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Greenland Hype Meltdown

Steve Goddard
Watts Up With That?
July 13, 2010

A popular AGW cottage industry from 2003-2007 was to make press releases warning that the Greenland ice sheet was melting down. Some fine pieces of journalism were produced, like this one from the BBC.

The meltdown of Greenland’s ice sheet is speeding up, satellite measurements show. Data from a US space agency (Nasa) satellite show that the melting rate has accelerated since 2004. If the ice cap were to completely disappear, global sea levels would rise by 6.5m (21 feet).

This one from New Scientist

The Greenland ice sheet is all but doomed to melt away to nothing, according to a new modelling study. If it does melt, global sea levels will rise by seven metres, flooding most of the world’s coastal regions.

NASA’s Earth Observatory even has a regular section named “Greenland’s Ice Alarm.” In their August 28, 2007 edition they included the map below, which shows Greenland warming at 3°C per decade.

One has to wonder where their data comes from, because GISS shows that Greenland has not warmed at all over the last 90 years.

GISS temperature trends since 1920

Below is the GISS temperature graph for Godthab, Greenland. It was warmest around 1940, and the only recent warm years were from (you guessed it) 2003-2007. The Godthab pattern is fairly typical for Greenland and Iceland.

NASA’s Earth Observatory generated their 3C/decade trend by very carefully cherry-picking their start and end points. Tamino must be incensed by NASA’s behaviour, because he hates cherry-picking.

But you don’t hear so much about Greenland melting down any more.

Science 23 January 2009:
Vol. 323. no. 5913, p. 458
FALL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION:
Galloping Glaciers of Greenland Have Reined Themselves In
Richard A. Kerr

Ice loss in Greenland has had some climatologists speculating that global warming might have brought on a scary new regime of wildly heightened ice loss and an ever-faster rise in sea level. But glaciologists reported at the American Geophysical Union meeting that Greenland ice’s Armageddon has come to an end.

Greenland warming of 1920–1930 and 1995–2005
Petr Chylek
M. K. Dubey
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA
G. Lesins
Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

We provide an analysis of Greenland temperature records to compare the current (1995–2005) warming period with the previous (1920–1930) Greenland warming. We find that the current Greenland warming is not unprecedented in recent Greenland history. Temperature increases in the two warming periods are of a similar magnitude, however, the rate of warming in 1920–1930 was about 50% higher than that in 1995–2005.

Below is a video I took flying over Greenland from east to west on August 10, 2008 (peak melt season.) On the east side there were lots of icebergs and little evidence of any melt. As you traverse to the west side, you see a few melt ponds.

Temperatures have been running well below normal in Greenland this summer.

It is mid-summer and temperatures in the interior of the Greenland ice sheet are currently  minus 16F. Temperatures never get above freezing for more than a few minutes there.  Meanwhile temperatures in the interior of the East Antarctic ice sheet are close to minus 100F.

Every good citizen knows that the poles are melting – because they have been fed a continuous stream of gross misinformation. The press loves to print this stuff, but never makes any serious attempt to set the record straight later.

They can always recycle the ice shelf fracturing melting story a few more times.

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