More crack in the Antarctic

From the European Space Agency (ESA):

Satellite observes rapid ice shelf disintegration in Antarctic

This animation shows radar images from the Envisat satellite from 2002 to 2012 of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica. Over the last decade, the ice shelf has disintegrated by 1790 sq km. Credits: ESA click for HI-RES GIF (Size: 3359 kb)

5 April 2012
As ESA’s Envisat satellite marks ten years in orbit, it continues to observe the rapid retreat of one of Antarctica’s ice shelves due to climate warming.

One of the satellite’s first observations following its launch on 1 March 2002 was of break-up of a main section of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica – when 3200 sq km of ice disintegrated within a few days due to mechanical instabilities of the ice masses triggered by climate warming.

Now, with ten years of observations using its Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR), Envisat has mapped an additional loss in Larsen B’s area of 1790 sq km over the past decade.

The Larsen Ice Shelf is a series of three shelves – A (the smallest), B and C (the largest) – that extend from north to south along the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Larsen A disintegrated in January 1995. Larsen C so far has been stable in area, but satellite observations have shown thinning and an increasing duration of melt events in summer.

“Ice shelves are sensitive to atmospheric warming and to changes in ocean currents and temperatures,” said Prof. Helmut Rott from the University of Innsbruck.

Envisat radar image of the Larsen Ice Shelf acquired on 19 March 2012. Credits: ESA / ENVEO Click to enlarge

“The northern Antarctic Peninsula has been subject to atmospheric warming of about 2.5°C over the last 50 years – a much stronger warming trend than on global average, causing retreat and disintegration of ice shelves.”

Larsen B decreased in area from 11512 sq km in early January 1995 to 6664 sq km in February 2002 due to several calving events. The disintegration in March 2002 left behind only 3463 sq km. Today, Envisat shows that only 1670 sq km remain.

Envisat has already doubled its planned lifetime, but is scheduled to continue observations of Earth’s ice caps, land, oceans and atmosphere for at least another two years.

This ensures the continuity of crucial Earth-observation data until the next generation of satellites – the Sentinels – begin operations in 2013.

Envisat

Launched in 2002, Envisat is the largest Earth observation satellite ever built.
Credits: ESA

“Long-term systematic observations are of particular importance for understanding and modelling cryospheric processes in order to advance the predictive capabilities on the response of snow and ice to climate change,” said Prof. Rott.

This image of the Larsen B ice shelf is one of the first photos taken by Envisat on 18 March 2002. Prior to Envisat’s launch, ERS-1 and -2 had been monitoring changes in the region. Together with ERS data, this image (orbit 250) documents the 100-km retreat of the Larsen B ice shelf. Today, Envisat's radar continues to make regular, all-weather observations to enable detailed studies of the extent, surface motion and surface melt of all the ice shelves around Antarctica. Credits: ESA Click for much larger image

“Climate models are predicting drastic warming for high latitudes. The Envisat observations of the Larsen Ice Shelf confirm the vulnerability of ice shelves to climatic warming and demonstrate the importance of ice shelves for the stability of glaciers upstream.

“These observations are very relevant for estimating the future behaviour of the much larger ice masses of West Antarctica if warming spreads further south.”

Radars on Earth observation satellites, such as Envisat’s ASAR, are particularly useful for monitoring polar regions because they can acquire images through clouds and darkness.

The Sentinel missions – being developed as part of Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme – will continue the legacy of radar observations.

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135 thoughts on “More crack in the Antarctic

  1. “The northern Antarctic Peninsula has been subject to atmospheric warming of about 2.5°C over the last 50 years – a much stronger warming trend than on global average, causing retreat and disintegration of ice shelves.”

    I’m no climate scientist, so the above quote leaves me with the following question: How exactly does CO2 cause the northern Antarctic Peninsula to warm up more than the rest of the world? Shouldn’t CO2 be warming the world more uniformly, if indeed it is doing it at all?

  2. What we see occurring at both Poles and in the Himalayas are changes equivalent to the “canary in the cage” phenomena. A very real danger is that the muskeg in the North will also melt releasing vast quantities of methane and CO2. Should this occur warming will accelerate even more rapidly than at present.

