Greenland Ice Melt Spikes Far Beyond Normal in April 2016
In scientific assessment of variation, a typical broad measurement of what’s normally expected is the range between 2 standard deviations above the mean and 2 standard deviations below the mean. In a normal distribution of events, 95% of events will have measurements within +/- 2 standard deviations of the mean. To have an event with some characteristic more than 2 standard deviations above the average of that characteristic means you have a rather unusual event on your hands. By scientific standards, this is the moment when one ought to take notice.
In the following graph from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the mean daily value of the extent of Greenland ice melt for each day of the year between 1981 and 2010 is indicated by a dotted blue line. The range of observations during those years occurring between +2 and -2 standard deviations of the mean is indicated by an area of values in gray. The red value you see in this graph is a measurement of the actual extent of Greenland ice melt in 2016.
These are not normal times. It is time for us to take notice.
Number of web pages on Bernie Sanders’ campaign website mentioning Greenland: 3,070.
Number of web pages on Hillary Clinton’s campaign website mentioning Greenland: 0.
Number of web pages on Donald Trump’s campaign website mentioning Greenland: 1 — referring to the town of Greenland, New Hampshire.