Greenland Sets New Melt Record – 4 Weeks Early

Posted on August 15, 2012


Back in July I talked about a few days when 97% of Greenland melted.  That was something.  But a lot of the snow that melted in mid-July refroze.

Spooky.  Don’t want to see too much of that.  Yet not much contribution to sea level rise from that event, on the bright side.

Except Greenland isn’t into good news this year.  Here we are, smack-dab in the middle of August, four weeks from the end of the Greenland melt season, and Greenland has already set a new melt record.  By melt we do mean melt, ice and snow that has now become sea water.  That has contributed to sea level rise.

Greenland’s previous melt record was set in 2010.  Every day of Greenland’s continuing 2012 melt season will set a new record from here on in.  We won’t even know what this year’s record is really going to be until September.

Off the charts, and I thought we just ordered new charts.

Greenland’s ice sheet is thinning at its edges.  Melt lakes are accumulating on the tops of glaciers.  Elevations that would usually experience only days of melt in a season have already, this season, experienced months.

Models have predicted what would happen.  But the actual melt appears to be happening much much faster than predictions.  Greenland is capable by itself, in the very long term, of contributing seven metres to sea level rise worldwide.  If melts like this return, if 2012 is not just a rogue season, then I would suggest not buying a home by the seashore for, oh, the next few hundred years.

 See Greenland Melting Breaks Record Four Weeks Before Season’s End – ScienceDaily