How The Greenland Ice Sheet ‘REALLY’ Fared Last Season (2022-2023)

The data are in. Let’s take a look at how the poster boy for global warming fared during the 2022-2023 season…

‘Surface’ Mass Balance

Greenland’s ice sheet gains snow and ice from September through to the following June, and then, as temperatures climb with onset of late-spring, begins to lose more ice through surface melt than it gains from fresh snowfall.

This is known as ‘the melt season’, which generally lasts until the end of August, with snow gains minus ice losses labelled the ‘Surface Mass Balance’ (SMB).

The map below, which comes courtesy of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), plots the SMB over the past 12-months.

The blue line in the upper chart shows the day-to-day SMB (in Gigatons), while the blue line in the lower chart depicts the accumulated SMB (again, in Gts), from the beginning of the season (Sept 1 2022). The grey line is the multidecadal average.

Daily (upper chart) and cumulative (lower chart) SMB of the Greenland ice sheet, in billions of tonnes per day (Gt/day) and billions of tonnes (Gt), respectively. Blue lines show the 2022-23 SMB year; the grey line is the 1981-2010 average; red line (lower chart) is the record low SMB year of 2011-12 [DMI].

Last season (Sept 1, 2022 – Aug 31, 2023) the Greenland ice sheet achieved a Surface Mass Balance of approximately 400Gt. This ranks it above the 1981-2010 average and 15th-highest in SMB in data extending back 43 years.

The 2022-2023 Season

The season commenced with above-average snowfall in September. A host of exceptional snowfall events played out in October and through November, culminating in record-breaking gains as the calendar flipped to December which, looking again at the chart above, held the season;s accumulated SMB above not only the average but also the historic variability (grey area).

In late winter, however, a rather dry –though still cold– period followed, which saw the Acc. SMB fall back to the multidecadal average (grey line). April and May then saw SMB dip below the average. But with on the onset of June came the most remarkable feature in the evolution of 2023’s — the extended period of growth into the summer melt season.

Into July, the the accumulated SMB was holding some 150Gt above average. 

The effect of this extra snow meant that the onset of the “ablation” (melt) season was officially designated as June 29, which is 16 days later than the 1981-2022 median. The ablation season is defined as the first day of three days in a row with an SMB below -1Gt.

Greenland held cold and snowy this season, a reality the establishment admits to but is content to blame on a “blocking pattern”.

During such a setup, the jet stream is shaped like the Greek capital letter Omega (Ω), which when situated over Greenland holds Arctic air in place there but drags tropical warmth unusually-far north into North America to the east and Europe to the west.

Greenland held cold while parts of North America and Europe baked (briefly), but this isn’t the work of global boiling, as the catastrophists would have us believe, rather this is a weak and wavy meridional jet stream flow in action, which, for whatever reason (I contend a low solar activity-connection as it’s by far the most plausible), has been becoming more and more prominent in recent years.

The below map gives an example of these recurring circulation patterns, those responsible for locking cold weather in place across the likes Greenland while dragging up high temperatures into Canada and Europe:

The next graphic is intended to clarify the pattern:

As touched on above, the prevalence of this ‘wavy’ jet stream appears to increase during times of low solar activity. With less energy entering the system, the usually rigid west-to-east flowing jets weaken and the shape becomes Omega (Ω) or ‘meridional’.

It is this mechanism –or more specifically its upshot, i.e. erratic weather patterns– that today’s activist-scientists broadly label ‘climate change’ and wrongly claim can be ‘fixed’ by reducing carbon emissions.

2023 Melt Season

The summer of 2023 delivered periods of extended melt to the Greenland ice sheet, punctuated by periods of record retention — following a big summer snowstorm in late-July, the sheet almost gained mass which would have proved unprecedented.

Greenland did gain mass in mid-August, well-ahead of schedule, but a subsequent burst of intense melting put pay to that. Still, a very quick recovery ensued, and gains were once again noted ahead of average, making for a strong end to the season.


‘Total’ Mass Balance

The Surface Mass Balance (SMB) is just one of three components when it comes to determining an ice sheet’s overall health –its Total Mass Balance (TMB)— with the others being Marine Mass Balance (MMB) and the Basal Mass Balance (BMB).

In Greenland’s case, the MMB consists of the breaking off –or ‘calving’– of icebergs. While the BMB, although largely unimpactful re. Greenland, refers to ice losses from the base of the ice sheet mainly caused by frictional effects and ground heat flux.

The components of the Total Mass Balance going back to 1987 are shown in the chart below — MSM pay close heed.

The SMB shown in blue, the MMB in green, the BMB in yellow, with the overall TMB in red.

Figures are in Gt per year. Chart based on updates to Mankoff et al. (2021), created by Carbon Brief.

This is the data, the easily sourceable official data that every news outlet and their cat has access to, and what it unambiguously shows is, well, not a lot — certainly nothing to write home about, and most-certainly nothing ‘catastrophic’.

While it is a fact that the Total Mass Balance decreased between the late-1990s to 2012, the trend has very clearly shifted since then, to one of overall growth. This is more clearly depicted in the next chart (which doesn’t yet include 2023’s reading):

A representation of TMB from 1986-2022 (to be updated with 2023’s data), assuming the MMB was that of 2021 (which was 10% more than that of 2020).

Note also the subtle discrepancies between the two charts. Both have been created using Mankoff et al. (2021), but the former, created by AGW proponents ‘Carbon Brief’, has certain TMB years nudged down by approximately 80 Gts. Doing this makes it look as though the TMB hasn’t been positive since 1996, whereas according to the second chart, it was positive as recently as 2018.

Regardless, both charts show a trend (from 2012) back towards overall growth.

MSM Obfuscation

Despite 2022-2023 being another healthy season for the Greenland ice sheet, obfuscation abounds across the legacy media.

Today, Oct 18, there is a fresh round of scaremongering simultaneously doing the MSM rounds: “Greenland ice sheet will melt from 2C of global warming,” reports the dutiful propaganda arm of the establishment, from The Times to Nature to NBC.

“The second biggest ice sheet on Earth will pass a tipping point leading to its complete loss if global warming continues to about 2C, scientists have warned” (note they’ve upped the game to ‘2C’ since their datasets show we’ve now surpassed 1.5C, uneventfully).

But the carrot of hope is still being dangled (quote below), making this whole charade even more transparent, because even after the quiet passing of decades-worth of previous tipping point deadlines, the powers can’t have us plebs throwing in the towel. What use is that? There’s still so much more totalitarian ground for them to explore.

“The team of researchers from Europe said the Greenland ice sheet could be pulled back from collapse if humanity manages to bring global temperatures back down with gargantuan new forests and machines sucking CO2 from the air,” continues The Times.

The audacity of the MSM to claim that the 2023 melt season was in anyway alarming is cherry-picking obfuscation at best and outright fraud at worst. Even the staunchest of AGW proponents must see this, the propaganda can’t be that blinding.

But I’m not naive.

Unalarming Greenland data doesn’t serve the doom narrative, and any honest reporting on it would risk interrupting the intravenous dispensation of fear which now requires constant administering given the masses’ increasing immunity to catastrophe.

This is what the corporate media is tasked with nowadays, perhaps it has always been the case: a population forever scared, always looking over its shoulder for the next ‘crisis’ that threatens to upend and ruin them is far easier to keep quiet, to trap under the thumb, to marshal, to own, to control.

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