Claim: Warming Greenland ice sheet passes point of no return

Even if the climate cools, study finds, glaciers will continue to shrink

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

IMAGE
IMAGE: ICEBERGS NEAR GREENLAND FORM FROM ICE THAT HAS BROKEN OFF–OR CALVED–FROM GLACIERS ON THE ISLAND. A NEW STUDY SHOWS THAT THE GLACIERS ARE LOSING ICE RAPIDLY ENOUGH THAT, EVEN IF… view more CREDIT: PHOTO COURTESY MICHALEA KING

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nearly 40 years of satellite data from Greenland shows that glaciers on the island have shrunk so much that even if global warming were to stop today, the ice sheet would continue shrinking.

The finding, published today, Aug. 13, in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment, means that Greenland’s glaciers have passed a tipping point of sorts, where the snowfall that replenishes the ice sheet each year cannot keep up with the ice that is flowing into the ocean from glaciers.

“We’ve been looking at these remote sensing observations to study how ice discharge and accumulation have varied,” said Michalea King, lead author of the study and a researcher at The Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. “And what we’ve found is that the ice that’s discharging into the ocean is far surpassing the snow that’s accumulating on the surface of the ice sheet.”

King and other researchers analyzed monthly satellite data from more than 200 large glaciers draining into the ocean around Greenland. Their observations show how much ice breaks off into icebergs or melts from the glaciers into the ocean. They also show the amount of snowfall each year–the way these glaciers get replenished.

The researchers found that, throughout the 1980s and 90s, snow gained through accumulation and ice melted or calved from glaciers were mostly in balance, keeping the ice sheet intact. Through those decades, the researchers found, the ice sheets generally lost about 450 gigatons (about 450 billion tons) of ice each year from flowing outlet glaciers, which was replaced with snowfall.

“We are measuring the pulse of the ice sheet–how much ice glaciers drain at the edges of the ice sheet–which increases in the summer. And what we see is that it was relatively steady until a big increase in ice discharging to the ocean during a short five- to six-year period,” King said.

The researchers’ analysis found that the baseline of that pulse–the amount of ice being lost each year–started increasing steadily around 2000, so that the glaciers were losing about 500 gigatons each year. Snowfall did not increase at the same time, and over the last decade, the rate of ice loss from glaciers has stayed about the same–meaning the ice sheet has been losing ice more rapidly than it’s being replenished.

“Glaciers have been sensitive to seasonal melt for as long as we’ve been able to observe it, with spikes in ice discharge in the summer,” she said. “But starting in 2000, you start superimposing that seasonal melt on a higher baseline–so you’re going to get even more losses.”

Before 2000, the ice sheet would have about the same chance to gain or lose mass each year. In the current climate, the ice sheet will gain mass in only one out of every 100 years.

King said that large glaciers across Greenland have retreated about 3 kilometers on average since 1985–“that’s a lot of distance,” she said. The glaciers have shrunk back enough that many of them are sitting in deeper water, meaning more ice is in contact with water. Warm ocean water melts glacier ice, and also makes it difficult for the glaciers to grow back to their previous positions.

That means that even if humans were somehow miraculously able to stop climate change in its tracks, ice lost from glaciers draining ice to the ocean would likely still exceed ice gained from snow accumulation, and the ice sheet would continue to shrink for some time.

“Glacier retreat has knocked the dynamics of the whole ice sheet into a constant state of loss,” said Ian Howat, a co-author on the paper, professor of earth sciences and distinguished university scholar at Ohio State. “Even if the climate were to stay the same or even get a little colder, the ice sheet would still be losing mass.”

Shrinking glaciers in Greenland are a problem for the entire planet. The ice that melts or breaks off from Greenland’s ice sheets ends up in the Atlantic Ocean–and, eventually, all of the world’s oceans. Ice from Greenland is a leading contributor to sea level rise–last year, enough ice melted or broke off from the Greenland ice sheet to cause the oceans to rise by 2.2 millimeters in just two months.

The new findings are bleak, but King said there are silver linings.

“It’s always a positive thing to learn more about glacier environments, because we can only improve our predictions for how rapidly things will change in the future,” she said. “And that can only help us with adaptation and mitigation strategies. The more we know, the better we can prepare.”

###

This work was supported by grants from NASA. Other Ohio State researchers who worked on this study are Salvatore Candela, Myoung Noh and Adelaide Negrete.

From EurekAlert!

192 thoughts on “Claim: Warming Greenland ice sheet passes point of no return

  1. Wow it might et to be as warm as in the days of the Vikings when it was called Greenland for a reason.

    • Amen to that, Justin.
      The current warmists have never considered history when declaring the end of the world is nigh wne Greenland is green again.

      • As long as the global temp is above a certain temperature, glaciers will continue to melt, it’s just the result of NOT being in a glacial period. Currently, the global temp simply determines how fast they melt or grow, with a general trend, probably toward melting. The Little Ice Age saw a large reversal, but it was a temporary situation.

        Their assumption or baseless speculation that melting will likely out pace snow accumulation in Greenland is truly wishful thinking. Greenland and Antarctica are doing just fine and not about to collapse.

        I love their idea of passing a point of no return. Really? Just like the fabled “tipping points,” they have no clue as we have been way warmer than now in the not too distant past and we did not tip then. So????

        • Glaciers aren’t as big as they were during the height of the Little Ice Age, therefore we’re all doomed.

          Or something like that.

          • Hey they’ve shrunk THREE kilometers. That’s a LOT. They will probably be gone by next Tuesday!

          • Gigatons, smigatons! How much is that in percent? How long before Greenland is ice free, at that rate? A million years? Only 100,000 years? Or, gasp, only 10,000 years?

        • They say, “… have passed a tipping point of sorts …” That is like saying “has experienced a death of sorts.” Have the glaciers passed a point of no return, or not? I’d put my money on “not.”

