Greenland Hype Meltdown

NOTE: Another related story posted here

By Steve Goddard

A popular AGW cottage industry from 2003-2007 was to make press releases warning that the Greenland ice sheet was melting down. Some fine pieces of journalism were produced, like this one from the BBC.

The meltdown of Greenland’s ice sheet is speeding up, satellite measurements show. Data from a US space agency (Nasa) satellite show that the melting rate has accelerated since 2004. If the ice cap were to completely disappear, global sea levels would rise by 6.5m (21 feet).

This one from New Scientist

The Greenland ice sheet is all but doomed to melt away to nothing, according to a new modelling study. If it does melt, global sea levels will rise by seven metres, flooding most of the world’s coastal regions.

NASA’s Earth Observatory even has a regular section named “Greenland’s Ice Alarm.” In their August 28, 2007 edition they included the map below, which shows Greenland warming at 3°C per decade.

One has to wonder where their data comes from, because GISS shows that Greenland has not warmed at all over the last 90 years.

GISS temperature trends since 1920

Below is the GISS temperature graph for Godthab, Greenland. It was warmest around 1940, and the only recent warm years were from (you guessed it) 2003-2007. The Godthab pattern is fairly typical for Greenland and Iceland.

NASA’s Earth Observatory generated their 3C/decade trend by very carefully cherry-picking their start and end points. Tamino must be incensed by NASA’s behaviour, because he hates cherry-picking.

But you don’t hear so much about Greenland melting down any more.

Science 23 January 2009:
Vol. 323. no. 5913, p. 458
FALL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION:
Galloping Glaciers of Greenland Have Reined Themselves In
Richard A. Kerr

Ice loss in Greenland has had some climatologists speculating that global warming might have brought on a scary new regime of wildly heightened ice loss and an ever-faster rise in sea level. But glaciologists reported at the American Geophysical Union meeting that Greenland ice’s Armageddon has come to an end.

Greenland warming of 1920–1930 and 1995–2005
Petr Chylek
M. K. Dubey
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA
G. Lesins
Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

We provide an analysis of Greenland temperature records to compare the current (1995–2005) warming period with the previous (1920–1930) Greenland warming. We find that the current Greenland warming is not unprecedented in recent Greenland history. Temperature increases in the two warming periods are of a similar magnitude, however, the rate of warming in 1920–1930 was about 50% higher than that in 1995–2005.

Below is a video I took flying over Greenland from east to west on August 10, 2008 (peak melt season.) On the east side there were lots of icebergs and little evidence of any melt. As you traverse to the west side, you see a few melt ponds.

Temperatures have been running well below normal in Greenland this summer.

It is mid-summer and temperatures in the interior of the Greenland ice sheet are currently  minus 16F. Temperatures never get above freezing for more than a few minutes there.  Meanwhile temperatures in the interior of the East Antarctic ice sheet are close to minus 100F.

Every good citizen knows that the poles are melting – because they have been fed a continuous stream of gross misinformation. The press loves to print this stuff, but never makes any serious attempt to set the record straight later.

They can always recycle the ice shelf fracturing melting story a few more times.

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248 Responses to Greenland Hype Meltdown

  1. rbateman says:

    How does a mass of ice like Greenland suffer catastrophic melting if 95% of the place is below zero even in the summer?
    In the mind of the hypnotized, anything is possible.

  2. Sera says:

    “Every good citizen knows that the poles are melting…”

    Apparently from the bottom up. Current air temps are -26.4°C and current water temps are +5.2°C for the north pole.

    http://coolwx.com/cgi-bin/findbuoy.cgi?id=25595

  3. Phillip Bratby says:

    The BBC and New Scientist both gave up doing objective science years ago. There’s no surprise in their alarmist fairy stories. I await an objective article from Richard Black of the BBC.

    I’m waiting.

  4. Sera

    Do you really believe the water at the North Pole was 12.6C yesterday? You might want to read this.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-468256/Briton-astounds-world-person-swim-North-Pole.html

    Briton astounds the world by becoming the first person to swim to North Pole
    By COLIN FERNANDEZ

    Last updated at 00:09 21 July 2007

    Only a few seconds in the icy depths would be enough to kill most mere mortals.

    But yesterday, protected by nothing more than a pair of Speedo trunks and his extraordinary central heating, Lewis Pugh took the plunge and became the first man to swim at the North Pole.

    The 36-year-old Londoner spent almost 19 minutes at minus 1.8C as he front crawled for a full kilometre – more than half a mile in the coldest water a human has ever swum.

  5. Dave F says:

    Uhhh, I clicked the video and got a karate tourney? Good fun, but I doubt that happened in a fly-by over Greenland.

  6. Dave F

    Try clicking on the youtube play button at lower left.

  7. villabolo says:

    rbateman says:
    July 12, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    How does a mass of ice like Greenland suffer catastrophic melting if 95% of the place is below zero even in the summer?
    In the mind of the hypnotized, anything is possible.
    ***********************************

    VILLABOLO:

    Could it be that the other 5% is 5-9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer?

    Or how about those GRACE satellites that Anthony loves?

    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/greenland_slide.html

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040222.shtml

    By the way, blue is my favorite color.

    REPLY: By the way, press photos with no provenance could be taken anywhere. It wouldn’t be the first time it has happened. Having been a member of the press for 25 years I cna tell you the couldn’t tell Antarctic from Greenland or the North Pole from an ice filed in Alaska. Just posting a couple of pictures of meltponds proves nothing unless they have factual context. Dates, locations, etc. -A

  8. R. Gates says:

    Sera says:
    July 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm
    “Every good citizen knows that the poles are melting…”

    Apparently from the bottom up. Current air temps are -26.4°C and current water temps are +5.2°C for the north pole.

    ________
    Even basic logic should tell you that those temperature figures you reported are so far off as to be laughable. For the actual temps, which are about 27 degrees C warmer in air temp than you reported, readers ought to check out:

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/

    And by the way (Steve), it’s clear, sunny, and showing a warming trend at the N. Pole right now, and despite your dire warnings last week that the melt ponds were freezing over, they are sparklin’ in the bright sunshine:

  9. tallbloke says:

    I remember there was a stir a few years ago (start of 2007?) when a British survey team stood up at a conference and said the area they had been studying had abruptly stopped melting.
    “It was like someone turned the tap off” was the take home quote. I rememeber they were ‘shouted down’ by the other conference goers. I’ve tried to find a reference to it since, but it seemed to have ‘disappeared’ from the web.

    Anyone else remember?

  10. villabolo

    Obviously, none of the cities in Greenland are located on the ice sheet. They are all located near sea level, and the granite they are built on is not in any danger of melting down.

    The only temperature station on the ice sheet is the one I reported in this story, currently at -16F.

    http://www.summitcamp.org/status/weather/index?period=month

  11. FergalR says:

    Haven’t you thought that it’s worse than anyone thought James Hansen thought?

    The ice isn’t going to melt. It’s just going to jump into the sea, because there’s no floating ice holding up its weight:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/07/greenland-glacier-shrinks-overnight/

  12. RP says:

    sera,

    current air temps at 87°N are not -27°C, it stands for the longitude and the water temps at this region is of course not +xx degrees, because there is nothing but ice at this point all the years.

  13. FergalR

    The weight of the ice depresses the land below it, forming a bowl shape. Ice has about 1/3 the density of rock, so 10,000 feet of ice depress the land below it by more than 3,000 feet. (Isostasy.)

    Have you ever seen ice cream jump out of a 3,000 foot deep bowl?

  14. R. Gates

    Cranking up the hyperbole a bit?

  15. villabolo says:

    [no more posts until you address the Monckton issue]

  16. villabolo

    As mentioned in the article and video, there were a few melt ponds at lower elevations on the west side of Greenland in mid-August 2008.

    Do you believe that your pictures somehow present contradictory information?

  17. FergalR

    That is what glaciers do in Greenland, they calve into the sea.

    The Titanic was sunk by a huge chunk of ice that broke off a Greenland glacier.

  18. FergalR says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:20 pm
    [...]
    Have you ever seen ice cream jump out of a 3,000 foot deep bowl?
    ———

    No, but I’d like to.

  19. Nick Stokes says:

    “One has to wonder where their data comes from”
    No you don’t; you can read their caption:
    “Temperatures have been rising several degrees Celsius per decade (red areas) since 1981. … . (NASA Map by Robert Simmon, based on data from Josefino Comiso, GSFC.)”

    And if you get the GISS plot for the period they are talking about (last thirty years), you can see that the trends are indeed large. They are about 1°C/decade, which is indeed what the map seems to show for the Greenland land area (more for SST).

  20. All of the icebergs in the first three slides of the video were pieces of glacial ice that broke off of glaciers. Some are more than 1/4 mile across.

    During the winter snow accumulates on the ice sheet, and the increased pressure causes the glaciers to flow to the sea. That is how equilibrium is maintained.

  21. richard telford says:

    GRACE suggests that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet is accelerating. How strange that you forgot to mention that.

  22. Andrew P. says:

    tallbloke says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I remember there was a stir a few years ago (start of 2007?) when a British survey team stood up at a conference and said the area they had been studying had abruptly stopped melting.
    “It was like someone turned the tap off” was the take home quote. I remember they were ‘shouted down’ by the other conference goers. I’ve tried to find a reference to it since, but it seemed to have ‘disappeared’ from the web.

    Anyone else remember?

    Yes, I remember the story, in particular the ‘tap off’ quote. But you are right, it seems to have vanished from the web.

  23. richard telford

    I have written about GRACE in the last two weeks. How strange that you forgot to mention that.

    GRACE measures gravity, not ice thickness. Greenland is subject to large changes in elevation due to post-glacial rebound, and there are very few calibration points available away from the coast.

    There is little reason to believe that some interpretations of the GRACE data wrt Greenland ice mass have much validity.

  24. Barry Day says:

    A buildup of 265 feet of ice since 1942.Yawn,Wake me up when it melts back to that level!
    HERE;

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-1199461.html

    ” Eight southern pilots will begin an expedition to Greenland on Wednesday aimed at reaching one of eight aircraft buried deep in the icecap since crash-landing there during World War II.

    Two B-17 bombers and six P-38 Lightning fighters are buried under 265 feet of ice and snow that has accumulated since bad weather and low fuel forced them to abort a flight to England in 1942.

    The Greenland Expedition Society, headed by Atlanta architect Richard Taylor and Pat Epps, an aviation pioneer and owner of Epps Aviation, located the planes with subsurface radar and magnetometers last … “

  25. vukcevic says:

    Nothing unusual in the Arctic, nature is not static.
    Why ?
    Here is one answer:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm

  26. Ben says:

    “And if you get the GISS plot for the period they are talking about (last thirty years), you can see that the trends are indeed large. They are about 1°C/decade, which is indeed what the map seems to show for the Greenland land area (more for SST).”

    I have an idea, lets find a time period in the last 100 years that was cold, then start a graph from that date, and viola, for some reason temperatures are on an upward trend. Stop using cherry-picked data. If we graphed from say the late 30’s or early 40’s until today, the graph would be the other way. Why don’t we pick a date in the past 100 years that is the AVERAGE of all the temps of the last 100 years and graph based on that? Or are we scared of a graph that doesn’t show anything other then a small upward trend?

    If you are going to use cherry picked data as the backbone of your argument, at least have the backbone to admit it. Should I get out my excel and make you a downward trend just to show you how easy it is? I can even use GISS data to do this….

    Or should we stop with these temper tentrums and open ourselves up to the belief that maybe humans

    1) Do not understand the climate as well as we think.
    2) May not be effecting the temperature as much as we think.
    3) Are capable of using the scientific method instead of bad statistical modeling.

  27. Nick Stokes

    The long term trend in Greenland is flat or down. The trend is grotesquely cherry-picked. Chylek at Los Alamos reported that the 1920-1930 warming was steeper than the 1995-2005 warming.

  28. Barry Day says:

    More on them here; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6232954.stm
    The planes became buried under>> 300ft<< of ice but 15 years ago

    It's getting deeper,evidently?

  29. The 1940s were considerably warmer in Greenland than the present.

    http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/050/mwr-050-11-0589a.pdf

    THE CHANGING ARCTIC.
    By GEORGE NICOLAS IFFT.
    [October 1922, the American consul at Bergen, Norway, submitted the following report to the State Department, Washington, p. C.J
    The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Spitsbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto un¬heard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface.
    In August, 1922, the Norwegian Department of Com¬merce sent an expedition to Spitzbergen and Bear Island under the leadership of Dr. Adolf Hpel, lecturer on geology at the University of Christiania. Its purpose was to survey and chart the lands adjacent to the Norwegian mines on those islands, take soundings of the adjacent waters, and make other oceanographic investi¬gations.
    Dr. Hoel, who has just returned, reports the location of hitherto unknown coal deposits on the eastern shores of Advent Bay—deposits of vast extent and superior quality.jjS^This is regarded as of first importance, as so far most of the coal mined by the Norwegian companies on those islands has not been of the best quality.
    *i R. L. Holmes: Quart. Joura, Hoyal Meteorol. Soc., January, 1905.

    The oceanographic observations have, however, been even more interesting. Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice nas never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far north as 81° 29′ in ice-free water. This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus.
    The character of the waters of the great polar basin has heretofore been practically unknown. Dr. Hoel re¬ports that he made a section of the Gulf Stream at 81° north latitude and took soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters. These show the Gulf Stream very warm, and it could be traced as a surface current till beyond the Slat parallel. The warmth of the waters makes it probable that the favorable ice conditions will continue for some time.
    Later a section was taken of the Gulf Stream off Bear Island and off the Isf jord, as well as a section of the cold current that comes down along the west coast of Spits¬bergen off the south cape.
    In connection with Dr. Hoel’s report, it is of interest to note the unusually warm summer in Arctic Norway and the observations of Capt. Martin Ingebrigtsen, who has sailed the eastern Arctic for 54 years past. He says that he first noted warmer conditions in 1918, that since that time it has steadily gotten warmer, and that to-day the Arctic of that region is not recognizable as the same region of 1868 to 1917.
    Many old landmarks are so changed as to be unrecog¬nizable. Where formerly great masses of ice were found, there are now often moraines, accumulations of earth and stones. At many points where glaciers formerly extended far into the sea they have entirely disappeared.
    The change in temperature, says Captain Ingebrigtsen. has also brought about great change in the flora and fauna of the Arctic. This summer he sought for white fish in Spitsbergen waters. Formerly great shoals of them were found there. This year he saw none, although he visited all the old fishing grounds.
    There were few seal in Spitzbergen waters this year, the catch being far under the average. This, however, did not surprise the captain. He pointed out that formerly the waters about Spitsbergen held an even sum¬mer temperature of about 3 Celsius | this year recorded temperatures up to 15°, and last winter the ocean did not freeze over even on the north coast of Spitzbergen.
    With the disappearance of white fish and seal has come other life in these waters. This year herring in great shoals were found along the west coast of Spitzbergen, all the way from the fry to the veritable great herrmg. Shoals of smelt were also met with.

  30. villabolo says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    villabolo

    Obviously, none of the cities in Greenland are located on the ice sheet. They are all located near sea level, and the granite they are built on is not in any danger of melting down.

    The only temperature station on the ice sheet is the one I reported in this story, currently at -16F.
    **********************************
    VILLABOLO:

    I don’t quite get it Steve. As to the temperature statistics I referred to I gave an Air Temperature Anomaly Map from NOAA/ESRL. Just one temperature station on the ice sheet is not enough to give a clear picture of the situation on a large continent.

    I also fail to comprehend what the GRACE satellite estimates of ice loss, namely 137 billion metric tonnes in 2002 and steadily increasing, per year, to 286 billion in 2009, has to do with your mentioning the granite in Greenland.

    I was responding directly to rbatement’s remark about his incomprehension of the ice melting down when temperatures would not get above 0(C?) at summer.

  31. Since some people here like cherry-picking, temperatures in Nuuk, Greenland have been dropping 45C per century since 2007.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431042500000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

  32. vukcevic says:

    Temperature increases in the two warming periods are of a similar magnitude, however, the rate of warming in 1920–1930 was about 50% higher than that in 1995–2005.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2006GL026510.shtml

    Petr Chylek, M. K. Dubey

    Results of my analysis shows a perfectly good reason for that, for even longer period:
    Period 1910 -1930 = 5.17/century (y = 0.0517x – 0.5709)
    Period 1978 – 2005 = 3.72/century (y = 0.0372x + 0.0123)
    Refer to top graph (red line GMFz average, micro Tesla reversed scale) in:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm

    Or put in simple terms:
    There was a good natural reason for the 1.4 times faster ( 40%) temperature rise during the 1910 -1930 then for the 1978 – 2005 period.

