west Greenland melt is ON

Weather was very warm yesterday in Kangerlussuaq, at least 15 C (60 F) but 20 C (70 F) at the unofficial airport site. The river came up fast and wide between our 10 AM first look to the late afternoon; 24 h sun here on the Arctic circle. The snowline is migrating up the ice sheet. It seems we arrived right on the start of continuous melt. The previous days have had variable weather and even fresh snow on hilltops.

The melt is ON. The extended forecast is for warm sunny weather…

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 8.23.18 AMThe warm weather is a relief because right now, snowline is ~850 m above sea level. We aim to camp at 1250 m and don’t want to arrive to slush deeper than our ankles.

The precipitation forecast for next Wednesday would come the night of our camp put in. We’d rather have snow than rain. But the freezing level in the atmosphere would be right at camp elevation, so it would be a ‘wintery mix’.


About the author Jason Box

Dr. Jason Box has been investigating Greenland ice sheet sensitivity to weather and climate as part of 23 expeditions to Greenland since 1994. His time camping on the inland ice exceeds 1 year. Year 2012 brought a deeper level of insight as the scientific perspective shifts to examine the interactions ice with atmospheric and ocean systems, including the role of fire in darkening the cryosphere. As part of his academic enterprise, Box has authored or co-authored 50+ peer-reviewed publications related to Greenland cryosphere-climate interactions. Box instructed climatology courses at The Ohio State University 2003-2012. Box is now a Professor at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS). Box was a contributing author to the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 4th assessment report. Box is also the former Chair of the Cryosphere Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union.

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