Massive Surface Melt on Greenland

August 23, 2021

Tweeted by Josh Willis of NASA:

On the transit to Kangerlussuaq, we flew over set of massive melt ponds and rivers that had begun to refreeze. Our Captain Jim Haffey, who’s flown the ice sheet for 25 years, said it was more melt than he’d ever seen.

Washington Post:

Greenland just experienced another massive melt event this year. But this time, something unusual happened. It also rained at the summit of the ice sheet, nearly two miles above sea level.

Around 6 a.m. Saturday, staff at the National Science Foundation’s Summit Station woke up to raindrops and water beads condensed on the station’s windows. Rain occasionally falls on the ice sheet, but no staff member recalls rain — even a light drizzle — ever occurring at the summit before.

“Basically, the entire day of Saturday, it was raining every hour that [staff] was making weather observations,” said Zoe Courville, a research engineer at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. “And that’s the first time that’s been observed happening at the station.”

Dirk Van As of Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland tweets:

My experience is more limited, but in 6 years of Greenland fieldwork, I never saw anything remotely like this.
My video below from 2016 is typical for comparison.

8 Responses to “Massive Surface Melt on Greenland”

  1. redskylite Says:

    No surprise as “from 1971 to 2019, the Arctic’s average annual temperature rose by 3.1C, compared to 1C for the planet as a whole” – J.Box.
    ———————————————————————–
    Reuters. . .

    Rain Falls at Highest Point on Greenland’s Ice Sheet for 1st Time on Record

  2. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    Takes a SHED load of HEAT to turn frozen water into liquid. 333 joules/gram, 80 calories/gram (from memory).

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      AIUI, the ice we’ve melted in the past thirty years represents a lot of heat that is now going straight into ocean expansion.

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:


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