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Colorado Bob

More Rain Events Speed Melt on Greenland Ice Sheet
July 13, 2015
with Peter Sinclair

New paper in Nature Geoscience, Jason Box and Alun Hubbard are co-authors.
Above, I got a quick rundown from Dr. Box, a few days ago, via (sorry) herky-jerky skype from Northern Iceland.

While on the ice for Dark Snow 2014, we experienced a 30 hour precip event that featured high wind and horizontal driving rain. Afterward, ablation stakes on-site indicated that a very large amount of surface melting had taken place during the previous day and a half.
The new study finds that increased incidences of rain on the Greenland sheet may indeed be a contributing factor to more mass loss, by sending large volumes of warm water deep into the ice, now and even more so as the arctic continues to warm.


Colorado Bob

What Box says about warm rain also applies to altitude as well -

The Hindu Kush Before and After the Great Pakistani Floods

I saw this image from the Swat Valley in August, and I was stunned . Not for what is in the foreground, I was in the Big Thompson Flood in 1976. I know what happens when it rains like hell in the mountains. What struck me are those mountains in the background. That is the Hindu Kush . These two pictures were shot in the last week of July (left), and from the same spot 3 weeks later. Look at all that missing snow.



Colorado I have long argued with certain people who insist it will take a Millennium for Greenland to melt if it ever does. All it would actually take is for a warm wet Atlantic hurricane to dump torrential rains on it every year or so. The speed with which even 5 C rain can erode ice is simply astonishing. Drop a meter of 5C rain on the GIS every summer around August 1 and the effects would stun anyone who has not spent much time thinking about it. It is not just surface melt either, the large volume of rain would create scores it not hundreds of fresh Moulins that would bore through the sheet raising the internal temperature softening the ice while at the same time the base pressure would lift the sheet allowing it to flow much faster for a week or two.

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