        • I don’t think the financial and political backers want to hear about “point-of-no-return.” That means the GND is useless. I guess these guys didn’t get the message. Always want something like, “ we have only X years…”

          BTW: what sort of resources might lie under the Greenland ice? No wonder all the great powers want it.

          • “… have passed a tipping point of sorts …” is basically saying that it is NOT a “tipping point” ie a process now dominated by a postive feedback. So now that we have established that it is NOT actually a tipping point, what is it ?

            keeping the ice sheet intact.

            So what is an “intact” ice sheet, one which never changes ? This is once again the delusion of all is well in God’s universe and nothing will change.

            This is basically an expression of the fear of death which western culture generally shuns and is structured to avoid.

            The world only changes on millennial time-scales and so we have nothing to fear. Anything which is found to change in the last 50 years is thus a product of anthropologic malfeasance.

            Greenland is a giant bucket. Pretending that such a bucket has “tipped” over because of peripheral changes is dishonest beyond even what is permitted in “Nature climate change *.*” journals.

            This is HORSE CHITTE SCIENCE.

          • Even small bits of an ice free Greenland would be worth a fortune as an advanced missile placement. No wonder Donald wants to buy it.

            Danes are no fools, they are waiting for the real estate value to rise before selling !

          • The US and China are jockeying for control of Greenland. The Chinese wanted to build airbases…er…airports there last year, but the US nipped that in the bud. China’s pushing for an independent Greenland so that it can dominate the new country and realize it’s dream of a “polar Silk Road.” China wants to dominate the world.

            So, Trump’s attempt to buy Greenland, which Denmark cannot defend, is the logical response to Chinese encroachments.

        • The Modern Warming Period is a temporary, cyclic reversal in the secular trend. The LIA was a pro-trend cycle for the past 3000 to 5200 years. Unfortunately, we’re headed down into the next glaciation, unless nuclear-powered blow driers melt the nascent ice sheets.

        • Keep in mind that glaciers are essentially rivers of frozen water. And like any river, a high output at the mouth indicates that a large amount of precipitation has fallen upstream. So under stable temperature conditions, a high rate of glacial calving simply indicates a high amount of snowfall upstream. The glaciers advance, calve, and retreat. After another pulse of precipitation, they advance, calve, and retreat again.

    • Alarmist only have a sense of the now. Forget the past. It is only the present that “might be, could be, possibly”(?), cascading towards a doomed tomorrow.

      So give us all your money today and do as we say.

        • Jakobshavn, the world’s fastest moving glacier had been shrinking for decades. Surprise, it’s reversed is thickening and advancing again, starting in 2017. This article is just part of the pile up of papers supporting the end of the world in 2030.

          Even the best scientists, bless their hearts, are actually naive about how fast technology can react to a supposed crisis requiring massive project development. They think these scare stories and 10yr deadlines are going to mobilize us to do herculean things. The Panama canal, the Manhattan project, and wartime production in WWII are puny compared to the GND project.

          It takes 7 to 10 years to develop, construct and put into production a $1 billion new lithium mine that would produce a mere 35,000t a year of battery chemical, enough for 1.5 million cars. We would need 60 such projects to already be in the pipeline to replace the annual output of fossil fuel cars by 2030. We would need to double this to provide battery storage for a reliable grid of renewables to ensure electric transportation, haulage of commodities, grain/foods, industrial machinery, etc.

          Most of those deposits have yet to be found! I’m optimistic about the availability of resources and ingenuity of exploration geologists, but a realistic deadline for a paradigm change envisioned would be a century to complete.

      • Just think about the increased area for forests to “mop up” more CO2… The greens should be happy about this…

    • No. At that time you could go barley on southernmost Greenland, that is not possible now. And many norse ruins are under the sea, because the ice has grown and presses the land down.

    • It was called Greenland as part of an advertising ploy to attract settlers… even hundreds of years ago the blurb did not match the reality

      • You might be interested to know that the norse settlers found southern Greenland abandoned by the Paleo-Eskimos (which weren’t Eskimos by the way). though they did find ruins and stone tools.

        The Paleo-Eskimos did not have kayaks, and were dependent on hunting seals on the sea-ice. So southern Greenland had simply become to warm to be inhabitable for them during the MWP.

        At the same time the MWP was fatal for the Paleo-Eskimos, because the Thule Culture in Alaska (=ancestral inuits), did have kayaks and umiaqs and lived largely by hunting bowhead whales from umiaqs. The MWP opened up the straits in the Parry Archipelago for the whales and in just a century or two the Thule Culture had spread all the way to Greenland, displacing the Paleo-Eskimos who were extinct by about 1500.

        • They named Greenland , Greenland to attract all the greenies who were attempting to ruin society at that time. The hope was that they would all flock there to fulfill their “green” utopia and then die off leaving the rest of society to get on with life.

          We should now rename Antactica “New Greenland” and offer them all free passage ( one way only ).

      • You are the proof of a useful Idiot griff .
        We have no need to look further .
        You and your ilk are the climate change deniers .
        It was warm enough to grow barley and brew beer in Greenland in the MWP .
        That is a fact and history does not lie .

      • Grifter, I have no doubt that you are correct and that you have documentary evidence of the paleo-greenwash to which you refer.

        Could you please post archeological evidence of this historic con-job so that I can help you in spreading the word.

        This sort of lying commercialism and deceit must be called out at every turn, lest we repeat the same errors today.

        I count on you. Please don’t let me down !!

        • It is actually true. At least it is told that way in Islendingabók by Are Torgilsson, c. 1130 AD, the oldest narrative histoy in Icelandic (or any of the Northern languages). That was less than 150 years later, and information in icelandic sources about that period is generally correct when they can be cross-checked by contemporary sources.

