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A picture from satellite data highlights the increase in summer melts in Greenland's ice sheet over the decade between 1992 and 2002  (Source: CIRES and CU Boulder)
Greenland's melt is increasing and continues a series of record setting years

Yesterday, DailyTech covered shocking allegations by an esteemed sea-level expert that the IPCC modified climate data and committed other violations in an attempt to falsely portray accelerating sea level rising.  If true, perhaps the IPCC should have learned to be more patient.

Greenland's melt is accelerating, according to a new study published as part of long-ongoing research at the Colorado University at Boulder on climate change.  In 2007, the summer melt record was surpassed by 10%.  CU Boulder notes that record breaking melts are nothing new to Greenland; the last 20 years have brought 6 record melts, with record melts in 1987, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2007.

The base cause is clearly a surface air temperature rise.  Since 1991, extensive data shows that temperatures over Greenland's ice sheet increased approximately 7 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

The report by CU Boulder seemed objective and balanced in its observations.  It helpfully noted that the ice level actually had increased slightly at higher elevations due to increased snowfall over the past decade, however, it noted that this increase was not enough to offset the sharply escalating melting.

Professor Konrad Steffen, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences which headed the study, gave a presentation on his team's research to the American Geophysical Union held in San Francisco from Dec. 10 to Dec. 14.  The paper that the presentation is based on, titled "Melt season duration and ice layer formation on the Greenland ice sheet," was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysics Research and is available here (PDF).

At the presentation, Professor Steffen put the melt in context saying, "The amount of ice lost by Greenland over the last year is the equivalent of two times all the ice in the Alps, or a layer of water more than one-half mile deep covering Washington, D.C."

Professor Steffen explained how his team used Defense Meteorology Satellite Program's Special Sensor Microwave Imager aboard several military and weather satellites to map the melt.  Professor Steffen supplemented this data with polled data transmitted via satellite from 22 stations on the Greenland ice sheet known as the Greenland Climate Network, which he and the University personally maintain.

Lubrication from the melting is one important factor that is speeding up the melt, as explained in Professor Steffen's research.  He stated, "The more lubrication there is under the ice, the faster that ice moves to the coast.  Those glaciers with floating ice 'tongues' also will increase in iceberg production."

If global warming critics or believers hope to use the melt as a quick smoking gun to prove sea level change, they shouldn't hold their breath.  Greenland is slowly and steadily contributing 0.5 mm of world sea level in melt water a year.  If all of Greenland's ice sheet melted, it is estimated that it would raise the global sea levels 21 feet, but for now it is just gradually raising them with time. 

However, deep tunnels in the ice known as moulins are speeding the rate at which water is evacuated into the sea.  With record melts, glacier lubrication, and these tunneling phenomena Professor Stephen expects the current yearly sea level contribution of 0.5 mm/yr to quickly rise.

He thinks that IPCC may have missed the boat on both ends -- overestimating sea level rise now, and underestimating future sea rise for the remainder of the century.  Professor Steffens has publicly stated that based on his understanding of Greenland's current melting process that sea level rise will significantly beat the estimates for 21st century sea level rise made by the IPCC Panel held in 2007.

Professor Steffens works for CIRES, which is a joint venture of CU Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  He and his team will continue to provide a voice of scientific reason in the global debate over whether melting is increasing or decreasing, with his team's diligent analysis of melting in Greenland.



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The rest of the story...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/12/2007 12:19:44 PM , Rating: 5
> "the last 20 years have brought 6 record melts..."

But satellite record-keeping has only existed for Greenland since 1979. When you have only 28 years of recording, finding the six highest years in the last 20 years isn't terribly surprising.

Greenland's ice sheet is melting at the rate of 0.25% per century . It has been, with ups and downs, since the end of the last ice age. Even still, Greenland is colder and icier than it was during the Medieval Warm Period, less than 1000 years ago.

Furthermore, though the coastally-concentrated ice sheet mass is indeed decreasing, the amount of snow and ice in the high-altitude central regions is still *increasing*:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/111...




RE: The rest of the story...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/12/2007 12:32:35 PM , Rating: 3
Another bit of interesting research on Greenland. It demonstrates that, during a period of time in the Earth's past (the Palaeogene) which was up some 8 degrees warmer than present, and had atmospheric CO2 levels as much as 400% higher, Greenland itself still remained heavily glaciated.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v446/n7132/fu...


RE: The rest of the story...
By Murst on 12/12/2007 12:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
None of this changes the fact that it is still melting.

Sure, it may be something that is cyclical and it will most likely not harm our planet in any way, but if their predictions are accurate and the rate of melt will increase much faster than previously anticipated, it will certainly affect many people who live around water - so, basically, everyone.

