The climate of Greenland is Arctic, modified only by the slight influence of the Gulf Stream in the southwest. Rapid weather changes, from sunshine to impenetrable blizzards, are common and result from the eastward progression of low-pressure air masses over a permanent layer of cold air above the island’s icy interior.
Greenland's climate is a tundra climate on and near the coasts and an ice cap climate in inland areas. It typically has short, cool summers and long, moderately cold winters. Due to Gulf Stream influences, Greenland's winter temperatures are very mild for its latitude. In Nuuk, the capital, average winter temperatures are only −9 °C (16 °F).
Jan 23, 2013 · The new results from the NEEM ice core drilling project in northwest Greenland, led by the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen show that the climate in Greenland was around 8...
Aug 30, 2019 · Because of its very high latitude, Greenland has an arctic to a subarctic climate with cool summers and very cold winters. For example its capital, Nuuk, has an average January low temperature of 14 degrees (-10 C) and an average July high of just 50 degrees (9.9 C); because of this, its citizens can practice very little agriculture and most of its products are forage crops, greenhouse vegetables, sheep, reindeer, and fish.
Interpretation of ice core and clam shell data suggests that between 800 and 1300 AD, the regions around the fjords of southern Greenland experienced a relatively mild climate several degrees Celsius higher than usual in the North Atlantic, with trees and herbaceous plants growing, and livestock being farmed.
History of Greenland The Inuit (Eskimo) are believed to have crossed to northwest Greenland from North America, using the islands of the Canadian Arctic as stepping stones, in a series of migrations that stretched from at least 2500 bce to the early 2nd millennium ce. Each wave of migration represented different Inuit cultures.
Throughout history the climate of the Earth has varied. In the 10th century, the Earth was relatively warm. That allowed the Vikings to settle on Greenland. However, in the early 14th century, the Earth cooled spelling doom for the colonies in Greenland.
- Ice Cores as Climate ‘Proxies’
- Odyssey of Errors
- Multi-Core Reconstructions
- Looking Into The Future
Widespread thermometer measurements of temperatures only extend back to the mid-1700s. Scientists investigating how temperatures have changed prior to the invention of thermometers need to rely on a variety of climate “proxies”, which are correlated with temperature and can be used to infer, with some uncertainties, how it has changed in the past. Climate proxies can be obtained fromsources, such as tree rings, ice cores, fossil pollen, ocean sediments and corals. Ice cores are one of the best available climate proxies, providing a fairly high-resolution estimate of climate changes into the past. Since scientists cannot directly measure temperatures from ice cores, they have to rely on measuring the oxygen isotope – 18O– which is correlated with temperature, but imperfectly so.
A temperature reconstruction using the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (“GISP2”) ice core was first published by Prof Kurt Cuffey and Dr Gary Clow in a 1997 paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. Prof Richard Alley of Penn State University also used the record in a 2000 paper. Neither of these papers provided a comparison of GISP2 record with current conditions, as the uncertainties in the ice core proxy reconstruction were too large and the proxy record only extended back to 1855. The GISP2 ice core record was used in a number of papers in the late 1990s and 2000s that examined changes over the last ice age and the start of the current warm era – the Holocene – around 11,000 years ago. Around 2009, it caught the attention of Dr J Storrs Hall of the Foresight Institute, a technology-focused nonprofit group, who wrote a blog postsuggesting that it disproved the idea that “human-emitted CO2 is the only thing that could account for the recent warming trend”. That...
A more modern Greenland temperature reconstruction, based on six different ice cores, was published by Prof Bo Vinther of the Niels Bohr Instituteat the University of Copenhagen and colleagues in Nature in 2009. Speaking to Carbon Brief, Vinther suggests that this multi-core Holocene reconstruction provides a number of advantages over the old GISP2 series, using ice core 18O data corrected for past elevation change and “tuned” to fit ice core borehole temperaturesat four locations. The six ice core sites used by the reconstruction are shown in the figure below. The temperature reconstruction produced using data from all six ice cores is shown by the blue line in the figure below, and spans the period from 9690BC to AD1970. It has a resolution of around 20 years, meaning that each data point represents the average temperature of the surrounding 20 years. So, the end of the record – 1970 – shows the average temperature between 1960 and 1980. The ice core data cannot be extended all th...
While periods during the early Holocene – 7,000-11,000 years ago – may have been warmer in Greenland than the present day, if the present rate of warming continues, the Earth should pass well beyond any temperatures experienced in Greenland during the Holocene by 2050. To examine how future Greenland warming might compare to what has happened in the past, Carbon Brief has looked at the average of the CMIP5 climate models used in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fifth assessment report. Future projections from these models are taken from the locations of the six ice cores used by Vinther and colleagues. Two future scenarios, known as “Representative Concentration Pathways”, are used: representative concentration pathway RCP4.5, a modest mitigation scenario where global temperatures warm to nearly 3C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, and RCP8.5, a very high emissions scenario where global temperatures warm nearly 5C by 2100. Climate models show faster warming in...
Greenland ice cores provide a high-quality high-resolution estimate of past changes in temperatures, allowing more precise comparisons with observed temperature records than most other climate proxies. While current temperatures are likely still below the highs in the early Holocene around 7,000 years ago, they are clearly higher than any temperatures experienced in Greenland over the past 2,000 years. Greenland is just one location and temperature variations seen in ice core records may not be characteristic of global temperatures. However, global proxy reconstructions have tended to show similar patterns, with current temperatures lower than the early Holocene maximum. Unless greenhouse gas emissions cease in the near future, warming will continue and, by the middle of the 21st century, Greenland – and the world as a whole – will likely experience temperatures that are unprecedented at least since the last interglacial period125,000 years ago.
- World’s Largest Island.
- Greenland Really Was Green. Since most of Greenland is covered in ice, snow and glaciers, the Arctic nation is mostly white. So how did it get its name “Greenland” when it’s not really green?
- Autonomous country. Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. Although Greenland is geographically a part of the North American continent, it has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for about a millennium.
- 4,500 Years of History.
- related to: greenland climate history