Greenland ice losses rising faster than expected

University of Leeds

The midnight sun casts a golden glow on an iceberg and its reflection in Disko Bay, Greenland. Much of Greenland's annual mass loss occurs through calving of icebergs such as this. Credit Ian Joughin, University of Washington
The midnight sun casts a golden glow on an iceberg and its reflection in Disko Bay, Greenland. Much of Greenland’s annual mass loss occurs through calving of icebergs such as this. Credit Ian Joughin, University of Washington

Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s and is tracking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s high-end climate warming scenario, which would see 40 million more people exposed to coastal flooding by 2100.

A team of 96 polar scientists from 50 international organisations have produced the most complete picture of Greenland ice loss to date. The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) Team combined 26 separate surveys to compute changes in the mass of Greenland’s ice sheet between 1992 and 2018. Altogether, data from 11 different satellite missions were used, including measurements of the ice sheet’s changing volume, flow and gravity.

The findings, published today in Nature today, show that Greenland has lost 3.8 trillion tonnes of ice since 1992 – enough to push global sea levels up by 10.6 millimetres. The rate of ice loss has risen from 33 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 254 billion tonnes per year in the last decade – a seven-fold increase within three decades.

The assessment, led by Professor Andrew Shepherd at the University of Leeds and Dr Erik Ivins at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, was supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that global sea levels will rise by 60 centimetres by 2100, putting 360 million people at risk of annual coastal flooding. But this new study shows that Greenland’s ice losses are rising faster than expected and are instead tracking the IPCC’s high-end climate warming scenario, which predicts 7 centimetres more.

Professor Shepherd said: “As a rule of thumb, for every centimetre rise in global sea level another six million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the planet.”

“On current trends, Greenland ice melting will cause 100 million people to be flooded each year by the end of the century, so 400 million in total due to all sea level rise.”

“These are not unlikely events or small impacts; they are happening and will be devastating for coastal communities.”

The team also used regional climate models to show that half of the ice losses were due to surface melting as air temperatures have risen. The other half has been due to increased glacier flow, triggered by rising ocean temperatures.

Ice losses peaked at 335 billion tonnes per year in 2011 – ten times the rate of the 1990s – during a period of intense surface melting. Although the rate of ice loss dropped to an average 238 billion tonnes per year since then, this remains seven times higher and does not include all of 2019, which could set a new high due to widespread summer melting.

Dr Ivins said: “Satellite observations of polar ice are essential for monitoring and predicting how climate change could affect ice losses and sea level rise”.

“While computer simulation allows us to make projections from climate change scenarios, the satellite measurements provide prima facie, rather irrefutable, evidence.”

“Our project is a great example of the importance of international collaboration to tackle problems that are global in scale.”

Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, Professor of Glaciology at the University of Iceland and lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report, who was not involved in the study, said:

“The IMBIE Team’s reconciled estimate of Greenland ice loss is timely for the IPCC. Their satellite observations show that both melting and ice discharge from Greenland have increased since observations started.”

“The ice caps in Iceland had similar reduction in ice loss in the last two years of their record, but this last summer was very warm here and resulted in higher loss. I would expect a similar increase in Greenland mass loss for 2019.”

“It is very important to keep monitoring the big ice sheets to know how much they raise sea level every year.”


From EurekAlert!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mike McHenry
December 11, 2019 6:06 pm

Sea level continues to rise at 3mm/y latest data. How can they possibly reconcile that with their findings?

Reply to  Mike McHenry
December 11, 2019 7:33 pm

254 Gtons/year is about 0.7 mm/yr.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 11, 2019 9:16 pm

Uncalibrated Satellites. Very scientific.

Reply to  Michael Moon
December 12, 2019 12:17 am

Not nearly as scientific as Professor Sheppard’s finely-calibrated “rule of thumb.”

Bryan A
Reply to  Kurt
December 12, 2019 2:24 pm

The findings, published today in Nature today, show that Greenland has lost 3.8 trillion tonnes of ice since 1992 – enough to push global sea levels up by 10.6 millimetres. The rate of ice loss has risen from 33 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 254 billion tonnes per year in the last decade – a seven-fold increase within three decades.

Wow…a whopping 10.6mm in a mere 3 decades (+/_ 10%)…
Since 1992 Greenland melting has risen sea levels by…………
Carry the one…factor in expansion…
A Whopping 2/5″ (two-fifths of an inch)
At that rate, Greenland will contribute 1 inch to sea level rise every 75 years or just under 1.5 inches every century.

Where did I put my rowboat??

Reply to  Kurt
December 18, 2019 1:15 pm
Van Doren
Reply to  Michael Moon
December 12, 2019 12:19 pm

Satellites can’t measure anything – measurement error is 4cm according to NASA.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 11, 2019 9:23 pm

Satellite data, both for ice and for sea level, is un-calibrated. That means it is meaningless.

Of course they are able to measure ice height from 120 miles up, with a wildly varying orbit, to millimeters. Sea level too.

A scientific report of data without error bars is simply a lie.


Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 11, 2019 9:27 pm

Stokes you lie like a rug.


The satellites can measure the surface of the ice or the sea to fractions of millimeters from 120 miles up with their orbits that vary by far more than this?

Un-calibrated data is not data, it is a sham.



Go Canucks
Reply to  Michael Moon
December 11, 2019 10:18 pm

80 cm not 8 inches.

Reply to  Michael Moon
December 12, 2019 7:56 am

The type of waves on the sea surface can vary the apparent height of the sea surface by several orders of magnitude more than that.

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2019 5:43 am

GPS achieves at best an accuracy of ≤ 700 mm so how does this system measure to an accuracy of 10ths of a mm?
With the speeds satellites move in relation to a massive gravitational body like earth would surely mean Einsteinian Physics is relevant instead of Newtonian. Measuring ice ‘loss’ to tenths or even hundredths of a millimetre would mean calibrating the entire measuring equipment within the satellite plus everything in between and the target to cater for:
– The enormous temperature swings experienced by the satellite of several hundred degrees within minutes
– The temperature of the surface being measured.
– The speed in which the signal travels and the varying distance to the target point as the earth is not flat to a precision of hundredths of a mm
– The varying gravitational forces as earth’s gravity is not uniform and gravity distorts time.
– The precision of the actual measuring surface to establish where measurement begins, which has to be a greater precision than 100th of a mm.
– The varying atmospheric conditions of temperature, pressure and humidity.
– A reference point to calculate gain or loss (how is this done?)
Have I got this wrong?