  3. Do these people have no shame?

    Antarctic ice has performed opposite predictions, yet the same tripe is repeated over and over.

  4. “Ice shelves are sensitive to atmospheric warming and to changes in ocean currents and temperatures,” said Prof. Helmut Rott from the University of Innsbruck.
    =====
    Then they are also sensitive to cold…..what made them in the first place, in a place that would be the most unstable for ice shelves?

    …that has the be the stupidest place in this whole world to put floating ice shelves
    so what made them form there in the first place

  5. I thought that was called calving? Maybe because the Arctic isn’t cooperating, it’s time to look South.

  6. So all by itself the same satellite that tells us sea level is falling
    is also telling us that ice loss is ‘rapid’ and ‘due to climate change’?
    ‘Rapid’ by what measure? ‘Due to’ according to whom?

    Gee, here I was thinking satellites sent signals that we interpet as data,
    but I was so wrong. They talk, preaching the dangers of global warming!

  7. “…when 3200 sq km of ice disintegrated within a few days due to mechanical instabilities of the ice masses triggered by climate warming.”
    ==============================================
    Since ice shelves have a habit to move, it can not be so simple attributed to warming. A warm weather can cause some melting on the surface, naturally, but not “mechanical instabilities of the ice masses”. Even the biased Wikipedia has something different about “mechanical instabilities”: “Ice shelves are principally driven by gravity-driven pressure from the grounded ice [1] That flow continually moves ice from the grounding line to the seaward front of the shelf.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_shelf)

    Also interesting is, that the pictures of the animation are SUMMER pictures. January is the warmest month there: “Because the Antarctic Peninsula, which reaches north of the Antarctic Circle, is the most northerly part of Antarctica, it has the mildest climates within this continent. Its temperature are warmest in January, averages 1 to 2°C, and coldest in June, averages from -15°C to – 20°C. Its west coast from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula south to 68 degrees South, which has a maritime Antarctic climate, is the mildest part of Antarctica Peninsula. Within this part of the Antarctic Peninsula, temperatures exceed 0°C for 3-4 months during the summer, and rarely fall below -10°C during the winter.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Peninsula#Climate)

  8. “Climate models are predicting drastic warming for high latitudes.
    Just once, I wish these sorts of doom articles would reference a specific model, developer source, run date(s) and how predictions are derived from run output.

    Are you listening, Prof. Rott ? ?

  9. We’ve seen with the Wilkins ice bridge breakup that a large ocean swell over a period of week can lift and drop a shelf, causing a mechanical breakup that has nothing to do with temperature. This might well be the same. We’d need a time lapse series of photos to be sure.

  10. A bunch of pathetic liars playing with a satellite.

    Love the pictures, hate the lies.

    Want 50% of the money back.

  11. The Antarctic sea ice anomaly is up 0.472 milliom sq. kilometres so I do no see much signs of melting there. That’s a lot of new ice by any meansure. When things get too big they just crack off bits at the edge.
    Someone does definitely seem to be on crack here to judge by the quality of the article. Hugh Pepper and his canary in the cage are definitely two of them.
    These days almost everything is rapid, unprecedented, catastrophic and due to Global Warming, even if the temperatures are generally going down. Down is the new Up. We are getting very bored with the vapid nature of it all and are beginning to tire of the stupidity.

  12. I take it.that these satellite records are the first covering this area and there are no such records prior 2002 to make comparison with? Yet observed history since explorers first discovered the Antartic suggests the outer ice shelf has variously advanced and retreated over that relatively short period.
    The fact this new satellite record of retraction occurred over the 10 years that the measured average temperature of our planet has NOT risen must suggest some explanation other than to blame ‘global warming’? Please explain?

  13. Hmmmm — can you say end of summer melt season, and Antarctic ice is currently above the long term average.

    News flash ice shelves just like glaciers terminating in the sea are constantly calving ice bergs this has been going on for millions of years.

