in some way, does someone or yourself have a better paper to publish as a rebuttal?

2hotel9
Reply to  Ryan Otte
January 23, 2019 7:18 am

I’ll just go with the satellite images showing Greenland covered with ice, ya know, actual evidence you can see.

tty
Reply to  Ryan Otte
January 23, 2019 12:03 pm

Indeed. Start at Disko bay and follow the edge of the ice down to Cape Farwell, and count the outlet glaciers. I make it about 75, but it is not always easy to make things out.

January 22, 2019 11:56 am

No question, that something is happening “faster than we thought” adds urgency to their message.
But what it really says is that there “model” did not get it right.
It reminds of the great “Dot-Com” stock promotion that climaxed in March 2000.
The tout was that the earnings per share report was “higher than expected” and they would ramp the stock up.
Stock analysts would consult with the company spokesman and work out the earnings number.
This was then the “whisper number” and when the report was issued, of course, it was always higher than the “whisper”. The stock price, naturally, would jump.
My comment was that they learned to whisper in saw mill.
Same place where the global warmers learned their “science”.
What a promotion!

January 22, 2019 12:30 pm

It’s always Worse Than We Thought.™

Of course, the press release didn’t link to the paper, so you can’t tell what data they analyzed. But I’ll bet they did not include the last two glaciological years, when Greenland lost no ice at all.

But “there is no turning back, Bevis said.” 😉

Thank you, Bart Tali, for finding the abstract:

Abstract: From early 2003 to mid-2013, the total mass of ice in Greenland declined at a progressively increasing rate. In mid-2013, an abrupt reversal occurred, and very little net ice loss occurred in the next 12–18 months. Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and global positioning system (GPS) observations reveal that the spatial patterns of the sustained acceleration and the abrupt deceleration in mass loss are similar. The strongest accelerations tracked the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The negative phase of the NAO enhances summertime warming and insolation while reducing snowfall, especially in west Greenland, driving surface mass balance (SMB) more negative, as illustrated using the regional climate model MAR. The spatial pattern of accelerating mass changes reflects the geography of NAO-driven shifts in atmospheric forcing and the ice sheet’s sensitivity to that forcing. We infer that southwest Greenland will become a major future contributor to sea level rise.

Until the last two sentences, it sounds like they attributed the acceleration and then deceleration in GIS mass loss to NAO variations.

As for Dr. Bevis‘s “continued, accelerating warming of the Earth’s atmosphere,” that seems to be the product of fantasy. Here’re a couple of excerpts from a propaganda booklet on the NAS’s own web site, about the “slowdown” in warming:

comment image

Meanwhile, in the real world, sea level continues to fall in some places, and rise in more places, at rates not significantly different than they were 90 years and 105 ppmv CO2 ago. All that additional CO2, CH4, etc. has not had any measurable effect on sea-level trends.

comment image
https://sealevel.info/MSL_global_thumbnails5.html

ATheoK
January 22, 2019 12:31 pm

More research with a small army of researchers from multi-national educational facilities.

“Bevis, M.,
Harig, C.,
Khan, S.A.,
Brown, A.,
Frederik J. Simons,
Willis, M.,
Fettweis, X.,
van den BroekeBroeke, M.R.,
Madsen, F.B.,
Kendrick, E.C., II, D.J.C.,
van Dam, T.,
Knudsen, P.,
Nylen, T.”

What!? Are they selling options in order to fund the fees charged by publishers? And to fulfill university demands for published papers?

Looks to be 13 authors from a multiple institutions and organizations:

“Ohio State,
the University of Arizona,
DTU Space in Denmark,
Princeton University,
the University of Colorado,
University of Liége in Belgium,
Utrecht University in the Netherlands,
University of Luxembourg,
UNAVCO, Inc.”

UNAVCO: “UNAVCO, a non-profit university-governed consortium, facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy.”
“UNAVCO’s core sponsors are the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).”

DTU Space in Denmark: “Technical University of Denmark”,
“Space research and space technology
DTU Space explores the Earth, the solar system, and the universe. We map the Earth’s land, sea and ice masses; measure gravity and the magnetic field; and investigate the solar wind and space weather conditions and their impact on our climate and environment.”

Keep in mind that DTU has some interesting relationships:
“In a range of areas, DTU also handles Denmark’s monitoring and data collection obligations in relation to international treaties. This applies, for example, in the field of fishery, where DTU’s ongoing population measurements are incorporated into the preparation of the pan-European fishery policy.”

For the past 20 years, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has maintained its UNEP Centre at DTU. The DTU UNEP Centre handles scientific advice assignments that primarily centre on developing countries.”

Questions questions questions… Biased much?

Then to cap off suspicions”

““These oscillations have been happening forever,” Bevis said. “So why only now are they causing this massive melt? It’s because the atmosphere is, at its baseline, warmer. The transient warming driven by the North Atlantic Oscillation was riding on top of more sustained, global warming.”

Bevis likened the melting of Greenland’s ice to coral bleaching: Once the ocean’s water hits a certain temperature, coral in that region begins to bleach. There have been three global coral bleaching events. The first was caused by the 1997-98 El Niño, and the other two events by the two subsequent El Niños. But El Niño cycles have been happening for thousands of years–so why have they caused global coral bleaching only since 1997?

“What’s happening is sea surface temperature in the tropics is going up; shallow water gets warmer and the air gets warmer,” Bevis said. “The water temperature fluctuations driven by an El Niño are riding this global ocean warming. Because of climate change, the base temperature is already close to the critical temperature at which coral bleaches, so an El Niño pushes the temperature over the critical threshold value. And in the case of Greenland, global warming has brought summertime temperatures in a significant portion of Greenland close to the melting point, and the North Atlantic Oscillation has provided the extra push that caused large areas of ice to melt”.