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
December 12, 2019 7:53 am

No, you have not gotten it wrong, but you have underestimated the capabilities of the engineering achieved in the filed of LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites.
Yes, we can and do account for all of these things and more in well designed satellites, which are, however, very expensive. I do not know what satellite was used to collect the data. I can say that “good” satellites have orbital trajectories which account: for underlying land mass changes which will perturb the orbit, such as when passing over the Himalayan Plateau; thermal fluctuations due to solar radiance; as well as accounting for seasonal changes and solar radiance changes which cause Earth’s atmosphere to expand. LEO is like skimming just above the wave tops of a not so smooth atmospheric/space boundary. Occasionally you will hit the more tenuous “wave tops”. If you are a skier then this analogy might make sense: Flying through LEO can be like spring skiing, some times fast and some times slow. However, all this is accounted for. Which is why satellites have limited lifetimes, mostly not because of the electronics, but because they have run out of maneuvering fuel used to readjust the satellite every time it gets tugged. It doesn’t take much, but hey don’t carry much either.
Satellites calibrate their orbit to a theoretical Earth center and know the exact altitude (to the best its predecessors could measure) of the land that it is passing over. As to measuring the surface, lasers and radar work very well through a variety of media. Yes, we can photograph you license plate from LEO.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
December 12, 2019 10:17 am

Error bars? LEO measurements calibrated how, exactly? Traceable to NIST? NO? Surely you jest.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
December 15, 2019 6:37 pm

And yet for all of those equations, isnt it true that to obtain a final figure of actual sea level, wind directions and strengths have to be aquired from weather bureaus to ‘estimate’ the height of seas and swell? That is not accurate to 100mm let alone stating SL increases of 1mm or even less.

Steve Taylor
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
December 12, 2019 7:55 am

Off the shelf GPS is capable of better than 6 mm accuracy with the right technology – its called survey grade, and it relies on additional data extracted from the GPS signal. There’s a gulf between that and the stated measurements here …..

Van Doren
Reply to  Steve Taylor
December 12, 2019 12:22 pm

Not according to NASA.

Jaye Bass
Reply to  Steve Taylor
December 12, 2019 1:12 pm

6mm accuracy? LOL.

Reply to  Steve Taylor
December 12, 2019 1:58 pm

LOL, my “off the shelf” ‘prestige’ brand golf GPS can’t estimate distance any better than a 5 – 10m range … 16′ – 32′ !

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
December 12, 2019 6:31 pm

GPS can deliver precision of as small as +\- 1.0 mm in survey quality equipment with post processing of the data. But sea level measurement by satellites are not GPS. Says like NASA’s JASON 3 use a radar altimeter.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2019 11:55 am

Excerpted from above article:

The findings, published today in Nature today, show that Greenland has lost 3.8 trillion tonnes of ice since 1992 – enough to push global sea levels up by 10.6 millimetres. The rate of ice loss has risen from 33 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 254 billion tonnes per year in the last decade – a seven-fold increase within three decades.

The big question is, …… how’s come the Mediterranean Sea level hasn’t risen in the past 3,800 years, as confirmed by this research, to wit:

Minoan Island devoted to the color purple

The finds on Chrysi show the high value placed on the rare purple dye and the flourishing economy of the settlement between 3,800 and 3,500 years ago, during the Protopalatial and Neopalatial periods of the Minoan civilization on Crete.

Archaeologists have investigated the settlement on Chrysi since 2008, revealing various discoveries, including the remains of large carved stone tanks near the waterline on the beach.


Yup, it appears that the Minoans constructed large carved stone tanks near the waterline on the beach 3,800 years ago ……. and they are still situated near the waterline here in 2019 AD.

Phil R
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2019 12:03 pm

0.7 mm/yr x 10 years (decade) = 7 mm or 0.27 inches in 10 years, or 2.7 inches in 100 years. Sorry, doesn’t sound catastrophic to me.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Phil R
December 13, 2019 3:46 am

But, but, Phil, a 2.7 inches SLR per 100 years means that there should have been 102.6 inches or 8.55 feet of SLR in the past 38 hundred years ….. but no such SLR occurred in the close proximity of the island of Crete. ‬ ‬

And the LIA wasn’t cold enough or long enough to remove that 8.55 feet of SLR even iffen it had occurred.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 12, 2019 6:57 pm

“254 Gtons/year is about 0.7 mm/yr.”

Or 5.67 cm between now and 2100.

Is that even measurable?

Patrick Healy
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 13, 2019 1:02 am

I represent a retired (redundant) US President.
He would like to apologise for saying “today we/I have stopped the sea level rising”
He was wrongly advised.
Also we have a very nice piece of real estate in Martha Vineyard for sale, yours for 12.5 million.

mike macray
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 15, 2019 8:43 am

..254 Gtons/year is about 0.7 mm/yr.

Right on! 〰️360,000,000 sq. Kms of ocean surface requires 360 Gtons of ice/water per mm SLR. less fresh snowfall, all other variables: mean ocean depth, surface area, mean temperature etc. presumed constant. Scary!

Reply to  Mike McHenry
December 11, 2019 10:32 pm

More importantly, sea level rise has [i]slowed[/q] slightly in the last few years. Perhaps an effect of the 2016 El Niño, but how do they reconcile the numerous claims of accelerating glacier melt with the measurements showing sea level rise has decelerated slightly?

spangled drongo
Reply to  stinkerp
December 12, 2019 1:35 am

It’s more than slowed, it’s reversed, over the last century.

Have you seen the latest Australian Bureau of Met sea levels for a stilling pond adjacent to the broadest piece of ocean in the world?

The latest mean sea level at Ft Denison tide gauge is 6 inches LOWER than the first reading taken in 1914:

If there is no sea level rise in the Pacific over the last century, there is no net land ice melt and no sea level rise to worry about anywhere.

The increase in Pacific atoll areas supports this, too.

Ron Long
Reply to  stinkerp
December 12, 2019 2:14 am

Stinkerp, maybe the cited changes are real and maybe they are only change in technique anomalies. Check out this report: Greenland’s Shrunken Ice Sheets: We’ve Been Here Before, author Charlotte Hsu, November 22, 2013, GEOLOGY. A team of mostly Geologists studied the fossilized shell debris, from fresh water shelled animals, found in lateral moraines in front of Greenland glaciers and found that the maximum Greenland glacier retreat was from 5,000 to 3,000 years ago. The Researchers utilized both carbon 14 dating and Amino Acid sequencing, where L amino acids convert to D amino acids in a gradual manner. Who knows what variation in glaciers advancing and retreating is normal? Looks like Greenland is saying everything is normal now.