Perhaps we have something to do w/ it... perhaps we don't... However, things like this cannot be ignored from a city planning point of view.

There are also many other ways this can influence us, such as the effect it will have on ocean currents and how that, in turn, will affect our climate, etc.


RE: The rest of the story...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/12/2007 12:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
> "None of this changes the fact that it is still melting."

But it does influence both the potential causes of that melting, as well as the probability of that melting causing serious problems. After all, if Greenland has been steadily melting for thousands of years, and isn't likely to melt enough to cause a major shift in MSL anyway-- why spend tens of trillions of dollars on a problem which doesn't exist?

By the way, Greenland aside, the total ice in the southern hemisphere is at record levels and increasing still:

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/cur...


RE: The rest of the story...
By 16nm on 12/12/2007 1:24:14 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
why spend tens of trillions of dollars on a problem which doesn't exist?


Because it is better than helping impoverished nations, lowering the number of AIDS infections in Africa, or generally trying to solve any problem which will not have a return on investment???

At least we will see new industries created from the need to find alternative sources of energy. So Global Warming is "good" problem which world leaders see as fruitful.


RE: The rest of the story...
By TomZ on 12/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: The rest of the story...
By 16nm on 12/12/2007 1:57:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
so that argument is a moot point


Who's arguing? Not I. But yes, "Practically all spending generates enconomic activities and business opportunities" at least until all the government money is spent and hopefully beyond. With all the buzz around alternative energy, it seems to be a good investment at least for the foreseeable future. It seems like a lot of tax dollars are going to be dumped into it for better or worse. Though, personally, I'd like to see my tax dollars going towards the federal debt before anything else. Why is it no one gives a damn about this?


RE: The rest of the story...
By TomZ on 12/12/2007 2:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
There are some people concerned about the debt, but the reality is that it is not so serious a problem as it seems. People think about the public debt in the same way they think about personal debt - as something that must be paid off at some point in time. But with the public debt, it doesn't actually have to get paid off. And both economic theory and reality have proven that the US public debt doesn't pose any threat to the US economy.


RE: The rest of the story...
By 16nm on 12/12/2007 4:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but the reality is that it is not so serious a problem as it seems


We agree that it seems serious, but I think that it IS as serious as it seems. Here's a good article on it. Pay attention to the foreign debt. China is very much entering into a situation where it may need to dump some of its dollars.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB111202112287190860...
We need to make are debt worth more to foreigners. None seem to want the dollar right now which makes problems not only for our economy but the world's.


RE: The rest of the story...
By Ringold on 12/12/2007 5:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that we can't make our debt (dollar) worth more to foreigners because economic conditions are currently forcing down our interest rates, and doing so without the ECB following in lock-step; the ECB's primary mandate is inflation-fighting, where as the Fed has a dual mandate of both inflation control *and* maximum employment.

From your own link:
"... The so-called twin-deficits hypothesis, that government budget deficits cause current-account deficits, does not account for the fact that the U.S. external deficit expanded by about $300 billion between 1996 and 2000, a period during which the federal budget was in surplus and projected to remain so. Nor, for that matter, does the twin-deficits hypothesis shed any light on why a number of major countries, including Germany and Japan, continue to run large current-account surpluses despite government budget deficits that are similar in size (as a share of GDP) to that of the United States. It seems unlikely, therefore, that changes in the U.S. government budget position can entirely explain the behavior of the U.S. current account over the past decade." - Ben Bernanke

Also in question is that the dollar drop thus far has been damaging. It's translated in to no significant core inflation, and yet it's been a huge boost to exports and our multinational firms that get income in foreign currencies. Perhaps a further slide would be damaging, but how much lower can it go? As Altig points out in your link, or at least hints at, the rest of the world has a huge vested interest in now allowing the most powerful economy on Earth to fall to pieces. At some point, foreign central banks would start to cut their own interest rates in unison to head off any potential economic calamity from the dollar because if they didn't it'd come back to hurt their own economy.

Additionally both our deficit and total outstanding debt is lower than *many* other OECD nations, including a lot of Europe, according to % of GDP (the relevant measure). Our deficit is also shrinking, expected to be balanced if the Bush tax cuts are maintained by 2012 or 2013, and surplus from there on for a while.

If debt and deficits were the determinant of the value of a currency, then the Euro would, thanks to countries like France, be more valueable as kindling for a fire -- and yet it's much more valuable then that.

Final note is that at this particular moment with the unpleasant part of the business cycle upon us it would be the worst possible time to hike taxes -- unless recession was the goal.


