Wildfire. In Greenland.

August 7, 2017

Wildfire not unknown in Arctic, trying to  remember ever hearing about it in Greenland.



6 Responses to “Wildfire. In Greenland.”

  1. Andy Lee Robinson Says:


  2. redskylite Says:

    If the enormity of this doesn’t hit you – you are impervious to the changes we have wrought.

    This is a very rare, possibly unprecedented event.


    • redskylite Says:

      It’s not just the American West and British Columbia burning up. A fire has sparked in western Greenland, an odd occurrence for an island known more for ice than fire.

      A series of blazes is burning roughly in the vicinity of Kangerlussuaq, a small town that serves as a basecamp for researchers in the summer to access Greenland’s ice sheet and western glaciers. The largest fire has burned roughly 3,000 acres and sent smoke spiraling a mile into the sky, prompting hunting and hiking closures in the area, according to local news reports.


  3. Tom Bates Says:

    tef Lhermitte, a remote sensing expert at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, said there is evidence of fires burning in Greenland over the past 17 years of MODIS satellite records kept by NASA. But because of how NASA’s algorithms interpret the satellite data, there’s low confidence that every fire on the map actually occurred.

    Fires occur, the headline is a lie.

    • redskylite Says:

      Not sure what headline you are calling a lie, three quarters of Greenland is covered by a permanent ice sheet and a population of around 56,500 occupy the rest. The news report includes a local news item that hunting and hiking closures have occurred in the area, I’m sure the local population does not rely solely on satellites and algorithms to notice peat and bush burning. This is certainly a very unusual situation and may well compound the albedo worsening on that Greenland ice sheet. There is no evidence of tales of “Wildfire” in the b”Eric The Red” Viking travels, during the MWP.

      NASA Earth Observatory: “In an unusual event, satellites have detected a sizable wildfire burning in Greenland. The fire is in western Greenland, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Sisimiut. Most of Greenland is covered by ice, but dwarf willows, shrubs, grasses, mosses, and other vegetation do live in some coastal areas.

      Satellites first detected evidence of the fire on July 31, 2017. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Suomi NPP collected daily images of smoke streaming from the fire over the next week. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this more detailed image of the fire on August 3, 2017.

      While it is not unprecedented for satellites to observe fire activity in Greenland, a preliminary analysis shared by Stef Lhermitte of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands suggests that MODIS has detected far more fire activity in Greenland in 2017 than it did during any other year since the sensor began collecting data in 2002. The fire appears to be burning through peat, noted Miami University scientist Jessica McCarty.

      It is not clear what triggered the fire. Sisimiut, the second largest town in Greenland, has a population of 5,500 people.”


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