Greenland Ice Mass Loss Below Average In 2020

JANUARY 18, 2021tags: Greenland

From Not A Lot Of People Know That

By Paul Homewood

https://i0.wp.com/polarportal.dk/fileadmin/polarportal/mass/Grace_curve_La_EN_20190800.png

 Greenland Ice Mass Change (DMI)

http://polarportal.dk/en/greenland/mass-and-height-change/#c8450

DMI have not yet got around to updating their Greenland ice mass charts for last year, but the data is available from NASA up to October.

The DMI graph is in any event pretty difficult to look at for trends, and has the usual distorted y-axis, which make it look that the ice cap will soon be gone.

Taking the actual data from NASA, derived from GRACE satellite measurements, we can see the year on year changes below, which tell us clearly what has actually been going on:

image

https://climexp.knmi.nl/showmetadata.cgi?TYPE=i&WMO=greenland_mass&station=Greenland_mass&id=someone@somewhere

The warm summers of 2012 and 2019 stick out, but equally there have been cold wet summers, such as 2017 and 2018.

What is evident is that there has been no acceleration in melt since the start of records in 2002. This runs counter to the alarmist message commonly perpetuated, for instance the ever reliable BBC!

The annual average mass loss since 2002 is 264 Gt, but this is a microscopic amount in comparison with the total ice cap mass, which weighs 2.6 million Gt. And as the top graph shows, the sea level rise in the last decades resulting from the melt is only around 10mm.

There is of course no reason we we should at all surprised or alarmed about this melting. We know Greenland is now warmer than in the 19thC, which ice cores prove was the coldest era there since the end of the Ice Age.

We know that temperatures in Greenland now are no higher than the 1920s to 50s. And we also know that glaciers there grew massively between the Middle Ages and the Little Ice Age.

There is no evidence whatsoever that melting will suddenly start to run away. Indeed everything points to it being a natural event, which may well reverse or slow down when the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation switches to cold phase and temperatures in Greenland fall sharply, just as they did between the 1960s and 90s.

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rbabcock
January 19, 2021 6:10 am

There is the melt season but also the accumulation season. Just about every snowflake that falls during the cold months stays there so the weather patterns during fall/winter/spring have a lot to do with how much snow falls across the island.

Some years you get a huge blocking high pressure system and not so much snow and other years low pressure hangs over it and lots of snow falls. Whatever happens (low or high pressure), they generally lock in and stick around for a while influencing weather all across North America and Europe.

Nick Schroeder
January 19, 2021 6:13 am

https://gracefo.jpl.nasa.gov/resources/33/greenland-ice-loss-2002-2016/
“Research based on observations from the NASA/German Aerospace Center’s twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites indicates that between 2002 and 2016, Greenland shed approximately 280 gigatons (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!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland_ice_sheet
“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 YEARS between 2002 and 2012 Greenland lost 2,900 Gt which represented –
(0.1% of its total mass) (Yep, read the fine print.)
YES – AN ASTONISHING, NAY STAGGERING EVEN, ZERO POINT 1 PERCENT OF ITS TOTAL MASS!!!!!!!!
 
Are you effing kidding me? The uncertainty must be 10 times that much.
Who measures this crap and thinks the numbers have substance???
Probably those barely 20 millennials with their participation/entitlement PhDs.
Every year Greenland “loses” 500 Gt during the summer and gains it all back in the winter.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
January 19, 2021 7:59 am

Yes, exactly! . . . just one more reason for President-elect Joe Biden to declare there currently is a “climate crisis”.

/sarc off

DrEd
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
January 19, 2021 8:27 am

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Sara
Reply to  DrEd
January 19, 2021 8:54 am

That depends on the circumference of the head of the pin in question.

DonM
Reply to  Sara
January 19, 2021 9:23 am

jig or tango?

fred250
Reply to  DonM
January 19, 2021 11:26 am

or mosh pit. ?

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  DrEd
January 19, 2021 8:55 am

One more than you think.

Sara
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
January 19, 2021 8:53 am

Nick, don’t have a cow over it. They don’t understand anything that happened before they were born. You have to take that into account.