          • “Thorvald Asvaldsson was banished from Norway for manslaughter and went into exile in Iceland accompanied by young Erik. When Erik was banished from Iceland, he travelled further west to an area he named Greenland, where he established the first permanent settlement in 986.”

            Eric (The Red) wasn’t allowed back to Norway or Iceland, so he did a clever marketing campaign to name the new island he discovered ‘Greenland’ to attract more settlers with stories of a green paradise. Probably was, but not like Iceland which had all the geothermal hot water to bath in and a fair bit of arable land. Obviously as everyone knows, Greenland was much warmer in the Medieval Warm Period for about 400 years, as evidenced both by early writings and archaeology evidence, including climate evidence. But Greenland was was still an Ice Sheet, and the winters would have been miserable. Spring and summer would have been much more bearable if they were growing barley, which also indicates a much warmer climate than now, where they are lucky to get up a good hay crop now in the southern part of the island.

        • Since Griffs’ name is Ed , I suggest we be polite and address him as “Mr Ed”
          😉
          😉

          • No, Mr Ed, the horse was actually quite intelligent

            Griff…. no sign of intelligent life.

            … more like an “AI”, but missing the “I” part.

      • Is there no trope so tired, that the griffster won’t trot it out.
        The fact that the Vikings farmed Greenland is well documented. The fact that they had to abandon these farms when the climate got colder is well documented. The fact that the remains of their farms are still buried in the ice and permafrost is well documented.

        Greenland is still colder than it was when it was being farmed by the Vikings.
        That’s a fact, please learn to live with it.

      • Griff,
        So is why they call it “The Green New Deal”?
        Sounds good to the gullible but is divorced from reality?
        The reality being a ploy to promote a political ideology?
        (Kind of like Pelosi and Schumer have exploited the “WaHOO! Virus” to pass their wish list.)

      • Tell whatever lies help you sleep at night, reality is going to bang you in the a$$ even after you die, liespewing,,,,,,,,well, you have repeatedly told us what you are.

      • Look at a map.
        Southern Greenland is quite a long way further south than Iceland. About the same latitude as Anchorage Alaska.
        Both Iceland and Anchorage have always been habitable.

    • The reason it was called ‘Greenland’ was to make it easier to convince Scandinavian settlers to go there. It was icier then than it is now.

  2. As of last year, the height of Jakobshavn glacier in western Greenland had increased by as much as 30 meters (98 feet) per year for three consecutive years in some areas. Not sure if that is continuing, but that alone should negate this study.

    • That was my first thought. “Is this another study that only looks at the area under ice rather than the thickness and total volume of ice?”

      • Greenland is an ice bucket. What they are measuring is the frost around the rim.

        Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Greenland glaciology knows this “kinda tipping point ” narrative to be complete BS.

  3. The claim that “last year, enough ice melted or broke off from the Greenland ice sheet to cause the oceans to rise by 2.2 millimeters in just two months.” is totally fraudulent. Greenland loses a lot of ice every summer, and puts most of it back on in winter.

    Meanwhile, the switch around 2000 was AMO related. As the BBC told us in 2003, Greenland had cooled significantly in the previous 40 yrs:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2840137.stm

    This can clearly be seen in Greenland’s temperature record, which shows temperatures are no higher now than in the 1930s:

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/02/16/greenland-temperature-update/

    Finally glacier fronts stopped retreating in 2012:

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/image-95.png

    • Like you, Paul, I stubbornly look at the measurement data, finding it more authoritative than the models and predictions and instagram postings. Unfortunately in these days where people don’t read the old books (because they are too busy “liking” and posting opinions) measurements seem so … static. Measurements just sit on your screen and stare at you, and don’r care how many ‘likes’ they get.

      • Which is precisely why the internet is so much more important than books; models more important than data. One tells the truth; one generates income.

      • How dare you look at all the data. Don’t you know that a true climate scientist only looks at the data that supports the theory he is paid to prove?

    • Paul,
      You beat me to it.
      What brand of shoddy science uses vague words like “enough ice … to cause the oceans to rise by 2.2 mm in just 2 months”?
      The direct, proper question is “Did the oceans rise by a measured 2.2 mm in 2months, or did they not?” The answer is that they did not.
      They did not rise by this amount because at similar times, ocean waters were evaporating and some of this fell as snow on Greenland, resulting in a near zero net balance of sea levels.
      It would take many thousands of years to melt all Greenland ice under current scenarios. It is not beyond the wit of inventive Man (excluding Democrat little brown girls) to live with.
      Besides, chances are high that cooler times will happen in those thousands of years.
      I cannot comprehend the mindsets of authors who are devious with their imagined catastrophes, as if they feel compelled to make others feel bad to get their jollies (and research grant $$$).

    • Can someone explain how glaciers that are “retreating” can rest in “deeper (ocean) water”?

      • I was also wondering that, but concluded that it was like trying to interpret the babbling of a newborn infant.

    • Paul – The whole point of the study was to measure exactly that: Is it putting the ice back on? Findings: No. Not anymore. Not since about 1990. Here is a link to the study itself, rather than public-consumption summaries:

      https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-020-0001-2

      The data are fairly clear in their trends.

      Even in the 17-year-old BBC article you link, we find this:
      “Globally, temperatures have risen over this period (+0.53 C) and in Greenland itself scientists have recently reported fairly dramatic thinning of the island’s ice sheet.
      But Dr Edward Hanna, from the Institute of Marine Studies at the University of Plymouth, UK, said that, as with all climate science, a fuller picture emerges when long-term data are taken into account.”

      And this:

      “Nasa found the ice had lost up to five metres in thickness over a five-year period. Other, more recent studies have continued to document a rapid thaw.”

      • And yet it is still covered with ice and more builds up every winter, then spring comes and some melts, summer arrives and it still is there, then fall begins and more freezes, winter again and more ice. So on and so forth, just as it has done for millennia and will continue to do into the vast and unknowable future no matter what you alarmunistas screech&bleat ad nauseam.