  33. Andrew P. says:

    This National Geographic 1971 Arctic ocean floor map: clearly shows the bowl from which the ice cream has to loup:

    http://www.ngmapcollection.com/product.aspx?cid=1541&pid=15904

    Here are some more interesting links which put Greenland’s recent (slight) warming into context:

    http://www.ngu.no/en-gb/Aktuelt/2008/Less-ice-in-the-Arctic-Ocean-6000-7000-years-ago/

    also:

    Holocene sea-ice variations in Greenland: onshore evidence

    http://hol.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/14/4/607

    Ole Bennike
    Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Oster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark obe@geus.dk
    The oldest dated driftwood log from northern Greenland is c. 9300 cal. years old, which is about 2000 years younger than the beginning of the last deglaciation and 2000 years younger than the oldest driftwood on Svalbard. Driftwood entry to northern Greenland was rare until 7400 cal. years BP, indicating more severe summer sea-ice conditions than at present. More open water than at present probably characterized the period between 6800 and 5500 cal. years BP, during which time driftwood stranded on the beaches of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden that is now covered by a floating glacier. In central East Greeland, the occurrence of the extralimital species Mytilus edulis in the time interval from c. 8500 to 6000 cal. years BP indicates more open water than at present, and in northwest Greenland studies of dinoflagellate cysts in a marine core indicate warmer surface waters, and hence less sea ice than at present from 7300 to 3700 cal. years BP.
    Key Words: Palaeoclimate • sea ice • driftwood • Greenland • Arctic • Holocene • climate optimum.
    The Holocene, Vol. 14, No. 4, 607-613 (2004)

    also:

    http://www.apex.geo.su.se/images/stories/apex2009.pdf

    Summary: “Presently, for c. 10 months of the year the coast is brimmed by stationary land-fast ice, which prevents landing of driftwood. However, in the autumn, storms usually break up the land-fast ice, and pack ice with its driftwood can reach the shore. Our first early minimum coincides with a period of beach ridge formation on the exposed coastlines,beginning shortly before 8000 BP, showing that there was frequent open water and possibility for landing of driftwood. We interpret this period to be a period with less than present sea ice – both land-fast and multiyear. The first high frequency-driftwood period marks an increase in multiyear sea ice, possibly allowed to land by less than present land-fast ice. Finally, we interpret the third period as a period with changing duration of land-fast ice – changing from perennial (periods without driftwood), to seasonally exposed to pack ice, as at present (periods with driftwood). From this, notable periods with perennial landfast ice, i.e. “worse-than-present”, were 2400-1900BP, AD 200-800, and AD 1400-1800.”

  34. Layne Blanchard says:

    I’ve flown over Greenland twice in the last two years. It was a frozen wasteland both times. I’m taking the same route in a few weeks, so I’ll take a look and see if we’re doomed or not. :-)

  35. villabolo says:

    villabolo says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    [no more posts until you address the Monckton issue]
    ********************************
    VILLABOLO:

    When I last presented a post about Lord Monckton on a separate thread it was an abbreviated version of what I indicated would be a detailed version. I had the whole post deleted except for the part indicating my future version. The moderator was RT which, I presume, is the same Moderator that just deleted an entirely unrelated issue

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/12/a-detailed-rebuttal-to-abraham-from-monckton/#comment-428685

    I would like to know why? But then maybe this question would also be deleted?

    REPLY: I don’t know, never saw it, but in general you are acting poorly here. Read the policy page available on the link under the header. – A

  36. richard telford says:

    “There is little reason to believe that some interpretations of the GRACE data wrt Greenland ice mass have much validity.”

    I love it.

    You write that it is currently -16F in the interior of the GIS. That the interior is well below freezing is of little relevance (except as a well-used trick to confuse the unwary) as mass loss through calving and melting occurs at lower, warmer, altitudes. It is the temperature here that is far more important (though when melt starts to regularly occur in the interior, the ice sheet’s future is very limited).

    After pushing that irrelevance statistic, you dismiss the GRACE results with little more that “I don’t believe them, therefore they must be wrong”. Even if we could ascribe all the trend to post-glacial uplift (which the literature would appear to discount), uplift cannot explain the acceleration in mass loss.

  37. jason says:

    This post is about the non melting of the greenland glacier4. Why are people going on about arctic sea ice?

  38. Verity Jones says:

    Looking at the data for many stations in the Arctic region – not just Greenland and Iceland – the trends for the 1910-1930ish period are just as high if not greater than those we are seeing recently. Alan Cheetham @Appinsys has a great composite of the anomaly graphs for Greenland: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/RS_Greenland_files/image023.gif

    I had found a great quote that operators at a weather station in Greenland believe the warming is cyclical (here).

  39. richard telford says:

    Barry Day says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    A buildup of 265 feet of ice since 1942.Yawn,Wake me up when it melts back to that level!

    ——————-
    The interior of the icesheet is the accumulation zone. More snow falls there than melts. Expect things left there (bomber, radar stations etc) to be buried by ice. Nobody is arguing that climate change will cause Greenland to lose its accumulation area any time soon. (In contrast, glaciers in Austria have lost their accumulation area – no new snow remains, even at the top of the glaciers, at the end of the melt season. These glaciers cannot last long).

  40. Nick Stokes says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    “One has to wonder where their data comes from”
    No you don’t; you can read their caption:
    “Temperatures have been rising several degrees Celsius per decade (red areas) since 1981. … . (NASA Map by Robert Simmon, based on data from Josefino Comiso, GSFC.)”

    Nick, that is a nice example of cherrypicking from GISS. Indeed there is an increase since 1981, but there was more cooling before that. Temperatures around Greenland and ice melting was at least as high in the period 1935-1950 as in the current period. And summer temperatures then were higher than today.

    From http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm05/fm05-sessions/fm05_C41A.html
    Rapid thinning and velocity increase on major Greenland outlet glaciers (Jakobshavn Isbr’, west Greenland; Kangerlussuaq and Helheim glaciers in southeast Greenland) during the last two decades may indicate that these glaciers became unstable as a consequence of the Jakobshavn effect, with terminus retreat leading to increased discharge from the interior and consequent further thinning and retreat. Potentially, such behavior could have serious implications for global sea level. However, the current thinning may simply be a manifestation of longer-term behavior of the ice sheet as it responds to the general warming following the Little Ice Age (LIA). Although Greenland outlet glaciers have been comprehensively monitored since the 1980s, studies of long-term changes mostly rely on records of the calving front position. Such records can be misleading because the glacier terminus, particularly if it is afloat, can either advance or retreat as ice further upstream thins and accelerates. To address this issue, we compiled a history of surface elevation changes of Jakobshavn Isbrae since the LIA. We first combined data from historical records, ground surveys, airborne laser altimetry, and field mapping of lateral moraines and trimlines. This record shows two periods of rapid thinning by about 70 meters, in the early 1950s and since 1997. Observed changes in glacier behavior during these two events are markedly different. The recent thinning, which involved several episodes of retreat followed by large thinning, resulted in a rapid retreat of the calving front toward grounding line. Thinning in the 1950s occurred during a period when the calving front was stationary with only minor annual fluctuations. Nevertheless, aerial photographs collected in the 1940s and 50s indicate that thinning extended far inland.

    About temperatures in Greenland:

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/greenland_temp.html

    and the retreat of the break up point of the largest glacier of Greenland near Ilulisat/Jakobshavn :

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/greenland_glacier.html

  41. vukcevic says:

    Here is a bit of correct ‘selective quoting’ for the highest temperature rise in the Arctic
    917 -1.1604
    1918 -1.0293
    1919 -0.4372
    1920 0.4255
    total rise during 4 years 1.5859 degrees C

    2001 0.8258
    2002 1.0655
    2003 1.1347
    2004 1.0631
    2005 1.3584
    total rise during 5 years = 0.5326 degrees C

  42. Raving says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    During the winter snow accumulates on the ice sheet, and the increased pressure causes the glaciers to flow to the sea. That is how equilibrium is maintained.

    Yes except that you are forgetting to consider three essential things.

    1) Too much ice accumulation flowing to the sea will eventually back up & back up and eventually establish an ice cap for a new ice age.

    2) The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is mostly polar desert. The lack of ice accumulation is caused more by “failure” of precipitation than by temperate weather.

    3) It is all a bunch of speculative nonsense regardless. Continents drift. Currents and precipitation patterns change. There is nothing sacred or in normal “equilibrium” about the specific geography, ocean currents or precipitation patterns in the polar regions. Ice caps form and encroach. Ice sheets disappear entirely. Climate marches on regardless.

    I am suggesting that ice sheets/caps/glaciers are inherently unstable open ended structures that either disappear to nothing or else form and expand until some dynamic stasis limits their growth. The geography of the earth is in constant flux.

    The advance or retreat of solid phase polar caps seem to play a major stabilizing role on planets. Without that stabilizing role, there would be be no solid capping region or else the cap would form an alternative gloss-over replacement for the ‘solid’ lithosphere.

    Viewing the polar regions as indicators that get acted upon, as places that respond to changing climate by going into the long goodnight quietly does not feel correct. It seems to go against multiple examples on many worlds.

    Sure it could be possible to lose the polar regions but it is apt to come with massive negative correcting feedback.

  43. Dave Wendt says:

    villabolo says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Or how about those GRACE satellites that Anthony loves?

    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/greenland_slide.html

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040222.shtml

    The abstract of the second paper you cite second indicates that the GRACE data suggest an accelerated decline in the ice mass in 2007-2009. If you go to this site for the global drought monitor

    http://drought.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/drought.html?map=%2Fwww%2Fdrought%2Fweb_pages%2Fdrought.map&program=%2Fcgi-bin%2Fmapserv&root=%2Fwww%2Fdrought2%2F&map_web_imagepath=%2Ftmp%2F&map_web_imageurl=%2Ftmp%2F&map_web_template=%2Fdrought.html

    and click through their maps for 12,18,24, and 36 months from the present, they indicate that large portions of Greenland were experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions over the period referred to in the paper, which would suggest an explanation for the larger decline in mass loss unrelated to the melting rate.

  44. Mike McMillan says:

    FergalR:
    The weight of the ice depresses the land below it, forming a bowl shape. Ice has about 1/3 the density of rock, so 10,000 feet of ice depress the land below it by more than 3,000 feet. (Isostasy.)
    stevengoddard:
    Have you ever seen ice cream jump out of a 3,000 foot deep bowl?
    FergalR:
    No, but I’d like to.

    I have the video, but it’s incompatible with YouTube.
    I isostatic sinking due to the ice doesn’t depend on on the ice/rock density ratio, but on the density of the lithosphere or asthenosphere that Greenland is floating on.

    Here’s a Greenland rock elevation map: http://i25.tinypic.com/zyge1e.jpg
    and a cross sections chart: http://i26.tinypic.com/4jml4l.jpg

    A lot of the icebergs off the east coast are not calved off the glaciers, but washed down through the Denmark Strait from the Arctic Ocean. I was flying that route from 2000 to 2006, and the amount of ice was far more than could have come from the glaciers.

  45. Nick Stokes says:

    Ferdinand,
    My point was that you should first look at what NASA is actually saying. The argument of this post is that “no, it hasn’t been warming – the trend since 1920 has been down”. But that’s not what they were talking about – and a post like this should at least mention the period cited for their trend map.

    NASA’s proposition, clearly stated, is that it has warmed significantly in the last thirty years, and that’s true. Now sure you can argue that it has warmed and cooled at other times, But you need to establish the basic facts.

  46. Ryan says:

    “That the interior is well below freezing is of little relevance (except as a well-used trick to confuse the unwary) as mass loss through calving and melting occurs at lower, warmer, altitudes. ”

    The latitude is irrelevant since the ice is lost when it reaches the ocean. The ocean is at a temperature significantly warmer than freezing point (obviously) so any ice reaching the ocean will itself melt. This melting has little to do with climate per se and has more to do with the specific physics of ice dropped into warm water.

    It is clear from other evidence that more ice is forming in the interior of Greenland since we know the depth of ice at the interior is increasing. Much of this ice simply cannot reach the ocean to melt because it is locked in by mountains. Thus that ice that can flow to the ocean is purely that ice that manages to squeeze between mountain passes carved by the sheer force of the ice over the eons. The force required to push the ice outward towards the sea is mainly coming from the pressure of fresh ice being formed inland. The speed at which this process happens is not clearly related to climate change in any obvious way.

    As I have said before, the easiest way to detect changes in the mass of the ice would be to look at its most impotant impact – the rise in sea level and average loss of land over the whole globe. This could easily be detected by a convenient and extraordinarily precise proxy – the comparison of sailer’s maps from over the centuries to maps of today. This comparison would give us an average for the sea level rise amplified by the slope of gently shelving beaches in many locations that would tell us if we really had a problem caused by rising sea levels or not

  47. Jack Simmons says:

    I sure wish people would quit using the term ‘cherry picking’ as a pejorative.

    My wife can make a delicious cherry pie when the mood strikes.

    Just as you can’t have an omelet without breaking some eggs (according the Stalin), you can’t have cherry pie without cherry picking.

    And nothing is more fun than watching the ice cream melt after putting it on the hot pie.

    I must admit the resulting ‘model’ of ice cap melting is not allowed to resolve itself naturally. It is consumed.

    Sigh. Scientific curiosity is overwhelmed by physical appetites.

    Perhaps we need to wait another thirty years before anything like an accurate understanding of some of the apparent polar cycles is arrived at?

  48. David Mayhew says:

    richard telford says:
    July 13, 2010 at 1:08 am
    “In contrast, glaciers in Austria have lost their accumulation area – no new snow remains, even at the top of the glaciers, at the end of the melt season. These glaciers cannot last long”
    ————————————————————————————

    The “good” thing about the Austrian melting is that it reveals traces of former human activity and exposes wood from trees which were present there earlier in this interglacial (radiocarbon dating etc) at heights above the current tree line.
    This evidence suggests it that it was warmer then than now. Would you agree?
    DFM

  49. papertiger says:

    Layne Blanchard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 12:39 am
    I’ve flown over Greenland twice in the last two years. It was a frozen wasteland both times. I’m taking the same route in a few weeks, so I’ll take a look and see if we’re doomed or not. :-)

    ——————————————————————————————————
    That’s the spirit. Way to keep an open mind there, buddy. :-)

  50. Richard Heg says:

    “But you don’t hear so much about Greenland melting down any more.”
    Maybe thats because you dont hear much about global warming any more.

  51. John Cook says:

    I don’t know how you can conclude Greenland is not losing ice mass without looking at any actual ice mass measurements. There are a whole range of measurements to determine Greenland’s mass balance – satellites use altimetry to measure the speed of glaciers as they calve in the ocean, airborne laser altimetry and satellite measure ice sheet thickness, measurements of precipitation and ice discharge measure the net accumulation/loss, GPS receivers give us data on bedrock uplift and then there’s the GRACE gravity data. All these paint a clear, consistent picture of ice loss. For anyone who’s interested, I’ve posted a summary of the ice sheet measurements.

  52. Sera says:

    Hi Steven- guess I should learn to put /snark at the end. I’ve got two buoys on either side of the north pole showing air temps at -25°C. Water temps are all over the board, but all are in positive territory. So- is the north pole melting from the bottom up? What caused the ‘melt ponds’- sun, air temp, or water temp?

  53. papertiger says:

    richard telford says:
    July 13, 2010 at 1:08 am

    (In contrast, glaciers in Austria have lost their accumulation area – no new snow remains, even at the top of the glaciers, at the end of the melt season. These glaciers cannot last long).

    Last year I was standing on a snow field in the Sierras, August 20th. It got me curious, so I checked with the Dept of Forestry.
    It’s like there’s permafrost underneath the glaciers, in a wide area surrounding them, covered by a thin veneer of soil and rock, even some of which are presented as poster children for global warming. They call them rock glaciers (pdf) , but they’re the frozen equivalent of aquafers.

    Chances are good your glaciers are not going anywhere.

  54. richard telford says:

    David Mayhew says:
    July 13, 2010 at 2:50 am

    The “good” thing about the Austrian melting is that it reveals traces of former human activity and exposes wood from trees which were present there earlier in this interglacial (radiocarbon dating etc) at heights above the current tree line.
    This evidence suggests it that it was warmer then than now. Would you agree?
    DFM
    —————–
    Europe (especially in the north) has been cooling through the mid-late Holocene because of orbital forcing. This is well known from multiple source of evidence (pollen, glacial reconstructions etc).
    Be a little careful about arguing that it was warmer then than now because the current warm period is only a few decades old, and many of the indicators (esp trees) take much longer than this to establish and grow.

  55. Sera says:

    R. Gates says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Hi R.-

    The first link you gave does not show AIR temps, but water temps. Your second link gives no info at all.

    Here are air temps- pay attn to the lat/lon…

    http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shipposition.phtml?call=25593

    http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shipposition.phtml?call=48684

  56. Jimbo says:

    The way you know that the Greenland melting scare is over (for now) is by the reduction of scare stories over at the BBC, New Scientists and others. :o)

    ‘Melting’ in the Arctic is nothing new so why the unprecedented alarm.

    Click, click, click, click, click, click, and click, click

    Looks like this winter we might have cooling temps at both poles!

  57. Spector says:

    I just saw a video put out by the National Wildlife Federation showing, I believe, their officers and agents talking to the natives of a small ‘dying’ Greenland village about how their lives were being ruined by Global Warming — ‘fifty percent of the ice was melted’ — ‘the halibut were declining’ — ‘ the polar bears …’ etc. To me, this appears to be a clear case of noble cause troublemaking.

    [denatured link]
    REF: http: // www . green . tv / nwf_greenland_day3

  58. Matthew L says:

    As several people have pointed out here (and elsewhere) the temperature at the centre of the ice sheet has little or nothing to do with the loss of ice mass in Greenland.

    It is rising temperatures of the air and water at the tongue of a glacier that will cause it to move quicker.

    So what are the current air temperatures around Greenland?
    See here:

    http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm

    Click on the yellow dots to get the latest weather station readings.

    Currently the most northerly weather station near Greenland, Alert, is reading +5c (+41f) on the Arctic sea ice.
    Others on the Greenland coast are:
    THULE: +11c
    SØNDRE STRØMFJORD: +11C
    NUUK: +7C
    I am not stating that these temps are in any way anomolous, just showing that it is plenty warm enough on the Greenland coast to melt ice.