    As indicated by the following article these huge ice bergs are nothing new (or unusual)

    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/resources/coldscience/2005-01-20-1956-antarctic-iceberg_x.htm

    1956 size 12,000 sq miles 208×60 miles

    Yet if you look for “largest iceberg ever recorded” on wikipedia you will see no mention of this gargantuan ice berg, as they claim the largest ever recorded is the berg named B-15 which is approximately 1/2 the size of the 1956 berg at 183×23 miles, with a surface area of 11,000 km² (6,835 mi²)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceberg_B-15

    Mighty convenient to not mention the much larger 1956 berg and pretend it did not happen.
    There is also no legitimate reason to believe the 1956 berg was the largest possible prior to modern observation methods.

    Get over it guys, this is nothing new or in the least bit unusual!

    Larry

  14. Could someone give me a scientifically defensible reconciliation of the Antarctica ice shelves retreat and the SH Sea Ice anomaly being above average per Joe Bastardi link. To this simple mind one doesnt follow the other.

  15. Just to be sure the USA today report linked to above does not get “disappeared”
    Source : http://www.usatoday.com/weather/resources/coldscience/2005-01-20-1956-antarctic-iceberg_x.htm

    “Antarctica shed a 208-mile-long berg in 1956

    One of the largest known Antarctic icebergs broke off in 1956. Julie Palis and Guy Guthridge of the Naitonal Science Foundation and Lyn Lay, the librarian at Byrd Polar Research Center, found an article about it in the Polar Times, vol. 43, page 18.

    Here is the entire text:

    “A record iceberg seen in Antarctic

    “Little America V, Antarctica, Nov. 17- The U.S.S. Glacier, the Navy’s most powerful icebreaker, has sighted an iceberg more than twice the size of Connecticut.

    “The berg was sighted by the Glacier early this week about 150 miles west of Scott Island. The ship reported it was 60 miles wide and 208 miles long- or more than 12,000 square miles, as against Connecticut’s 5,009.

    “According to the United States Navy sailing directions for Antarctica, the largest berg hitherto reported was that seen Jan. 7, 1927, off Clarence Island by the Norwegian whale catcher Obb I. The ship said it was 130 feet high and roughly 100 miles long. Both these gargantuan icebergs were of the tabular variety typical of Antarctica. This type consists of a section of continental ice sheet that has pushed out a great distance over the sea before breaking off – a situation that does not arise in the Arctic. The tabular berg has a flat top and is of uniform height, drawing roughly 700 feet of water.

    “It was the “calving” that is, breaking off, of such an immense wafer of ice at the Bay of Whales sometime between 1948 and 1955 that deprived the original Little America of its harbor. Hence this camp, built early this year, had to be set up on Kainan Bay, thrity-five miles to the east.”

  16. Correct me if I am mistaken but this is sea ice, thus afloat on the water. Melting would then occur from below (the water being warmer than 0 C) and above when air temperatures or absorption due to low albedo are suitable. However the breaking up of thick ice is mostly a mechanical process driven by ice mass, leverage, collision with already broken-off ice bergs, sea level and waves. Melting to my mind plays a very minor role apart from weakening stress points.

  17. Hugh Pepper says:

    April 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm
    What we see occurring at both Poles and in the Himalayas are changes equivalent to the “canary in the cage” phenomena. A very real danger is that the muskeg in the North will also melt releasing vast quantities of methane and CO2. Should this occur warming will accelerate even more rapidly than at present.

    With ice at both poles increasing (go farther up and catch Bastardi’s comment), you let us know when that melting to release methane and CO2 occurs, Hugh. And the obvious thing is, Hugh, Bastardi has 1,000 times the credibility you have!

    Hugh–why do you even post such nonsense? Are you paid to do it? Are you a member of “The Team” pitching “The Cause” because….

    BECAUSE?

  18. The frame dated 19 Jan 2008 in the animated gif looks like Larsen A and B recovered somewhat for a short while yet all they seem to mention is retreat.

  19. A relatively thin brittle sheet of crystal H2O forms over a surging ocean. It shatters into various sized pieces that float, melt, refreeze and make for pretty pictures. Other than the last aspect there is nothing to get excited about.

  20. “What we see occurring at both Poles and in the Himalayas are changes equivalent to the “canary in the cage” phenomena. ”

    Yup, just like a canary in a cage…Perfectly normal.

    ” A very real danger is that the muskeg in the North will also melt releasing vast quantities of methane and CO2. Should this occur warming will accelerate even more rapidly than at present.”

    not at all + acceleration….. Terrifying.