Reply to  stinkerp
December 12, 2019 9:12 am

The glacial melt eventually ends up in plants. The increased greening of the globe is not only capturing carbon, it is also capturing water.

Reply to  Mike McHenry
December 12, 2019 5:53 am

Damn. I want to see Gore and Obamas seafront mansions underwater.

December 11, 2019 6:12 pm

show that Greenland has lost 3.8 trillion tonnes of ice since 1992 – enough to push global sea levels up by 10.6 millimetres.

So we are resorting to scare tactics ? With the alleged warming, there isn’t increased evaporation, no ice formation other places? Or is it assumed that every other thing remains perfectly constant and that every drop of water remains in the ocean?

predicted that global sea levels will rise by 60 centimetres by 2100, putting 360 million people at risk of annual coastal flooding.

Yeah. Their models accurately model population growth and migration trends over eighty years out. Apparently people are completely unfamiliar with techniques to construct dikes, seawalls or other land reclamation projects.

And what exactly is mean by “coastal flooding”? I live in an area hundreds of miles from any coast, and this area routinely experiences flooding – yet people still continue to move here and build.

Kevin Young
Reply to  AWG
December 11, 2019 9:16 pm

Too bad for Miami and NYC. Too bad also that people in New Jersey aren’t allowed to move to Pennsylvania.

Reply to  Kevin Young
December 12, 2019 2:47 am

Too bad for the renovated UN headquarters.

Reply to  AWG
December 12, 2019 7:41 am

On people continuing to move to your area that already experiences flooding. This is often a recipe for worse flooding in future….because landowners undertake small scale flood control measures on their properties which serve to cause faster runoff and more rapid onset of downslope flooding of their new neighbors. Usually only large “government scale” flood control projects will alleviate the problem with large drainage canals…..and local government officials like to campaign for “climate change” bucks to defray costs and also use CC as an excuse to avoid responsibility for issuing the building permits initially. Mixing weather and politicians creates opportunities for vote-soliciting, virtue signalling, blame mitigation, and money grabbing that are truly amazing.

Greg Cavanagh
December 11, 2019 6:15 pm

Evidence please, that “Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s… “.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
December 11, 2019 7:18 pm

Two years of inconvenient data would be the 2016-2017 season and 2017-2018 season where the accumulated surface mass balance ended each year about 150 Gt above the 1981-2010 mean. (source DMI Polar Portal)

Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
December 12, 2019 1:26 am

Taking the ice flow of glaciers into the sea from the SMB Gain did result in minor gians of 44 GT (2017) and probably less than 20 GT in 2018.

The mass gain 2017 and 2018 of approx. 65 GT figure should be seen in the
light of the total ice mass that the Ice Sheet has lost since 2002 – i.e. 3600 Gt.

Reply to  MFKBoulder
December 12, 2019 2:44 am

The crucial point is not the total amount of ice mass lost in recent decades (a very, very low percentage of the total ice mass by the way) but whether there is an increasing trend of ice loss. If there was, it has apparently disappeared as is obvious from the data for 2012-2018 mentioned in the Abstract of the Nature article.

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
December 11, 2019 8:17 pm

The evidence in the 1990s is monitoring of glacier discharge rates and estimates of new ice addition (input/output) and altimetry data (measuring height of glacial ice). These indicate almost constant ice mass and generally agreed.
Beginning in 2003, gravity data from GRACE satellite started. That is also about the time GL ice loss accelerated. Since then, both GRACE data and altimetry data have given similar results.

Reply to  donb
December 12, 2019 10:00 am

Beginning in 2003, gravity data from GRACE satellite started. That is also about the time GL ice loss accelerated. Since then, both GRACE data and altimetry data have given similar results.

The GRACE measurements invoked the Schrödinger effect and the cat died.
Oops, you peeked!

Arthur G Foster
December 11, 2019 6:19 pm

Back in the day of Newtonian physics, when the rules of conservation of angular momentum were routinely observed, whenever grounded polar ice melted the earth slowed down its spin. With modern global warming Newtonian physics no longer applies. –AGF

Doug S
Reply to  Arthur G Foster
December 11, 2019 8:02 pm

Interesting point AGF, I have never considered this. What is the effect of ice mass sequestered around the poles compared to that same melted water mass distributed around the earth oceans? Perhaps this effect on angular rotation velocity has some impact on earths climate?

Arthur G Foster
Reply to  Doug S
December 11, 2019 8:37 pm

It’s a one way street. LOD is measured in tenths of milliseconds, per day = parts per billion. J2, the geoid deformity, can indeed be measured–in parts per billion. That will have only negligible effects on ocean currents. –AGF

Reply to  Arthur G Foster
December 11, 2019 8:19 pm

Tiny Changes in length-of-day are observed, but caused by several things other than polar ice melting.
Newtonian physics still applies.

Arthur G Foster
Reply to  donb
December 11, 2019 8:43 pm

Of course it does, but LOD holds its own, just like sea level. Secular acceleration is affected by two things: polar ice melt and isostatic adjustment. You can only blame core/mantle coupling for so long before you have to give it up.


Arthur G Foster
Reply to  donb
December 11, 2019 8:44 pm

Of course there’s the tidal drag, but that’s quite predictable.

Rick K
December 11, 2019 6:19 pm

“Professor Shepherd said: “As a rule of thumb, for every centimeter rise in global sea level another six million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the planet.”

How does a centimeter rise in sea level expose 6 million people to coastal flooding? I’ve never been flooded out by a centimeter of water.

Reply to  Rick K
December 11, 2019 8:23 pm

Expanding surface area. It’s never mentioned. The ocean basin does not have straight sides. More water into the ocean could – in theory – could cause flooding without any SLR and probably is.

James Schrumpf
Reply to  Mike
December 11, 2019 8:57 pm

I don’t get your point about that.

I can see that a 1cm SLR could translate into a large area of land being covered, depending on the slope of the shore where earth meets water. Straight sides would have no extra area covered, just more of the face underwater. A beach with a 1:10 slope would see a high water mark 10cm further up the beach than before.

Is that what you meant, or something else entirely?

Neil Jordan
Reply to  Mike
December 11, 2019 9:35 pm

Yes. The term describing the relationship between basin volume and surface elevation is “hypsographic curve”. Very nonlinear. Lots of information on the Internet. Another fly in the ointment is that as the sea rises (1 to 2 mm/year per FEMA’s latest), it rises against formerly dry land, and not the porcelain bathtub. The sea water must fill in the pore spaces in the soil before any rise is fully manifested. I recall a study of many years ago that the world’s pore spaces have enough volume to absorb years (decades?) of seawater volume increase. And the ointment collected another fly. Sea level undergoes a periodic rise and fall having ~19-year period, based on a solar-lunar tidal cycle called the Metonic Cycle. The period is called a Tidal Epoch, and NOAA averages over a full epoch to calculate the tides for the forthcoming epoch.