    So, despite the fact that it may be much colder in the interior, if it is warmer at the periphery then the ice will move quicker. It is suggested that this is now quicker than it can be replaced by accumulation in the interior. Not suggesting this is or isn’t the case, just that it is possible, even if very cold temperatures persist in the interior of Greenland.

    Also, despite the fact that the interior terrain may be “bowl” shaped, the top of the glaciers covering it are way higher than sea level so there is inevitably a weight of ice pushing outward in all directions – and without anything to stop it, the ice naturally “slumps”. In fact this is what it is doing all the time, but accummulation in the centre replaces the ice lost at the periphery.

    On another point discussed under the GRACE topic posted earlier, Steven suggested it would take thousands of years for movement at the sea end of a glacier to be reflected in any movement at the interior.

    A thought experiment for you. Place a 1m long sheet of polished steel at an angle of 5 deg. Spread butter on it and put a row of 50 x 10mm gold coins on it in a line with the top edge of the line touching the upper edge of the sheet (represeenting the interior of the glacier). The bottom end of the row of coins will then be 500mm from the bottom edge of the sheet. The coins are stuck together along a piece of elastic band (representing the forces bonding the sections of ice in a glacier together).

    Under the pull of gravity, the row of gold coins slides very slowly down the slope over time, lubricated by the butter. Let us say that it takes 10 hours for the bottom end of the row to touch the bottom edge of the sheet. In that case it is moving at 50mm an hour.

    How long after the bottom edge of the row of coins starts moving would it be before the top coin started to move?

    According to Steven’s logic in the GRACE posting, it would take 10 hours because the row is 500mm long and it is moving at 50mm an hour.

    However, it is clear to even the most dim witted that the top coin would move instantaneously!

    A glacier is very like that.

    Now, using some heat source (match or candle) gently warm the sheet under the first 5 coins, melting the butter and reducing the friction. This will cause them to move quicker and pull on the elastic band.

    How long after the bottom 5 coins starts to speed up would it be before the top coin started to speed up?

    Probably almost instantaneously, but it depends on the elasticity of the elastic band.

    How well connected are the sections of ice in a glacier connected? I do not know the answer to that question, but common sense suggests reasonably tightly bonded, in which case I would expect the whole glacier, from one end to the other, to speed up almost simultaneously.

    And that is what GRACE seems to show.

  59. tallbloke says:

    Andrew P. says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:56 pm (Edit)

    tallbloke says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    “It was like someone turned the tap off” was the take home quote. I remember they were ‘shouted down’ by the other conference goers. I’ve tried to find a reference to it since, but it seemed to have ‘disappeared’ from the web.

    Anyone else remember?

    Yes, I remember the story, in particular the ‘tap off’ quote. But you are right, it seems to have vanished from the web.

    Nothing short of Kafka-esque. I wonder what else they got funded to do afterwards… Breaking rocks open in Siberia probably…

  60. Bomber_the_Cat says:

    Unfortunately, the BBC has its own biases and agenda as regards Global Warming. In 2007 it reported that the arctic would be ice free in summer by 2013, a prediction which appears stupider and stupider as 2013 approaches.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7139797.stm

    “Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007,” the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC. “So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative”

    The only redeeming feature for the BBC comes in interview with Gert Leipold, executive director Greenpeace, who is caught in a lie about Greenland ice sheet disappearing within 20 years and has to back down. This should be a lesson to the BBC that with some persistence, rather than subservient acquiescence, they can expose the lies and exaggerations that these so-called ‘environmental’ organisations deal in.

    Leipold then tries to defend his lie by saying that “ As a pressure group, we have to emotionalise issues and we’re not ashamed of emotionalising issues.”

  61. tonyb says:

    R Gates and Villabolo

    I am a little confused as to your position here.

    There have undoubtedly been great arctic melting events before now. The period 1920-1940 and 1820 to 1860 are very well documented. I have some fifty articles on the former as I am currently writing an article on this. Additional melting occurred in the 1700’s and 1400’s and we all know about the Vikings around 1000AD and the Ipiatuk a thousand years before them.

    To clarify your position please indicate one of the scenarios indicated below as most closely agreeing with your position

    1)Are you saying that NONE of the above melting events happened?
    2) Are you saying you just didn’t know about them?
    3) Are you saying that todays melting is unprecedented in our recorded history? If so please give your evidence for that?

    Thank you

    Tonyb

  62. Bill Tuttle says:

    R. Gates: July 12, 2010 at 11:09 pm
    Even basic logic should tell you that those temperature figures you reported are so far off as to be laughable. For the actual temps, which are about 27 degrees C warmer in air temp than you reported, readers ought to check out:

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/

    And by the way (Steve), it’s clear, sunny, and showing a warming trend at the N. Pole right now, and despite your dire warnings last week that the melt ponds were freezing over, they are sparklin’ in the bright sunshine:

    The pic you linked is from the JAMSTEC Buoy (POPS-13) located at 86°08″39′ N (not quite the North Pole, but close), 01°08″12′ W. The temperature is a toasty +1.6°C, but the trend you mention looks like normal daytime/nighttime temperature variation.

    However, when you get a bit closer to the Pole, say 88°14″01′ N, 10°09″86′ W (the IABP PAWS Buoy), it gets a tad nippier — 0.1°C. And it’s downright chilly at 88°07″04′ N, 09°06″38′ W (the CRREL IMB Buoy) -0.05°C.

    BTW, how’d your “This will be the warmest May/June on record!” prediction work out?

  63. Robert says:

    Greenland loses 50% of its ice through calving glaciers, lets see your discussion of this goddard? Start giving unbiased assessments.

  64. Jimbo says:

    Warmists always jump to conclusions about Greenland ‘melting’. We know it’s not unprecedented as there are frozen farms there today as well as dead frozen tree trunks. Other things to consider in the so called ‘melt‘.

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – February 16, 2010
    “Waters from warmer latitudes — or subtropical waters — are reaching Greenland’s glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss, reports a team of researchers led by Fiamma Straneo, a physical oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution WHOI.” See also their ocean map.

    “Scientists have discovered what they think may be another reason why Greenland ‘s ice is melting: a thin spot in Earth’s crust is enabling underground magma to heat the ice…………The ice thickness, the temperature at the base of the ice, and ground topography all contribute to the forming of an ice stream.” Ohio State University

    “Residual heat from volcanic activity may be causing a river of ice to flow in Greenland, a new study indicates……The old crust beneath this 600-square-kilometer region should melt about a few millimeters of ice each year; instead, up to 10 centimeters liquify.” Scientific American

  65. Bill Tuttle says:

    richard telford: July 13, 2010 at 3:20 am
    Europe (especially in the north) has been cooling through the mid-late Holocene because of orbital forcing. This is well known from multiple source of evidence (pollen, glacial reconstructions etc).
    Be a little careful about arguing that it was warmer then than now because the current warm period is only a few decades old, and many of the indicators (esp trees) take much longer than this to establish and grow.

    So, if it was *not* warmer in the back-when, what’s your theory about how structures and vegetation wound up beneath the glaciers, only to be exposed by the glaciers’ current retreat?

  66. stephen richards says:

    Matthew L says:

    Where did you find all that rubbish. Give us some ‘peer reviews’.

    The key questions : Is the ice in a deep basin, what incline is it on, what is the coeff of friction between the ice and the bedrock ( clue here is that glaciers grind rock), why would the temp at the surface of the ice affect the rate of movement, what is the length of the glacier and is it moving at the same speed over its’ entire length, etc etc.

  67. stephen richards says:

    Robert says

    is this 50% of the actual loss each year? if so I’d love to see how they measure that. I suspect it’s the proverbial doight à l’air

  68. Vuk etc. says:

    Is there something odd in the NASA’s report:
    Image left: Marco Tedesco summarizes the trend of the melting index in Greenland between 1988 and 2007 by showing a plot of how many surface size of the U.S. match the melting index observed each year of his study. Credit: NASA/Marco Tedesco and Luisa Valle

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2007/greenland_recordhigh.html

    ? !
    Greenland area: 2,166,086 sq km
    USA area : 9,826,675 sq km

  69. EFS_Junior says:

    [snip] – unsubstantiated attribution of motive. RT-mod

    Here’s some ACTUAL data;

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

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

    I’m M-E-L-T-I-N-G!

  70. Robert

    Snow falls in the interior. The extra weight forces the glaciers to move towards the sea. When they reach the sea, they calve icebergs. The great circle of life, Little Foot.

    Try taking a physical geology 101 class at your local community college. It is one of the first things they will teach you.

  71. Matthew L

    Your assumption that the bulk of ice is resting on a downwards slope is incorrect. It is sitting in a deep deep isostatic depression, punctuated by ridges and mountains. The ice in the interior does not slide along the ground, rather it flows in response to increased weight of winter snow.

  72. Jimbo says:

    What if icebergs never calved into the sea? What would the interior of Greenland look like today? I see glaciers as slowly moving rivers – they have to go somewhere! Then when they do we get alarmist stories:o)

    Researchers Witness Overnight Breakup, Retreat of Greenland Glacier 9th July 2010
    “The calving front – where the ice sheet meets the ocean – retreated nearly 1.5 kilometers (a mile) in one day and is now further inland than at any time previously observed.”
    NASA reports

  73. tallbloke says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 5:04 am (Edit)

    The ice in the interior does not slide along the ground, rather it flows in response to increased weight of winter snow.

    Spot on Steven. How do the warmies think glaciers went about their normal business of calving into the sea before man set fire to coal anyway?

  74. Peter Plail says:

    Matthew L says:
    July 13, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Bearing in mind the topography of Greenland, as stated above, there is clearly not a continuous downhill run from the head of the glaciers to the sea. I suggest you retry your experiment by bending the polished steel so that it actually represents a cross section of the underlying terrain. Oh, and while you are at it, you might replace the polished steel with something a little more like rock, and with the same thermal conductivity as rock.

    I don’t think glaciers move by heat conducted through the ground fom the warm end of the glacier causing increased melting under the length of the glacier. If anything, I would expect high temperatures at the foot of the glacier to cause it (the foot) to recede not for the movement of the glacier to speed up, but then I am only applying logic.

    And if you want my suggestion for an experiment (without the expense of the gold coins because only well funded AGW scientists can afford them), lay a block of ice on a gently sloping lump of unpolished rock and play a blowtorch on one end, then let us know what happens.

  75. maz2 says:

    The Idol Of Science Has Fallen.

    Great Is The Fall Of It.
    …-

    “Diabetes Drug Maker Hid Test Data on Risks, Files Indicate

    In the fall of 1999, the drug giant SmithKline Beecham secretly began a study to find out if its diabetes medicine, Avandia, was safer for the heart than a competing pill, Actos, made by Takeda.

    Avandia’s success was crucial to SmithKline, whose labs were otherwise all but barren of new products. But the study’s results, completed that same year, were disastrous. Not only was Avandia no better than Actos, but the study also provided clear signs that it was riskier to the heart.

    But instead of publishing the results, the company spent the next 11 years trying to cover them up, according to documents recently obtained by The New York Times. The company did not post the results on its Web site or submit them to federal drug regulators, as is required in most cases by law. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/health/policy/13avandia.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

  76. Dave Springer says:

    Villabolo

    If all this landlocked ice near the poles is melting enough to be alarmed about we should see it in global average sea level. The oceans don’t lie. Water is incompressible. If the melt rate is accelerating we should see an accelerating rate of sea level rise.

    There is no acceleration evident in satellite measurements of sea level change since 1994. The trend is 3.2mm rise per year (about 12 inches per century) and steady.

    Perhaps you can help me reconcile the fact that GRACE satellites implied the rate of ice loss more than doubling from 2002 through 2009 while satellites that measure sea level failed to show any acceleration in the rise rate.

    Good luck. I await your explanation with bated breath.

  77. Adrian says:

    Please please please.
    To settle this whole debate is simple…

    Could somebody do a chart comparing average, 12-month rolling (so smoothed out) actual temperatures, versus the range of forecasts driven by alarmists.
    Since this whole AGW thing came about decades ago forecasting end of the world by 2000, we now have REAL temperature data! If it is much higher forecasts for 1980-2010 than actual temparature, the models are worthless!

  78. Again, GRACE does not measure ice, it measures gravity anomalies. There are many things which affect gravity anomalies, particularly elevation of the ground underneath the ice. No one has any way to accurately measure isostatic movement under the Greenland ice sheets, so the claims made based on gravity anomalies are bogus.

    We know that rates of sea level change have slowed some in the last five years – a clear indication that ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica has slowed.

  79. Enneagram says:

    When will it come out the new computer game “Climate Change/Global Warming”?
    These guys are losing a big opportunity to make bigger money than they receive from the UN related sources.
    doomed to melt away to nothing, according to a new modelling study

  80. Daniel M says:

    Sera says:
    July 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    “Every good citizen knows that the poles are melting…”

    Apparently from the bottom up. Current air temps are -26.4°C and current water temps are +5.2°C for the north pole.

    http://coolwx.com/cgi-bin/findbuoy.cgi?id=25595

    You’re not reading the water temp correctly. Water temp is in the column to the right of millibars pressure (10XX.X). That would be -0.5C for the hour you were looking at.

    The 5.2 you show is under the column Wvht in meters (waveheight?).

  81. Robert says:

    With all due respect Goddard, this is the third time that you have posted a post which correlates melt with ice loss on ice sheets yet ignores dynamical glacier and ice stream responses such as accelerations which are in fact occurring in these regions. I must point out though that you quoted glen’s flow law to me before and said it’s the reason that high velocities couldn’t occur where the previous grace maps showed losses from Chen et al. 2009 yet now suddenly you’ve “seen the light” and realize the way flows increase towards the coast. Interesting nevertheless. And don’t call the previous grace maps showing losses on the “interior” as I already told you Allison et al. 2009 and Rignot and Thomas (2002) show high velocities in those regions due to channeling and basal lubrication through insulation. If you want to talk condescending to me as if I’m under the level of a 1st year community college student that’s your choice. I don’t really care what you think my credentials are, but I can tell you that assumptions can come back to bite you.

  82. Owen says:

    The two types of studies that deal directly with Greenland ice mass, the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) and the GPS-based studies of vertical uplift of bedrock [see for example, Nature Geoscience 3, 404 - 407 (2010)] are both elegant and accurate approaches to measuring change in the mass of the ice sheet. Very impressive experiments indeed! The fact that they both show an accelerating rate of loss of ice mass is powerful evidence for the melting phenomenon.
    Suggesting that the ice sheet is not melting is just plain silly and based more on what Steve Goddard would like to believe rather than on what is actually happening.

  83. Matthew L says:

    Steven Goddard said:

    Your assumption that the bulk of ice is resting on a downwards slope is incorrect. It is sitting in a deep deep isostatic depression, punctuated by ridges and mountains. The ice in the interior does not slide along the ground, rather it flows in response to increased weight of winter snow.

    I did not make any such assumption. In fact I make this statement:

    Also, despite the fact that the interior terrain may be “bowl” shaped, the top of the glaciers covering it are way higher than sea level so there is inevitably a weight of ice pushing outward in all directions – and without anything to stop it, the ice naturally “slumps”. In fact this is what it is doing all the time, but accumulation in the centre replaces the ice lost at the periphery.

    My analogy is simply to demonstrate that gravity will push ice in a glacier from a higher elevation to a lower one if there is nothing to stop it at the periphery, and that the whole glacier will move simultaneously. And if you remove an obstruction (or reduce the friction) at the periphery then the whole glacier will “slump” faster.

    Glaciers fracture in all directions both horizontally and vertically due to the force of gravity acting on the ice pushing it down and out of the interior. If the bottom of a glacier is prevented from moving laterally by a mountain range then, if the weight / height of ice above the mountains is great enough, it will fracture horizontally above the top of the mountain range and the top layer will carry on moving. In effect you will get a glacier moving over the top of a depression of static ice.

    It is not just “the weight of winter snow” that causes it to move. It is the weight of ice above sea level. If all winter snow were to stop suddenly, the glacier would still move towards the sea under its own weight until the friction of the ice on the ground (or static ice) is enough to counteract the force of gravity pulling it down and away from the centre.

    An ice cap is created when snow accumulates in winter faster than it melts in summer. The Greenland ice cap is there because for millions of years more snow has fallen in the interior than has melted away at the periphery. There is nothing to say that the reverse might not happen. And there is some evidence to show that it may already be happening.

    If I were you I would await further research or data before dismissing this possibility so firmly.

  84. This is what happens when people not trained in geology start trying to interpret geological events.

    What exactly do AGW types think happened to the Titanic? Did it slam into a supercomputer? The Greenland coast is chock full of thousands of icebergs, formed by glaciers breaking off into the sea. That is what large glaciers do – they flow to the sea. Look at the first few slides below – thousands of icebergs.

  85. Robert says:

    Goddard says,
    Actually they have put quite a few GPS on bedrock in Greenland to measure the uplift rates. Another thing you have to note is that GIA is not accelerating yet ice losses do. Although in response to the accelerating ice the GIA can accelerate. Therefore when you see an acceleration it is undoubtedly the ice. All the factors that affect the gravity that Grace measures, which of them can accelerate to the point that they explain all the ice losses? Lets see where your explanation for the findings of Gunter et al. (2009) using icesat elevation changes or Pritchard et al (2009) using icesat or the radar interferometry flux methods? We see ACTUAL accelerations with Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar, explain that? When you can see with speckle tracking all these increases caused by ice dynamics?
    Also,
    Cazenave et al. 2009 actually use the sea level budget to make estimations about the contributions of the ice sheets. Do note there was an unresolved portion of SLR that they didn’t know where it originated, well now they know that its the ice sheets.