Before this study, scientists understood Greenland to be one of the Earth’s major contributors to sea-level rise–mostly because of its glaciers. But these new findings, Bevis said, show that scientists need to be watching the island’s snowpack and ice fields more closely, especially in and near southwest Greenland.

GPS systems in place now monitor Greenland’s ice margin sheet around most of its perimeter, but the network is very sparse in the southwest, so it is necessary to densify the network there, given these new findings.”

Specious alarmism claim after specious alarmism claim.

It is called confirmation bias.

ADS
January 22, 2019 12:32 pm

Don’t we have gravity measuring satellites that tell us the accumulation of ice in Greenland is rising rather than falling?
As you add more ice, it causes more ice to be pushed into the sea which leads to more melting, and there is no actual ice loss or required increase in temperature to cause this.

January 22, 2019 12:34 pm

“–and will likely lead to faster sea level rise–”

“…which Bevis and his co-authors believe is largely caused by global warming,”

Key words, “likely” and “believe”.

January 22, 2019 12:44 pm

This seems to be the latest, most up-to-date NAO graph, from UCAR (I blew this copy up to 200%):
comment image

Source:
https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/hurrell-north-atlantic-oscillation-nao-index-station-based

It looks like the NAO went sharply negative around 2010, positive around 2015, and is back to neutral, now.

NOAA also has a graph of NAO, but it’s way out of date:
https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/ecosys/ecosystem-status-report/climate-forcing.html

Tom in Florida
January 22, 2019 1:16 pm

“The findings could have serious implications for coastal U.S. cities, including New York and Miami…”

See, even a fake dark cloud can have a silver lining.

Mark Heyer
January 22, 2019 3:31 pm

As usual, just follow the money. These papers can be understood by reading the headline and jumping to the last paragraph: since there are few monitoring stations in south wherever, they need to be “densified.”

In other words, SEND MONEY.

Rudi Joe
Reply to  Mark Heyer
January 24, 2019 12:05 pm

LMFAO! Densify! Hahahsa! Damn! Do they really have to make up new words for lying because they don’t want to be held accountable? Couldn’t they just say adjusted for accuracy like all the other climate “scientists”?

They really went there. I’ve been burned by stupid before but that really hurt.

Chaamjamal
January 22, 2019 4:59 pm

At 280 gtpy it will be gone in the next 12,000 years or so unless the next glaciation cycle intervenes. This is what happens in interglacials. The OMG Greenland is melting Greenland is melting thing has been going on for decades. Here’s an short list of past hypes.

https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/21/eemian/

Joel O'Bryan
January 22, 2019 5:48 pm

“The patterns they found show an alarming trend–by 2012, ice was being lost at nearly four times the rate that prevailed in 2003.”

Any guesses on what Greenland has been doing in the last 5 years that theese researchers do not want to talk about?

2007-2012 was the peak of the mini-Climate Maximum. We are headed down since then. The 2015-16 El Nino was the last hurrah. By 2030, Climate Science will be talking of Ice Ages again like 1975.

But then of course, the smart Climateers had banked-on a UNFCCC/IPCC kumbaya agreement reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions before the global climate cycle turned, so that like they did with the 1980-90’s CFC-ozone hustle, they could claim credit for the result.

But anthro CO2 emissions for the next 20 years are going to keep going up and up, and temperatures are headed down.
Oooppps.

Cosmic
January 22, 2019 7:05 pm

This is excellent news for all life on earth. I’ll drink to that!!

Coach Springer
January 23, 2019 4:58 am

Was Waterworld footnoted?

Tom S
January 23, 2019 5:41 am

Ice down in the southwest, up everywhere else.

http://www.climatedepot.com/2017/05/24/greenland-ice-mass-near-record/

January 23, 2019 10:39 am

I take my hat off to Bevis. Its a masterpiece of marketing.
Choose an arbitary data set and period that proves your narrative
Get it peer reviewed and published in a scientific journal.
Get an interview with a science-based electronic magazine and say things like “could” and “believe”
Get that quoted in national newspapers with a scary headline.
Amazing

The truth is out there, somewhere

Ted
January 23, 2019 2:57 pm

“These oscillations have been happening forever,” Bevis said. “So why only now are they causing this massive melt?“
And what makes them think that this massive melt hasn’t been happening forever as well? Because it doesn’t appear in the data that only goes back to 2002?

wadelightly
January 28, 2019 12:52 pm

I can’t even read this stuff anymore. It is just a steady stream of garbage from these people.

Nick Schroeder
February 3, 2019 7:50 pm

https://gracefo.jpl.nasa.gov/resources/33/greenland-ice-loss-2002-2016/
“Research based on observations from the NASA/German Aerospace Center’s twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites indicates that between 2002 and 2016, Greenland shed approximately 280 gigatons of ice per year, causing global sea level to rise by 0.03 inches (0.8 millimeters) per year”

0.8 mm/y out of the current 3.0 mm/y Wowwwiiieee!!!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland_ice_sheet
“Analysis of gravity data from GRACE satellites indicates that the Greenland ice sheet lost approximately 2900 Gt (0.1% of its total mass) between March 2002 and September 2012. The mean mass loss rate for 2008–2012 was 367 Gt/year.”

In the ten years between 2002 and 2012 Greenland lost 2900 Gt which represented –

(0.1% of its total mass) (Yep, read the fine print.)

YES – AN ASTONISHING, NAY STAGGERING EVEN, ZERO POINT 1 PERCENT OF ITS TOTAL MASS!!!!!!!!

Are you effing kidding me? The uncertainty must be 10 times that much.

Who measures this crap and thinks the numbers have substance???

Probably those barely 20 millennials with their participation PhDs.

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