  4. We all need to refocus our lives and make the preservation of ice our first priority.
    Nothing else is more important. Planet earth cannot take care of itself.

    • That’s a bit like saying “We all need to refocus our lives and make [‘stopping the rising tide’ or ‘preventing the evolution of species’ or ‘stopping the solar cycles’] our first priority. Nothing else is more important.” Ice has been coming and going for time immemorial (literally immemorial) and humans have had to adjust.

      • Thanks for attempting a wider view point boff’ but I have been drinking warm scotch all evening and I can assure you that the preservation of ice should be our first priority.

        Tipping points are no problem, as long as what is being tipped is suitably cooled by ice.

        • Greg ice kills the taste of a whisky. Somewhere in Scotland a team lovingly malted specially selected barley, used water from a specific source, used peat from the locality to dry the barley, copper pot stills, stored the spirit in oak barrels previously used for Sherry or Bourbon for a minimum of three years, letting the angels take their share. So that at the end there are dozens of compounds contributing to a unique aroma and flavour for each whisky be it single malt, Single Grain, Blended Malt, orjust blended. All it needs is a dash of water, preferably Scottish water from a mountain stream. Putting ice in stops those compinds doing heir job.

          I say this as someone who doesn’t drink spirits but appreciates the efforts of craftsmen in any field.

    • It’s a tipping point that has somewhat plausible deniability when it doesn’t tip.

      Which, of course, brings up the question of what is “somewhat plausible deniability”? I don’t know, but you can probably get a degree in it from most “major” universities today.

    • Tippings points are anything in Climate Science(tm) that can make a scary story. There is no actual scientific basis they exist but in Climate Science ™ you do not have to prove anything you just assume the worst case to be true.

    • Here in the UK, “sort” is slang for a lady of negotiable affection. When too many appear on the same street corner, they start tipping each other over.

    • Well, a tip is where you dump your garbage.
      So a tipping point would be where you stand to launch your garbage.

      Universities have a lot of tipping points these days.

    • The point beyond which nothing can stop the process from racing forward until it fully processes. e.g. the point beyond which all of the Greenland ice will melt no matter what we do. The study being discussed here shows fairly conclusively that that tipping point has been passed.

      • Good, so we can stop pissing away money or listening to alarmunistas like you. Nothing can stop climate from changing, humans are not causing it and can do nothing about it.

  5. Henceforth
    when all the glaciers have shrunk we shall call this country “Whiteland”

    in recollection of what an inhospitable frozen place it was during our times

    just as England was in past times (and to confuse those in generations to come)

  6. What a piece of garbage study. If we premise their data thusly, the entire problem goes away: Increased calving is due to increased deposition, which pushes more ice into the tongues of glaciers. Ergo, the sea level is falling.

    Actually, I don’t think the problem here is either rising or falling of sea levels. The real problem is, we don’t have enough history of glacial calving on the island of Greenland to yet understand the ice sheet via this method. I’m not convinced that this particular method will ever be helpful in a Holocene resistant ice sheet. But I do know as well as I know anything (a hell of a caveat, eh?) that we don’t understand Greenland well enough to declare “tipping points” based on a few years of data and a new novel hypothesis.

    • Agreed with your calving / deposition point. My guess is they assume a steady rate of calving even with a decreased rate of deposition. The reality is much more likely to be a sharp decrease in calving as the mass of the ice sheet decreases. In other words, seems reasonable to conclude that once the ice sheet mass reaches some lower limit, the calving will cease. And then ice sheet loss will be slowed (as it will simply be the melt rate).

      rip

  7. Have some people in academia forgotten that Greenland is a country with working farms and fisheries, settled by Inuits and Danish immigrants . The retreat of the glaciers will expose more land for livestock farming which is the major farming activity. Like the Norse farmers before them they probably find the more continental type climate up-fjord , with warm summers and long days, more conducive to the growth of hay meadows than the cold, damp climate of the coast. The establishment of shielings , upland summer pastures and huts close to the glaciers, has long been a significant subject of study for present day archaeologists.

  8. Serious question…

    If there was a 2.2 mm rise over 2 months in global sea level last year…wouldn’t we see it in the sea level measurements around the world?

    • Serious answer:

      No we never rely on actual real world measurements and if we can’t find it it is always wherever we don’t have data from. It’s best just to model it assuming it’s there and then everybody is happy.

    • There is always significant seasonal variation in sea level. IF there was 2.2 mm, it was probably almost all part of the normal seasonal fluctuation. The question they should answer is how much more than normal was the melt.

  9. We know for sure that during 16 years (of this millenium) greenland and antarctica alltogether added only ridiculously low 14 mm sea level raise.
    That said…
    It’s so obvious that cherrypicking two “melting/calving” months last year is just a simple trick to secure more funding. I feel sorry for these people.
    We can just hope that some warming postpones the REAL problem, the one Milankovic revealed.

  10. Well, yes.
    The Groenland ice has a hysteresis.
    It was created during the ice age and could survive the warmer interglacial, because it is a high mountain of ice.
    However, once a tipping point is achieved – due to higher temperatures or simply soot – it is going to decompose very quickly.
    It starts melting a bit first, the hight of ice goes down, the upper surface becomes even warmer, and the process accelerates exponentially beyond the tipping point.
    Even if the temperatures fall down – even significantly down, – the ice won’t restore then.
    It will need another ice age to recover the Groenland ice.
    Have we reached the tipping point already?
    Who knows…
    But there is little doubt, the tipping point does exist.

    • Alex:

      We know that there are areas still covered by ice that were not covered during the Medieval Viking settlements. And that obviously did not create a tipping point because the ice cover significantly increased after that.

      We also have good evidence that warming yields increased snowfall as a general rule. This provides a strong negative (stabilizing) feedback effect.