    You know, when you have 3 methods in virtual agreement, trying (and failing) to refute 1 does not mean ice losses are not occurring. Maybe you should attend some “community college physical geology” or maybe some Cryospheric Remote Sensing courses would be of more use.

  86. Mike Haseler says:

    Adrian says: … If it is much higher forecasts for 1980-2010 than actual temperature, the models are worthless!

    But Adrian, climate “scientists” don’t forecast – they backcast! (And they don’t even do that very well)

    I think the UK Met Office has learnt the hard way from 9/10 yearly global forecasts that were high that if you make testable forecasts then those nasty sceptics will just try and compare them to the actual temperature and try to suggest they can’t forecast for toffee when they are shown to be useless.

    Far better to stick to forecasts that can only be checked long after they retire!

  87. Matthew L says:

    Steven Goddard:

    We know that rates of sea level change have slowed some in the last five years – a clear indication that ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica has slowed.

    and Dave Springer:

    There is no acceleration evident in satellite measurements of sea level change since 1994. The trend is 3.2mm rise per year (about 12 inches per century) and steady.

    Here is the actual data for people to make up their own mind:

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_ib_global.txt

    and a graph of the change from the Climate4You web site.

    The trend may well be 3.2mm per year (actually I make it about 3.08mm since data became available in 1992) but it is far from steady, ranging between -1mm to +10mm and is currently +5mm. The variation is closely linked to sea surface temperatures (which is logical) as can be seen from the el nino spikes in 1998 and last year. It will take a while yet for a discernable trend to show up, accellerating or not, so your conclusion that it is not accellerating is premature.

  88. Flask says:

    Re Raving Above… I Concur.

  89. EFS_Junior says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 5:37 am
    Again, GRACE does not measure ice, it measures gravity anomalies. There are many things which affect gravity anomalies, particularly elevation of the ground underneath the ice. No one has any way to accurately measure isostatic movement under the Greenland ice sheets, so the claims made based on gravity anomalies are bogus.

    We know that rates of sea level change have slowed some in the last five years – a clear indication that ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica has slowed.
    __________________________________________________________

    I don’t think so;

    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_last_15.html

    Also GRACE measurements have been validated against DGPS measurements, the GRACE data are real, your beliefs are not real.

  90. John Cook,

    Your post on your web site is a total straw man. Sea level is rising, and has been since the end of the last ice age. This is due to the ice sheets melting. Everyone understands this.

    What is not happening is a “meltdown.” I am assuming that you have some competence with English? Are you honest enough to admit your error?

  91. Bob Kutz says:

    R. Gates says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:09 pm
    . . . .
    And by the way (Steve), it’s clear, sunny, and showing a warming trend at the N. Pole right now, and despite your dire warnings last week that the melt ponds were freezing over, they are sparklin’ in the bright sunshine:

    Umm . . . am I missing something, because the ice-melt ponds in the photo you linked here are clearly iced over. ? . . .??

    Just asking.

  92. Matthew L

    Your links clearly show that the rate of sea level rise has decreased, with the exception of the El Nino spike. What is your point?

  93. hunter says:

    Each and every claim of catastrophic global warming proves to be either flat out fabricated or a gross overstatement of the actual conditions.

  94. Robert

    Actually, there is very little exposed bedrock in the interior of Greenland. Almost none, because it is buried under ice. Taking lots of measurements around the coast tells you nothing about what is going on under the ice sheet.

    Look at the satellite photo of Greenland. There is almost no rock exposed in the interior.

  95. Robert says:

    Goddard says: This is what happens when people not trained in geology start trying to interpret geological events.

    Geology is not the same as Glaciology Goddard. Glaciologists are much better trained for studying the world’s ice than a geologist.

    Mr. Goddard, since you are quick to dismiss the world’s glaciologists as unable to interpret geological events, are you ready to show us your credentials in the field of glaciology and cryospheric remote sensing?

  96. Bob Kutz says:

    Matthew L says:
    July 13, 2010 at 6:34 am

    . . .
    Here is the actual data for people to make up their own mind:
    . . .
    and a graph of the change from the Climate4You web site.

    . . . . The variation is closely linked to sea surface temperatures (which is logical) as can be seen from the el nino spikes in 1998 and last year. It will take a while yet for a discernable trend to show up, accellerating or not, so your conclusion that it is not accellerating is premature.
    . . .

    Have you looked at that graph? This graph seems to represent roughly 15 years of data, and the rolling average is clearly declining over the period of the data. Anybody who would characterize the sea level rise as accelerating is simply missing the boat. Not accelerating would be as good a description as any, an unstable decline would be another good one.

    A conclusion that it is not accelerating is clearly warranted in that the 15 year trend line would appear to be decreasing rather than increasing at an increasing rate. What it’s doing is sort of the opposite of accelerating at an accelerating rate.

    If you look just at the current state, it’s on the increase. Something about weather vs. climate comes to mind. You cannot look at the last two years of data and say anything meaningful about long term trends regarding sea level or climate. If you choose to go there, you’ve lost any and all AGW arguments period.

  97. johnmcguire says:

    Jack Simmons put it best: Scientific curiosity overwhelmed by physical appetites. How perceptive.

  98. Matthew L says:

    Steven Goddard:

    Your links clearly show that the rate of sea level rise has decreased

    Er, no they don’t. Are you looking at the same data as me?

    The data shows that the rate of sea level rise is highly variable dependent mainly on the change in sea surface temperatures. In the last 18 years the annual rate of sea level change has varied between +10mm and -1mm with an average change between 3.1mm and 3.2mm depending on how you calculate it. The moving average shown in the graph is fairly meaningless. It would be more useful to show the change in the moving average rather than the moving average of the change.

    I am sure you could “cherry pick” within this data to show you what you want to see, and no doubt you will, as you seem to be in the suffocating grip of Confirmation Bias.

    Robert has already pointed to a study which has shown how virtually all of the change in sea levels can be attributed either to sea temperature changes or ice melt. I have read that paper and it is very convincing. I suggest you do the same.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/21527.full.pdf

    I think it is fair to say that there is no proof, yet, that sea level rise has accelerated during the period that the satellite record has been available (although there is strong evidence from other sources that it has in the past) but there is certainly no indication at all that it is slowing down, and if the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet mass reduces, we will quickly see its signature in rising sea levels.

  99. George E. Smith says:

    “”” This one from New Scientist

    The Greenland ice sheet is all but doomed to melt away to nothing, according to a new modelling study. If it does melt, global sea levels will rise by seven metres, flooding most of the world’s coastal regions. “””

    So what is it that I am missing about water seeking its own level. Surely if all of Greenland’s ice melts it would flood ALL of the world’s Coastal Regions; not just most of them. Are not ALL of the world’s oceans simply parts of a single large ocean; so the sea level would have to rise everywhere and flood ALL of those coastal Regions.

  100. Jim G says:

    Steven,

    Another excellent piece, however, there is much too much detailed logic in most of the posts we get here on WUWT. One must understand that the vast majority of believers do so on an emotional basis. To quote a retired teacher (non-science type) friend of ours when discussing AGW, ” my son is an archeologist and has had a great deal of science and he says there is no global warming. Jim, I cannot NOT believe in global warming.” There you are, most of the believers just believe because they have been told so and are of the progressive bent that will never buck the system.

    Trying to change their minds requires a long time a great deal of emotional appeal. Detailed factual arguments have no effect. Perhaps we sould dwell more on the negative socioeconomic impact of the AGW plans.

  101. richcar 1225 says:

    I hope co2 forcing can over come ten thousands years of Holocene cooling in Greenland.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GISP2_ice_core_eng.svg2

    It is clear we need more co2.

  102. Mark says:

    Looks like some are in disagreement with your findings and are even calling you out by name/website:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Watts-Up-With-That-concludes-Greenland-is-not-melting-without-looking-at-any-actual-ice-mass-data.html

    To properly understand what’s happening with our climate, it’s imperative we consider the full body of evidence. Unfortunately, much confusion is sowed by those who cherrypick select pieces of data while neglecting the full picture. A good example is a blog post at Watts Up With That by Steve Goddard, titled Greenland Hype Meltdown. Goddard characterises the reports that Greenland is losing ice as a “continuous stream of gross misinformation”. Curiously, he provides no actual data on Greenland’s ice mass to expose this gross misinformation. Instead, he cites temperature from a single weather station and some photos he took while flying over the ice sheet.

    Let’s look at actual measurements of what’s happening to the Greenland ice sheet. The change in ice mass has been measured using a variety of methods. Satellites use altimetry data to measure the speed of the glaciers as they slide into the ocean. What they find is the glaciers have been sliding faster downhill and dumping more ice into the ocean. Satellite radar altimetry and airborne laser altimetry have also been used to measure the thickness of the ice sheets – they both find the ice sheet is thinning.

    GPS receivers have been placed at selected locations around Greenland to measure how much the bedrock is lifting in response to thinning ice sheets. These find the land is now rising up at an accelerating rate. An overall picture is obtained by satellites measuring the change in gravity around the ice sheet. As the ice sheet loses mass, the gravity around Greenland changes, as measured by the GRACE satellites. These measurements find accelerating ice loss.

    Net accumulation and loss of ice mass from Greenland are calculated using measurements of precipitation, snow accumulation and the discharge of glaciers into the ocean. The net accumulation/loss measurements find the same rate of ice loss as the GRACE gravity data. When all these independent lines of evidence are compared, we find a consistent picture of accelerating ice loss over the last decade and a half.

  103. Matthew L

    Nice how you chopped off half of my sentence.

    Your graph shows half as much sea level change in 2007 as it did in 1998. That is the exact opposite of doubling.

    What part of that is confusing to you?

  104. Robert

    Wow, are you suggesting that “all the world’s glaciologists” believe that Greenland is experiencing a meltdown?

    What about the ones quoted in this article who say the exact opposite?

  105. richcar 1225 says:

    The GISP2 link above was broken.
    Temperature reconstruction from the last ice age to present (Holocene) from the GISP 2 ice core:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GISP2_ice_core_eng.svg

  106. Dave Springer says:

    Matthew L: July 13, 2010 at 6:34 am

    The 12 month rolling average sea level change during the period of study for GRACE mentioned by Villabolo (2002-2009) went steadily downward.

    Yet GRACE found the loss of ice mass to have doubled over that same period of time.

    One wouldn’t reasonably expect annual sea level change to get lower as ice mass loss doubled. One of us appears to be suffering from confirmation bias alright. And it ain’t me.

  107. Just The Facts says:

    Off topic, but interesting. While clearly happenstance, today Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Area are a picture of parity.

    Antarctic Sea Ice Area Anomaly, is currently a positive 1.337 Million sq km;

    while Arctic Sea Ice Area Anomaly, is currently a negative 1.333 Million sq km:

    Global Sea Ice Area is thus currently a positive 0.004 Million sq km;

    and clearly indicative of a rapidly approaching ice age…

  108. Troels Halken says:

    Historical temps from DMI is to be found here (scroll down until you get to the chart):

    http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/index/klima/klimaet_indtil_nu/temperaturen_i_groenland.htm

    There is not much unprecedented in that. Most of Greenland seem to be at the same temps as in the 1930’s and 40’s.

  109. Troels Halken says:

    Oh, there is no stations from Eastern Greenland in the chart BTW.

  110. Robert says:

    Goddard says: “Taking lots of measurements around the coast tells you nothing about what is going on under the ice sheet.”

    Tell me then Steven, how is it that GIA can accelerate at the rate at which ice losses have been incurred. What is the physical mechanism which would cause what looks to be a doubling of ice losses in a 10 year period? Do you understand how long it takes GIA to occur and at what velocity and scale? Also tell me how you plan on refuting radar interferometry and altimetry data which show the same trends?

    In all honesty, you don’t have the background to be discussion glaciology here so why are you doing it? Why not ask for a guest to post or something? I mean that site that one of the commentators showed (climate4you) is run by Dr. Ole Humlum (University of Oslo Geosciences Department), a well known vocal climate skeptic who specializes in glaciology and permafrost. At least then we could have a constructive debate on the real issues at play. Don’t stretch yourself into fields that you have not researched enough to make these comments on.

  111. Smokey says:

    Looks like Robert is another victim of Greenland Hype Meltdown.☺

  112. Robert says:

    Dave Springer,

    SLR had a residual that they could not explain in the past. We now know that was due to Ice Sheets. There is a plethora of evidence which shows that ice losses have rapidly increased in greenland. It would be foolish for you to suggest otherwise considering Glacier accelerations are extremely visible with radar interferometry and thinning has occurred in all low elevations in Greenland. Losses have even spread to the northwest sector of greenland in recent months, something that had not occurred previously. Your math and the real math out there aren’t the same things. What makes perfect sense to you doesn’t make it reality and irrefutable. What people need is a better understanding of the core literature on these topics.

  113. Robert

    Yes.

    Please stop invoking imagined authority and start discussing science.

  114. Mark

    Cook is confusing interpretations of gravity data with “actual measurements.”

    Sea level is (closer to) an actual measurement, and disagrees with the interpretations of gravity data.

  115. Robert

    Where do you think the water from these rapidly accelerated ice losses is going?

    If you don’t see a corresponding increase in the rate of sea level rise, then your theories are simply not balancing. Conservation of mass is a fundamental scientific principle.

  116. richcar 1225 says:

    Robert,
    I think glaciologists lost some credibility when they did not speak up about the IPCC claim that glaciers in the Himalayas would disappear by 2035.

  117. GeoFlynx says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    GRACE measures gravity, not ice thickness. Greenland is subject to large changes in elevation due to post-glacial rebound, and there are very few calibration points available away from the coast.

    GeoFlynx – Steve, glacial rebound produces a more POSITIVE gravity response over time while the off flow of melting ice results in a more NEGATIVE anomaly. The reductions in gravity, attributed to melting ice by the GRACE system, are not likely confused with Greenland’s attempt at isostasy.

  118. BillD says:

    Nice summaries of the recent scientific literature on the Greenland ice sheet at John Cooks ‘skepticalscience.com website. I think that it’s worthwhile to take a look at the published scientific literature, rather than just relying on anecdotal comments.

  119. Sean Peake says:

    Mark (9:04 am)

    Just trying to understand what skepticalscience is trying to say: The ice sheet is melting (getting smaller), causing chunks of it to slide downhill into the sea. And as the rate of melting increases the land rises faster and ice falls away like it has tumbled down a staircase. I always thought that receding means moving away, ie backwards. When glaciers melt in alpine areas do huge chunks fall off them in ever increasing numbers? I can’t see how ice can fall into the sea when it shrinks and when it expands or maybe its the Greenland Paradox?

    As for the falling net accumulation, could the decline in the GRACE data be the result of ablation?

    Also, I would love to see the time series plot for the GPS stations to see if they are moving on the surface of the ice sheet, which they must if the sheet is plunging headlong into the sea. Perhaps they are behaving like the debris on the surface of most glaciers and will be moving to the sides—the parts that are lower than the middle—during basal sliding. It all seems strange to me.

  120. Ryan says:

    About GRACE: I have little faith in a measurement tool that puts an opposite polarity on the gravity anomoly of the Andes compared to the Himalayas. Perhaps it just doesn’t work???

    http://www.csr.utexas.edu/grace/gravity/

    It failed to detect the mid-Atlantic ridge – surely we would expect to see a gravity anomoly there?

    I think you would struggle to find anything useful to use regarding gravity from that project.

  121. GeoFlynx

    Isotasy goes both directions. Scotland rising. England sinking. (Not referring to football.)

  122. Robert says:

    Response:

    The one thing we do know is that ice is being lost from the ice sheets. Perhaps we have less thermal expansion going on now than previously or maybe cazanave et al. 2009 are correct in their assumptions. Regardless, you can’t take a look at sea level rise and say, oh its not rapidly accelerating so the DIRECT MEASUREMENTS of Ice loss must be wrong. You look at it and say well maybe we have some assumptions wrong about sea level rise. You can call grace not a direct measurement all you want but then we can just chat about radar interferometry and radar altimetry or laser altimetry? You won’t have near as much to say by the time Cryosat-2 has made its first pass and shows relative agreement with grace.

    Look at it this way.
    We have direct measurements of sea level rise and direct measurements of ice sheets/glaciers and ice caps

    In terms of partitioning how much SLR is due to what is where theories come in. You can’t say that because the theory doesn’t fit the data that the measurements are wrong. Ultimately maybe we just have underestimated the ice contribution and overestimated the thermal expansion. Who knows, either way, you cannot refute the multiple sources of evidence for ice losses unless new evidence becomes available.

  123. Dave Springer says:

    Robert

    You do understand SLR, right? If the oceans are rising it is either due to more water in them or thermal expansion or both. Clearly the oceans have been rising since satellites began measuring them in 1991.

    Just as clear is that GRACE measurements implied a doubling the rate at which ice mass was going down from 2002-2009.

    It’s not arguable that during 2002-2009 the rate at which the oceans were rising steadily decreased.

    So if the rate of water being added to the oceans from ice melt doubled and the rate at which the ocean was rising halved then, if we presume that both GRACE and sea level measurements are trustworthy, it means the oceans have been cooling at such a rate that it overwhelmed the accelerating rate of added meltwater.

    Either way, bubba, it doesn’t support global warming. Period. End of story.