Reply to  Neil Jordan
December 12, 2019 12:05 am

Neil Jordan

Excuse my ignorance (genuinely) but couldn’t the infilling of pore spaces be happening right now?

But then I guess that’s almost inbuilt into SLR as once it’s risen by, say, 10mm it represents ‘X’ devoted to infilling, which will presumably be the same for the next 100mm?

Gordon J. Giles
Reply to  Rick K
December 11, 2019 11:23 pm

It’s very convenient…. 6 million per centimeter.

Why don’t we just take a centimeter of sea water, distill it and put it on the land where it would do some good.

Problem solved.

michael hart
December 11, 2019 6:19 pm

“Professor Shepherd said: “As a rule of thumb, for every centimetre rise in global sea level another six million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the planet.””

That’s if they not all climate scientists by then, jetting off to somewhere that can build sea walls faster than lichen grows. Anyhow, if we buy them all some platform shoes such as folks wore in the 1970’s then that should keep them dry for several decades longer.

I long since stopped taking care what these people claim, much less believe their competence and integrity to say anything other “It’s worse than we thought, we expect it to get worserer, and we will still claim to be shocked and awed by the worseness of it all. More money please”.

December 11, 2019 6:25 pm

How did the Danes deal with it 1,000 years ago without satellites?

Reply to  JaneHM
December 11, 2019 9:33 pm

They went a-viking and migrated to higher places.

Tom Abbott
December 11, 2019 6:25 pm

All the way back to 1990, huh?

December 11, 2019 6:29 pm

The part I loved was this:

“As a rule of thumb, for every centimetre rise in global sea level another six million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the planet.”

Now, over the last century the sea level rose by about 80 20 centimetres … which means by their claim that 80 20 * 6,000,000 = half a billion 120 million people exposed to coastal flooding … riiiiight …

Hard pass.

w. [Edited to correct math mistake noted below, which doesn’t affect my point]

Cary Boy
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 11, 2019 10:28 pm

Do you mean 8 inches. 20 cm.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 11, 2019 11:12 pm

Well… fewer people back then.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 12, 2019 12:08 am

Oh, we’re all ‘exposed’ to flooding – whatever that means. I’m ‘exposed’ to more strange tropical diseases every time someone builds a new plane, boat or bridge. …

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 12, 2019 12:22 am

Willis Eschenbach

I’m probably missing something really obvious here but, if SLR has risen 10.6mm since 1992, doesn’t that represent ~0.4mm per year. In which case over the coming 80 years, doesn’t that means SLR would be ~31.2mm?

Or are we expected to believe that Greenland projected ice melt would ‘accelerate’ in an entirely predictable manner, where acceleration to me suggests a predictable annual increase in the amount of ice melt over the previous year?

It also occurs to me that there is considerable debate over the reliability of millimetric measurements from satellites from the 1970’s when they were first launched with degrading orbits, changes in technology, data homogenisation, etc. since then.

Reading the paper would do me no good whatsoever as I’m too dim to understand it.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 12, 2019 1:37 am

The answer to that puzzle is easy Willis, the half a billion souls can’t be seen, because they are ….under water! So easy to miss the obvious. 🙂

December 11, 2019 6:30 pm

10.6 mm in 27 years? How will we ever adapt…

michael hart
December 11, 2019 6:39 pm

“The assessment, led by Professor Andrew Shepherd at the University of Leeds and Dr Erik Ivins at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, was supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).”

Why would anyone sensible at ESA or NASA waste resources on these so-called studies. We all know what they are going to say before they even start.

The money would be better spent on something of a more serious and potentially immediate threat such as countering the anti-satellite technology being developed by China. Or maybe just ways of cleaning up the hazardous orbiting space junk being left up there in increasing amounts. Anything to get these people actually doing something useful instead of forever just forecasting the end of the world.

Reply to  michael hart
December 12, 2019 1:55 am

You’re right, they do know what they will conclude before they start. But studies like this are intended for release during the annual climate summits. That’s the entire reason they are created.

The Madrid summit is not over yet, so expect more to come over the next few days. Should be worth a laugh.

December 11, 2019 6:49 pm

“he Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) Team combined 26 separate surveys to compute changes in the mass of Greenland’s ice sheet between 1992 and 2018. Altogether, data from 11 different satellite missions were used”

26 separate surveys, most taken via different methods and equipment.
11 different satellite missions; different equipment, different scanning technology.
Cherry picked selections.

“The team also used regional climate models to show that half of the ice losses were due to surface melting as air temperatures have risen. The other half has been due to increased glacier flow, triggered by rising ocean temperatures.”

Models that are recognized as inferior and tend towards excessive warming were used?
I thought that most of Greenland’s surface temperatures have been at altitude and well below freezing? leaving only a few coastal areas affected by warm surface temperatures.

They attribute half of the melting to rising ocean temperatures?
Is this modeled foolishness or perhaps more likely personal beliefs and assumptions?
Or perhaps that excuse works so well in Antarctica, they brought it North to Greenland?
Except they failed to identify the actual mechanisms.

Sounds like another fantasy fear fest meant to frighten people into capitulating to Gutierrez’s unelected socialist government demands and Gutierrez’s demands for billions of dollars.

Michael C. Roberts
Reply to  ATheoK
December 11, 2019 7:24 pm

Notice that only ablation is reported – and not accretion? This is the macro-cherry pick here. How much snow/firn/ice has accumulated on the glaciers during the same time period? Wonder if those calculations would lead to a mass balance, eh? Water in =/> water out, maybe? Could it be that much more ice accumulation has depressed and flattened the ice cap – and the satellite altimetrics have interpreted it as ice loss?

Inquiring minds need to know the full story!



Reply to  ATheoK
December 11, 2019 9:41 pm

16 of those ”separate surveys” are different papers evaluating exactly the same GRACE data.

Nicholas C Schroeder
December 11, 2019 6:53 pm

3,800 Gt over 27 years = 140.7 Gt/y.
Greenland total ice/snow mass = 2.6E6 Gt
3,800 Gt = 0.15% of total
“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 (aka billions) 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 SLR of 3.0 mm/y or 11.8” PER CENTURY!!
“Analysis of gravity data from GRACE satellites indicates that the Greenland ice sheet lost approximately 2,900 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 TEARS between 2002 and 2012 Greenland lost 2,900 Gt which represented –
(0.1% of its total mass) (Yep, read the fine print.)