  21. Hugh Pepper says:
    April 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm
    Should this occur warming will accelerate even more rapidly than at present.

    This reply is NOT meant to convince Hugh Pepper of anything but to clarify things for new people that may be on this site and who may be wondering what is going on here. My concern is that if statements like the above are not challenged, people may believe them to be true. The above statement is almost like being asked if you are still beating your wife. So here are the facts as I see them:
    1. It is NOT warming at the present time.
    2. Since it is not warming, there is no acceleration in the warming.
    3. Since there is no acceleration in the warming, it cannot accelerate even more rapidly.

    See the following for the last ten years.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1995/plot/wti/from:2002/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1995/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2002/trend

    The green downward sloping line is the average of four different data sets over the last ten years. The purple downward sloping line is the average of sea surface temperatures over the last ten years. So it has been cooling over the last ten years.

  22. Hugh Pepper. LMAO every time I see the name. He really should get a new handle. Sorry, moderators can delete if you wish but I just know I am going to see a gem every time that handle comes up …

  23. Birdieshooter says:

    April 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Could someone give me a scientifically defensible reconciliation of the Antarctica ice shelves retreat and the SH Sea Ice anomaly being above average per Joe Bastardi link. To this simple mind one doesnt follow the other

    I hope so. Mt. Erebus is an active volcano, close to the Antarctic Peninsular. So there is evidence of vulcanism in that area. There is speculation that some of this vulcanism is actiive on the sea floor around the Antarctic Peninsular. If this has increased in recent years, and there is no data one way or the other, this could explain the abnormal warming of the oceans surrounding the peninsular.

  24. Then there are volcanoes and earthquakes as possible causes for the crack.

    Earthquakes in the ocean along South American coast (1): http://ptwc.weather.gov/ptwc/?region=2&id=hawaii.TIBHWX.2012.03.25.2245

    Earthquakes in the Vanuatu Islands area (6) http://ptwc.weather.gov/ptwc/?region=2&id=hawaii.TIBHWX.2012.03.09.0717

    from Reporting Centers (1 thru 6): http://ptwc.weather.gov/ptwc/?region=0

    Major Volcanoes of the Antarctica Map: http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Imgs/Gif/Antarctica/Maps/map_antarctica_volcanoes.gif
    Description: http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Antarctica/description_antarctica_volcanoes.html

    Underwater Antarctic Volcanoes Discovered in the Southern Ocean around the South Sandwich Islands: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110711104755.htm

  25. Terry Oldberg says:

    “…climate models do not predict. ‘They “project.'”

    And the evaluation is that they can’t project accurately, not to mention their completely inaccurate forecasting and hindcasting disability.

    . . .

    Hugh Pepper says:

    What we see occurring at both Poles and in the Himalayas are changes equivalent to the “canary in the cage” phenomena.

    That’s “canary in the coal mine”, Hugh. And…

    …warming will accelerate even more rapidly than at present.

    Warming is decelerating, not accelerating at present. I can explain it for you, Hugh, but I can’t understand it for you.

  26. What we really need is the “Hugh Pepper in a cage” phenomena. We would place the cage in the center of the Antarctic – ground zero if you will. We would record the results. The following year we would place the cage, with contents, at the North Pole and record our findings.
    This would allow us to determine the exact effects of extreme warming of the poles.

  27. How do we know this is caused by global warming. I have always suspected erosion from the ocean on the penninsula could cause the breakup because some parts of the pennjunsula are exposed to the ocean almost year round and are not protected by the sea ice like most of the continent. ??

  28. Hey Hugh Pepper, the very real danger is that the Earth may enjoy another climatic optimum as untold billions of plants and critters thrive in a more hospitable warmer climate allowing the biosphere to expand and prosper, nourished by a rebound of atmospheric CO2 as it returns to more bountiful and historical levels enjoyed in the past.

  29. imoira says:
    April 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Thank you Gail Combs! You’ve made my exploration much easier.
    _________________________
    Your welcome. I had the darnest time figuring out just where everything was down there. Geologically it is not exactly what you would call quiet. Given the japanese tsunami hit Hawaii ( 3ft wave) you could have something interesting going on with a decent size underwater earthquake or volcano.