RE: The rest of the story...
By 16nm on 12/12/2007 6:44:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The problem is that we can't make our debt (dollar) worth more to foreigners because economic conditions are currently forcing down our interest rates,


Yes, we can make our debt more attractive to foreigners by simply having less of it! Then demand will be greater. It's for the best, both here, in the States, and abroad. The best senario for the world economy is a dollar-euro parity.

quote:
Final note is that at this particular moment with the unpleasant part of the business cycle upon us it would be the worst possible time to hike taxes -- unless recession was the goal.


Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who said anything about raising taxes? No, how about spending less? How about instead of throwing money at an imaginary global warming problem or Iraq, we put that money towards the federal debt?


RE: The rest of the story...
By Ringold on 12/13/2007 4:59:55 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
No, how about spending less?


Okay, now there we agree!

I still think perhaps 12 to 24 months would be a better time, but ultimately, sure, I agree. Politicians always love to think of Keynes' suggestion of increasing spending to help the economy, but never do they later remember what he said should come next -- spending cuts!


RE: The rest of the story...
By BMFPitt on 12/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: The rest of the story...
By Ringold on 12/12/2007 5:48:36 PM , Rating: 2
Also, I wasn't looking for it but just came across this:

http://www.seekingalpha.com/article/56514-stop-wri...

Also, from the WSJ (can't find a free link):
"The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development calculates that $1 converted into euros could buy a basket of goods and services in France that would cost only 80 cents in the U.S. A dollar converted to yen would buy things that would cost 82 cents in the U.S. Over time, markets are expected to narrow such gaps by pushing up the dollar and pulling down the euro and yen."

All much ado about nothing -- for a longer term investment horizon, anyway.


RE: The rest of the story...
By sweetsauce on 12/15/2007 2:55:59 PM , Rating: 1
I see, so i shouldn't care that the dollar isn't worth as much today as it was yesterday because i can still buy goods in europe? Next time i go grocery shopping, i'll just go to france and do it.


RE: The rest of the story...
By Murst on 12/12/2007 3:38:26 PM , Rating: 2
If the US actually decided to pay off its "debt", it would be an absolute disaster. Can you imagine the deflation that would cause?

The only issues w/ debt are if the deficit is rather large. And the reason this is important is not because of the actual debt, but the instability it brings into currency, financials, etc. That instability would be insignificant to the instability caused by basically throwing away trillions of dollars to pay off the debt.


RE: The rest of the story...
By 16nm on 12/12/2007 4:15:51 PM , Rating: 2
If I somehow implied that the US should have absolutely zero debt then I am sorry. I don't think there has ever once been a time when the United States of America was without any debt whatsoever. Maybe for a brief second during its founding it was debt free? LOL. I have no idea, but probably never.


RE: The rest of the story...
By onwisconsin on 12/12/2007 10:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
Close to zero ;)

"Debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War and under the Articles of Confederation led to the first yearly reported value of $75,463,476.52 on January 1, 1791. Over the following 45 years, the debt grew, briefly contracted to zero on January 8, 1835 under President Andrew Jackson but then quickly grew into the millions again."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_...


RE: The rest of the story...
By ziggo on 12/12/2007 11:54:22 PM , Rating: 2
Public debt is one of the mainstays of this country; figuring the people would have more of an interest in the operation and stability of the government if the government owed them money.

Seems pretty reasonable to me.


RE: The rest of the story...
By Ringold on 12/12/2007 1:48:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because it is better than helping impoverished nations, lowering the number of AIDS infections in Africa, or generally trying to solve any problem which will not have a return on investment ???


Was that sarcasm?

China is our quickest growing export market here in the United States, and American and Chinese investors both make large sums investing in each others economies. In return America has also enjoyed low inflation for a long time now thanks to shifting low-value labor to low unit labor cost China -- and the rest of South East Asia and India.

Helping an additional 2+ billion people join the global middle class would do infinitely more for America, for Europe, and for man kind than fuel efficiency standards or schemes to throttle Western economic output. That would be 2 billion new customers.

By that time, America would likely more resemble the UK; almost no industry to speak of compared to in the past, but loads of high-value jobs based on skill and knowledge. They've prospered, we could prosper.

The industries spawned by government-subsidized energy programs are also inherently therefore inefficient creations that could, without the helping hand of government, collapse. Industries that are created to service global prosperity would create wealth and be self-sustaining.

As a matter of preference, I prefer paths of growth that reward merit rather than who can get on their knees and beg (among other things) to politicians the fastest and with the most money. That's all alternative energy is, a content who can successfuly get a hold of the most tax-payer dollars to fund their business which couldn't hack it in the real world.


RE: The rest of the story...
By 16nm on 12/12/2007 2:18:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That would be 2 billion new customers.