Sorry, can’t stop giggling about eight tenths of one millimeter per year being a threat. I just can’t. (Falls off chair laughing.)

Graemethecat
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
January 19, 2021 11:21 am

Exactly. Climate “Scientists” are totally unacquainted with error bars, and seem not to understand that a tiny difference between two huge numbers with large uncertainties is meaningless.

fred250
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
January 19, 2021 11:29 am

I think this graph of Greenland Ice Mas since 1900, using Grace extruded data, is quite instructive

comment image

Matthew Ritchie
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
January 20, 2021 4:08 pm

Nick Schroeder, 0.8mm caused by Greenland ice melt only, ice melts in other areas of the planet too which contributes to higher rates of sea level rise. Also the fact that it is a small fraction of the total mass does not reduce the significance and effect of the NASA reported ice melt estimate

Johannes Herbst
Reply to  Matthew Ritchie
January 21, 2021 11:25 am

In which other region ice is melting? Glaciers less than 1% of the ice mass. Antarctica 90% and is not loosing any ice mass. Greenland is 9%. The Ocean is rising according to sea level gauges by about 1mm per year, so most of the rise is from Greenland.

Ron Long
January 19, 2021 6:49 am

Whatever the actual Greenland melt versus accumulation numbers are there’s nothing abnormal until the Vikings return to Greenland and start farming again. For you millennials out there that’s not the Green Bay Vikings, it’s Eric The Red and his buddies.

Andy Espersen
Reply to  Ron Long
January 19, 2021 7:11 am

Looking back over 4.5 billion years can we ever point to a time when Mother Nature was obviously “abnormal”??

David Kamakaris
Reply to  Andy Espersen
January 19, 2021 7:16 am

How about we try to define what “normal” is first.

Brad
Reply to  David Kamakaris
January 19, 2021 9:04 am

Well, I can tell you one thing not normal and that’s the “Green Bay Vikings”!

Reply to  Brad
January 19, 2021 12:01 pm

Minnesota obviously needed a Route to the Sea.

Auto,
In lockup like most of us in Boris’s wind-powered paradise.
No solar; it’s winter in the British Isles, so lights on at 2pm – earlier if cloudy.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Brad
January 19, 2021 12:03 pm

Or the Minnesota Packers?

Ron Long
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 19, 2021 4:43 pm

I was goofing on millinneals. I have been a Minnesota Vikings fan since Frantic Fran Tarkenton was scrambling around. We are seeing some interesting data about WATTS readers, however.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  Andy Espersen
January 19, 2021 8:24 am

Aren’t they all dramatic cooling events?

Peter W
Reply to  Ron Long
January 19, 2021 7:53 am

Obviously, “normal” is whatever we had before all of that terrible global cooling of the 1970’a and the terrible global warming of the present.

Scissor
Reply to  Ron Long
January 19, 2021 9:32 am

They are too busy voting for the demonrats.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Scissor
January 20, 2021 1:30 am

The demonrats don’t need people to vote for them. Printers are sooo much more reliable…

Randy Stubbings
Reply to  Ron Long
January 19, 2021 9:45 am

I think you meant the Minnesota Vikings. Green Bay has the Packers.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Ron Long
January 20, 2021 1:27 am

For me the “Reds” mean something else (not the Reps, the commies), and unfortunately they’re coming back … along with the swamp!

January 19, 2021 7:23 am

Sorry for OT, but sounds interesting:

Northern preference for terrestrial electromagnetic energy input from space weather
Abstract

Terrestrial space weather involves the transfer of energy and momentum from the solar wind into geospace. Despite recently discovered seasonal asymmetries between auroral forms and the intensity of emissions between northern and southern hemispheres, seasonally averaged energy input into the ionosphere is still generally considered to be symmetric. Here we show, using Swarm satellite data, a preference for electromagnetic energy input at 450 km altitude into the northern hemisphere, on both the dayside and the nightside, when averaged over season. We propose that this is explained by the offset of the magnetic dipole away from Earth’s center. This introduces a larger separation between the magnetic pole and rotation axis in the south, creating different relative solar illumination of northern and southern auroral zones, resulting in changes to the strength of reflection of incident Alfvén waves from the ionosphere. Our study reveals an important asymmetry in seasonally averaged electromagnetic energy input to the atmosphere. Based on observed lower Poynting flux on the nightside this asymmetry may also exist for auroral emissions. Similar offsets may drive asymmetric energy input, and potentially aurora, on other planets.”

