Good For The Greenland Ice Sheet, Bad For The Corn Belt

By David Archibald – Re-Blogged From

One thing that climate rationalists and warmers can agree on is that we all would like to have a healthy Greenland Ice Sheet. The good news on that front is that the ice sheet has put on 500 Gt this year as per this diagram provided by the Danish Meteorological Institute:


Figure 1: Total daily contribution to the surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet

The ice sheet is on track to add 500 Gt this year. It was given a big push along by a large storm in October 2016. Most of that was added on the southwest flank as shown by Figure 2.


Figure 2: Map of the accumulated surface mass balance (in mm water equivalent) from September 1st, 2016 to August 11th, 2017.

All this means that the shrinkage of the Greenland Ice Sheet since the beginning of the millenium is now over. Unfortunately now that the ice sheet has stopped shrinking, the NOAA has stopped updating their diagram. But, armed with the 500 Gt figure provided by the Danish meteorologists, we can make a stab at it:


Figure 3: Monthly change in the total mass (in Gigatonnes) of the Greenland ice sheet between April 2002 and June 2016

The red crosses denote the values for the month of April of each year. The other result of this turnaround in the Greenland Ice Sheet is that sea level will be falling, not rising.

The colder weather that is good for the Greenland Ice Sheet is bad for the Corn Belt though. As this article says, many farmers in the Upper Midwest are becoming increasingly concerned about the possibility of an early frost. Temperatures in that region are expected to trend well below normal the second half of September, with the potential for a season-ending freeze somewhere between the 15th and 20th.

So let’s look at the corn crop progress for Wisconsin as up to August 6th:


Figure 4: Wisconsin corn crop progess and condition

A frost hitting on 15th September would be when only 25% of the crop is mature.

[It appears that there was no frost there. -Bob]



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