And how could that happen if the world is going to throw money at a problem that scientists are not even sure exists? The answer doesn't matter. Like it or not, this is where money is going. May as well be on the bandwagon than off it... It seems to me there's nothing that reasonable people can do to stop it. Every single day that I turn on my television, there is at least one mention or dicussion concerning global warming and the environment. And it's ALWAYS doom and gloom. It seems the nutjobs (i.e. Al Gore) have really won this one.

I very much dislike Al Gore BTW. He could have the Internet and I hope he doesn't get the environment, either.


RE: The rest of the story...
By Ringold on 12/12/2007 4:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think the GW train is impossible to derail; it would just take time, and further public doubt to be created, enough to kill the most expensive of anti-GW projects.

I'm not sure what you mean by "how could that happen if the world is going to throw money at.." The worlds firms could, and still will, invest in developing countries -- but the money blown fighting an uncertain problem that sits 100 - 200 years in the future, I was trying to suggest, could be better kept in the private sector economy to speed the process along.

The first free-market reforms in China after Mao destroyed virtually everything came in 1978, allowing farmers to sell crop yields in excess of the quota for money, which they could do with as they please, rather than having to give their entire yields to the government. Less than 30 years later, China has gone from nothing to rising superstar.

30 years of focus on developing areas with focused investment and pressure for institution reform to raise 2 billion from poverty, or 100 years of focus on an flimsy concept of what the weather is up to?

All of which was responding to the idea that investment to these sorts of things create no return. They yield massive returns -- working on 11 trillion dollars worth of return in China, at the moment, growing to 37 times its size in 1978 by 2005. That to me seems a more noble and achievable short term goal for the international community, replicating that experience in different places. Pardon me for laughing if anyone suggests global warming research and government reforms will create 11 trillion in value over any 30 year period, plus double digit annual growth rates from there on out. ;)


RE: The rest of the story...
By TomZ on 12/12/2007 2:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's all alternative energy is, a content who can successfuly get a hold of the most tax-payer dollars to fund their business which couldn't hack it in the real world.

That's a pretty strong statement. There are some businesses in that category, but probably most are just normal reputable businesses pursuing any opportunities they see, whether they result from green funds or normal funds.


RE: The rest of the story...
By Ringold on 12/12/2007 4:45:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not so sure many of them would be commercially viable, like producers of solar panels, to the degree that they are if not for heavy government hand-outs. I'm sure some of these people in the alternative energy field could still be doing some of what they are through university-based research, but the entire ethanol complex? Not at anywhere near these levels of oil prices. The huge run-up in the market cap of ag-related stocks? Wouldn't of happened either.

Perhaps at some point down the road they'd of advanced their technology to the point where a utility would really look at their technology with an eye to profitability, but if it that were the case today there wouldn't be so many traditional powerplants under construction globally. Seems to me the market has looked at its options and delivered its verdict: Coal is king, natural gas is good, and nuclear is the future, with a side-show of "green" energy to appease politicians here and there and in the occasion situations where it does make sense (hydro, for example).


RE: The rest of the story...
By BMFPitt on 12/14/2007 10:03:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm sure some of these people in the alternative energy field could still be doing some of what they are through university-based research, but the entire ethanol complex?
Ethanol has nothing to do with energy. It is a method of converting corn from Iowa into votes in primary elections.


RE: The rest of the story...
By Entropy42 on 12/15/2007 4:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
I LOL'ed.


RE: The rest of the story...
By Spivonious on 12/12/2007 3:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe the Earth's axis angle is increasing? Wouldn't this cause longer summers in the northern hemisphere and longer winters in the southern hemisphere? That would explain the ice melting/expansion that we're seeing.


RE: The rest of the story...
By 16nm on 12/12/2007 4:23:17 PM , Rating: 1
Eureka! LOL.

I would hope that scientists would've/could've figured this out long ago, but whatever the reason, it all seems to be panning out. Yes, ice is melting in the north, but it's collecting in the south, so what. Now we have more oil available to us thanks to the greater access to the north pole. More oil for our cars to drink! All of the world wants a private taxi to and from work every day and evening. And that ain't gonna happen without oil and cars, at least not anytime soon.


RE: The rest of the story...
By Murst on 12/12/2007 6:02:45 PM , Rating: 5
Wait.. you're saying that the earth's axis has shifted and the only people to notice this are a couple people posting comments on a website?

If the above is correct, I would like to propose the alternative to that theory. It is not that the earth's axis has shifted, but the entire universe has slightly moved but the earth has remained still.


RE: The rest of the story...
By 16nm on 12/12/2007 6:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but the entire universe has slightly moved but the earth has remained still.


