Melting in Greenland set a new record before the end of the melting season. Over the past days, the cumulative melting index over the entire Greenland ice sheet (defined as the number of days when melting occurs times the area subject to melting) on August 8th exceeded the record value recently set in 2010 for the whole melting season (which usually ends around the beginning or mid September).
Standardized melting index (SMI) for the period 1979 - 2012. the years between 1979 and 2011 use the full length season (May through September) where 2012 uses only the available period May through August 8th. Note that 2012 value is much higher than any of the previous years, despite the shorter period.
Ground data from the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
A link to the ground data collected along the K-transect by the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Utrecht University, the Netherlands can now be accessed through a new link under the Data section. An example of the available plots is reported on the left. The institute has been operating several automatic weather stations on the western Greenland ice margin (K-transect) for many years and the data of the current calendar year can be viewed from the link under Data or here. Thanks to Carleen Tijm-Reijmer (IMAU) for sending the link.
Here's a link to Jason Box 2012 analysis of albedo over the Greenland ice sheet. The reduction of the albedo is a critical factor for enhancing melting over the Greenland ice sheet. The image on the left shows the ice sheet albedo time series updated through July 2012 by Jason Box.
To better understand the importance of this mechanism you can check a recently published paper on the Cryosphere Discussion by Box et al. (2012) in which we focus on this problem or another paper (Tedesco et al., 2011) that we published on Environmental Research Letters focusing on the role of albedo and accumulation on the 2010 melting recording in Greenland. Both papers are also available in the Scientific Literature section of this site.
NOAA today posted the following focusing on melting at Summit during the month of July 2012.
Here's the full link:
The plot below shows the passive microwave brightness temperature time series over Summit recorded between 1979 and 2011 (the ensemble of gray lines) and the time series recorded during 2012 (black thick line). The ensemble clearly shows that things are relatively stable at Summit, with relatively small interannual variability.