  124. Robert says:

    Sean Peake ,

    What is being said is that the Greenland ice sheet is experiencing increasing melt which is contributing to loss of ice. Furthermore, the increased melting is resulting in more water flowing to the base of the glacier creating less frictional forces and thereby basal sliding. This increase in velocity results in more calving at the termini of outlet glaciers and ice streams. Glaciers do not EVER move backwards. Their terminus’ do recede which means that the forward motion of ice being brought by the accumulation zone does not equal the melting/calving of the ablation zone of the glacier. In Alpine regions calving is not something which is possible except where glaciers terminate in large lakes. The calving is something which is prevalent for water terminating glaciers because of the water melting away the underneath of the ice causing it to lose its structural integrity. The decline in the Grace data is a result of increased ice loss through ablation. The GPS stations are all attached to exposed bedrock.

  125. Sun Spot says:

    A bit off topic, but AmazonGate gets some traction in one MSM source.

    http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/07/12/14690796.html

  126. Tommy says:

    The term “accelerating” seems troublesome until I realize that I experience acceleration of temperature change every morning. Acceleration is in every cycle. Everytime my heart beats, blood accelerates for a moment. Everytime I take a breath, the air speed in my nose accelerates.

  127. Matthew L says:

    Steven,

    Your graph shows half as much sea level change in 2007 as it did in 1998. That is the exact opposite of doubling.

    What part of that is confusing to you?

    Good grief! Try the fact that you blatantly cherry pick data just after I suggest you are in the grip of Confirmation Bias?

    I am aghast…

    Words fail me…

    Nearly…

    You pick the year with the highest variation of +10mm and compare it to the one with the lowest variation of -1mm only because they are as far apart as it is possible to find two points on the same chart.

    The fact that you then state that the change is the “exact opposite of doubling” displays a mind bogglingly poor grasp of mathematics.

    If I, too, were to succumb to Confirmation Bias I could point to the fact that at one point in 1999 the annual change was -1mm and the latest figure shows +5mm, which shows the change is “more than doubling”. But I won’t, because I know that kind of comparison is totally meaningless.

    I posted that image because it shows wild variation swings in a very short time scale (in geological terms) that cannot possibly be interpreted as a “decline” in the growth rate. Anybody with a tiny modicum of knowledge of statistical significance would be able to understand this. The fact that these changes have actually been shown to be correlated to global temperature anomalies means we might even be able to predict future changes in sea level caused by temperature changes – and so be able to attribute that proportion of sea level rise caused by ice melt.

    Hopefully there are a few intelligent people here will understand this. In which case I would point them to SkepticalScience for a blog run by somebody who actually discusses the science rather than somebody who would rather make stuff up.

  128. George E. Smith says:

    If I’m not mistaken, JAXA is now reporting the Arctic ice extent is already back above the 2007 level (for this date) and the 2006 and maybe 2005 as well. Of course that is just anecdotal and not a harbinger of what is to come in September.

  129. Peter says:

    Matthew L:

    I have read that paper and it is very convincing. I suggest you do the same.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/21527.full.pdf

    I find it very unconvincing.
    What they’ve done is some curve-fitting in order to describe the apparent relationship between global temps and rate of sea level rise over the last ~100 years. So far, so good.
    But then they’ve gone and extrapolated it into the future in order to predict future sea level rises – at which point it becomes complete nonsense.

  130. Robert says:

    Goddard,
    I do agree that I shouldn’t have generalized about what glaciologists think. I just know that you aren’t presenting the full story.

    Khan, S. A., J. Wahr, M. Bevis, I. Velicogna, and E. Kendrick (2010), Spread of ice mass loss into northwest Greenland observed by GRACE and GPS, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L06501, doi:10.1029/2010GL042460.

    Maybe Southwest glaciers have slowed. But northwest glaciers have filled the gap perhaps?

  131. Fred says:

    Here’s some facts

    Actual size/volume of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    2, 850,000 Km3

    Rate the BBC article staes/implies is catastrophic and will casue sea levelto go up xxFt

    239 Km3/year

    Number of years required to melt the Greenland Ice Cap at this rate ofr melting

    11, 925 years

  132. Peter says:

    Matthew L:

    It will take a while yet for a discernable trend to show up, accellerating or not, so your conclusion that it is not accellerating is premature.

    As is any conclusion that it is accelerating. Even more so when you consider that it’s not shown any signs of accelerating.

  133. Robert

    Until someone balances the conservation of mass equations, I am not going to take their ice thickness measurements seriously. Increased melt has to mean an increased rate of sea level rise.

    It isn’t happening – quite opposite in fact.

  134. Matthew L

    The trend line drawn in *your* graph is downwards.

  135. Raving says:

    BillD says:
    July 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

    (Go see) skepticalscience.com “getting skeptical about global warming skepticism”

    There is an epidemic of causality in the world today and skepticalscience.com is pathologically viral.

    Premature ejaculation of ‘causal explanation’ is a serious problem. The excuse given by those who suffer from the condition is to claim that the problem was misconstrued at the outset.

    It is a trade-off between being:

    - Irrational and dyslexic with regard to ‘causality’
    – Misconstruing the problem and prematurely rushing to conclusion

    Sometimes it is better to hold back and just work with correlation. ‘Rationality’ cannot guarantee the cat’s meow.

  136. DirkH says:

    richard telford says:
    July 13, 2010 at 3:20 am
    “[...]Europe (especially in the north) has been cooling through the mid-late Holocene because of orbital forcing. This is well known from multiple source of evidence (pollen, glacial reconstructions etc).[...]”

    Oh. This means when it gets warmer now it’s just a return to a previous state. So why does anyone worry about AGW in the first place? Europe didn’t turn into Venus in the Holocene. Somebody tell Hansen.

  137. Eastern Greenland has thousands of icebergs from calved glaciers. It does every summer. During the winter they float to the south and melt – and sometimes collide with ships.

  138. Peter Miller says:

    Most glaciers have been retreating for around 150 years. The world is now ~0.7 degrees C than it was 150 years ago.

    As a geologist and like most other geologists s in the private sector, I would say nearly all that warming has been due to natural cycles, the equivalent of the F word to alarmists. Such cycles have happened millions of times before in the geological past and will continue to occur in the future.

    Today, the reasons glaciers are melting today probably has much more to do with atmospheric soot and ash levels (at least these are caused by man, plus for the occasional irritating volcanic eruption) and periodic declines in precipitation, as has apparently occurred in Greenland over the past three years.

    As alarmist scare stories on climate increasingly get shown to be complete BS, so they retreat into ‘Fortress Melting Greenland’. Eventually this will be battered down too, all Steve has done is to fire the first few rounds of the siege guns.

  139. Ben says:

    “Tell me then Steven, how is it that GIA can accelerate at the rate at which ice losses have been incurred. What is the physical mechanism which would cause what looks to be a doubling of ice losses in a 10 year period? Do you understand how long it takes GIA to occur and at what velocity and scale? Also tell me how you plan on refuting radar interferometry and altimetry data which show the same trends? ”

    You still have not touched the problems with the temperature trend showing that Greenland may not be warming as much as YOU fear. You have also not discussed why sea level change is not corresponding to this “lost ice”.

    Are you really sure there are ice losses with those 2 facts I just mentioned above? Or maybe there is something going on here that NONE of us understand… Go back to the drawing board and come up with a new hypothesis because your assertion that ice is being lost does not match other evidence, and you can’t just hide the temperature series and say “but its been rising the last x years.”

    But that aside, this entire argument is not going anywhere just like the glaciers. Glaciers do not simply melt away in one life-time. The climate will change, that is one fact I can say with confidence. Glaciers will melt every year, they will advance, and they will retreat, and they will grow with more snowfall. Not sure we understand glaciers enough to make predictions about the future yet. Considering every temperature change using GCM’s have been wrong for local areas, I do not see how that can even be used to predict it.

    Feel free to carry on. And reference every study and every measurement you can that supports your position while ignoring those that do not support it. The rest of us will continue to laugh at your quite impressive ego and let the future unfold as it may. I trust GCM’s just as much as I trust oracles and fortune tellers. I suggest you do the same. Even Al Gore seems to mistrust his own predictions and bought a house on a beach. What can I say?

    Many people are getting duped. Some are mad about it. The rest of us will just go on our merry way with smiles on our face and live our lives without fear about Gaia, as I am sure she will be around much longer then humans will be. And if Greenland does melt….I do believe our planet will still be the third rock from the sun orbiting that same sun for many eons to come.

  140. richard telford says:

    Isotasy goes both directions. Scotland rising. England sinking. (Not referring to football.)

    —————–
    And in which direction do you think Greenland is going?

  141. Peter says:

    Richard Telford:

    Be a little careful about arguing that it was warmer then than now because the current warm period is only a few decades old, and many of the indicators (esp trees) take much longer than this to establish and grow.

    Implements dating back to the MWP and the RWP have recently been uncovered on the Schnidejoch Pass in Switzerland – evidence that the pass was open and in use during those historical warm periods, and covered in ice outside of those periods.

  142. Peter says:

    Nick Stokes:

    NASA’s proposition, clearly stated, is that it has warmed significantly in the last thirty years, and that’s true. Now sure you can argue that it has warmed and cooled at other times, But you need to establish the basic facts.

    Sins of omission!
    By omitting to mention that there was similar warming in the recent past, they’re clearly creating the misleading impression that the current warming is unprecedented.
    Now this may have been unintentional … I couldn’t possibly comment.

  143. Jeff P says:

    “Until someone balances the conservation of mass equations, I am not going to take their ice thickness measurements seriously. Increased melt has to mean an increased rate of sea level rise.”
    ——————-
    Steve,

    In the graph you posted on sea level rise the margin of error was 0.4 mm per year in the rate of rise. If Greenland is losing 100 Gt of mass a year that would only be about 0.25 mm a year (roughly). So the effect of mass loss on sea level rise is below the margin of error in the measurements you site.

  144. GeoFlynx says:

    stevengoddard says:

    Isotasy goes both directions. Scotland rising. England sinking. (Not referring to football.)

    GeoFlynx – Not only will glacial rebound produce a positive trending anomaly, opposite that of ice loss, but due to the high viscosity of the Earth’s mantle, rebound changes toward isostasy are relatively slow (like soccer) compared to gravimetric changes in melting ice. The source of the gravitational changes seen by the GRACE instruments can therefore be distinguished from glacial rebound by both polarity and rate of change.

  145. richard telford says:

    Bill Tuttle says:
    July 13, 2010 at 4:41 am

    So, if it was *not* warmer in the back-when, what’s your theory about how structures and vegetation wound up beneath the glaciers, only to be exposed by the glaciers’ current retreat?
    —-
    Please read what I wrote more carefully. I did not argue that is was not warmer in the past, but that as modern vegetation and glaciers are not in equilibrium with the climate – because of the short duration of the current warm period – one needs to be careful in ones conclusions.

    The warm period of the early Holocene was several thousand years long. Given time under the current climate, trees will grow at progressively higher altitudes and latitudes.

  146. Smokey says:

    Matthew L says:

    Hopefully there are a few intelligent people here will understand this. In which case I would point them to SkepticalScience for a blog run by somebody who actually discusses the science rather than somebody who would rather make stuff up.

    “SkepticalScience” is a pure climate alarmist blog, run by a climate alarmist and inhabited by the alarmist crowd. There is nothing skeptical about it.

    Every honest scientist is a skeptic, first and foremost; their minds are open, but any hypothesis must be supported with convincing evidence. The CO2=CAGW conjecture has no evidence, convincing or otherwise, to support it. Yet SkepticalScience accepts the CO2=CAGW conjecture as its true belief system.

    You are directing people to a blog with a name predicated on a lie. They are not skeptical, and they never were. They are climate alarmists.

    And as alarmists, they are promoting the hype that something out of the ordinary is occurring. It is not; the Arctic and Greenland are regional areas that have gone through the same cycles many times during the Holocene.

    The Greenland hype is not global. But it is all the alarmist crowd has — every other scare they have perpetrated has been debunked. This scare is in the process of being debunked. The question will then be: what will be the next alarmist scare that needs to be debunked?

  147. richard telford

    Greenland is a huge island and undoubtedly some parts are rising and other parts sinking. Just like Canada, Alaska, the US, Europe, Siberia, etc. etc…..

  148. Peter says:

    Matthew L:

    Good grief! Try the fact that you blatantly cherry pick data just after I suggest you are in the grip of Confirmation Bias?

    Cherry-picking aside, what exactly does your graph show? It certainly doesn’t show any medium to long-term accelerating, nor does it show any trending towards acceleration.

  149. Matthew L

    Everything in this article is documented from standard sources like GISS, NOAA, etc. Your claim that I “made stuff up” is nonsense.

    Produce some evidence or stop making ad homs.

  150. Robert Lund says:

    As a professional statistician, I find this story completely misguided and to be honest, irresponsible. I am not invested in whether Greenland is melting or freezing. However, looking at your plot of your Gothab data, I see a definitive trend upwards. It looks to be on the order of 2 to 3 degrees centigrade per century. Why would anybody be quoting +3 degrees C per “DECADE”. That is 30 degrees C per century and is blatantly wrong.

    Your arguments about endpoints are well taken, but then I see the same mistakes in your conclusions about recent behavior. Let the number cruchers crunch the numbers……a trend is not a short period!

  151. richcar 1225 says:

    Robert,
    Since the Himalayan glacial retreat has been revised from 2035 to 2350 the Greenland glaciologists can now take that mass contribution to sea level rise and apply it to Greenland. It must be very funny to see the various group of AGW alarmists fighting over their contribution to sea level. Of course NASA would like most of it assigned to rising temps (steric contribution) leaving the glaciologists out in the cold.

  152. Peter says:

    Anyone who doubts that the Greenland icecap owes its continued existence mostly to the underlying terrain, might want to explain why most other land masses at the same or similar latitudes have not had permanent icecaps within recorded history.

  153. Kernos says:

    [A gratuitous plug for another blog is acceptable. Repeated plugs in the same thread for the same blog is not. ~dbs, mod.]

  154. GeoFlynx

    Glacial rebound is not slow at all. There are places in Canada that have risen 1000 feet just since the last ice age!

    http://www.homepage.montana.edu/~geol445/hyperglac/isostasy1/

  155. Robert Lund

    You don’t plot one leg of a wave and call it a trend.

    Temperatures were higher in the 1940s, period.

  156. Enneagram says:

    Sorry, but this is the N th. ice post WITHOUT WHISKEY!!

  157. Remember last week how I plotted eight complete cycles of Arctic ice, and people were complaining about the trend – based on shape of the start/end half cycles?

    Well, NASA’s cherry-picking is infinitely more egregious, yet the same people come to their defense. Pretty lame.

    Make up your mind folks, you can’t have it both ways.

  158. Jeff P

    I am talking about rates of sea level rise. If the rate of ice loss has doubled, then sea level rise would also have to double.

  159. This tendency towards hype is now apparently starting to affect honest to god science — by which I mean physics.

    Recently Rhianna Wisniewski, spokeswoman for the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill. had to respond to rumours that they had discovered the “God Particle. According to CBC.ca (“‘God particle’ rumour wrong, Fermilab says<“), the rumour was started on a blog by Tommaso Dorigo, “an experimental particle physicist who works at the European nuclear research centre and on an experiment at Fermilab.” Dorigo wrote that “it reached my ear from two different, possibly independent sources, that an experiment at the Tevatron (part of Fermilab) is about to release some evidence of a light Higgs boson signal.”

    While Dorigo admitted that he could go through the research to find out the truth of the rumour, he decided it was “too much work — while wild speculation is more fun!” He also admitted that some scientists were bothered by his “carefree attitude” towards truth and rumour, but excused it saying, that physics needs publicity.

    “Suffices to say that, in a nutshell, keeping particle physics in the press with hints of possible discoveries that later die out is more important than speaking loud and clear once in 10 years, when a groundbreaking discovery is actually really made, and keeping silent the rest of the time.”

    No. No it doesn’t. The Boy Who Cried Wolf. The Climatologist Who Cried It’s Worse Than We Thought. All of this shows quite strongly that if you keep spouting off things that later turn out to be false, it will eventually lead to people distrusting and ignoring you.

    What is happening to science!?

  160. villabolo says:

    Dave Wendt says:
    July 13, 2010 at 2:01 am

    “The abstract of the second paper you cite second indicates that the GRACE data suggest an accelerated decline in the ice mass in 2007-2009. If you go to this site for the global drought monitor and click through their maps for 12,18,24, and 36 months from the present, they indicate that large portions of Greenland were experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions over the period referred to in the paper, which would suggest an explanation for the larger decline in mass loss unrelated to the melting rate.”
    *****************************************************************

    VILLABOLO:

    Dave, the explanation you pose for Greenland’s continuous ice lost in the past decade has the following shortcomings:

    1) First, you are incorrect in stating that the abstract I cited indicates an acceleration from 2007-2009. It was between 2002-2003 and 2007-2009. I’ve reposted the link below with a quotation:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040222.shtml

    “We use monthly measurements of time-variable gravity from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission to determine the ice mass-loss for the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets during the period between April 2002 and February 2009. We find that during this time period the mass loss of the ice sheets is not a constant, but accelerating with time, . . .”