What do you mean "the" universe. Have you not been reading DailyTech? As it turns out, there are many universe (theorized).

universe
- noun
- everything that exists anywhere

So does this definition need to be redefined? ;)


RE: The rest of the story...
By DARGH on 12/13/2007 11:32:36 AM , Rating: 1
You are trying to make a point here, but I am uncertain what exactly it is...i'll venture an interpretation:
- global varming is not a problem, it is a natural phenomenon
- don't bother spending money on reducing CO2 emissions

And this can be derived from assembling scientific facts via a 3 sec. googling. You should not be on DT, you belong in the bush administration.


RE: The rest of the story...
By Hawkido on 12/14/2007 6:19:27 PM , Rating: 2
I sure hope everyone remembers to do their Math homework before listening to too much of this babble.

I have yet to hear any GW nut list all the know variables in any of their calculations... such as is the atmospheric temp increases to the point that the antartic cap melts, how much more water will be supported in the atmosphere? > Heat = > Humidity.

Also Pressure will cause Ice to melt faster than heat. So if the glacier is thickening in the center it would only make sense that it would begin to melt at the edges, as Ice can only melt at the edges, once the mass reached the point where the pressure lowered the melting point to current temps or below.

The best way to prove or disproove Human impact on global warming isn't to try and stop all CO2 production as that is absolutely impossible, but rather jack up and deliberately increase CO2 production to 3 or 4 times the rate it currently is all the while taking precise measurements all around the globe.

If then you can see a trend then stop the artificial CO2 production and see how much the values return to normal...
I would suggest a 10 year period of over production followed by a return to normal production for 10 years.

That should give us some solid data without wrecking the world economy, and it will also give us some scale as to what the rates need to be for proper balance.


RE: The rest of the story...
By TomZ on 12/14/2007 8:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
Your proposal has too much common sense and is too smart to ever be accepted by politicians.


RE: The rest of the story...
By Screwballl on 12/13/2007 10:32:05 AM , Rating: 2
what they are not saying or looking at is the hurricanes that are bringing the warmer air and water masses with them once they die off and head up that way. I bet if they look at 2007 and 2008, they will see that the numbers will match closer to what it did previously after a few years of low hurricane numbers.
1990: 14 named storms and only 3 headed in the direction that could affect Greenland.
1991: Hurricane Bob kept much of its strength all the way over to Europe which meant all sorts of cooler water was drawn south towards the storm allowing for less ice melting around greenland.
1992: not a single storm went above the 50ºN line meaning the ice was not impacted in any way by warmer hurricane air masses.

fast forward to 2002: there were 2 storms that were still tropical storm strength above the 60ºN line severely impacting the water and air temperatures during the summer as far north as the Arctic circle.

So comparing 1992 to 2002 is all propaganda for this bogus global warming crap

sources:
http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/


RE: The rest of the story...
By Rovemelt on 12/14/2007 12:13:10 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for explaining to us the fact that you can have increased snow during a warming period over glaciers. Scientists have known this for some time. Irrespective of that, the glaciers over Greenland are still losing mass, not gaining. And the publications you cite do nothing to change that argument--in fact they support what Mick blogs about above and AGW in general. It's nice to see that you're supporting the consensus view on this.


Intellectual Neros
By SleepNoMore on 12/13/2007 3:08:15 AM , Rating: 1
I rarely post here. I will most definitely not be liked for what follows. I have nowhere near the education or intellectual pedigree of some on here. I cant help but think that the "scientific" positions that are taken by some here are a form of denial and insanity. They are not in the spirit of Galileo. They are more likely in in the spirit of dishonest Neros.

20 - 30 years from now when we're left with tiny morbid patches of remaining greenery that pass for forests and the Earth resembles an industrial toilet...

Remember these apologists for doing nothing.

Remember these stupid arguments cloaked in a bizarre, hell-bent denial of reality -- coating your brain with equivocations, parsing and rationalizations.

The only difference will be (20 - 30 years down the road): instead of saying "My scientists have data that show things ** really aren't that bad **...." or "This is just a cycle and is minimal when viewed in the context of a few generations".

their tune will be:

"Our models actually predicted this! (after the fact) see...it was gonna happen anyway so what are you whining about?"

You want to be hornswaggled and baffled by denialist BS fine?

The earth is in trouble. Point blank. I believe my own freaking eyes and senses. I don't need another study or more data to tell me that. I don't equivocate or lie to myself about this. I instinctively understand it.

So please..go on..form (or find) a few hundred more studies which split hairs ("it's not new it's old", "it's not global warming, it's greenhouse", "the ice cap is actually thicker in some places..") Whatever.




RE: Intellectual Neros
By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2007 10:23:10 AM , Rating: 4
> "20 - 30 years from now when we're left with tiny morbid patches of remaining greenery that pass for forests and the Earth resembles an industrial toilet..."