  30. I think the break up happened because the moon was in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligned with Mars.

  31. The crack in the ice cannot be caused by radiation from carbon dioxide, because not even the radiation in a microwave oven can melt ice directly.

    In my view we need to focus on the assumed problem, namely carbon dioxide and, to a lesser extent, methane perhaps. If I refer to trace gases take it to mean these, because I refuse to call them greenhouse gases.

    We have what we have in the Earth’s total system. Somehow, in some way we may never fully understand, a long-term near equilibrium situation has developed. We have some energy being generated in the core, mantle and crust, most likely by fission I think, but I won’t go into that. But it does set up a temperature gradient from the core to the surface which is very stable below the outer kilometre or so of the crust. However, it may vary in long-term natural cycles that have something to do with planetary orbits. Likewise, the intensity of solar radiation getting through the atmosphere to the surface may also vary in natural cycles which may have something to do with planetary influences on the Sun, and on the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit and on cosmic ray intensity and on cloud cover, ENSO cycles etc.

    There is much to be learned about such natural cycles, and we have seen papers by Nicola Scafetta for example which appear to provide compelling evidence of the natural cycles. I believe that in fact such natural cycles are quite sufficient to explain all observed climate change, including what has happened in the last half century or so, right up to the present. The world has just been alarmed because the 1000 year cycle and the 60 year cycle were both rising around 1970 to 1998, just as they did by about the same amount 60 years earlier, and 60 years before that and no doubt further back. We cannot escape the obvious fact that there is a ~1000 year cycle which is due for another maximum within 50 to 200 years. Then there will be 500 years of falling temperatures.

    But the central issue is whether or not trace gases are really having any effect at all on climate.

    In my paper I have explained the physics of heat transfer and demonstrated why trace gases cannot have any effect whatsoever on what we call climate.

    Climate may be thought of as the mean of temperature measurements, usually made in the air between 1.5 and 2 metres above the ground. Thermometers are affected by the thermal energy in that air near the surface. As you can read here thermal energy is distinct from heat. It is transferred by molecular collision processes (conduction and diffusion,) by physical movement (convection) and by radiation. . The energy in radiation is not thermal energy. Thermal energy is first converted to electromagnetic (radiated) energy and then that EM energy has to be converted back to thermal energy in a target. Hence, in a sense thermal energy only appears to be transferred by radiation.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics (SLoT) tells us that in any (one way, independent) spontaneous process, entropy cannot decrease unless external energy is added. There are no two ways about it. If spontaneous radiation emanates from a cooler object (or atmosphere) its EM energy cannot be converted back to thermal energy in a warmer target, such as Earth’s surface. This point is not debatable. A violation of the SLoT cannot be excused on the grounds that there will be some subsequent independent process (maybe not even radiation) which will transfer more thermal energy back to the atmosphere. If you disagree, you are mistaken.

    However, the radiation from a cooler body can affect the radiative component of the cooling of a warmer body. Although such radiation undergoes what I call “resonant scattering” this does involve the “resonators” in the warmer body and uses up some of its radiating capacity. Because the incident radiation supplies the energy, the warmer body does not need to convert an equivalent amount of its own thermal energy. Hence it cools more slowly.

    But, the resonating process involves all the (potential) different frequencies in the incident radiation. There will be far less effect when there are limited frequencies as is the case for radiation from a trace gas in the atmosphere. Furthermore, the effect depends on the temperature of that gas and is less when it is cooler. It is far less from space (equivalent to about 2.7K) and so there is no slowing of cooling for that portion of radiation which gets through the atmospheric window.

    The remaining radiation (when we look at net figures, not all that backradiation) represents less than a third of all the cooling processes from the surface to the atmosphere. The other non-radiative processes can, and will, simply speed up in order to compensate, because they do so if the temperature gap increases. There are further reasons discussed in Q.3 in the Appendix of my paper.

    So there is no overall effect at all due to trace gases on the rate of cooling of the surface. Thus there can be no effect upon climate.

    Discussion on this continues on this thread.

  32. Hi All,

    Is the data from Werner Brozek for the entire planet or just for the Antartic Region?