    2) The drought maps do not totally overlap with Greenland’s ice melt in time or space as measured by GRACE satellites. You would need to compare the drought maps side by side with GRACE’s satellite maps of Greenland’s ice gain/loss on a yearly basis to make a correlation.

    a) The drought maps only go back 3 years, which is insufficient time to make a correlation with Greenland’s longer history of ice loss.

    b) The ice loss mentioned in both the abstract and NASA’s article predate the drought period that you indicated was accelerating since 2007. GRACE satellites begin to detect increasing ice loss since their first full year of measurements in 2002. There was ice loss detectable even before then.

    Irrespective of any acceleration that one may wish to fit into the limited time frame of the drought maps you linked to, there is the fact that the 2002 ice loss (137 billion metric tonnes) was half of 2009 (286 billion tonnes).

    c) The drought maps for the past 36 months, which start in July of 2007, indicate very little drought in comparison to the maps of 24 months ago, which start in July 2008. This implies that the period from 7/2007 to 7/2008 would have had little impact on the acceleration. And the year/s before?

    Again, the very limited span of time precludes any meaningful comparison.

    d) What would a 2006 drought map look like in comparison to Greenland’s major ice loss of 2003-2005 at the edges as monitored by GRACE?

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/160991main_mass_trend_greenland_lg.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2006/greenland_slide.html&h=1171&w=1800&sz=250&tbnid=Nmij6hqFLO-i6M:&tbnh=98&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dgreenland%2Bgrace%2Bimages&usg=__rfFyA1DTRnpoc3t1yPtsHoPadPk=&sa=X&ei=ALU8TPK1I46osQPB8IDbCg&ved=0CBgQ9QEwAA

  161. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    Greenland appears to be an up & coming tourist mecca!

    http://www.greenland.com/content/english/tourist

  162. Robert Lund says:

    Steve,
    What the hell? Whats with the technobabble? Leg of a wave? You do not seem to understand the slightest about chance variation and statistics. Fit a least squares line to the series and test the hypothesis that the trend slope is positive.

  163. Jeff P says:

    “I am talking about rates of sea level rise. If the rate of ice loss has doubled, then sea level rise would also have to double.”
    —————
    This is false.

    This would only be true if the cause of sea level rise was ONLY from ice loss. Clearly this is not the case.

    If ice loss has gone from something like 50 Gt a year to 100 Gt it has doubled but the impact on sea level rise would be tiny and far below the margin of error for the measurement of sea level rise. A 50 Gt increase in Ice loss would be less than 0.1 mm increase.

    If you’re saying that ice loss could not have possibly doubled (or even increased) because we aren’t seeing a 3+mm increase in the rate of sea level rise you’re way off base.

  164. Robin says:

    Interesting thread. I like the dissection of Greenland temperature data, probably because I’ve done a great deal of that myself over the last few years. What I recommend to anyone who has the facilities to carry out simple regression analyses to fit trend lines is to collect Greenland data (Any actual station, or combinations of stations, as published by Vinther et al) but do some deliberate cherry picking. The reason for this is possibly unethical approach is that it is possible (and simple) to show that in 1922 (I could specify a period of two or three months, but you’d not believe it!) a large step change in the North West Atlantic measured air temperatures occurred. Its magnitude was at least 1 deg C. It was preceded by a long period of temperature stability – at least back to 1860 – and followed by another period (to about 1970), which both show “slopes” that lack any statistical significance. I could quote confidence intervals etc, but won’t. It gets a bit boring and many would not be sure exactly what they mean. If one substantially relaxes the usual standards for statistical significance one might be tempted to hypothesise slight negative slopes! Further time periods are less simple to describe, but seem to show marked downward trends in general.

    Anyway, please try looking at the data subsets “earliest data” to 1922, 1923 to 1970 and 1970 to the present, and see what you make of them.

    If I knew how to post GIF files to this site I would do so (advice, anyone?). These diagrams make things very obvious.

    I am convinced that Greenland did NOT experience a general warming over the period 1920 to 1930 – something that has often been stated in post in this thread. Instead, West and East Greenland, and Iceland, all underwent a step change in late 1922. You can readily verify this for yourselves!

    What would be very interesting is a plausible mechanism for such an occurrence.

    Robin

  165. Jeff P

    Uhhmm… You might want to think your sea level argument through a little more carefully. Increasing ocean heat content will also tend to raise sea levels, and makes the the ice melting argument even less tenable.

  166. villabolo says:

    Jeff P says:
    July 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    “I am talking about rates of sea level rise. If the rate of ice loss has doubled, then sea level rise would also have to double.”
    —————
    “This is false.”
    “This would only be true if the cause of sea level rise was ONLY from ice loss. Clearly this is not the case.”
    *****************

    VILLABOLO:

    I would also factor in thermal expansion.

  167. villabolo says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Jeff P

    “Uhhmm… You might want to think your sea level argument through a little more carefully. Increasing ocean heat content will also tend to raise sea levels, and makes the the ice melting argument even less tenable.”
    *****************************

    VILLABOLO:

    Ahhhh . . . Steve, with all due respect. Thermal increase would simply be a CO-FACTOR with ice melt. And where would both come from?

  168. Dave Wendt says:

    villabolo says:
    July 13, 2010 at 11:59 am

    1) First, you are incorrect in stating that the abstract I cited indicates an acceleration from 2007-2009. It was between 2002-2003 and 2007-2009. I’ve reposted the link below with a quotation:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040222.shtml

    “We use monthly measurements of time-variable gravity from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission to determine the ice mass-loss for the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets during the period between April 2002 and February 2009. We find that during this time period the mass loss of the ice sheets is not a constant, but accelerating with time, . . .

    The abstract also says this
    “In Greenland, the mass loss increased from 137 Gt/yr in 2002–2003 to 286 Gt/yr in 2007–2009, i.e., an acceleration of −30 ± 11 Gt/yr2 in 2002–2009″

    “a) The drought maps only go back 3 years, which is insufficient time to make a correlation with Greenland’s longer history of ice loss.

    b) The ice loss mentioned in both the abstract and NASA’s article predate the drought period that you indicated was accelerating since 2007. GRACE satellites begin to detect increasing ice loss since their first full year of measurements in 2002. There was ice loss detectable even before then.”

    The implication of the paper is that melting is responsible for the recent acceleration of ice mass loss, which is what I question. Neither the drought maps nor the GRACE data are of sufficient length to speak meaningfully to any long term trends.

    “Irrespective of any acceleration that one may wish to fit into the limited time frame of the drought maps you linked to, there is the fact that the 2002 ice loss (137 billion metric tonnes) was half of 2009 (286 billion tonnes).

    c) The drought maps for the past 36 months, which start in July of 2007, indicate very little drought in comparison to the maps of 24 months ago, which start in July 2008. This implies that the period from 7/2007 to 7/2008 would have had little impact on the acceleration. And the year/s before?”

    Droughts are not an instantaneous phenomenon,. The fact that large areas of northern Greenland went from no drought to severe to exceptional drought from the 36 mo map to the 24 mo map would seem to indicate that precipitation was in seriously short supply for the intervening 12 months. I don’t know how much of the measured ice mass loss this would account for and I don’t know that anyone else has done that calculation. Since this was another paywalled link I haven’t read the paper, so I can’t say if the authors actually took this factor into consideration or not, but if they didn’t it suggests to me a serious hole in their analysis.

  169. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:56 pm
    richard telford

    I have written about GRACE in the last two weeks. How strange that you forgot to mention that.

    GRACE measures gravity, not ice thickness. Greenland is subject to large changes in elevation due to post-glacial rebound, and there are very few calibration points available away from the coast.

    There is little reason to believe that some interpretations of the GRACE data wrt Greenland ice mass have much validity.
    ###########################################################

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Watts-Up-With-That-concludes-Greenland-is-not-melting-without-looking-at-any-actual-ice-mass-data.html

    GPS receivers have been placed at selected locations around Greenland to measure how much the bedrock is lifting in response to thinning ice sheets. These find the land is now rising up at an accelerating rate. An overall picture is obtained by satellites measuring the change in gravity around the ice sheet. As the ice sheet loses mass, the gravity around Greenland changes, as measured by the GRACE satellites. These measurements find accelerating ice loss.

    Gravity measurements by the Grace satelites are evidence of a change in gravity for the less. This is due to loss of ice.

    If you truly believe what you say about Grace, possibly you should let NASA know they have it all wrong.

  170. KD says:

    The back and forth on melting/not melting, rising/not rising, etc. is fascinating and great reading. However, I have seen several posts point to artifacts (human, vegetation, etc.) found underneath ice sheets, once melted, that none of the “pro-AGW” crowd seems to respond to.

    Clearly there are many challenges to using data on ice mass, ice melt, sea level rise, etc. These include the simple fact that even if our current measurements are perfect, they haven’t been gathering data nearly long enough for anyone to draw any trend conclusions from.

    On the other hand, we have INDISPUTABLE evidence that the world was warmer many, many years ago in the form of these artifacts.

    To me, this PROVES that the current climate is NOT unprecedented in history.

    Where am I wrong?

  171. richcar 1225 says:

    Does anyone know how many miligals change the lost in ice represents? How big was the isostatic correction in milligals and finally what is the degree of error.

  172. Jeff Green

    Good luck finding bedrock in the interior of Greenland. There are only a few mountain peaks poking through the two mile deep ice.

  173. villabolo

    Oceanic heat content has been increasing, causing sea level to rise. This further undermines the melt argument.

  174. DirkH says:

    Robert Lund says:
    July 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm
    “Steve,
    What the hell? Whats with the technobabble? Leg of a wave? You do not seem to understand the slightest about chance variation and statistics. Fit a least squares line to the series and test the hypothesis that the trend slope is positive.”

    Given the variation in the signal it will be statistically insignificant anyway.

  175. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 9:32 am
    Mark

    Cook is confusing interpretations of gravity data with “actual measurements.”

    Sea level is (closer to) an actual measurement, and disagrees with the interpretations of gravity data.

    ############################################################

    Gravity measurements combined with the land rising at an accelerating rate show that the glaciers are loosing mass at an accelerating rate. What Cook did an excellent job at was combining this data with laser and radar altimeter and all data sets come to the same consclusion. The ice is loosing thickness and mass.

    If you really believe what you have written in this article, then I invite you to write your own peer reviewed paper showing our world’s scientists that they are wrong.

  176. Alex the skeptic says:

    rbateman says:
    July 12, 2010 at 10:28 pm
    How does a mass of ice like Greenland suffer catastrophic melting if 95% of the place is below zero even in the summer?
    ___________________________________________________________
    Rbateman, you have not been listening. The laws of science have now been declared null and void, and are now in the hands of the politician abetted by his paid scientist. Ice is now melting at minus 40C instaed of zero C. The law of gravity has been declared null to assist flying pigs and also carbon-free travelling for Al Gore and his troops. Mercury now expands when it freezes, especially if it is, like milk, homogenised. You can even kneel down infront of Obama or your local MP, begging him to change or nullify any scientific laws that show global cooling, Himalayas not melting, and even stop those stupid negatively-charged electrons that move inside the WWW and debunk AGW, by declaring them positively-charged, thus returning to their original AGW skeptic without arriving to their desired destination, such as my PC. I want my ambient temperature to be 22.0C all year round, except when I go to the beach where I want it to be 27.89760432 C at exactly one meter above sea level.

  177. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 1:51 pm
    Jeff Green

    Good luck finding bedrock in the interior of Greenland. There are only a few mountain peaks poking through the two mile deep ice.
    #########################################################

    Are you saying that these peer reviewed papers did not use their GPS devices correctly?

    Also if you would read with a little more detail the studies are done on the edges of Greenland where the majority of ice melt is taking place.

  178. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm
    Jeff P

    Uhhmm… You might want to think your sea level argument through a little more carefully. Increasing ocean heat content will also tend to raise sea levels, and makes the the ice melting argument even less tenable.
    ###########################################################

    Ocean heat content increasing would be due to AGW. Sea level rise is definitely taking into account thermal expansion. So the ice isn’t melting but the ocean is getting warmer. If as you say AGW isn’t significant, how can you have it both ways.

  179. Jeff P says:

    Steve said:
    “I am talking about rates of sea level rise. If the rate of ice loss has doubled, then sea level rise would also have to double.”

    REALLY???? And you think I need to think it through?

    Steve Said:
    “Uhhmm… You might want to think your sea level argument through a little more carefully. Increasing ocean heat content will also tend to raise sea levels, and makes the the ice melting argument even less tenable.”

    Steve,
    I didn’t make a sea level argument.

    I simply said that doubling the rate of ice melt would NOT double the rate of sea level rise as you asserted up thread. Additionally, you seem to think that the sea level rise data supports your claim that Greenland isn’t losing mass. It does not. The amount of ice Greenland is shown to be losing is well below the margin of error in that data.

  180. villabolo says:

    [Before you can continue on this blog further, you really need to respond (on the Monckton rebuttal thread) to concerns over your accusations about Mr. Monckton making threats to people. Show citations, and leave out the language that has been getting you in trouble. Once you've done that, I'll lift the post hold. - A]

  181. Jeff Green

    It used to be claims of “consensus.” Now you are claiming unanimity.

    Ramping up the hyperbole a bit, perhaps?

  182. Brent W says:

    KD
    Look at the Glacier Girl section here

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/ancientice.html

    More planes remain at that location, so depths since 1992 may be found.
    The link contains comments on the reliability of ice core data

  183. richcar 1225 says:

    As far I see this article does not rebuke studies that indicate ice loss from Greenland maybe accelerating although some of us question the accuracy of gravity measurements. The article is merely pointing out that the recent warm period is no more exceptional than the 1920-1930 period. Ice loss likely accelerated during that period also. GISP2 indicates there have been many warmer periods in the past 10,000 years including a period where there may have been little ice.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GISP2_ice_core_eng.svg

    The ice lost from 2003 to 2009 correlates with an increase in Arctic and north Atlantic ocean heat content. Now the OHC is falling and it will be interesting to watch if there is Greenland ice sheet gain and arctic sea ice volume gain. From Bob Tisdale:

    The bottom line is that most of us sceptics believe that accelerated ice loss is but a multi decadal natural cycle not the result of AGW.

  184. R. Gates says:

    I have a very high degree of confidence in the data used by GRACE. To argue that Greenland is not seeing ice mass loss based on errors from isostatic rebound, is to not give credit to the highly refined validation of data that GRACE went through, when the longer term isostatic elements were accounted for. I would suggest it would be helpful for some to read this arcticle:

    http://grace.sgt-inc.com/methodology.html

    Greenland is losing ice mass. This isn’t “hype”, but simple fact, and tools such as GRACE show us this in amazing detail.

  185. Jeff Green says:

    Nature Geoscience 3, 404 – 407 (2010)
    Published online: 16 May 2010 | doi:10.1038/ngeo845

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n6/abs/ngeo845.html

    Subject Categories: Climate science | Cryospheric science

    Accelerating uplift in the North Atlantic region as an indicator of ice loss
    Yan Jiang1, Timothy H. Dixon1 & Shimon Wdowinski1

    Top of pageVertical motions of the rocky margins of Greenland and Antarctica respond to mass changes of their respective ice sheets1, 2. However, these motions can be obscured by episodes of glacial advance or retreat that occurred hundreds to thousands of years ago3, 4, 5, 6, which trigger a delayed response because of viscous flow in the underlying mantle. Here we present high-precision global positioning system (GPS) data that describe the vertical motion of the rocky margins of Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard. We focus on vertical accelerations rather than velocities to avoid the confounding effects of past events. Our data show an acceleration of uplift over the past decade that represents an essentially instantaneous, elastic response to the recent accelerated melting of ice throughout the North Atlantic region. Our comparison of the GPS data to models for glacial isostatic adjustment suggests that some parts of western coastal Greenland were experiencing accelerated melting of coastal ice by the late 1990s. Using a simple elastic model, we estimate that western Greenland’s ice loss is accelerating at an average rate of 8.7±3.5 Gt yr−2, whereas the rate for southeastern Greenland—based on limited data—falls at 12.5±5.5 Gt yr−2.
    #########################################################

    This is a peer reviewed article showing both negative and positive acceleration along the coast line.
    ############################################################

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Greenland-rising-faster-as-ice-loss-accelerates.html

    Lastly, one interesting point. The amount of uplift in Greenland varies from location to location, from 1.4 mm per year in northwest Greenland to over 10 mm per year in other places. In some locations, this exceeds the current rate of global sea level rise which is around 3.2 mm per year. Greenland’s uplift rate is predicted to double by 2025.

    ##########################################################

    Again if you believe to find the peer reviewed science wrong or that David Cook has misinterpeted it, by all means show us how it is wrong. Write a peer reviewed paper to show the world that your ideas are the ones we should follow.

  186. KD says:

    Plus, some of us skeptics believe that at some point in time in the future the ice sheet WILL MELT to levels previously experienced in history, pre-human emissions. This will cause all sorts of issues, no doubt. But to believe that we can impact this in any significant way by spending billions/trillions of dollars to reduce our emissions is simply naive. We can’t keep flood plains from flooding in the face of “hundred-year” storms (which, by the way, happen every 100 years or so by definition), so how is it we’re going to stop the ice-sheets from melting?

  187. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm
    Jeff Green

    It used to be claims of “consensus.” Now you are claiming unanimity.

    Ramping up the hyperbole a bit, perhaps?
    ##########################################################

    I have brought in peer reviewed science and now you are agruing with distraction. Since you differ with the consensus of science on Greenland melting, be the Galileo and be right with all your might. Show us why all these peer reviewed articles are wrong.

  188. Jeff P says:

    KD says:
    July 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    “Plus, some of us skeptics believe…”

    How can you use a phrase like that without a hint of irony?