Interestingly enough, environmentalists were predicting the exact same thing in the 1960s. It never came to pass. They predicted the same in the 1980s...and it never came to pass either.

In fact, one can find the same "sky is falling" mentality all the way back to the 1800s and earlier. For some reason, many people find the belief that some impending apocalyptic calamity somehow comforting.

Truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction.


RE: Intellectual Neros
By Rovemelt on 12/14/2007 12:29:06 PM , Rating: 2
Masher types were in full-denial mode right until the very end on Easter Island. But it can't happen here, right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Island


RE: Intellectual Neros
By TomZ on 12/14/2007 5:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see any relationship between the destruction of the ecosystem on Easter Island and global warming. Was that something that was predicted by scientists, but then ignored by people? No.


RE: Intellectual Neros
By TomZ on 12/13/2007 1:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only difference will be (20 - 30 years down the road): instead of saying "My scientists have data that show things ** really aren't that bad **...." or "This is just a cycle and is minimal when viewed in the context of a few generations".

30-35 years ago, early 1970's specifically, the same kinds of scientists were predicting a coming ice age and telling us to brace ourselves for that. Now all these years later, that is but a distant memory, and the right thing to do was to see how it played out before getting into a panic.

As Michael said above, there is a strong precedent for alarmism based on the current state of the art which is very poor ability to predict future weather and climate trends. Both in terms of pollution and global warming, which are really two separate things.

The right thing to do last time was to ignore it, and I don't see any real evidence this time to indicate that anything is really different. The evidence that global warming is happening quickly is weak, the evidence that it is largely human-induced is weaker, and the evidence that it will cause us large-scale problems is weakest of all.

Also remember, nobody I know of is here or elsewhere advocating a laissez-faire attitude towards pollution. Just CO2/AGW. Again, two different things.


RE: Intellectual Neros
By Rovemelt on 12/14/2007 1:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
Tom,

There is no denying that there were some predictions of a coming ice age in the 1970's. The general concept of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions was understood, however cooling from aerosols was also cooling the planet at the same time and it was believed that the forcings from aerosols would be greater than that from greenhouse gases. Forcings from aerosols turned out to be short lived. The popular press (Newsweek, Time) jumped on the coming ice age idea. The scientific community understood that climate science was in it's infancy and expressed that in the publications.

In a nutshell, what was said in the 70's regarding climate change and what's being published today are on two completely different scientific foundations. The sheer volume of climate data collected since the 70's alone should convince anyone of that.

From realclimate.org http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=94

quote:
Where does the myth come from? Naturally enough, there is a kernel of truth behind it all. Firstly, there was a trend of cooling from the 40's to the 70's (although that needs to be qualified, as hemispheric or global temperature datasets were only just beginning to be assembled then). But people were well aware that extrapolating such a short trend was a mistake (Mason, 1976) . Secondly, it was becoming clear that ice ages followed a regular pattern and that interglacials (such as we are now in) were much shorter that the full glacial periods in between. Somehow this seems to have morphed (perhaps more in the popular mind than elsewhere) into the idea that the next ice age was predicatable and imminent. Thirdly, there were concerns about the relative magnitudes of aerosol forcing (cooling) and CO2 forcing (warming), although this latter strand seems to have been short lived.

The state of the science at the time (say, the mid 1970's), based on reading the papers is, in summary: "…we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate…" (which is taken directly from NAS, 1975). In a bit more detail, people were aware of various forcing mechanisms - the ice age cycle; CO2 warming; aerosol cooling - but didn't know which would be dominant in the near future. By the end of the 1970's, though, it had become clear that CO2 warming would probably be dominant; that conclusion has subsequently strengthened.


Also,

http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/


RE: Intellectual Neros
By TomZ on 12/14/2007 5:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
I appreciate your thoughtful reply, however, there is a long history of poor correlation between climate model studies and actual reality. In the past, and continuing into the present, they have been very poor predictors of climate change, from what I understand. Models seem to be more detailed now, but I don't see how they are any more accurate.

For example, how many of these models correctly predicted the current leveling off of the previous rise in global temperatures?


RE: Intellectual Neros
By Rovemelt on 12/14/2007 1:10:38 PM , Rating: 1
These climate deniers will be hard to find in twenty years when climate change can't be spun away with simplistic catch phrases anymore. There is essentially no risk (well, except Michael Asher's non-existent professional scientific career blasted further into oblivion, if that's possible) to making completely bogus scientific statements on these blogs. There's a convenient mixture of short-term profits and emotional satisfaction to climate change denial, so they're going to continue with their 'happy-clappy magic ponies running through fields of candy' predictions until the bitter end. Then they'll conjure up some way to blame it on filthy hippies.


