3 New Papers: Greenland 3-5°C Warmer With 40 Kilometers Less Ice Area 4,000-10,000 Years Ago

Greenland Cooling Since 2005

Arctic Region Cooler Now Than Most Of The Last 10,000 Years

It’s official.  According to a new paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, Greenland has been cooling slightly since 2005.

This trend development may be a harbinger of what may be in store for the coming years.  Shifts in North Atlantic temperatures typically lead changes in the Arctic  by a few years.  And throughout the North Atlantic, rapid cooling has been underway since 2005, plunging below the levels reached in the 1950s.

Kobashi et al., 2017

For the most recent 10 years (2005 to 2015), apart from the anomalously warm year of 2010, mean annual temperatures at the Summit exhibit a slightly decreasing trend in accordance with northern North Atlantic-wide cooling.  The Summit temperatures are well correlated with southwest coastal records (Ilulissat, Kangerlussuaq, Nuuk, and Qaqortoq).”

A Few Thousand Years Ago, The Greenland/Arctic Region Was 3-5°C Warmer Than Now

Between 10,000 and 4,000 years ago, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were almost 150 ppm lower than they are now (~260 ppm).  Despite such low CO2 levels, the Arctic region was several degrees Celsius warmer than it has been in recent decades.   Arctic summers were likely sea ice-free during these much warmer years.

Mangerud and Svendsen, 2017

“Shallow marine molluscs that are today extinct close to Svalbard, because of the cold climate, are found in deposits there dating to the early Holocene. The most warmth-demanding species found, Zirfaea crispata, currently has a northern limit 1000 km farther south, indicating that August temperatures on Svalbard were 6°C warmer at around 10.2–9.2 cal. ka BP [10,200 to 9,200 years ago], when this species lived there. … After 8.2 cal. ka, the climate around Svalbard warmed again, and although it did not reach the same peak in temperatures as prior to 9 ka, it was nevertheless some 4°C warmer than present between 8.2 and 6 cal. ka BP. Thereafter, a gradual cooling brought temperatures to the present level at about 4.5 cal. ka BP. The warm early-Holocene climate around Svalbard was driven primarily by higher insolation and greater influx of warm Atlantic Water, but feedback processes further influenced the regional climate.”

Lasher et al., 2017

“This paper presents a multi proxy lake record of NW Greenland Holocene climate. … Summer temperatures (2.5–4 °C warmer than present) persisted until 4 ka [4,000 years ago] … Continual cooling after 4 ka led to coldest temperatures after 1.2 ka, with temperature anomalies 2-3°C below present.  Approximately 1000 km to the south, a 2-3°C July temperature anomaly (relative to [warmer than] present) between 6 and 5 ka [thousand years ago] was reported based upon chironomid assemblages near Illulisat and Jakobshavn (Axford et al., 2013). Across Baffin Bay on northeastern Baffin Island, HTM [Holocene Thermal Maximum] summer temperatures were an estimated ~5°C warmer than the pre-industrial late Holocene and 3.5°C warmer than present, based upon chironomid assemblages (Axford et al., 2009; Thomas et al., 2007).”

Kobashi et al., 2017

“After the 8.2 ka event, Greenland temperature reached the Holocene thermal maximum with the warmest decades occurring during the Holocene (2.9 ± 1.4°C warmer than the recent decades [1988-2015]) at 7960 ± 30 years B.P.”

Lusas et al., 2017 (East Greenland)

“The lack of glacio-lacustrine sediments throughout most of the record suggests that the ice cap was similar to or smaller than present throughout most of the Holocene. This restricted ice extent suggests that climate was similar to or warmer than present, in keeping with other records from Greenland that indicate a warm early and middle Holocene. Middle Holocene magnetic susceptibility oscillations, with a ~200-year frequency in one of the lakes, may relate to solar influence on local catchment processes. … Air temperatures in Milne Land, west of our study area, based on preliminary estimates from chironomids, may have been 3–6°C warmer than at present (Axford et al. 2013), and in Scoresby Sund itself, warm ocean fauna, including Mytilus edulis and Chlamys islandica, both of which live far to the south today, occupied the fjords (Sugden and John 1965; Hjort and Funder 1974; Street 1977; Funder 1978; Bennike and Wagner 2013; Fig. 13).  … Recession of Istorvet ice cap in the last decade has revealed plant remains that show that the glacier was smaller than at present during the early stages of the Medieval Warm Period, but expanded during the late Holocene ca. AD 1150 (Lowell et al. 2013).”

No Net Warming For The Greenland Ice Sheet In 90 Years

Kobashi et al., 2017

Zhao et al., 2016

Hanna et al., 2011

Greenland Ice Sheet Had Retreated 20-60 Kilometers Behind Present Margins ~8,000 Years Ago

Lasher et al., 2017

Following deglaciation, the GrIS [Greenland Ice Sheet] retreated behind its present margins (by as much as 20-60 km in some parts of Greenland) during the HTM [Holocene Thermal Maximum] (Larsen et al., 2015; Young and Briner, 2015).”