  189. R. Gates

    The polar ice sheets have been losing mass since the end of the last ice age, and sea level has been increasing since the end of the last ice age.

    Even if Congress had passed cap and trade 16,000 years ago, Chicago would not still be buried under a mile of ice.

    Hansen claims five plus metres this century, and so far is only off by a factor of 15.

  190. Jeff Green

    I don’t have interest or time in digging out the details of what they are doing wrong.

    My point is that their interpretation of gravity data is inconsistent with sea level data. Sea level measurements are much easier to interpret and much less prone to error. Thus I am inclined to believe the sea level data.

  191. GeoFlynx says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Glacial rebound is not slow at all. There are places in Canada that have risen 1000 feet just since the last ice age!

    GeoFlynx – My statement compared relative speeds as follows: “due to the high viscosity of the Earth’s mantle, rebound changes toward isostasy are relatively slow (like soccer) compared to gravimetric changes in melting ice.” Once the ice goes it takes a while for the mantle to catch up. In your example “since the last ice age” suggests perhaps a 10,000 year lag? Parts of New England and New York are still experiencing glacial rebound from the last glaciation, the Wisconsinan, and it has been about 12,500 years since the ice left.

  192. KD says:

    Jeff Green

    I use that statement without irony because, like all good scientists, I am a skeptic first, meaning that I believe in challenging “consensus” until said consensus is proven with fact and easily replicated by other scientists. Skeptics do have beliefs. The primary one being the belief to require proof before taking action.

  193. KD says:

    Jeff Green

    I use that statement without irony because, like all good scientists, I am a skeptic first, meaning that I believe in challenging “consensus” until said consensus is proven with fact and easily replicated by other scientists. Skeptics do have beliefs. One of the primary ones being the belief to require proof before taking actions.

  194. GeoFlynx

    So you are confirming my point. Greenland is still experiencing glacial rebound from the last ice age.

  195. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm
    Jeff Green

    I don’t have interest or time in digging out the details of what they are doing wrong.

    My point is that their interpretation of gravity data is inconsistent with sea level data. Sea level measurements are much easier to interpret and much less prone to error. Thus I am inclined to believe the sea level data.

    ############################################################

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise.htm

    A common error in climate debate is drawing conclusions from narrow pieces of data while neglecting the whole picture. A good example is the recent claim that sea level rise is slowing. The data cited is satellite altimeter measurements of global mean sea level over the past 16 years (Figure 1). The 60 day smoothed average (blue line) seems to indicate sea level peaked around the start of 2006. So one might argue that sea levels haven’t risen for 3 years. Could one conclude that the long term trend in sea level rise has ended?

    #############################################################
    Here are reasons that tidal gauge measurements are effected by variations of the earths conditions.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise.htm

    sea level is subjected to the inverse barometer effect
    tectonic movements
    glacial isostatic adjustment

    ############################################################
    From the same article presented by David Cook based in peer reviewed science the long term trend is a continual rise in sea level. When corrections are made for the measurements that effect the tide level gauges the correlation of gravity data becomes more consistent with sea level rise.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise.htm

    What we’re most interested in is the long term trends. Figure 2 shows 20 year trends from the tidal data. From 1880 to the early 1900’s, sea level was rising at around 1mm per year. Throughout most of the 20th century, sea levels have been rising at around 2mm per year. In the latter 20th century, it’s reached 3mm per year. The five most recent 20-year trends also happen to be the highest values.

  196. Jeff Green says:

    KD says:
    July 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm
    Jeff Green

    I use that statement without irony because, like all good scientists, I am a skeptic first, meaning that I believe in challenging “consensus” until said consensus is proven with fact and easily replicated by other scientists. Skeptics do have beliefs. One of the primary ones being the belief to require proof before taking actions.

    ############################################################

    There are differnet levels of skepticism on this blog. WHat of the literature have you been reading of AGW material?

  197. Ben says:

    “Again if you believe to find the peer reviewed science wrong or that David Cook has misinterpeted it, by all means show us how it is wrong. Write a peer reviewed paper to show the world that your ideas are the ones we should follow.”

    Go read climate audit to find out why this is impossible . The entire climategate scandal shows us there are issues with peer review in climate science. Another warrent-less challenge that means nothing.

    And for the record, no one is going to go to your web site. There are many better AGW web sites to head towards that I am sure look better and have smarter people on them. I haven’t even clicked on the links and I already know your logic and reasoning are flawed.

    All the alarmists still have yet to answer the underlying problem: If sea level rise is not accelerating, and the temperature series shows no warming in Greenland, what is really happening there? I mean if ice loss is happening when temperatures are not going up, doesn’t this mean that perhaps what is happening is a natural cycle? That is what conclusion a reasonable and scientific mind would come to.

    Until you argue those points, your listing off some study that I could care less about is fruitless and off topic. I am not going to waste my time on figuring out how this particular data cherry-picked data to come to the conclusion that the sky is falling.

  198. Chris Noble says:

    My point is that their interpretation of gravity data is inconsistent with sea level data.

    If you are going to make this claim then you should calculate the expected sea level rise from the amount of mass loss that is being measured.

    Anything else from you is hot air!

  199. Chris Noble

    Nonsense.

    The lack of upwards change in slope is all that is need to prove my point.

  200. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 4:18 pm
    R. Gates

    The polar ice sheets have been losing mass since the end of the last ice age, and sea level has been increasing since the end of the last ice age.

    Even if Congress had passed cap and trade 16,000 years ago, Chicago would not still be buried under a mile of ice.

    Hansen claims five plus metres this century, and so far is only off by a factor of 15.
    #############################################################

    http://climateprogress.org/2007/05/25/yet-another-must-read-by-james-hansen/

    I suggest that a “scientific reticence” is inhibiting the communication of a threat of a potentially large sea level rise. Delay is dangerous because of system inertias that could create a situation with future sea level changes out of our control. I argue for calling together a panel of scientific leaders to hear evidence and issue a prompt plain-written report on current understanding of the sea level change issue.

    Hansen is especially concerned that sea level rise is nonlinear:

    Rahmstorf (2007) has noted that if one uses the observed sea level rise of the past century to calibrate a linear projection of future sea level, BAU warming will lead to a sea level rise of the order of one meter in the present century. This is a useful observation, as it indicates that the sea level change would be substantial even without the nonlinear collapse of an ice sheet. However, this approach cannot be taken as a realistic way of projecting the likely sea level rise under BAU forcing. The linear approximation fits the past sea level change well for the past century only because the two terms contributing significantly to sea level rise were (1) thermal expansion of ocean water and (2) melting of alpine glaciers.

    Under BAU [business as usual] forcing in the 21st century, the sea level rise surely will be dominated by a third term: (3) ice sheet disintegration. This third term was small until the past few years, but it is has at least doubled in the past decade and is now close to 1 mm/year, based on the gravity satellite measurements discussed above. As a quantitative example, let us say that the ice sheet contribution is 1 cm for the decade 2005–15 and that it doubles each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet is largely depleted. That time constant yields a sea level rise of the order of 5 m this century. Of course I cannot prove that my choice of a ten-year doubling time for nonlinear response is accurate, but I am confident that it provides a far better estimate than a linear response for the ice sheet component of sea level rise under BAU forcing.

    ############################################################

    I am not going to take you at your word that you believe Hansen officially claims 5 meters. Hansen in his papers has projections of 5 to 6 feet.

    WHat you may be referring to is if the melting of earth’s ice is nonlinear. It’s just showing a thought possibility if ice melt doubled every decade

  201. Jeff Green

    Don’t take my word for it. Take Hansen’s X 3

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Hansen_2.pdf

    This would yield a rise in sea level of more than 5 metres by 2095.

    If sea level rises by 5 metres…

    If sea level rises by 5 metres, large areas of Florida would disappear.

  202. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 7:19 pm
    Chris Noble

    Nonsense.

    The lack of upwards change in slope is all that is need to prove my point.

    ############################################################

    You have set your standard of what your win is. You have claimed that the melting ice is this flow of disinformation. You have not proven that. If anything you have been the
    disinformation. As long as there is an upward trend in co2 there will be an upward trend in ice melt.

  203. Jeff Green

    I have a question for you.

    What is your current velocity, in absolute numbers?

  204. KD says:

    Jeff Green: I have read enough papers and blogs that to create a list for you would take far more time than I care to invest. This is what I have learned:

    1. There is very little (both in time and geography) hard (non-proxy) data available on the global climate that comes from measurement sources with high degrees of accuracy and precision.
    2. There are many “corrections” applied to the data that are not well documented enough such that they can be independently reproduced and confirmed by others.
    3. Many of the measurement stations are clearly poorly sited (e.g. at airports surrounded by asphalt, etc.), and the corrections applied seem to make no sense.
    4. There is a lot of “selective use” of measuring stations, both for temperature and, for example, for sea level measurements.
    5. There is an awful lot of inappropriate and/or lack of use of statistics. For example, the random drawing of “trend lines” between arbitrarily selected endpoints. But also, use of the wrong types of tests for significance, correlation, error estimation, etc.
    6. Regardless of the quality of the data, the time frame, even if the data were “perfect”, is not nearly long enough for any reasonable conclusions to be drawn.
    7. The major source of “proof” of a link between CO2 and climate is computer models that have been calibrated with a combination of hard and soft (proxy) data. As a former computer modeler myself, I am well aware of how difficult it is to build an accurate model of a complex system, even when one can run experiments to help build/confirm the model. In the absence of being able to run experiments, it is foolish, at best, to have a high level of confidence in these models until they can predict the climate accurately for years.
    8. The behavior of those on the pro-AGW side of the argument do not behave like scientists. They behave, instead, like a clique. They do not put their data, their methods, etc. in the open so that others can reproduce them.

    I could go on, but you get the point. I’m an engineer, (PhD in Chemical Engineering). I know good science when I see it. The good science I see is on the skeptical side of the fence.

    A final note: there is a terrific, recent post on this site of a speech Michael Crichton gave at Caltech detailing the history of major scientific debates. If you haven’t read it, I urge you to read it. The best quote is this:

    “Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough.

    Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.”

    Why is it that the pro-AGW crowd continues to crow about consensus? History, as Mr. Crichton reminded us, tells us that consensus is what people cry when the science isn’t on their side.

    Peace.

  205. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm
    Jeff Green

    I have a question for you.

    What is your current velocity, in absolute numbers
    ############################################################

    Another distraction?

  206. Jeff Green says:

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Hansen_2.pdf

    Runaway collapse
    The current rate of sea level change is not
    without consequences. However, the primary
    issue is whether global warming will reach a
    level such that ice sheets begin to disintegrate
    in a rapid, non-linear fashion on West
    Antarctica, Greenland or both. Once well
    under way, such a collapse might be impossible
    to stop, because there are multiple positive
    feedbacks. In that event, a sea level rise of
    several metres at least would be expected.
    As an example, let us say that ice sheet
    melting adds 1 centimetre to sea level for
    the decade 2005 to 2015, and that this doubles
    each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet
    is largely depleted. This would yield a rise
    in sea level of more than 5 metres by 2095.

    ############################################################

    You are either dishonest because you really know what Hansen is talking about or you haven’t really done your homework. I will assume the latter. This is an example of 1cm per year doubling every ten years. He is talking about the disintegration of the West Antartic Ice Sheet. Your objectivity is a little skewed here.

  207. kuhnkat says:

    For the guys lovingly repeating that Grace is telling us the melt is accellerating, I would remind them that they found that Grace was overestimating the melt in the Western Antarctica. As they use the same satellite, sensors, and data processing routines I would expect them to overestimate Greenland melt also!!

    Sorry to be a party pooper. 8>(

  208. Robert Lund says:

    This is really depressing from a scientific standpoint. We have an article claiming not warming in Greenland, and I totally see the opposite (positive slope) in the one station temperature history graphed. I am aghast at how science works on facebook now — the Sarah Palin age is here — never felt more confident about the refereeing aspect of climate publications until now. Does anyone have an actual math/stats analysis of the Gothab series to report? A stats analysis of Greenland temp trends?

  209. kuhnkat says:

    Jeff Green,

    ” As long as there is an upward trend in co2 there will be an upward trend in ice melt.”

    You funny big guy. Did Tamino tell you that, or was it James Hansen, or Nick Stokes or those excellent Modellers??

    To show you how dumb that statement is, if there were an upward trend of 1ppm per 10000 years, exactly how much melting could you attribute to that??

    Then there is the issue that there is NO melting that has been conclusively attributed to the Current CO2 trend. You really need to read the caveats in all those most excellent Climate papers!!

  210. Chris Noble says:

    The lack of upwards change in slope is all that is need to prove my point.

    Nonsense! The largest contribution to sea level rise is the thermal expansion of water. You need to come back with some actual numbers to prove your point.

    Your refusal to do so just makes you look silly.

  211. Chris Noble

    Sea level has increased by about 300 feet in the last 20,000 years. According to your theory, the oceans must be about 400F to produce such a large rise.

  212. Robert Lund

    Given that Godthab temperatures are more than 1C cooler now than the were in the 1930s and 1940s, we must be on a very, very steep long term warming trend.

    And I have never been more confident in World Cup referees.

  213. Jeff Green

    I’ll ask you again. What is your current velocity?

    Bonus question. Why does GISS report relative anomalies rather than absolute temperatures?

  214. Northern Exposure says:

    The Greenland ice sheet is all but doomed to melt away to nothing, according to a new modelling study.”

    Uh huh… well that settles it then, the *cough* science *cough* is now set in concrete.

    (palm, forehead)

  215. Chris Noble says:

    Sea level has increased by about 300 feet in the last 20,000 years. According to your theory, the oceans must be about 400F to produce such a large rise.

    Why do you consistently misrepresent my position? This is another in a long line of straw man arguments that can only be intended to avoid answering simple questions.

    I have made a simple and fair request. If you are going to claim that the mass loss from Greenland is inconsistent with the measured sea level change then you need to provide some numbers. Simply asserting that it is inconsistent is not sufficient.

    The sea level clearly changes on a yearly basis due to El Ninos etc. How does the expected sea level rise from the mass loss in Greenland compare to these variations?

  216. Chris Noble says:

    Sea level has increased by about 300 feet in the last 20,000 years. According to your theory, the oceans must be about 400F to produce such a large rise.

    I really have trouble deciding whether you are being deliberately obtuse or whether you just don’t get it.

    Currently the largest contribution to sea level change is the thermal expansion of water. If the mass loss from Greenland and Antarctica continues to accelerate then very soon this will be the dominant factor.

    You presumably know this but for some reason want to play silly games.

  217. Sera says:

    “stevengoddard says:
    July 12, 2010 at 10:56 pm
    Sera

    Do you really believe the water at the North Pole was 12.6C yesterday? You might want to read this.”

    Hi Steven- I noticed the seismic activity too.

    So, you are saying that all of the buoys are worthless- except for the north pole observatory site?

  218. Chris Noble

    Glad that you agree with me that melt from Greenland and Antarctica has been negligible. So what are you arguing about?

  219. Sera says:

    Hi Steven,

    So, is the ice melting from the top down/bottom up or both? And yes, water temps have been unusually warm this year. And my current velocity is around 217 km/s.

  220. Tenuc says:

    Interesting paper from 2008, which indicates that the Greenland ice sheet is more resilient to the effects or warming that previously thought, and that mechanisms exist to slow the movement of the sheet towards the sea.

    “Recent studies have shown these natural drainpipes, called moulins, can speed up the slow seaward march of the grinding ice by lubricating the interface with bedrock below. The faster that ice flows, the faster seas rise. A Dutch study of 17 years of satellite measurements of ice movement in western Greenland concludes that the speed-up of the ice is a transient summertime phenomenon, with the overall yearly movement of the grinding glaciers not changing, and actually dropping slightly in some places, when measured over longer time spans. ”

    Abstract:
    Large and Rapid Melt-Induced Velocity Changes in the Ablation Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet
    R. S. W. van de Wal,* W. Boot, M. R. van den Broeke, C. J. P. P. Smeets, C. H. Reijmer, J. J. A. Donker, J. Oerlemans
    Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Netherlands.

    Continuous Global Positioning System observations reveal rapid and large ice velocity fluctuations in the western ablation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Within days, ice velocity reacts to increased meltwater production and increases by a factor of 4. Such a response is much stronger and much faster than previously reported. Over a longer period of 17 years, annual ice velocities have decreased slightly, which suggests that the englacial hydraulic system adjusts constantly to the variable meltwater input, which results in a more or less constant ice flux over the years. The positive-feedback mechanism between melt rate and ice velocity appears to be a seasonal process that may have only a limited effect on the response of the ice sheet to climate warming over the next decades.

    Full paper behind a pay wall – link here:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;321/5885/111?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=Roderik+S.+W.+van+de+Wal&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT

    Reality is never as simple as the CAGW brigade and their adherents would have us believe.

  221. Chris Noble says:

    Glad that you agree with me that melt from Greenland and Antarctica has been negligible. So what are you arguing about?

    Whoosh. Goal post move.

    You have been arguing that the ice loss from Greenland is inconsistent with the sea level measurements. Are you backing away from that claim? If you are going to pretend that you have falsified the GRACE measurements with this argument then back it up with numbers. You won’t because the numbers do not back up your claims.

    Stop playing silly rhetorical games. If you are going to claim that two sets of data are inconsistent then demonstrate this with numbers. Simply repeating the assertion over and over again is just an excuse for ignoring the data.

  222. Jeff Green says:

    kuhnkat says:
    July 13, 2010 at 8:31 pm
    Jeff Green,

    ” As long as there is an upward trend in co2 there will be an upward trend in ice melt.”