    • So in the NWO (New Warm Order) Florida will be under water due to sea level rise. No problem, there’ll be a lot more “real estate” available to move to in warm, “Florida of the North” Greenland! Just bring your sunglasses and tanning lotion to be safe.

    • How much energy over the 2 month melting season will be required to melt the entire existing ice sheet along with the snow that accumulates during the 10 month accumulation season? Do the math and report back.

    • Alex
      You stated, “It starts melting a bit first, the hight of ice goes down, the upper surface becomes even warmer, …”

      Two points: 1) most of the melting is at the margins, which doesn’t really have an effect on the height at the center; 2) What little melting does occur inland is primarily the result of sunlight because it is extremely rare for the air temperature to get above freezing in the center of the glacier. If you live in an area where it snows in the Winter, you have probably experienced a day when it is cold enough that one has to bundle up to stay warm; yet, the snow may be melting on the sidewalks from the sun.

      You also said, “…, the tipping point does exist.” Possibly! However, Greenland has not experienced it since at least the beginning of the Pleistocene. Even during the Eemian, all the ice did not melt. And then the ice cap built back up. At the current rate of melting, it would take about 14,000 years for all the ice to melt. A lot can happen in that amount of time. So, your dogmatic claim that a Tipping Point exists seems to be an act of faith that cannot be proven.

      http://www.iceandclimate.nbi.ku.dk/research/climatechange/glacial_interglacial/eemian/

    • “But there is little doubt, the tipping point does exist.”

      For several reasons no. One is that as the ice sheet shrinks the glacier fronts will end up on land, where there is no calving, only melting. The result is a considerably steeper glacier profile. Another is that if the ice grows thinner, the ground under it will rise, partially compensating fo the thinning.

      The end result can be seen in the ice-cores fom the last interglacial which was 5-8 degrees warmer than now in Greenland and may have reduced the ice-volume by as much as 30-50% (though it took 10,000 years). However studies of the gas bubbles in the interglacial ice shows that the central part of the icecap was at the most a few hundred meters thinner.

      Incidentally Central Greenland is gaining mass:

      http://polarportal.dk/fileadmin/polarportal/mass/Grace_combine_Sm_DK_20190800.png

    • Wasn’t there a WW2 bomber found near 2000 that crashed in Greenland during the war and was subsequently buried in almost 300 feet of snow?

      Without global warming…er a climate change would it have been buried in 1,000 feet of snow?

      • Would it have been buried under 300 feet of ice in just 55 years if the climate had been warming in the 40’s thru the 90s? Think about it.

        • That sort of tells me the climate tends to cycle back and forth. I recall the remains of a couple of WWII aviators were found on a California glacier some years ago. How did it crash on a glacier during the war, get covered in snow and ice for fifty years then suddenly reappear?

          • A glacier flows. Anything buried in a glacier will ultimately come out at the glacier front.

            Even Walt Disney (or at least Carl Barks) knew this. I remember a cartoon where Scrooge McDuck went to Alaska to retrieve a sled loaded with gold dust that he had lost in a glacier crevasse during the gold rush 50 years earlier, and which he figured was now about to melt out.

        • “Think about it”

          It could be. How fast it is buried depends on the accumulation rate, and a warmer climate would likely mean a higher accumulation rate (=more snow). Remember that the ice cap calves/melts at the edges and accumulates at the centre (where the buried aircraft are). Whether the cap as a whole grows or shrinks depends on the balance between accumulation and loss, not their absolute values. So, yes, faster burial is perfectly possible in a shrinking icecap.

    • The Groenland ice has a hysteresis.

      More like hysterics.

      It was created during the ice age and could survive the warmer interglacial, because it is a high mountain of ice… But there is little doubt, the tipping point does exist.

      There are pointing tips in Greenland, but no tipping points. Greenland is a bowl filled with ice. The ice sheet gets reduced during interglacials, but it won’t melt away until the Late Cenozoic (Quaternary) Ice Age is over, and that might take a few million years.

  11. “This work was supported by grants from NASA”-and this tells you all you need to know…”

  12. Living a superstitious dark age of climate obsession is so predictable.
    The frigging ice is still pulling back to uncover earlier human settlements.
    As paleontologists like to point out to bible thumping funddies, “We have the fossils, idiot”.
    Well to the climate kooks: We have the archaeology, idiots!
    Greenland is just fine.
    Climate fundamentalist kooks are still as full of crap as ever.

  13. I thought about commenting, but I see The WATTS regulars have the silliness under control. Stay sane and safe.

  14. I think the most remarkable thing about the article is that it doesn’t mention or blame CO2 or humans for the warming. Maybe it’s in the full study, but they usually tout that in the press release. Also, they note that it would be “miraculous” if humans somehow found a way to slow or stop the warming, and talk about mitigation and adaptation. I can’t find anything to object to in this description, although the study itself may be different.

  15. Apparently the Greenland Ice Sheet completely melted away during the Medieval warm period, and nobody noticed.

  16. The study’s authors seem to feel that the amount of ice flowing out of Greenland will stay constant, regardless of the size of the glaciers.

    The reality is, that as the glaciers shrink, the amount of pressure pushing the glaciers forward will decrease, and this will decrease the rate of flow for the glacier.

    If current snowfall is insufficient to balance out the current amount of calving, then the glacier will shrink and the amount of calving will go down.

  17. Nearly 40 years of data from a single source — well, if you are a 28-year-old researcher that’s like forever. Two decades of relative steady-state followed by two decades of negative balance means negative balance numbers are forever after? And the two decades of negative balance is only cumulatively negative, as there have been positive balance years in the meantime? So we’ve reduced 40-some years of complex data to two data points: before = Awesome! and after = We’re Doomed!