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/entitlement PhDs.
Every year Greenland “loses” 500 Gt during the summer and gains it all back in the winter. (DMI)

Reply to  Nicholas C Schroeder
December 12, 2019 9:48 am

Nicholas, you are so right.

you reminded me of one lecture I had whilst studying engineering in the 1960’s, it was a guest lecture by the one and only Jacob Bronowski. As a measure of the man one of his more famous quotes was:

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.”

The three hour lecture/lab that he gave that day was standing room only and the purpose was to teach future engineers how to use common sense and what he called “ball court estimation” to check calculations and experimental results. Those were the days when digital computers were room filling devices and we were also still using thermionic device based analog computational machines.

Over the years as an engineer I built more than my fair share of computer models of physical and chemical processes and always looked at the results through the prism that Bronowski handed me that day, seems like yesterday.

I am constantly gobsmacked by what can only be viewed as “stupidity” by those supposedly educated individuals who worship at the altar of computer models without comparison to a realistic frame of reference and then further compound the visibility of their stupidity by publishing.

Robert Austin
December 11, 2019 6:54 pm

Much of Greenland’s annual mass loss occurs through calving of icebergs such as this.

As I see it, glaciers calving is a result of glaciers advancing, not glaciers melting. And it is well known that there is a net accumulation at higher altitudes on the ice sheet. Yet who am I to argue with “96 polar scientists”? It’s just that they, scientists, have obfuscated and lied to us before so I just do not trust them.

Reply to  Robert Austin
December 11, 2019 8:02 pm

Robert, was the ’96 scientists’ number quoted because we couldn’t possibly refute such a large number of scientists?

Do you actually need such a large number of scientists to come up with an answer that no one can refute?

And do we know that these 96 individuals were all in fact scientists?

Oh yes, and was the scientific method applied?

I forgot about the 50 organisations! Seriously?

Reply to  Megs
December 12, 2019 3:16 am

Somehow, 97 would have been more convincing ….

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Robert Austin
December 11, 2019 9:10 pm

That’s a good point, why should all ice melt count as a loss?

I bet you’ll never get an answer to that.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Robert Austin
December 12, 2019 1:54 am

Very good point Robert.

Much of the land that was covered of thick ice is rising due to reduction since the beginning of the current inter-glacial period.

Greenland has been loosing 0.4% of it’s ice mass during the last 100 years. As this process goes on, it would be logic to me that the bedrock under the ice is rising. As the bedrock is rising, the calving is bound to be faster, than without the bedrock rising.

So, without knowing the rate of change of the bedrock rising, it seems to me to be very difficult to draw any sensible conclusions. Maybe the bedrock is rising periodically over time, just like tectonic plates do not necessarily move at a fixed rate over time.

Does the current sudden change in direction and speed of the magnetic deviation at the North Pole has any influence on the polar region’s weather and geology?

Steve O
December 11, 2019 7:11 pm

“…since 1992 – enough to push global sea levels up by 10.6 millimetres. ”

So, if you’re at the beach right now… RUN!!!

Reply to  Steve O
December 11, 2019 7:41 pm

It so happens that I’m at the beach in Florida for the Winter, Steve O.

I’m wearing shorts, so I think I’ll be OK.

Now, women avert their gaze and cover their children’s eyes at the sight of my hairy, scrawny legs so I think my fellow snowbirds are in more danger of getting a glimpse of me in shorts and something horrible happening to their eyesight than any danger presented by sea level rise.

Next year, we all plan to move our beach chairs a foot farther back from the ocean and there is a petition going ’round to prohibit me from wearing shorts.

I think any emergencies, climate or otherwise, have been recognized and are being addressed on this stretch of the Florida coastline.

December 11, 2019 7:28 pm

This is really getting ridiculous! Coincident (or nearly so) of these “climate confabs” brings forth these silly, shallow alarmist “droppings. They’ve lost all credibility!

Geoff dawson
December 11, 2019 7:43 pm

Notice the timing of this report.
Is there any other scary claims/conferences in progress at present.
No cause not, silly me.

December 11, 2019 8:06 pm

Mark Twain had something to say about extrapolation.

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact

Reply to  Joey
December 12, 2019 2:03 am

Mark Twain was a far more astute scientist than the clowns who published this “study”.

Gerald Machnee
December 11, 2019 8:19 pm

They paid a lot of money for a bunch of nonsense.

shortus cynicus
Reply to  Gerald Machnee
December 11, 2019 10:14 pm

No, they earned it.
Payers are the tax slaves: taxi drivers and nursed doing overtime.

December 11, 2019 8:28 pm

From the data that I have seen recently, Greenland Ice is increasing.


December 11, 2019 8:36 pm

Given that 2/3 of our planet is covered by the oceans and subject to tidal flows and other chaotic influences, and is in constant motion and turmoil, how on earth do they determine any accurate rise in sea levels anywhere?

Mike McMillan
December 11, 2019 8:46 pm

I guess I should leave seaside Houston and move to Illinois.

Chris Hanley
December 11, 2019 9:03 pm

Greenland may be losing ice at a greater rate than in the 1990s because it was a bit colder back then:
comment image?w=700
The Greenland surface temperature is affected by two existing climate patterns ‘two existing climate patterns: the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO)’:
comment image
That’s not to imply there is no GHG component in the observed surface warming.

December 11, 2019 9:04 pm

They really should be concerned about one or perhaps several incoming mountain size asteroids hitting the ocean (s) at once. Then they’ll be able to measure ocean height changes in kilometers!

December 11, 2019 10:10 pm

Omitted are the seasonal rebounds, the offsetting changes in the Antarctic, etc.

December 11, 2019 10:17 pm

It’s high time for this bunch of clowns to migrate to Antarctica.

Heads up !

December 11, 2019 10:18 pm

I always worry about rising sea level. I live in Colorado at 6,670 feet above sea level. Hope our house doesn’t get washed away.

Alan Kendall
Reply to  littlepeaks
December 12, 2019 12:28 am

You poor soul Littlepeaks. Living so high you can’t boil water at high enough temperature to get a decent cup of coffee. This predicted sea level rise should benefit your tastebuds mightily.

December 11, 2019 10:19 pm

Outside of computer models, in the real world there continues to be ZERO evidence for any actual sea level rise relative to coastlines – the only kind that matters.

I simply do not believe the sea level rise fairy tale. The number of people who will be flooded by sea level rise by 2100, is zero.