    You funny big guy. Did Tamino tell you that, or was it James Hansen, or Nick Stokes or those excellent Modellers??

    To show you how dumb that statement is, if there were an upward trend of 1ppm per 10000 years, exactly how much melting could you attribute to that??

    Then there is the issue that there is NO melting that has been conclusively attributed to the Current CO2 trend. You really need to read the caveats in all those most excellent Climate papers!!

    ############################################################

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas. There’s no getting around it. Global warming theory is coming true. Night time minimum temperatures are rising. The number of record highs are now double the number of record lows. About 30 40 years ago it was about even. It goes on and on and on.

  223. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 8:53 pm
    Jeff Green

    I’ll ask you again. What is your current velocity?

    Bonus question. Why does GISS report relative anomalies rather than absolute temperatures?
    ###########################################################

    It shows the anthropogenic signal amongst the noise and natural variation.

    We are talking the relationship between ice melt and sea level rise. I’m not really interested in your tidbit.

  224. Jeff Green says:

    kuhnkat says:
    July 13, 2010 at 8:25 pm
    For the guys lovingly repeating that Grace is telling us the melt is accellerating, I would remind them that they found that Grace was overestimating the melt in the Western Antarctica. As they use the same satellite, sensors, and data processing routines I would expect them to overestimate Greenland melt also!!

    Sorry to be a party pooper. 8>(

    ###########################################################

    Give us a link to see what you are talking about.

  225. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 6:45 am
    John Cook,

    Your post on your web site is a total straw man. Sea level is rising, and has been since the end of the last ice age. This is due to the ice sheets melting. Everyone understands this.

    What is not happening is a “meltdown.” I am assuming that you have some competence with English? Are you honest enough to admit your error?

    ############################################################

    Variation in sea level rise has been through out the past. An acceleration of ice melt and sea level averaged over time would be very indicative of rising temperatures on earth. It used to be argued that the sun was causing all this. During a solar minima and rising temperatures on earth, the sun is doing it all is gone.

    Temperature and co2 sometimes go in different directions and sea level rise and ice melt vary. Radar and laser altimeter, and grace gravimetric measurements all come to the same powerful conclusion of accelerating ice loss.

  226. Jeff Green says:

    stevengoddard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 8:51 pm
    Robert Lund

    Given that Godthab temperatures are more than 1C cooler now than the were in the 1930s and 1940s, we must be on a very, very steep long term warming trend.

    And I have never been more confident in World Cup referees.
    #############################################################

    This wikipedia article has references that you can check into.
    By this article Greenland is the warmest that it has been in the last 2000 years.
    This is in spite of the earth actually heading towards cooling. The last 100 years are the warmest of the last 2000 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_the_Arctic#Greenland

    A study published in the journal Science in September 2009 determined that temperatures in the Arctic are higher presently than they have been at any time in the previous 2,000 years.[1] Samples from ice cores, tree rings and lake sediments from 23 sites were used by the team, led by Darrell Kaufman of Northern Arizona University, to provide snapshots of the changing climate.[2] Geologists were able to track the summer Arctic temperatures as far back as the time of the Romans by studying natural signals in the landscape.[3] The results highlighted that for around 1,900 years temperatures steadily dropped, caused by precession of earth’s orbit that caused the planet to be slightly farther away from the sun during summer in the Northern Hemisphere.[1][2] These orbital changes led to a cold period known as the little ice age during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.[1][2] However, during the last 100 years temperatures have been rising, despite the fact that the continued changes in earth’s orbit would have driven further cooling.[1][2][4] The largest rises have occurred since 1950, with four of the five warmest decades in the last 2,000 years occurring between 1950 and 2000.[1] The last decade was the warmest in the record.[5]

  227. Dave Wendt says:

    Jeff Green says:
    July 14, 2010 at 12:38 am

    You seem to have forgotten to include the sac/off tag at the end there or are you seriously suggesting that we should prefer a Wikipedia compilation of a variety of paleoclimatological statistical fantasies over actual surface station records. I’m no big fan of the surface station record, but even I would take the worst real thermometer over the best set of tree rings or ice cores you can find on any day of the week.

  228. Dave Wendt says:

    oops! sarc/off

  229. Barry Day says:

    Who to trust??Hmmm!!I’ll go with here;
    From the late John Daly and his timeless, brilliant website page “What the Stations Say”

    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/Arctic.htm

  230. Ryan says:

    Tide gauges for measuring tides have only been widely in use for about 100years. They were never intended to measure tides to the nearest mm, or to measure absolute tide height over decades. They usually consist of a simple float device attached to the side of a dock, with the purpose of monitoring the depth of water to ensure that ships are not grounded as they enter the dock. A mathematical computation is performed on the output of the tide gauge to remove the high frequency effect of waves to leave the low frequency tide signal.

    There is every reason to believe that the docks to which the tide gauge is attached is unlikely to be perfectly stable over a period of 100years, and the most likely possibility is that the docks will, in almost every case, be slowly sinking into the earth beneath them. On top of that the accuracy of any ride gauge, given the method of operation and original purpose, is unlikely to be sufficient to monitor the sea level rise to the required degree. Furthermore, any tide guage is likely to be subject to the same problems of locality, relocation and replacement of functional parts that the surface stations are likely to have been exposed to.

    I therefore submit that we currently have no long-term system of measurement that can be used to determine that the sea level is rising at all. I challenge anyone to prove otherwise.

    As I have said several times – we have had 50 years of “accelerated global warming”, which is supposedly plenty of time to have observed the effects on sea level. If we have lost significant amounts of land to the sea due to this rise then the proponents of this theory must prove this by comparing maps pre-AGW to maps produced during the last 50 years. The fact that they refuse to undertake this simple and low-cost approach in favour of expensive satellites making observations of dubious accuracy says a lot about their real priorities and very little about the threat of AGW.

  231. Bill Tuttle says:

    Jeff Green: July 13, 2010 at 11:52 pm
    There’s no getting around it. Global warming theory is coming true. Night time minimum temperatures are rising. The number of record highs are now double the number of record lows. About 30 40 years ago it was about even. It goes on and on and on.

    And on and on and on, just like the Energizer Bunny™.

    Where’s the tropical atmospheric Hot Spot that *must* exist in order to prove the validity of the greenhouse gas global warming theory?

  232. KD says:

    Jeff Green: July 13, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    “There’s no getting around it. Global warming theory is coming true. Night time minimum temperatures are rising. The number of record highs are now double the number of record lows. About 30 40 years ago it was about even. It goes on and on and on.”

    Jeff, do you really believe that, over the history of the world, there has never, ever been another 30-40 year period where the number of record highs were double the number of record lows? I would bet my house there was at least one 30-40 year period where the number of record highs were at least triple the number of record lows!

    Can you not see the fallacy in your assertion?

    Do you not understand that just because we have observed warming doesn’t mean we have determined the causation of the warming?

    Can you truly be that naive Jeff?

  233. Jeff Green says:

    Dave Wendt says:
    July 14, 2010 at 1:37 am
    Jeff Green says:
    July 14, 2010 at 12:38 am

    You seem to have forgotten to include the sac/off tag at the end there or are you seriously suggesting that we should prefer a Wikipedia compilation of a variety of paleoclimatological statistical fantasies over actual surface station records. I’m no big fan of the surface station record, but even I would take the worst real thermometer over the best set of tree rings or ice cores you can find on any day of the week.
    ############################################################

    Nature itself gives us clues what is happening in the past. When it overlaps other fields of data how does it compare? Like you say, it has a level of uncertainty to it.

    gravimetric data
    laser altimetry
    radar altimetry
    temperature record
    paleoclimatic data
    sea level rise

    As Steve points out these all have a level of uncertainty. And there in is the game and discussion. But all these data sets are showing and proving AGW is progressively true.

  234. Jeff Green says:

    KD says:
    July 14, 2010 at 5:51 am
    Jeff Green: July 13, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    “There’s no getting around it. Global warming theory is coming true. Night time minimum temperatures are rising. The number of record highs are now double the number of record lows. About 30 40 years ago it was about even. It goes on and on and on.”

    Jeff, do you really believe that, over the history of the world, there has never, ever been another 30-40 year period where the number of record highs were double the number of record lows? I would bet my house there was at least one 30-40 year period where the number of record highs were at least triple the number of record lows!

    Can you not see the fallacy in your assertion?

    Do you not understand that just because we have observed warming doesn’t mean we have determined the causation of the warming?

    Can you truly be that naive Jeff?
    #############################################################

    I was asking how much of the literature you are reading. If you like you can add this to your list.

    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2009/maxmin.jsp#

  235. Jeff Green says:

    Bill Tuttle says:
    July 14, 2010 at 3:07 am
    Jeff Green: July 13, 2010 at 11:52 pm
    There’s no getting around it. Global warming theory is coming true. Night time minimum temperatures are rising. The number of record highs are now double the number of record lows. About 30 40 years ago it was about even. It goes on and on and on.

    And on and on and on, just like the Energizer Bunny™.

    Where’s the tropical atmospheric Hot Spot that *must* exist in order to prove the validity of the greenhouse gas global warming theory?

    ############################################################

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-Jo-Nova-doesnt-get-the-tropospheric-hot-spot.html

    David Cook has a good article addressing the “Hot Spot” discussion.

  236. Jeff Green says:

    KD

    Since you spend a great deal of time studying the issue, skeptical science has an article that relates to this subject.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Part-One-Why-do-glaciers-lose-ice.html

  237. KD says:

    Jeff Green

    Given your suggested reading, you are implying that I am arguing that the number of high temperature records is NOT outpacing the number of record lows.

    I’ll stipulate they are, even given that some of these record highs may be due to problems of poor siting of temperature stations (see the recent post on the “record high” at Carefree, Az) as opposed to actual new record high temperatures.

    That we have more record highs than lows is not the issue. The issue is what is the cause? Is it natural climate variation or is it man-made? It is clear to me that there is not enough good, quality data available to make the case that it is man-made. Plenty of models, yes. Data, evidence, no.

    In the absence of hard evidence, what you have is a theory. It may be a nice theory, but that is all it is. And basically I don’t believe in the theory.

    To be direct, I don’t subscribe to the religion you are preaching.

  238. Dave Wendt says:

    KD says:
    July 14, 2010 at 11:40 am
    Jeff Green

    Given your suggested reading, you are implying that I am arguing that the number of high temperature records is NOT outpacing the number of record lows.

    I’ll stipulate they are, even given that some of these record highs may be due to problems of poor siting of temperature stations (see the recent post on the “record high” at Carefree, Az) as opposed to actual new record high temperatures.

    I would refer you both to this old post

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/16/hall-of-record-ratios/

    and most especially to this graph which is near the end

    It’s a graph of of monthly maximum vs minimum records by decade and though it does show the ratio of max/min to have increased it also shows that in absolute numbers the climate seems to have become dramatically LESS extreme as the GAT has risen with the 2000s having fewer monthly records than any decade since the 1880s.

  239. RACookPE1978 says:

    Jeff:

    Hmmmn. You are arguing very forcefully that Greenland’s ice sheets are melting, because in fact, you must argue that way. It is the only “evidence” that CAGW remains such a drastic threat that justifies destroying the world’s economies to raise 1.3 trillion in new taxes to pay the governments’ worldwide bureaucrats. And their tame CAGW “scientists” who feed on that tax money. Hansen, after all, in the quote above is proclaiming a 5 meters sea rise in the next century due to Greenland ice melt – assuming also a continued doubling of a temperature increase that hasn’t happened at all.

    A few things you must address:

    Greenland is a large island: stretching from Lat 60 to past Lat 83 degrees north. (Equal to a northerly distance from Miami’s latitude 25 up to the south tip of Hudson Bay.)

    The actual daily UNADJUSTED average temperatures for the entire arctic at latitude 80 from DMI from 1958 show a 0.0 change in summer temperature. That is, summer arctic temperatures – the ONLY time that ice can melt at Greenland’s latitude 80 for the past 50 years of increasing CO2 levels is nothing. 0. Nada. Therefore, on what basis has NASA to claim any rise (much less the ridiculous 3 degree per decade rise mentioned at the head of thread) in temperature in Greenland? What is the actual basis (which thermometers) for their claim?

    The GPS vertical accelerations you are relying on to establish the movement of CENTRAL Greenland’s vertical land movement (hidden under 5000-some odd feet of glacier ice) were taken from a limited number of mountain top ridges on the east and west coasts. Justify a claim for any vertical movement measurements for the central part of Greenland – much less any “acceleration” over a decade when the baseline numbers do not exist. Can you claim that Ontario’s vertical movement is 1.1 mm per year – and is accelerating! – when you have measured the height of a mountaintop north of Atlanta?

    Your theorectical justification for GRACE ice loss (land rebound movement upwards under a decreasing mass of central Greenland ice mass) is based on an assumption of a loss of ice mass. Planes that were on the surface of Greenland only 60 years ago are now submerged under 300 feet of solid ice. (That has NOT melted. Hint. Hint.) Therefore, falsify this theory with data: That 300 feet of new ice sicne 1945 has increased central Greenland ice mass enough to force down the middle of the island, thus driving up the exposed small mountain tops at both edges of the island. GRACE’s analysis fails because they falsely compensate for the assumed rocky uplift. Because they want the ice mass to be calculated as a loss. To do this, you must show what the actual baseline Greenland ice thickness across the island actually are now, and were back in 1945.

    How many GPS sightings were actually made? Mann-made global warming graphs came from only hand-picked 19 tree rings from all of the tress from Murmask to Kamchatka.

    (By the way, why don’t the mid-Pacific and South Atlantic islands properly plot under GRACE data as anomolies? Why don’t new mass intrusions of magma show as “rings” under those plots? Are we sure the minute values you think you are seeing are really there?)

    Greenland has three regions of glacier ice: A two very, very thin bands of coastal glaciers less than 50 miles long up the eastern and western coasts; separated by a static (NOT MOVING) central plain of very deep ice up to 3000″ feet thick between the coastal mountain ranges. So describe that “catastrophic” melting scenario based on the actual “bowl” between the two mountain ranges that is greater than the distance from the Appalachian Mountains down to the vicinity of say Chicago and St Louis. Only both Chicago and St Louis are nearly the elevation of Denver. Now, just where is that ice supposed to “flow” so catastrophically? Yes, inland ice built up higher than the coastal mountain passes may go “out” over the passes towards sea-ward flowing glaciers, but what about the remaining 3000 feet depth – which shows no sign of anything but increasing depth over recorded history.

  240. We are talking tens and hundred of years, not from year to year.

    “The year 2010 so far, according to NASA, is the warmest on record for the globe, but also for Greenland. [...] Anyway, winter 2009/2010 air temperatures, were a whopping 8.8 degrees C (15.8 degrees F) above normal.”

    Why the situation in Greenland is so serious…

  241. RACookPE1978 says:

    Per-Erik Skramstad says:
    July 14, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    We are talking tens and hundred of years, not from year to year.

    “The year 2010 so far, according to NASA, is the warmest on record for the globe, but also for Greenland. [...] Anyway, winter 2009/2010 air temperatures, were a whopping 8.8 degrees C (15.8 degrees F) above normal.”

    Why the situation in Greenland is so serious…

    —…—…

    False. Measured actual daily Arctic temperatures (latitude 80) have NOT risen since 1958. If winter temperatures were higher than “normal” – and they were not – melt rates for ANY temperatures under 0,0 C are still zero for ANY ice over land.

  242. Ralph Dwyer says:

    But everyone knows that if the temprature is below feezing that catastrophic warming occurs!

  243. Billy Liar says:

    Per-Erik Skramstad says:
    July 14, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    ‘Why the situation in Greenland is so serious…’

    An extract: ‘ When south Greenland was settled MORE THAN 1000 YEARS AGO, temperatures were warm like today. The primary cause of the warming then was due to earth’s orbit.’

    Oh yeah? which orbital parameter was that that caused all the warming?

    PS I liked your embedded Hurtigruten ads.

  244. RACookPE1978 says:

    After closer review of the “glacier movement” (peer-reviewed) research paper above, it appears that they are trying to declare a movement theory for glaciers down a land-locked glacier valley from GPS studies of a single glacier exiting down and out an open valley by timing motion of its passage over a water-filled fjord.

    Are the two different cases related that way?

    Further, the broader case actually at hand for Greenland – that of a massive flat central plain bounded by two massive mountain ranges on all sides – bears NO relation to the study cited.

  245. maelstrom says:

    imho south and extreme southwestern Greenland is warming at sea level following the decline in the strength of the Gulf Stream in 2003-2004, which pushes a subsequent polar current down the east coast and up the west coast of Greenland. Speculations about ablation of the ice cap are merely speculations and the methodology NASA is using must be flawed because they aren’t really sharing it. Chances are good the temperature is decreasing on the ice cap overall. Low temperature isn’t sufficient to build ice, for that you need precipitation.

    Warming at sea level is a fantastic boon for Greenlanders. It is not a disaster for anyone else.

    The funny thing about recovering lost aircraft buried in the Greenland ice, mentioned above in a comment, is that the process gives the lie to conventional notions regarding ice-core data from Greenland that the ice forms in annual layers, like tree-rings. If you count “the rings” and know you are recovering a craft lost in 1945, the data don’t match.

  246. Dr A Burns says:

    The “meltdown” is forcing Inuit from their homeland … or so the deluded Stephen Pax Leonard of Cambridge University thinks:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/13/inuit-language-culture-threatened

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