ResourceGuy
January 19, 2021 8:01 am

The AMO has spoken.

Jean Parisot
January 19, 2021 8:20 am

CO2 will slow the cooling.

Steve Case
January 19, 2021 9:27 am

“Greenland Ice Mass Loss… 

“Taking the actual data from NASA, derived from GRACE…
[Greenland Ice Mass Lost 2003 tp 2020]
What is evident is that there has been no acceleration in melt…
The annual average mass loss… 
the sea level rise in the last decades resulting from the melt…
There is of course no reason we should at all surprised or alarmed about this melting…
There is no evidence whatsoever that melting… “

So, is the ice loss detected by GRACE due to melting? Or is it due to a function of how much ice forms as a result snow fall and how much ice calves into the sea as icebergs? The latter is not mentioned in the article above. 

Reading through that article, one could easily come to the conclusion that Greenland is losing all those hundreds of gigatons every year due to melting which is bullshit.

List of (19) Rivers in Greenland

List of (152) Glaciers in Greenland

Average temperature of Greenland Ice Sheet

On the ice sheet, temperatures are generally substantially lower than elsewhere in Greenland. The lowest mean annual temperatures, about −31 °C (−24 °F), occur on the north-central part of the north dome, and temperatures at the crest of the south dome are about −20 °C (−4 °F).

If the other side of the Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Crisis or whatever they are calling it these days, argument is ever going to come close to gaining public recognition, skeptics need to stop buying into the bullshit.
   

January 19, 2021 9:28 am

What’s more, we know that southern Greenland, which is the only place in Greenland where significant melting is plausible, was significantly warmer than it now is, during the Medieval Warm Period, circa 850 to 1300 A.D. — without causing enough sea-level rise to be notable elsewhere in the world. We know it was warmer then at that time, because Norse settlers there buried their dead in what is now permafrost, and they successfully grew barley, though it’s too cold there to grow barley to maturity, now.
http://sciencenordic.com/vikings-grew-barley-greenland

Steve Case
Reply to  Dave Burton
January 19, 2021 9:39 am

“What’s more, we know that southern Greenland, which is the only place in Greenland where significant melting is plausible,…”

BINGO!

Thanks for that post, I’ve been banging on the concept that it needs to be above freezing for ice to melt for years now, but it seems to be an issue too complicated for ordinary people to grasp.

Leonard Weinstein
Reply to  Steve Case
January 19, 2021 12:20 pm

The air does not need to be above freezing for melt. Solar energy input can be absorbed and raise the top surface above freezing and melt. Depending on where the melt goes (drain off or soak in the ground, or stay on the surface) and how close to freezing the air is determines if the melt persists day to day.

Steve Case
Reply to  Leonard Weinstein
January 19, 2021 1:04 pm

Leonard Weinstein
The air does not need to be above freezing for melt. Solar energy input can be absorbed and raise the top surface above freezing and melt. Depending on where the melt goes (drain off or soak in the ground, or stay on the surface) and how close to freezing the air is determines if the melt persists day to day.

Yes, and icicles form on our houses every year even it is freezing outside. And that’s because as soon as the flow of newly melted water gets in the shade it refreezes.  

The point is, it’s the icebergs calving into the ocean that are causing the loss of ice that GRACE is detecting. The surface melt not so much if any. But all we ever hear from our wonderful “Objective” news media is the lie that Greenland is melting and how that will cause tens of meters of sea level rise if it all disappears.  

Sea level IS rising, and the water has to be coming from somewhere. Antarctica and Greenland are the best bet for that, but it’s not the surface melt it’s the ice bergs versus the snowfall from years, decades or centuries ago.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Steve Case
January 19, 2021 1:15 pm

Don’t forget about sublimation. Ice can go directly to water vapor without melting. When the air is dry, snow and ice will sublime even though the air is colder than freezing. It’s the same idea as water evaporating below its boiling point. The air does not need to be above the boiling point of water for water to evaporate. It also does not need to be above the freezing point of water, for ice to sublime. It depends on the relative humidity. If sunlight warms the surface enough to create a melt layer, it will also evaporate from the liquid surface, all while the air temperature is below freezing.