    • It’s also notable that their nearly 40 years of data just happenings to start at a trough in the cyclical temperature fluctuations. A rather plunk bunch of cherries or seems.

  18. Looking at the Danish Meterological Institue SMB data for August 11,12 & 13 2020 The snow mass which went below the zero line 9 days later than normal in June has gone 4 Gigatons above zero on Aug 12th & and additional 2 Gigatons on the 13th.well above the gray bar deviation and 10 Gigatons above the 1981-2010 mean SMB. August 13th is at least 9 days before the zero crossing point for the 0 Loss-Gain point mean. At least 18 day shorter SMB loss period. It is interesting that DMI no longer posts the accumulating SMB chat that I can find as I cannot qualify for access to their data anymore. There seems to be some disagreement in data or data interpretation between DMI and TOSU/NASA. It seems like DMI is embarrassed by their own data, but that could just be transferance on my part. /sarc

  19. Who pays for these climate change reports that are released at a rate (I’m guessing) of around 10 per week?

  20. Meanwhile the Danish Polar Portal detects a record increase in surface mass balance of 4GT:

    http://polarportal.dk/forsiden/

    Is this the same Greenland we are talking about? How many Greenlands are there?

    The largest glacier in Greenland, Jacobshavn Isbrae, about 4-5 years ago reversed its decline and is now thickening, slowing and advancing further.

    https://www.esa.int/Applications/Observing_the_Earth/Jakobshavn_Isbrae_Glacier_bucks_the_trend

    The sea in Disoo Bay near the Jacobshavn glacier is cooling, supporting the glacier’s recovery.

  21. Chillax, Y’all! As archaeologists chisel the remnants of Eric the Red’s settlement out of the southern Greenland permafrost, we know with certainty it was warmer 1000 years ago than it is today. Cold and advancing glaciers are what killed those intrepid but doomed Norse settlements and entombed them in ‘mother nature’s’ icy clutches. The real ‘point of no return’ is a regression to advancing glaciers and ice ball Earth.

    Kansas – The Point Of No Return
    https://youtu.be/iFWtsT5zRKo

  22. Columbus Ohio “Nearly 40 years satellite data from Greenland show glaciers have shrunk”
    With no data before that, and computer model guess work in the future.
    This research means nothing. I did notice all this research was funded ! which does mean
    a great incentive to come up with something alarming.
    Greenland has an average mean temperature -30C in the north and -20C in the south
    and I cannot see that changing much in the future.
    In the Antarctic the story is the same, Glaciers melting and average mean temperatures
    of -30C to – 50C
    I just checked on the Antarctic sea ice, and that seems well within the normal range.
    As for the Arctic sea that reached a minimum in 2007 and 2012 and has if anything
    started to grow since then.

  23. “Even if the climate cools, study finds, glaciers will continue to shrink”

    That is true, but only in a rather special sense. Glaciers react slowly and flow slowly, so when the climate cools the higher parts will start growing immediately, but it will take some time before the effect reaches the ice-edge, a few years to a few centuries, depending on the size of the glacier.

    “last year, enough ice melted or broke off from the Greenland ice sheet to cause the oceans to rise by 2.2 millimeters in just two months.”

    Also not exactly a lie, though it was more like 1,5 mm. And they forgot to mention that the melt season is only about two months, and that the ice is stable or growing the other ten months:

    http://polarportal.dk/fileadmin/polarportal/mass/Grace_curve_La_DK_20190800.png

    “King said that large glaciers across Greenland have retreated about 3 kilometers on average since 1985”

    Very dubious. The glacier we have the longest baseline (except possibly for Illulissat) is probably Nordenskiöld glacier, which was carefully mapped (by Nordenskiöld) in 1883:

    http://runeberg.org/polexp1883/0233.html

    And 137 years later it has actually advanced slightly:

    https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?v=-446086.5116005251,-2475039.653427741,-96390.51160052512,-2306847.653427741&p=arctic&t=2020-07-29-T14%3A19%3A50Z

    Sorry that the image is two weeks old, but it has been snowing like blazes in Greenland recently, so it is hard to find a clear day:

    http://polarportal.dk/fileadmin/polarportal/surface/SMB_curves_LA_DK_20200813.png

    Incidentally USAF photographed all of Greenland with Trimetrogon cameras back in the forties for map-making. It would be fairly simple to dig out those photographs and measure exactly how much the ice area has changed in 75 years, but nobody seems interested.

  24. Sea level IS going up and has BEEN going up at nearly the same rate for the last 200 years that tide gauges have been measuring it. And you know what? The water has to be coming from somewhere, and Greenland and Antarctica are good bets as the source. In other news the sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning and Francisco Franco will still be dead.

    • Thermal expansion of sea water also adds to sea level rise. Given the estimates I have seen of this effect, the effect on sea level of glacial melting must be very small. I once had an amusing discussion with a climate alarmist who gave his own estimate of icecap melting on sea level. I pointed out that after adding in the effect from groundwater extraction that he had just proven that thermal expansion of sea water could not be happening. This meant that he believed that the seas were not warming. It was hilarious watching him trying to dig himself out of the hole that he had dug for himself. After a few similar discussions with him where I pointed out rather large holes in his belief system, he no longer talks to me about global warming. That was a shame because I always enjoyed his attempts to convert me from being a climate denier (as he put it) into an adherent of his religious cult.

      • There is an even more odd effect. As glacier ice has a density of about 0.91 and polar ocean water has a density of about 1.03 a glacier of which more than 88% is below sea level (as in some parts of West Antarctica) will actually cause sea-level to sink as it melts. It does not contain enough water to fill up the hole it makes.

        It is this that makes for the odd effect that a complete meltout of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will have less than half the effect of a similar meltout of Greenland, though West Antarctica is much larger.

        • I have to remember that one just to remind some really smarty pants friends with Phd’s in the various disciplines and academic credentials. I can just see their face sag as they realize they can’t argue with facts. Good point!

