Antarctic and Greenland ice — cold heart of deception

A reader remarked on our discussion of dangerous sea level rise, asking:

Where is all that ice that is dissapearing [sic] from glaciers and land based ice sheets going to end up and why if the decline of glaciers and land based ice sheets is accelerating will sea level rise not accelerate with it?

I asked for a reference Continue Reading →

Future Greenland doom

The author of the paper that prompted Scientific American’s alarming claim of a “meltdown” sounds caution over predicting the demise of the Greenland ice sheet.

Is it a turnaround? No, because in the abstract we read:

“Our results suggest that the ice mass changes in this sector were primarily caused by short-lived dynamic ice loss events rather than changes in the surface mass balance. This finding challenges predictions about the future response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to increasing global temperatures.”

It’s just that “Scientific” American didn’t mention it. Continue Reading →

Ice cap scare – just 67 millennia left

Inside the Greenland ice cap

Yes, that’s right, only 67,000 years to go.

David Biello wrote an unlovely piece of non-science a few days ago which Scientific American was happy to publish.

It seems the once-reliable journal doesn’t care about standards now. The headline was uncompromising: Greenland Meltdown Driven by Collapse of Glaciers at Ocean Outlets.

To call what follows a “meltdown” is a hoax, a fraud, a betrayal, a cheat, a perfidy, a sham and a swindle. Not to mention several dozen other words in the thesaurus which all mean deceit.

The subheading gives voice to the first prevarication: The interactions between the island’s glaciers and the surrounding seas may be driving ice loss, according to aerial photographs.

Global weirding

But the opening paragraph got down to brass tacks: “the ice sheet as a whole has lost some 36 billion metric tons of ice each year in recent years.” We shall look at what that means. First, though, consider the next comment: “Thanks to weird weather, nearly the entire ice-covered surface of the world’s largest island melted for a period this year.”

The word “weather” is a hyperlink, as though they have some scientific explanation of weird weather, but they mislead us again. Continue Reading →

Why is Greenland losing ice?

New report seems to assume it’s melting, but is it?

Greenland is the world’s largest island, about 2600 km long and 1100 km wide at its widest point. Most of the interior is covered by the world’s second-largest permanent ice sheet. Average temperatures rise above freezing only briefly, during the summer. Here’s a simplified graph of monthly temperatures taken from a tourism site.

Greenland temperatures

Yesterday the NZ Herald reported a study finding faster melting of Arctic and Greenland ice. The scientific team thinks global sea levels could rise by as much as five feet (1.5 metres) this century. Continue Reading →