Bill Parsons
December 11, 2019 10:27 pm

We’re talking about 2,000 elephants charging into the ocean every second. That’s how much mass is going from Greenland into the ocean.
— Erich Osterberg, climatologist, Dartmouth College

No longer do these attention-getting claims need scientific substantiation or data. Nor examination of the tools used to harvest that data, nor how those tools are callibrated. Nor do such studies admit any room for error. Throw them in the hopper and out comes the quik-mix for another batch of climate paranoia.

Happy holidays.

Reply to  Bill Parsons
December 12, 2019 4:02 am

That’s a lovely image though!

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Susan
December 12, 2019 7:20 pm

Save the elephants!

December 11, 2019 10:51 pm

Anything remotely connected to climate change is always happening faster than expected. I would suspect that if we added up all the reports of events happening faster than expected, every doomsday scenario ever proffered would already have been surpassed ten times over.

December 12, 2019 12:15 am

-Find a long water level gauge in the Atlantic.
-Look at periodicity.
-And reflect.
Bergen is close, Cuxhaven is long:

December 12, 2019 12:29 am

“Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s and is tracking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s high-end climate warming scenario.”

This statement, taken at face value, tells you that climate scientists don’t know what is going on with either the climate, or the Greenland ice sheet. We’re not experiencing the IPCC’s high end warming scenario. If the Greenland ice sheet is behaving in a way that the IPCC thought would happen under a much, much greater rate of warming, then observations do not match theory, and the only conclusion is that the future state of the Greenland ice sheet cannot be reliably predicted because, to date, it has not been reliably predicted.

December 12, 2019 12:36 am

Why are those numbers from the Nature article not put in perspective, not even here by WUWT? Mean ice loss in the recent decades is about 0.02 percent of the total amount. And the additional sea level rise in case meltng continues at this rate till the end of the century is only a few centimeters.

Karl Johan Grimstad
December 12, 2019 1:23 am

wher ? comment image?ssl=1

David Dibbell
Reply to  Karl Johan Grimstad
December 12, 2019 4:56 am

KJG, thank you for posting this. I also recently captured these graphs. I note that the current ice accumulation data (blue line for the 2019-2020 period, which started 9-1-2019) has recently been above the mean for the 1981-2010 period. This means to me that the current capability of the Greenland ice sheet to accumulate mass is undiminished by the increase in greenhouse gases since earlier decades. If carbon dioxide emissions had a discernible impact on the rates, wouldn’t the accumulation trend be pushed toward the low end of the range? Let’s just see what happens. Sea level rise is not new, and not scary.

Rod Evans
December 12, 2019 1:50 am

Can’t wait for Tony Heller to get his analysis into the voracity of this latest, shrinking Greenland Ice mass story.
I wonder if the authors are aware of the cyclical nature of our climate?
The news reports from early last century may be useful and helpful in establishing the reality of climate variability. They show, what we are so concerned about, sorry that should read, what the alarmists are so concerned about, is nothing new.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Rod Evans
December 12, 2019 9:23 am

I have become a daily reader of Tony Heller’s blog ( search “” ). He uses historical reports and raw data to very effectively dismantle the alarmist narrative. I highly recommend his blog to readers here at WUWT.

Rod Evans
Reply to  David Dibbell
December 12, 2019 11:56 am


December 12, 2019 3:05 am

Guest post: How the Greenland ice sheet fared in 2019 Ruth Mottram et al

“In the past, estimates based on rainfall gauges and temperature observations – usually from weather stations near but not actually on the ice sheet – were made and then extrapolated over a wider area. These days we use a physical approach known as a “surface energy budget method”. This involves adding up all the incoming and outgoing energy for the ice sheet surface – with the difference between them giving an estimate of how warm the surface is. ”
“And using new satellite data, we show that – once all ice sheet processes are factored in for the past year – the Greenland ice sheet saw a net decline of 329bn tonnes in ice.”

Amazingly clever how in the past they actually recorded physical data and made estimates but now they do not bother, just tap in the temperature for the day and that gives you the amount of ice gained or lost. No regard for how much snow actually fell in the year. That is unimportant.

Then there is this little beauty of conjecture passed as fact.
“However, 2018-19 was another year – and only the seventh occasion in a record going back 2,000 years – where surface melt was recorded at the summit. It really is very unusual to see melting at the summit.”
Seven times in 40 years does not seem that unusual, after all there was nobody on the summit to use their eyeballs for the previous 1960 years? Or did they mean some sort of proxy assessment, in which case it could have been conjectured but not recorded.

“Data from the GRACE satellites indicate that Greenland lost an average of approximately 260bn tonnes of ice per year between 2002 and 2016, with a peak of 458bn in 2012. Clearly, the loss of 329bn tonnes we estimate this year is significantly above the 260bn tonne long-term average, but we have not broken the highest record for ice loss in a year.”
Makes it sound like they were using GRACE satellites to help with their measurements, doesn’t it. No mention that GRACE has been out of action for several years and that there is no way to corroborate the new estimates.

December 12, 2019 3:55 am

Greenland’s ice is melting – AGAIN??? Gee, and I thought that was normal summer behavior for glaciers.

Well, that might explain why the jet stream decided to pay a visit to my kingdom and dump a walloping bowl full of cold Arctic air on us heathens a little early. We get January weather in December, which nobody wants. The only time I get any kind of globull warming is when the sun is shining through my big bay window, which faces south, and the sun heats up my living room, which means the thermostat says it’s 2 degrees warmer than the setting for the furnace and my solar heating reduces my gas bill by a few therms.

If this were a normal winter, sunlight wouldn’t be quite so intense, would it? Or would it? Hmmmm… now, there’s a good question to ponder.

Just a note: a few years ago, people who live on the island/subcontinent of Greenland were semi-pleased to find that melting ice allowed for rebound of land that had been buried for centuries, including some small islands that seemed “lost” to the world. Part of the natural cycle, isn’t it?

So what was the problem again? Oh, that’s right: the “science guys” have to have money so they write up something with a lot of scare-mongering and send out a begging letter for cash. Business as usual. Which brings up that rather funny scene from ‘Day After Tomorrow’, the “instant ice age’ movie: We have biscuits enough for three weeks. We’ll be fine.

Nothing new to see here. Just another attempt to scare people using propaganda. Moving on.

December 12, 2019 3:58 am

And just in time for the IPCCCP propaganda-fest.

Ben Vorlich
December 12, 2019 4:07 am

I look at the DMI pages two or three times per week. Have done for a number of years. All but one weather stations are coastal, or nearly so. The sole interior station has this data for yesterday

EGP 2019-12-11 00:00:00.0

Temperature (°C): -54.73

Windspeed (m/s): 4.69

Incoming Sunshine (W/m²): -0.5

I often wondered about the “Incoming Sunshine” numbers how does – 0.5W/m^2 affect ice against air temperatures.

