Greenland Melt has Peaked

August 13, 2013

greenland_end

Jason Box’s Meltfactor blog:

While average sea ice minimum occurs in September, the Greenland ice albedo minimum occurs in July. This year, the albedo minimum occurred 31 July, coinciding with a record setting warm episode.

By 9 August, fresh snowfall concentrated along the southeastern ice sheet brought up the ice sheet albedo.

albedo_aug

Across the northwestern ice sheet, melting increased the first 10 days of August, darkening the surface from a brighter than normal pattern associated with abnormally large snow accumulation that made difficult the Japanese SIGMA expedition.

Ice sheet albedo remains anomalously low along the western upper ablation area. The most persistent low albedo this melt season has been along the northwest, in the vicinity of Storstrømmen glacier.

Heat transport into the Arctic bypassed Greenland to it’s east. Svalbard has had a warm summer.

500mbair

A reliable feature of climate is the poleward transport of heat in the atmosphere (and ocean) and the main contuit into the Arctic is the North Atlantic. So, what we see in this figure is normal and Greenland just didn’t get much exposure to this warm air stream (marked with up-pointing purple arrows). This extra heat bypassed Greenland much of this summer.

What was most interesting to me about this post was the mention of the Japanese Sigma Project. I need to find out more about their “difficulties” from Jason, but their web page indicates they were pursuing some of the same questions as Dark Snow Project.

SIGMA (Snow Impurity and Glacial Microbe effects on the Arctic) Project

Many climate models cannot simulate the recent abrupt melting of snow/ice in the Arctic. One of the possible causes is albedo reduction of snow/ice surface by light absorbing snow impurities such as black carbon (BC) and dust and by glacial microbes.
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We will also conduct shallow ice core drilling in Greenland ice sheet to obtain the variations of the atmospheric aerosols, snow impurities, and glacial microbes after the Industrial Revolution. The aerosol and microbe records reproduced from the ice core samples will be used for validation of the past climate condition in the Arctic simulated with ESM.

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7 Responses to “Greenland Melt has Peaked”


  1. Do the models account for multi-year storage of warmth in melt water that enters the glacier?

    • greenman3610 Says:

      good question. From what I’m getting – I understand that there is a complex interaction of feedbacks, including the gradual warming of the ice at depth, that are poorly understood. Will be doing a video on this, have good interview with Box.


  2. […] Jason Box's Meltfactor blog: While average sea ice minimum occurs in September, the Greenland ice albedo minimum occurs in July. This year, the albedo minimum occurred 31 July, coinciding with a re…  […]


  3. […] Jason Box's Meltfactor blog: While average sea ice minimum occurs in September, the Greenland ice albedo minimum occurs in July. This year, the albedo minimum occurred 31 July, coinciding with a re…  […]


  4. I think more needs to be done with the Antarctic research too. The deniers seem like touting the idea the growth in the Antarctic ice is off-setting Arctic melting.


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