Briner et al., 2016

The Greenland Ice Sheet retracted to its minimum extent between 5 and 3 ka [5,000 and 3,000 years ago], consistent with many sites from around Greenland depicting a switch from warm to cool conditions around that time.”


A Long-Term Context

Greenland has warmed 20-24 times the magnitude reached during the last century multiple times.  During these abrupt warming events (10°C to 15°C temperature rise within decades), CO2 concentrations were stable and hovered below 200 parts per million.  This indicates that the Arctic climate is not significantly influenced by CO2 variations nor human activity in general, as the past 100 years are well within the range of natural variability.

Easterbrook, 2016

In the past 500 years, Greenland temperatures have fluctuated back and forth between warming and cooling about 40 times, with changes every 25–30 years. … Comparisons of the intensity and magnitude of past warming and cooling climate changes show that the global warming experienced during the past century pales into insignificance when compared to the magnitude of profound climate reversals over the past 25,000 years. At least three warming events were 20–24 times the magnitude of warming over the past century, and four were 6–9 times the magnitude of warming over the past century.”

11 responses to “3 New Papers: Greenland 3-5°C Warmer With 40 Kilometers Less Ice Area 4,000-10,000 Years Ago”

  1. richard verney

    Whenever one discusses Greenland, it is sensible to also refer to the Fernandez & Fernandez 2017 paper on Glacier melts.

    This paper examined the Greenland Glaciers and their rate of melting as from around 1870 to 2005, and concluded that the rate of Glacier retreat significantly slowed down as from about 1946.

    It is important to note that just as CO2 levels began rising the rate of Glacier retreat dramatically slowed, rather than accelerated.

    As a summary of their results, they noted that:

    The average total retreat of the glaciers was some 1,334 metres. Of this retreat some 1,062 metres of retreat had taken place by 1946, and the retreat after 1946 was only some 272 metres.

    Thus one will note that approximately 805 of the retreat occurred in about 76 years between 1870 to 1946, and only about 20% of the retreat in the 6o years between 1946 and 2005.

    Just to give an example of how the rate of retreat had dramatically slowed, I quote from their paper:

    The trend in Western Tungnahryggsjökull during the first half
    of the 20th century was a more rapid retreat, showing the highest
    average rates of the whole period (19.5 m yr−1). By 1946, this
    glacier had retreated almost 90% of the total recorded between the
    LIA maximum (1868) and 2005 (Table 1). In the 1946 photo-
    graph, this significant retreat of the ice reveals two large moraines
    in the centre of the deglaciated area. The snout retreat slowed
    down considerably during the second half of the century, espe-
    cially in 1985 (1.5 m yr−1).

    Thus the Western Tungnahryggsjökull showed a reduction in the rate of retreat from 19.5 metres per year, down to just 1.5 metres per year after 1946.

    Of course, this is not particularly surprising since apart from one solitary year this century (2010), the warmest period in Greenland these last 150 years was in the 1930s/1940s.

    There has been no recent warming in Greenland, and if anything it has cooled since the highs of the 1930s/1940s. Eg.,


  2. Brian W.

    Jul 2, 2017 Antarctica Is the Key to Controlling the Weather


  3. tom0mason


    Observational evidence of CO2 ‘trapping the heat’?

    If CO2 is supposed to ‘trap the heat’, it must surely ‘trap the heat’ of an El Niño?
    If so then why are the heating effects of all those El Niños so short lived?

    If that’s the best CO2 can do, well I can live with that.

    1. sunsettommy

      CO2 doesn’t trap heat at all. It absorbs Infrared Radiation,NOT heat.

      1. tom0mason

        I agree but the others may wish to comment with some blather from their belief in the unsubstantiated theory of CO2 warming the planet.


        I wouldn’t like them to feel unwanted here as I find their squirming around try to cover all the bases and missing very amusing.

        But then again some call me a sad f***er for liking such entertainment.

        1. SebastianH

          Was that a sad try to troll AGW proponents reading this blog?

          sunsettommy is actually right on this one. More CO2 just increases LW backradiation. It doesn’t “hold” heat that can be distributed at a later time …

          1. AndyG55

            Still the plaintive plea for attention, hey seb-troll.

            ZERO proof of any CO2 warming of atmosphere or ocean…. EMPTY.

            Just the continued MINDLESS YAPPING of a brain-washed little AGW troll.

            Ant AGW proponents reading this blog would be cringing from your EMBARRASSING inability to support the very basis of their religion.

  4. Brian W.


    American Lookout reports, In a perfect example of irony, a scientific research study that intended to study global warming was cancelled after encountering large amounts of ice. Breitbart reported, A global warming research study in Canada has been cancelled because of “unprecedented” thick summer ice. Naturally, the scientist in charge has blamed it on ‘climate change.’


  5. Swiss Daily: ‘Record Cold July In Greenland’…Alarmists ‘Struggling To Explain’ As Arctic Island Cools | Principia Scientific International

    […] NTZ reported here that Greenland, in fact, has been cooling over the past decade, as three recent studies alarmingly […]

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