December 12, 2019 4:14 am

Again, “faster than expected” = dangerously flawed theory. Another admission the theory is wrong, wrong, wrong.

December 12, 2019 4:18 am

Greenland’s largest glacier Jacobshavn is thickening and extending for the 4th year in a row since 2016:

In 2016 it reversed from retreat to advance.
The ocean water temperatures in the vicinity of the glacier (Disko Bay) are cooling significantly.

December 12, 2019 4:28 am

If this keeps up then Greenland can be returned to it proper condition of a green and productive land. And what would be wrong with that?

Bruce Cobb
December 12, 2019 4:48 am

Pure, unadulterated Alarmoscience™. These “scientists” should be ashamed for producing such garbage, tailor-made to alarm, cherry-picking numbers that “sound” alarming, and counting on people who are innumerate to take them at face-value. They then extrapolate their cherry-picked numbers out to 2050, or better yet, 2100 for maximum alarmist effect. It’s always “worse than we thought”, and it’s always mans fault, a double-lie.

December 12, 2019 5:24 am

I am having a problem with the science here:

3800 gigaton is 0.125% of the icesheet’s total mass of 3 million gigaton. That is within uncertainty of total mass measurements.

DMI has participated in the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) Team and concludes that the inland Ice Sheet “is melting faster than expected”

Yet same ice sheet is getting thicker for most of its surface:

Last ice sheet report describes 6 years of stable conditions:
“Glaciers have continued the development seen during the last six years in which they have more or less maintained their area”

Whilst the 2018 report itself:

The melting season began on 31 May 2018. This is five days later than the median date,

The onset of ablation was on 25 June this year. This is relatively late, 13 days after the median, and the ninth latest date since 1981.

The modelled surface mass balance (SMB) for the 2017-2018 season (September 2017 to August 2018) returned a value of 517 Gt.

Page 4….
2018, a gain of 517 gigaton, 2017 a gain of 544 gigaton, average 1981-2010 a gain of 368 gigaton, hottest summer on record 2012 a gain of 38 gigaton.

Page 6 top, average 2003-2011 was negative 234 gigaton as compared to average 1981-2010 which was positive 368 gigaton.

This way of handling data is at best confusing.


Someone is lying here?


Richard Hill
December 12, 2019 5:32 am

The alarmists do like to hide the real situation in a mass of scary sounding numbers. I’ll try and simplify the situation.

On NOAAs website they have this feature article

They highlight this statistic in the text

“The pace of global sea level rise more than doubled from 1.4 mm per year throughout most of the twentieth century to 3.6 mm per year from 2006–2015.”

Scary eh?

Well, elsewhere in the NOAA site you can find the individual US coastal sea level gauge data. This one shows sea level for the oft quoted ‘The Battery’ on the southern tip of Manhatten Island, the longest record.

A steady mean trend of 2.85mm/annum, I’ll come back to this later. It’s handy that the analogue catch-all of warming is rising sea level, no need to know anything about anything except water finds its own level. No UHI effect, no homogenisation, quite difficult to cook the books, but I’ll come back to this too.

Now, with knowledge of the average air temperature over this period, I can persuade myself I can just about see this reflected in the gauge trends, but the relatively massive rise in CO2 over the same period? It’s invisible. As indeed it is on all the other gauge records I looked at. That tells me that the effect of increased CO2 is insignificant.

Furthermore, the land in NYC is sinking, the rate of which has been evaluated at 1.44mm/annum, see

This makes the net sea level rise to be 1.41mm/annum, almost exactly what was highlighted in the NOAA feature I started out with. Except there’s no acceleration.. The clever people say the acceleration is due to satellite detection of the additional thermal expansion of deeper water that isn’t adjacent to a coastline. Satellite measurement came in during 1992, it’s not AGW, it’s high tech obfuscation.

Question – what possible interest is water expansion in mid ocean to anyone (sane) or anything?

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Richard Hill
December 12, 2019 8:47 am

Exactly the same interest as the ozone “hole”, er, thinner region with thicker edges, over Antarctica – as best I can tell. Good writeup Richard!

Chris Thompson
December 12, 2019 5:58 am

Check the Fort Denison records from the middle of Sydney Harbour, Australia. One of the most complete sea level records from a geologically stable location…
A near straight line since 1885, 0.1mm/year.

Reply to  Chris Thompson
December 12, 2019 1:45 pm

It was (0.75 +/- 0.1mm) per year.
Just look at the plot you posted.

December 12, 2019 6:07 am

I wonder what the per year losses were during the 1910-1940 Arctic Warming period. No one knows, so we don’t know if the current rate of Loss is unprecedented.

comment image

Emrys Jones
December 12, 2019 6:07 am


That shows it was increasing 2016-17 and 2017-18

Shows there was some loss last year, wiping out the gains in the previous two, but this year we are bang on average.

It looks like, “wait for a sunny day, take photos of ice melting, send out panic reports to media, get publicity”

The Dark Lord
December 12, 2019 6:42 am

so Greenland is GAINING ice mass at a slower rate ??? that is what they are claiming ?

December 12, 2019 6:48 am

Join the fight to free Greenland from the ice!

December 12, 2019 7:49 am

How much less ice loss do you get from virtue signalling and jet setting to spread the alarm? I’m sure it’s calibrated.

December 12, 2019 9:00 am

I had forgotten that Greenland, and its ice sheet, formed in the nineties.

December 12, 2019 9:21 am

You couldn’t miss the recent headlines about the 2019 Greenland ice melt but just in case here is a selection.

The Guardian
Greenland’s ice sheet melting seven times faster than in 1990s
Climate change: Greenland’s ice faces melting ‘death
National Geographic
Greenland’s melting ice may affect everyone’s future.
Greenland’s Rapid Melt Will Mean More Flooding
Greenland’s Massive Ice Melt Wasn’t Supposed To Happen Until 2070
Washington Post
Greenland’s glaciers are losing ice faster and faster, according …
Daily Telegraph
Climate change melts 12.5bn tons of ice in Greenland


The summer months were only moderately warmer than average relative to 1981 to 2010, roughly 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher along the western coast. This confirms that the main driver of surface melt in 2019 was above average cloud-free days, not warm air temperatures as in the 2012 summer melt. This also explains the exceptional dry and sunny conditions at the south.

Joe G
December 12, 2019 9:46 am

The Greenland ice sheet is dirty. That means it will melt even when the ambient temperatures are below freezing, as long as the sun’s rays hit it. And it is very telling that they don’t mention that fact.