      • Thermal expansion is local. If there’s an El Nino in the middle of the Pacific, does that cause sea level rise at the New York tide gauge? No, it doesn’t, so come up with some other non-sense.

        • Storm surge makes NY tide gauge rise, then it falls back to normal. A point alarmunistas simply refuse to accept.

        • Steve, are you really claiming that if the overall temperature of the oceans increases that this would not cause thermal expansion and therefore an increase in sea level? Seriously?

  25. The post says “…the glaciers were losing about 500 gigatons each year.” From what I’ve read, a cubic kilometer of ice weighs approximately one metric gigaton. Wikipedia (yea I know) says Greeland’s ice sheet contains 2,850,000 cubic kilometres of ice. Maybe my math is off, but that’s about 5,700 years of melting before it’s gone.

  26. Climate “science”, as it hurtles along towards catastrophic global stupidity, aka “Stupid Change” has passed the point of no return.

  27. Glaciers retreating are not a problem. When they begin advancing year over year is when you need to worry because that’s what will happen when we (eventually) exit the current interglacial. The people then will look back and wonder why people now panicked about a little warmth and will be wishing they had some.

    • DING DING DING!!! We have a winner!

      One of the biggest lies the Climate Nazis have sold to the uninformed and the gullible is the ridiculous notion that a warmer climate is a “worse” climate for humanity or any other life on Earth.

      Even the determined-to-be-dense about it should be able to consider the diversity and extent of like in the tropics vs. the poles and figure that a warming climate is GOOD news, not bad.

      • Climate changes constantly, humans are not causing it and can not stop it. Why is this so hard for college educated morons to grasp? Just think of the billions, no, trillions of dollars pissed away on poor and out right bad educations since, say, 1920. And lets us not forget the insidious infiltration of leftist ideology during this same period. Yea, lies, in layers like an onion.

    • I’m gonna get a green baseball hat that says Make Greenland Green Again. The stoopid alarmists probably won’t even be able to figure it out.

  28. Check Dahl-Jensen (Nature, 2013). Her ice core shows that the Eemian (about 125K years ago) was 6-8 deg C warmer in summer for 6000 (!) years and Greenland only lost a max of 30% of its ice. Humans can’t induce an integrated warming that large, so the alarmism in this piece is just BS

      • goldminor
        I wouldn’t be. Back in the days when the hills were crawling with armed prospectors and meat hunters to provide food for the prospectors, there was never an unidentified creature killed. I knew a guy in his 90s who lived in Hayfork (Trinity County). He had done everything from working on a gold dredge to ranching. In the Wintertime, when he didn’t have a lot of responsibilities, he supplemented his income by running down mountain lions with a pack of dogs to collect the bounty, and stay in the good graces of the local game warden by providing him with mountain lion livers, which he apparently was fond of. His dogs never flushed out a Bigfoot. Today, lots of deer are killed by cars and trucks. Never a single Bigfoot. Nor have any deer hunters ever come across the carcass or bones of a Bigfoot. It seems highly unlikely that such a creature actually exists. For the reported sightings, if they are not a prank, I’d put my money on a bear standing on its hind legs.

  29. The Greenland ice sheet is not there at all – it just seems to be. Global temperatures have been around 20 C for most of the last 600 years (https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Global-Temperature-and-CO2-levels-over-600-million-years-Source-MacRae-2008_fig1_280548391) which is way over the “discovered” tipping point – so the Greenland ice sheet disappeared right at the end of Pre-Cambrian (if it ever existed at all). Which requires another explanation: why is the virtual Greenland ice sheet (that isn’t there) now virtually melting/calving beyond the point of recovery? Is anthropogenic global warming affecting even our fantasies?

  30. OMG,
    Where to start, this ‘piece’ is so full of junk.
    I’ll just comment on this part:

    ‘ King said that large glaciers across Greenland have retreated about 3 kilometers on average since 1985–“that’s a lot of distance,” she said. The glaciers have shrunk back enough that many of them are sitting in deeper water, meaning more ice is in contact with water. Warm ocean water melts glacier ice, and also makes it difficult for the glaciers to grow back to their previous positions.‘

    I’m not sure that ice floating on the sea can be called a glacier but ok, if ice on the sea ‘shrunk back’ 3 km towards the shore how are they now ‘in deeper water’? In general water depth decreases when you get closer to shore. when the ice body decreases 3 km in length how can it be that ‘more ice is in contact with water’?
    And how does the warm ocean water ‘makes it difficult for the glaciers to grow back’, when the ice is pushed from the land out onto the sea?

    I’ll stop here, the rest was covered in previous comments.
    I wonder if eureka alert ever reads what they publish, in any event critical thinking is not required apparently.

    Stay sane,
    Willem

    • Willem69
      It is not uncommon for a glacier to develop a terminal moraine underwater if the snout is stationary for a period of time. It often becomes grounded on its own moraine. If it starts retreating, then the water behind the moraine will be deeper and it will float.

  31. Pass point of no return? Good, then I can stop worrying about it. Another climate scare story to file away.

  32. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145185/major-greenland-glacier-is-growing
    Not so fast, Ohio State, you are looking through your “Buck Eyes”.

    “Jakobshavn has spent decades in retreat—that is, until scientists observed an unexpected advance between 2016 and 2017. In addition to growing toward the ocean, the glacier was found to be slowing and thickening. New data collected in March 2019 confirm that the glacier has grown for the third year in a row, and scientists attribute the change to cool ocean waters.”

    Ice loss from the1980 -1990 warming following the bitter cold and ice build up during the 35 year cooling period BEFORE the satellite period (1944-1979), the so-called “Ice Age Cometh” period is conveniently not mentioned. The Climate Wroughters of course have progressively erased this incontrovertible (and inconvenient) temperature excursion.

