Global temperatures Greenland’s flash thaw!

(News & Editorial)
Maybe we should pray for major volcanic activity to cool the northern hemispheric air temperatures?

A. The big thaw: Greenland ice cover vanishes in just four days
26 July 2012, The Independent, by Steve Connor
Pasted from: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/the-big-thaw-greenland-ice-cover-vanishes–in-just-four-days-7976831.html
.
Surface melting extended across 97 per cent of country’s ice sheet this month.
The vast ice sheet of Greenland, which holds enough water to raise global sea levels by 7.2 metres, underwent a remarkable transformation for a few days this month when scientists observed an unprecedented melting of its frozen surface.             

For the first time since satellites began recording changes to Greenland from space more than 30 years ago, scientists observed surface melting across almost the entire ice sheet – the second-largest body of ice after Antarctica.

The phenomenon in Greenland was so unusual and unexpected that researchers at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California initially could not believe what they were seeing and so quickly sought verification from colleagues elsewhere.

“This was so extraordinary that at first, I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to a data error?” said Son Nghiem, whose job at the laboratory is to analyse satellite radar data.

At this time of the year, about half of the surface of the ice sheet usually experiences some kind of surface melting as summer daytime temperatures rise above freezing point.

However, scientists at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) were amazed to discover that on 11 and 12 July, surface melting had extended across 97 per cent of the ice sheet – the most widespread melting they have witnessed.

The observation comes weeks after an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan broke away from the Petermann glacier in northern Greenland and other scientists recorded a rapid loss of floating sea ice in the Arctic basin.

Dorothy Hall at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland soon supplied the verification in the form of temperature data from two other Nasa satellites. She confirmed unusually high temperatures over the entire ice sheet, which at 1.7 million square kilometres is three times the size of Texas, or more than 16 times the size of England.

Thomas Mote, a climatologist at the University of Georgia, then came up with a meteorological explanation for the highly unusual observation. A ridge of warm air, called a heat dome, has formed over Greenland.

Dr Mote said that it was in fact the latest of a series of ridges that had dominated Greenland’s weather since the end of May. “Each successive ridge has been stronger than the previous one,” he said.

The Greenland ice sheet is 1,500 miles long, 700 miles wide, and up to two miles thick at its highest point. The current ice sheet is believed to be 110,000 years old, but there may have been ice sheets on Greenland for 18 million years or more.

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B.  2012 Global Temperature Update
17 July 2012, the inconvenient SKEPTIC
Pasted from: <http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2012/07/2012-global-temperature-update/&gt;

Hot weather has been much in the news of late. This is especially true in the United States where there have been some real scorchers in the past month. Needless to say that when the temperature is high, so is the news about global warming. I will be the first to admit that there has been less of it than I expected, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been an avalanche of news about how this summer is what global warming looks like.

Previous studies have shown that people are more prone to news about global warming when the temperature is elevated. It is easy to see how what people are experiencing influences their behavior, by simply going to Google Trends. It is easy to see the frequency of searches and how strongly they correlate to the summer months in the United States.

When it is Summer, people search about hot weather.

So the real question is, how hot is 2012 in comparison. I will admit that I am bored with the whole temperature anomaly issue. It is really an argument about a variation that is so tiny and insignificant that it is a waste of time, but it is what people talk about, so I will continue to do so when it is needed.

In the last article someone noted one of the more common news themes is that 2012 had the 2nd warmest May in history (in this case history is ~120 years) and the United States experienced it’s warmest March-May ever in that same period of time. What is clear is that there has been nothing abnormal for the first half of 2012 for the global temperature.

(Blue) UAH, (Green), RSS Temperature Anomaly. (Brown) is the average 2012 average for the two versions.

The data speaks for itself. For the RSS data the first half of 2012 is the 12th warmest year, since 1979. For the UAH 2012 is the 9th warmest half of a year since 1979. Those are not significant rankings in warmth. However it does appear that the ENSO phase is going to switch to the warm phase so the later part of 2012 is likely to be warm, but really the warm weather this year has been local to the United States.

The analysis for the United States is quite different. Much like Russia experienced a significant heat wave a couple of years ago that was a localized weather event, the United States is experiencing something like that this year. There is a significant difference between local and global events and this year’s temperature is a good example of this.

Continental United States Temperature anomaly for Jan-June of 2012.

In this case it is clear that the United States is experiencing an abnormally warm year. Few would argue otherwise, but the story is difference globally. It is interesting that it was two years after the powerful El Nino that the US experienced is other very warm year and once again it is two years after a powerful El Nino that it is once again very warm. The oceans drive local weather and how the switching of the ENSO influences weather is complicated.

What is interesting is that the NOAA May report that is being used to say how warm the Earth is globally acknowledges that it was only the United States that was experiencing abnormally warm conditions while Australia was experiencing colder than average weather. That is how weather works.

From the NOAA site. May 2012. United States warm, Australia cold.

[From the NOAA site. June 2012. United States warm, Australia cold, China wet. I suspect that the July Significant Climate Anomalies Global Map will show Greenland and the USA experiencing anomalous, hot temperatures. Mr. Larry]

Somehow I suspect the talk about global warming is less enthusiastic down under at the moment. The data simply does not support that statement that the Earth has been any different this year than it has in any of the past 15 years. Local events don’t cut it and that is all that is going on in 2012.

Finally the warmest May according to the satellite data is 1998 when May logged a 0.66 °C anomaly. May of this year was 0.3 °C

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