December 12, 2019 10:04 am

Professor Shepherd said: “As a rule of thumb, for every centimetre rise in global sea level another six million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the planet.”
600million per meter. 7.7 billion people…
13 meters of Ocean rise will completely wipe out humanity! Waterworld the movie is a prediction!
How many miles is 13 meters? Has to be enough to drown people in the Mile High City of Denver Colorado, no?

December 12, 2019 10:05 am

“It is very important to keep monitoring the big ice sheets to know how much they raise sea level every year.”
Or, alternatively, for a lot less money, you could measure the sea level…

December 12, 2019 10:56 am

Yawn…… Zzzzzzz……

Greenland was a lot smaller during the Eemian interglacial time, yet Polar Bears, Humans and the planet itself still orbiting the sun……………..

Reply to  Sunsettommy
December 13, 2019 6:55 am

Watching water to boil is more exciting.

Steve Z
December 12, 2019 11:40 am

Assuming that the loss rate of 254 gigatons = 2.54(10^14) kg per year is accurate, at 900 kg/m3, the lost ice would have a volume of 2.82(10^11) m3. The estimated area of the Greenland ice sheet is 1.756(10^6) km2 = 1.756(10^12) m2. In order to lose 254 gigatons of ice, the average thickness would decrease by 2.82(10^11) / 1.756(10^12) = 0.16 meter.

Do these scientists really think that measurements performed from a satellite orbiting 200 km or more above the earth can measure such a tiny change in elevation of the ice (less than one millionth of the orbital altitude of the satellite) to any precision? Is the actual altitude of the satellite known to that precision, or is its orbit slightly eccentric (non-circular) and could there be some precession of the apogee and perigee?

There is some anecdotal evidence that the Greenland ice sheet is gaining ice. At the end of World War II in 1945, a squadron of planes was flying from Europe back to the United States, and planned to refuel in Iceland, but lost their way in a storm and made an emergency landing in southern Greenland. The pilots were rescued by another squadron in better weather, but the damaged planes were left behind.

During the 1990’s, the elderly pilots flew back to Greenland to search for their ditched planes, but could not find them visually. Using remote sensing techniques, it was discovered that the planes were buried by ice 100 meters thick. So, at least in that part of Greenland, the ice was getting thicker at about 2 meters per year.

Steven Lonien
Reply to  Steve Z
December 12, 2019 12:50 pm

In search of splinter in science eyes solutions are blinded by old log lies .

December 12, 2019 1:26 pm

Perhaps that the ice is vanishing faster than expected is not due to events being worse than expected, but due to expectations being incorrect. If they don’t properly know how to properly calculate what to expect, then they can’t expect it to continue to be worse nor better than whatever is happening now. Perhaps they don’t truly know.

Bruce of Newcastle
December 12, 2019 1:36 pm

One graph is all it takes to falsify this garbage.


Well what d’ya know, since the late 1990’s the water near Greenland is warm! Oh and how weird that it got so cool so fast from 1960. Almost like it might be a cycle or something. Fancy that.

Original Mike M
Reply to  Bruce of Newcastle
December 12, 2019 9:35 pm

But I suspect there remains something else going on that has far more influence than the AMO but hasn’t yet been discovered. Arctic temperature in the summer has remained essentially flat while winter temperature has been steadily increasing since the mid 90’s.

Bruce of Newcastle
Reply to  Original Mike M
December 13, 2019 12:07 am

Seeing it happens around the 2000 solar minimum I’d hypothesize that the drop in solar activity since the grand maximum may be the driver. The 2010 minimum was especially low.

In lower solar activity conditions you get a slowing of the Rossby waves, which get more sinuous. If the jet streams are sinuous you get more mixing between temperate and arctic zones. In the 2010 winter the UK was famously covered in snow entirely, resulting in some fine sat pics. That event was a jet stream blocking event.

In winter in the north you don’t have much buffering from latent heat of melting, so swings will be larger.

December 12, 2019 1:52 pm

-51C in Greenland today. -62 C a few days back.

December 12, 2019 1:57 pm

Gee, could it be we’re in an interglacial period when glaciers subside before the future re-glaciation that will cyclically return? No, let’s not upset a political agenda with science! Those 11,000 Mickey Mouse climate experts know that we’re all doomed, right?

Original Mike M
December 12, 2019 9:25 pm Temperature reconstruction for Greenland shows it was as warm there or little warmer than now from ~1888 to ~1940 peaking around 1930. Is there any trend data from tide gauges that correlates to temperature? I can’t find any …

If the claim is that warmth from more CO2 will melt Greenland then shouldn’t it first be determined that warmth actually is the most significant driving factor for ice loss?

Ian MacCulloch
December 12, 2019 10:08 pm

The meltwater did not reach Australia – “The two longest tide gauge records at Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour and at Fremantle in Western Australia indicate a sea level trend of 0.73 mm/yr at Fort Denison and a trend of 1.78 mm/yr at Fremantle ”

December 13, 2019 3:02 am

Since Greenland had a lot less 8ce when there was agriculture, and the rest of the world was ok, this study is yet another fear mongering bit of fluff designed to scare people and shut down thoughtful consideration of the facts.
Since Greenland, based on more recent concerns about melting has always recovered, there is no reason to think of this study as anything but another bit of deceptive fear mongering.
Since the amount of 8ce melting is so trivial compared to the mass of Greenland and the length 9f time covered by this dubioys study is so short, there 8s every indication the study is just another reason for thinking people to conclude that what poses as climate science is really a marketing campaign by extremists who reject science and history.

December 13, 2019 8:20 am


Greenland Ice Melt Accelerating, Says Jonathan Amos (Conveniently Forgetting What He Wrote In 2003!)
Greenland cools as world warms
By Jonathan Amos
BBC News Online science staff
Greenland is significantly cooler now than it was 40 years ago.
So, temperatures fell by 1.29C between 1958 and 2001, and have recovered by 0.75C in the past decade. Does not sound like apocalypse to me! Neither will this come as any surprise to regular readers of this blog, who are fully aware that temperatures in Greenland are no higher now than in the 1930s and 40s.

December 15, 2019 9:34 pm

Stepping back I am looking at the tide gauge information released by NOAA. The prediction I am hearing is 10feet of rise in sea level by 2100. Ok we are at 1.9mm/yr where is the acceleration? NOAA doesn’t buy it either.

Objective reading of the simple graphs show that this “unexpected”melting hasn’t accelerated the predicted and failed rapid sea level rise predicated upon the unexpectedly expected rapid ineffective melting. Yes it is simple…

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights