In an attempt to get a climate agreement in Copenhagen politicians told scare stories about melting Greenland ice. But a couple of recent studies tell a different story. Here is summary of one of the studies:
The article is over 20 pages long in the prestigious Journal of Climate, but the key figure of interest to us is shown below. As seen in the figure, Greenland is warming over the past 25 years, no doubt about it. Let’s add to the story … Greenland is warming in all seasons over the past 25 years, Greenland has warmed by over a degree Celsius over the past 25 years, or how about this headline – Autumn temperatures soaring in Greenland?
Figure 1. Gaussian filtering of Greenland ice sheet annual 2-m temperature anomalies relative to the 1951–80 base period (from Box et al, 2009).
Of course there is another way to look at the same graph. Annual Greenland temperatures were higher in 1930 than today. The rate of warming in the past was much greater than the current rate of warming. Greenland warmed fastest before the concentration of greenhouse gases increased substantially. Greenland cooled substantially from 1930 to 1980 … during a period of greenhouse gas concentration increase. Box et al. note in their abstract that “The annual whole ice sheet 1919–32 warming trend is 33% greater in magnitude than the 1994–2007 warming.” The same graph can produce very different headlines?