I wonder
By AlabamaMan on 12/12/2007 2:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
With increase in both the length of the growing season and accessible arable land, how much do people in Greenland want the rest of the world to "fix" their "problem" with accelerating ice melts?

Has it actually be shown that climate change, human-caused, natural or both, is a BAD thing? Could someone link me to cost-benefit analysis which indicates it's a "problem"?




RE: I wonder
By masher2 (blog) on 12/12/2007 2:39:18 PM , Rating: 2
The cost-benefit analysis shown here:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=7222

indicated that global warming will be a net benefit.


RE: I wonder
By Andy35W on 12/12/2007 3:18:03 PM , Rating: 1
That's a very species-centric arguement.

"The Southeastern U.S. is expected to see a little less rain, but for tourism-heavy Florida (which bills itself as the "Sunshine State" despite abnormally high rainfall) this may be a net positive as well."

How many animals on the planet? Glad tourists in Florida are ok though. Maybe just build more cruise liners though just in case?


RE: I wonder
By masher2 (blog) on 12/12/2007 4:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
> "That's a very species-centric arguement"

Absolutely! And for those of us who still consider mankind a more important species than the long-tailed rat, the argument is compelling.

However, the net benefit for the entire animal kingdom is likely to be positive as well. Increased CO2 means higher plant growth and, since plants are ultimately the food source for all life on the planet, more animals as well. Some overly-specialized species may go extinct, but the overall effect is likely an increase in total biomass.


RE: I wonder
By Rovemelt on 12/14/2007 1:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
Well, with lower Florida under water, tourists can admire the ruins from glass-bottom boats and pass little jokes about a time when people ignored the advice of thousands of scientific experts built on decades of research. Disney will have to change their firework display and modify the "it's a small world" ride to accommodate submarines, but it's all good according to Michael Asher. But some insane top economists predict a US$74 trillion cost to inaction.

http://ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/rp/Climate-CostsofI...

They forgot to include all that money to be made from disaster tourism--which comes to (punch some numbers here) $75 trillion! Bingo! Net 1 trillion! Woot!


RE: I wonder
By AlabamaMan on 12/12/2007 3:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
It seems that the argument as to why we climate change is such a big issue comes down to "well, it's different and not natural". Not having intestinal parasites is not "natural" either but I don't see "stop the warming" crowd setting personal examples on dealing with that "issue".


RE: I wonder
By Rovemelt on 12/14/2007 12:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
Here is an analysis from Sir Nicholas Stern, former chief economist at the World Bank:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10405-top-ec...

Hmmm...inaction looks kinda expensive.


Anyone else notice...
By Terberculosis on 12/13/2007 2:12:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since 1991, extensive data shows that temperatures over Greenland's ice sheet increased approximately 7 degrees Fahrenheit on average.


quote:
Lubrication from the melting is one important factor that is speeding up the melt, as explained in Professor Steffen's research. He stated, "The more lubrication there is under the ice, the faster that ice moves to the coast.


Am I the only one who sees a problem with claiming that increased air temperature is causing lubrication under the ice sheet? Did I miss something. Last time I checked, Ice was not especially water permiable... so how does the air temperature rising and melting the ice on top translate to lubrication beneath the ice?

I am aware that the ice probably isnt a single sheet, but at the same time, the ice has seen spring thaws for millions of years, and would likely already have well defined chanels to get rid of the melt water.

My 0.013707 EUR




RE: Anyone else notice...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2007 2:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
Ice under extreme pressure melts at a lower temperature than normal. So its possible in theory that the higher air temperatures have raised the temperature under the sheet to a point that, while still below 0C, is now high enough to enable melting.

However, in my opinion, below-surface heating, such as the magma upwelling mentioned elsewhere in this thread, seems a more likely candidate.


RE: Anyone else notice...
By ChuckNash on 12/13/2007 4:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
Looking at those images you included in the article, you really think an upwelling of magma is more likely that global warming to cause the observed melting? If magma was the main cause, wouldn't the melting have a totally different profile, one more focused around the upwelling?


RE: Anyone else notice...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2007 5:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
If you heat the center of an ice sheet, it won't melt in the center...heat will flow to the edges, where melting will commence.

In any case, I didn't mean to suggest that *all* the melting was due to magma upwelling, just for the liquid water beneath the ice sheet, which is acting as a lubricant and speeding the melting process.


RE: Anyone else notice...
By Rovemelt on 12/14/2007 12:16:46 PM , Rating: 2
That's funny, because you didn't seem to think magma moving under the earth could cause a change in the length of day measurements (which you linked to ocean level rise), otherwise you would have told us of this fact in your previous blog.


