Historic Snow/Ice Gains On Greenland; + Researchers “Surprised” To Find “Re-Glaciating Snow Field” In California’s Sierra Nevada

Historic Snow/Ice Gains On Greenland

The Danish Meteorological Institute’s daily Surface Mass Balance (SMB) dataset failed to update late last week. I think I now know why. The DMI was probably seeking to validate this monstrous gain before going public with it:


They were probably working out if they needed a bigger chart, and they likely did, but what a PR nightmare that would have been.

On Wednesday, October 18, a recording-smashing 12+ gigaton gain was posted by the ice sheet, the highest daily total ever recorded in DMI record books dating back to 1981.

Another 9Gts was picked up Thursday.

Then 8Gts Friday.

These are astonishing gains of early-season snow, which practically buried the southeast section of the island; gains that have pushed the season’s accumulated SMB well-above the 1981-2010 mean (bottom panel below) to rival last year’s record readings:


Despite corporate media claims, fortunes have reversed for the Greenland Ice Sheet.

While it is true the ice sheet lost mass between the 1996 to 2012, the data show that the trend has very clearly now shifted:

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).

The 2023-24 season looks to be continuing that trend of growth.

For a deeper-dive, including a comprehensive round-up of the season just gone (Sept ’22 – Aug ’23), click below:

Researchers “Surprised” To Find “Re-Glaciating Snow Field” In California’s Sierra Nevada

Dr Tony Phillips of spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launch ‘cosmic ray balloons’ more than once a month to monitor space radiation in Earth’s atmosphere. Sometimes things go wrong.

Last October (2022) one of these balloons flew off course and became stranded on a steep rocky slope overlooking Echo Lake — a mile-wide pool of melted snow in the Sierra Nevada:

A year later and it’s still there.

The payload touched down on a rocky slope almost a thousand feet above the lake, reports team leader Dr Tony Phillips. “It was quickly buried by the Great Winter of 2023, at one point under as much as 30 feet of snow,” he writes.

Recovery teams led by Dr Phillips have visited Echo Lake on five separate occasions now, each time getting a little closer to the payload but never quite recovering it due to the incredible volume of compacted snow.

On the most recent trip (Oct 5), “we reached the landing site [and] what we found surprised us,” writes Dr Phillips.

“The payload is buried as much as 4 ft deep in this re-glaciating snow field.”

Re-glaciating snow field, near Echo Lake.

“The area around the landing site has experienced a remarkable re-glaciation event,” continues Dr Phillips.

“Rocky terrain once desiccated by years of California drought is now a dense field of ice and snow impervious to summer heat. The payload is trapped in this almost-rock hard layer of snow. Our shovels bounced off the surface with no effect.

“We’re going back this weekend, and this time we’re taking a chainsaw. We hope to cut through the ice and find our cosmic ray sensors preserved in the frozen subsurface. If the payload is recovered, we will be able to finally stitch together a complete record of radiation data for the past year. Wish us luck!”

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