    The Jakobshavn glacier is known as the worlds fastest moving glacier. It looks like it’s making a speedy recovery. The Climate Wroughters, after noting 3 consecutive years of reversal, thickening and build up of this glacier, stopped reporting on it, so I know we can say the 4th year of growth is occurring as we read and write.

  33. A number of commentators have picked up on “past the point of no return” but “ a silver lining”.
    As with the Great Barrier Reef which is “dying” or “93% dead, north of Cairns” or 45% dead overall ,
    the obituaries never quite match the reality of say Peter Ridd’s paper “The extreme resilience of corals on the Great Barrier Reef etc.”
    I have fun with alarmists who run these lines about the death of the GBR.
    If it’s dead, let’s give up on it.
    No need for billions to be spent on The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and other Foundations.
    60,000 people employed in that area of tourism can get jobs in industries with a more optimistic future.
    No need for all those expensive tourism campaigns by the Queensland and Australian Governments etc.etc.
    But there is always a “silver lining” as with the Greenland glaciers.
    Is it too cynical to say that without a “silver lining” there would be no silver for the authors who disturb us daily with these papers?

  34. By this weird logic, every automobile has a disaster-laden tipping point. Cars get faster and faster until uncontrollable, if you think only of their acceleration mode.
    But, cars have brakes to avoid the tipping point. You have to think of the balance between acceleration and deceleration. Just as you have to balance ice gain with ice loss on Greenland.
    In truth, nobody can forecast whether or not Greenland faces a tipping point, so the paper is about activism, not hard science. Geoff S

  35. Woefully disappointing!

    “means that Greenland’s glaciers have passed a tipping point of sorts, where the snowfall that replenishes the ice sheet each year cannot keep up with the ice that is flowing into the ocean from glaciers.”

    That is not a “tipping point” of any sort!
    That is what is required for glaciers to lose mass.
    Not that these alarmists ever bothered to visit greenland and physically measure total ice mass versus the miniscule portions flowing to the sea.

    • Greenland is NOT like that island that someone no-very-bright told us was going to tip over..

      It would take a major planetary scale cataclysm to tip Greenland !

      • “fred250 August 14, 2020 at 9:44 pm
        Greenland is NOT like that island that someone no-very-bright told us was going to tip over..

        It would take a major planetary scale cataclysm to tip Greenland !”

        ???
        Where do I mention Greenland might tip over?

        I’ve quoted the relevant passage above. Where the authors use a phrase that was once common during earlier alarmist claims regarding climate tipping point insinuations and they imply the Earth can not recover once their claimed tipping point is exceeded.

        I believe the island you refer to is Guam and a certain dull witted senator. Even Guam requires a cataclysm to cause a Guam subsidence.

  36. Oh no!! Billions of people depend on that ice sheet for survival! In the Philippines we are told to panic about this and it is all Trump’s fault.

    • Even the clown President Duterte is spouting off about the dangers of climate change, increasing typhoons and sea level rise. Of course, all he wants is the climate cheque promised by the Paris Agreement for third world developing countries. Which won’t go to the people, but will be stolen in the corruption of that sorry state of affairs in such a beautiful 7000+ islands of Paradise. Clean up the pollution first (and the corruption) and then we can talk.

  37. ” even if global warming were to stop today, the ice sheet would continue shrinking.”

    Good news, retreating glaciers no longer an indicator for global warming.
    Which we already knew, as the calving is the flow of ice that formed in the past.

  38. “This work was supported by grants from NASA.”

    This is the same NASA that refuses to remove its page which declares that 97% of scientists agree that “Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”

    https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

    NASA was given 120 days to remove their false “Scientific Consensus” statements 421 days ago. They refuse point blank to justify their claims or offer any evidence to support them. It must be because the head of NASA is Jim Bridenstine who used to be a skeptic, but is now a man-made global warming nutcase.

    God knows why Trump didn’t kick him out years ago.

  39. Actual evidence based science on the ice sheet:

    https://arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card/Report-Card-2019/ArtMID/7916/ArticleID/842/Greenland-Ice-Sheet

    2019 report: ‘Direct observations of the Greenland ice sheet from fall 2018 through 2019 reveal another year of dramatic ice loss. The extent and magnitude of ice loss rival 2012, the previous record year of ice loss. This rapid, ongoing change across Greenland is evident in observations of surface melt area, total ice loss, surface albedo (similar to reflectivity), and motion and ice loss via marine-terminating glaciers.’

  40. “The glaciers have shrunk back enough that many of them are sitting in deeper [warm ocean] water,”

    So glaciers retreat, but end up further out to sea?

    Can anyone take this seriously? It is complete garbage.

  41. Well, since we can no longer make any difference, time to move on! No more research on Greenland glaciers required, they soon won’t be here, we can use the money for something else.

    • Indeed. There is nothing that can be done anyway. Even if we reverse global warming, then the GIS will continue its relentless march towards the sea. So why bother with cancelling global warming then? I would rather have a smidgeon of global warming than any global cooling. That will be a tipping point if the world cools by any degree, at least for nearly 8 billion people.

  42. So the fresh water for human consumption problem is solved! About time these asswipes did something productive.

  43. Who will be in charge of conveying the ice over the rim of the bathtub-shaped crust depression? And how much fossil fuels will it take to do the job?

  44. I love it when I hear that we are passed the point of no return or have passed a tipping point because that means we literally can’t do anything about it. That therefore means we can stop spending money trying to do something about it and if there really are consequences about what’s happening we will just have to live with it.
    Such a statement is call for less action not more trying to avoid the issue that has become inevitable.

  45. We already know that soot and dirt on snow and ice causes it to melt even when the ambient temperature is below freezing. And the ice and snow covering Greenland is dirty.

  46. So where is all the sea rise going to come from with glaciers melting and already beyond the point of no return?

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