More evidence
By Andy35W on 12/12/2007 3:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7139797.stm

"A few years ago even I was thinking 2050, 2070, out beyond the year 2100, because that's what our models were telling us. But as we've seen, the models aren't fast enough right now; we are losing ice at a much more rapid rate.

My thinking on this is that 2030 is not an unreasonable date to be thinking of, and yet Dr Maslowski has the view that it may be as early as 2013. He's on the record now. We'll see how that pans out."

So the pesimist is saying 2013 and the optimist is saying 2030. That's a far cry from the hundreds of years from a while ago.

Seems that the rate of thining might be more than the reductuion in area

"Professor Peter Wadhams from Cambridge University, UK, is an expert on Arctic ice. He has used sonar data collected by Royal Navy submarines to show that the volume loss is outstripping even area withdrawal, which is in agreement with the model result of Professor Maslowski.

"Some models have not been taking proper account of the physical processes that go on," he commented.

"The ice is thinning faster than it is shrinking; and some modellers have been assuming the ice was a rather thick slab.

"Wieslaw's model is more efficient because it works with data and it takes account of processes that happen internally in the ice."




RE: More evidence
By masher2 (blog) on 12/12/2007 4:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
> "So the pesimist is saying 2013 and the optimist is saying 2030. That's a far cry from the hundreds of years from a while ago."

Oops...you've confused Arctic ice with continental ice on Greenland. Arctic ice doesn't affect sea level; its disappearance is not only not a threat, its a very good thing for mankind (the re-opening of the Northwest Passage alone will mean an enormous savings in fuel and time for oceanic shipping).

A persistent northern ice cap is a fairly rare occurrence in the Earth's history. And, as the research I posted above demonstrates, Greenland has historically been still heavily glaciated, even when the Northern icecap vanishes.


RE: More evidence
By Andy35W on 12/17/2007 2:24:42 PM , Rating: 2
?"Oops...you've confused Arctic ice with continental ice on Greenland. Arctic ice doesn't affect sea level"

I didn't even mention Greenland.
I did not mention sea level.

Why are you bringing them up?

You then go on to say it's a good thing for mankind (species centric argument again).

Nearly all you blog posts boil down to how much money you will lose if you go with global warming when it comes down to it.

Screw biodiversity we need to keep making bucks as long as we can :)


On the lighter side
By Ringold on 12/12/2007 12:58:00 PM , Rating: 2
While the ice retreats in places, mining firms are just waiting to move in an exploit previously hidden reserves of minerals. This has been in the news over the last year.

Untold billions worth of minerals, which could be used to help drive the next century of growth as Africa and BRIC rev their economic engines, await exploitation.

That would be the good to be taken along with the bad.




RE: On the lighter side
By GeorgeOrwell on 12/12/2007 8:07:34 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, more pollution and more ecological death is always good for a laugh!

Our family, in Buckingham, always toasts before supper to exploitation, extinction, and the everlasting beauty of the English pound.

Usually this is done in conjunction, via tele-conference, with our extended family in Jerusalem. Who we are really quite fond of, even though sometimes we say we're not.


RE: On the lighter side
By Ringold on 12/13/2007 5:04:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Our family, in Buckingham, always toasts before supper to exploitation, extinction, and the everlasting beauty of the English pound.


The fact that my favorite PC game genre is 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) probably doesn't surprise you at all. :)


BBC Story
By Murst on 12/12/2007 5:01:50 PM , Rating: 2
The BBC ran a similar story today.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7139797....




RE: BBC Story
By Murst on 12/12/2007 5:03:00 PM , Rating: 2
Oops... same thing was posted above... =/


By ZJammon on 12/13/2007 1:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
unless he recieves.... $1billion dollars.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20071213/sc_li...




By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2007 2:02:14 PM , Rating: 2
Good find. From the article:

quote:
Magma May Be Melting Greenland Ice...clues to a new natural contribution to the melt arose when scientists discovered a thin spot in the Earth’s crust under the northeast corner of the Greenland Ice Sheet...


Intellectual Neros - Addendum
By SleepNoMore on 12/13/2007 3:23:13 AM , Rating: 2
I meant on that one line to day "It's not Global Warming, it's CO2"...etc

The direction of my position remains the same.
The reality of what's happening to the Earth is beyond the attempts to equivocate or minimalize it -- or to couch is as something desirable. Sheesh. To paraphrase an old saying "It aint the entropy, it's the lies."




Maybe it will all melt...
By iFX on 12/14/2007 2:48:53 AM , Rating: 1
And then we can start using that last for something usefull. Currently only about 50,000 people live on the entire land mass of Greendland (look it up). Stupid people claim the planet is overpopulated... HAH! 50,000 people for an area the size of the lower 48 states? The US should setup colonies there at once.




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