Not that any of that changes the reality that the Greenland Ice Sheet didn’t fully melt in the last interglacial and isn’t going to do so this time.

Richard Page
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 19, 2021 3:48 pm

The Greenland ice sheet didn’t quite melt although it came damn close. The previous interglacial was much hotter than ours and melted the ice sheet way below the level of the ‘bowl’ of the Greenland land mass. The ice currently filling up about 80-90% of the bowl is from the last ice age and everything above that appears to be more recent. It’s a fascinating place Greenland.

Reply to  Richard Page
January 20, 2021 6:02 am

Yep. There might be as much Holocene ice as Pleistocene ice…

Steve Case
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 19, 2021 3:50 pm

“Don’t forget about sublimation….”

Yes, and water and ice (rain & snow) can precipitate out of thin air.

In any case, the media is trying to tell us that surface melting in Greenland and Antarctica is driving up sea level when it’s because more icebergs are calving into the sea than snow is falling in the interior.

Vuk
January 19, 2021 10:16 am

“Unprecedented ! ” said the climate scientist, well a solar scientist might do the same/sarc.
It is about 45 years since the Wilson Solar Observatory (Dr. S help get it going) has measured sun’s polar magnetic field. In that time we had one Hale cycle (max-max) lasted fraction over 20 years and the next (max-max) nearly 25, first being just a touch short and the following more than a bit too long. Theory says they should be just under 22 years each. Has something gone wrong with our sun? Probably not, just may be that this bit of science is not yet settled.
http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/Polar.gif

Last edited 6 months ago by Vuk
Marcos
January 19, 2021 12:13 pm

What is the rate of yearly mass increase during the accumulation season? How much sea level decrease does this sequestered water account for?

Steve Case
Reply to  Marcos
January 19, 2021 1:25 pm

What is the rate of yearly mass increase during the accumulation season? How much sea level decrease does this sequestered water account for?

The glaciers flow and the snow falls all year round, but the sun shines only in summer. Besides that there’s the Antarctic ice cap about 6 or 7 times the size of Greenland that off sets the seasonal sequestered water question.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Steve Case
January 19, 2021 1:53 pm

So these are “net” values for each year calculating summer loss and winter gain for total 264GT average loss every year for greenland since 2003?

Steve Case
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
January 19, 2021 5:52 pm

“So these are “net” values for each year calculating summer loss and winter gain for total 264GT average loss every year for greenland since 2003?”

I assume the chart labeled 

Greenland Ice Mass Loss 2003 to 2020 
As at September

means exactly that.

My beef is that the so-called main stream media wants us to believe that most if not all of that 264GT is due to melting. I say it is not and that people on the skeptical side of things should step up to the plate and say so. It annoys me that they don’t. “Melting” is an easy sound bite, but a “Function of snow fall and icebergs calving into the sea” doesn’t resonate anywhere near as well.

Last edited 6 months ago by Steve Case
Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Steve Case
January 19, 2021 7:06 pm

I agree that language is important
I’m trying to coax some canadian politicians into pushing back and challenging the term “climate emergency”, language intended to prevent debate.
If they won’t push back against that definition you cannot fight the proposed solutions.
We lose before we even start.

So I agree with you

rbabcock
January 19, 2021 1:11 pm

Don’t forget Antarctica! From the Grace JPL Site: “The continent of Antarctica has been losing about 118 gigatons of ice per year since 2002, while the Greenland ice sheet has been losing an estimated 281 gigatons per year.”

According to Wiki, there are 26,500,000 gigatons of ice in Antarctica, so the ice sheet will be completely gone in 224,576 years. Break out the beach umbrellas.

JohnB
January 31, 2021 6:53 am

I’m amazed. I never knew that we could measure the ice volume in Greenland with such incredible accuracy. /sarc

I’ll bet dollars to donuts that all these supposed changes are within the error bars. If there aren’t error bars then it’s scrying, not science.

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