8.4 Warm Events at Summit, Greenland During 2012 Relative to an Evolving Climate Record

Wednesday, 9 January 2013: 9:15 AM
Ballroom B (Austin Convention Center)
Christopher A. Shuman, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD; and M. J. Schnaubelt and T. Mefford

An evolving temperature record from the Greenland Summit Station, at approximately 3216 m in elevation, has documented unusual periods of near and above freezing air temperatures in July 2012. Since August 2005, data has been collected from well-calibrated and actively-ventilated temperature sensors at a NOAA-ESRL climate observatory. Comparison of these data from a nominal 2 m height above the ice sheet surface over the past seven summers reveals several periods of unusual warmth at the highest elevations of the ice sheet in 2012.

Detailed analysis of the available data indicates that temperatures rose to or above freezing for almost 6.5 hours on July 11 at Summit Station. A maximum air temperature of 1 degree C was recorded repeatedly in the 1-minute averages during this period. NOAA's data also indicated brief periods at or above zero on July 12th and 29th as well. These anomalously warm air-temperature periods can now be compared and contrasted with equivalent-quality data from earlier records (automatic weather stations began operating in May 1987 during the GISP2 project) and used to calibrate indications of warm surface temperatures derived from multi-decadal satellite passive microwave and infrared sensors.

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