  33. CF says
    I’m no climate scientist, so the above quote leaves me with the following question: How exactly does CO2 cause the northern Antarctic Peninsula to warm up more than the rest of the world? Shouldn’t CO2 be warming the world more uniformly, if indeed it is doing it at all?
    ———-
    I am not a climate scientist either so allow me to speculate. Most of the earth’s increased heat retention occurs at the equator and the excess heat then moves to the poles. So heat collected over a large area is concentated into a smaller area. Hence a moderate temp increase at the equator becomes a larger one at the poles.

    I suspect albedo feedback may also be important.

  34. I would urge caution in these comments. You may want to consider the difference between ice shelf and sea ice.

  35. While for some, calving of Antarctic ice shelves is caused by global warming, for me it contributes to global cooling.
    Consider what happens when an ice shelf breaks off into the southern sea. Consider just how much cooling it will produce as it goes through the process of re-liquification.

  36. I love it when people jump on a topic with the old “canary in a coal mine” analogy.

    The thing about using canaries was that canaries were more sensitive to “bad air” than the candles miners used to depend on. The problem with depending on a candle’s or lamp’s flame approach is that by the time a candle stopped burning, people were passing out. Add to that the danger a candle causes in coal mines and canaries were a blessing especially in said coal mines.

    The thing is, canaries were fairly effective in their role; proven indicators you see.

    Then the alarmists come along hollering about imminent dangers and cascading calamities and claiming that action/money/deprivation is immediately required! Gee, I wonder why they’re called alarmists? These alarmists throw out phrases like “canary in a cage”, “accelerating”, and “turning points” and many more silly scares and they point rapidly in all directions.

    I am reminded of the classic pickpocket/thief ruses where one distracts while the others pilfer our citizens honest money.

    What proof do ye alarmists offer that indicates there is any cause for concern? Proof, is solid tangible evidence. Proof is not a model product!

  37. cafeproz says:
    April 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Hi All,

    Is the data from Werner Brozek for the entire planet or just for the Antarctic Region?

    All data are global at http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/

    However there are many different things you can plot if interested. Just click under “Data source” and see over 30 things that can be plotted and analyzed. But one of the few things NOT there is polar anomalies. If you want more details from the poles, see:

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

  38. This looks more like a cooling event than a warming event. 3200 square miles is a lot of cold water when it melts. This is the counter to Trenberth’s missing heat – now we know where the missing cold is, though.

    Also – do the alarmists believe that we are in a glacier building period? I think that has not been the case since the end of the LIA. Coincidence the snout ice age in many parts of the world is from that time?

  39. CD (@CD153) says:
    April 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    “The northern Antarctic Peninsula has been subject to atmospheric warming of about 2.5°C over the last 50 years – a much stronger warming trend than on global average, causing retreat and disintegration of ice shelves.”

    I’m no climate scientist, so the above quote leaves me with the following question: How exactly does CO2 cause the northern Antarctic Peninsula to warm up more than the rest of the world? Shouldn’t CO2 be warming the world more uniformly, if indeed it is doing it at all?
    ###############################
    no C02 would not warm the world uniformly. Neither would an increase in TSI or any other forcing for that matter at least not on small time scales.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/01/polar-amplification/

    http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/arctic-polar-amplification-effect

    It would be very odd indeed if the world warmed uniformly. In fact you can expect that some places will warm more and other will warm less. geographically warming will be highest in northern latitudes ( generally).
    Finally, c02 doesnt “cause” warming in the way you think. Adding C02 or any GHG to the atmosphere raising the height at which the earth radiates that means, following known physical law, that the earth will cool less rapidly than it would otherwise. The spatio temporal distribution of that effect is not homogenous. We expect differentials.

  40. To continue from my post above, from

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    while the global trend is +0.13/decade since UAH went into operation in 1978, the trend in the Antarctic is a cooling at -0.05/decade if I am interpreting it right.

    But how does this agree with (or am I missing something):
    CD (@CD153) says:
    April 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    “The northern Antarctic Peninsula has been subject to atmospheric warming of about 2.5°C over the last 50 years – a much stronger warming trend than on global average, causing retreat and disintegration of ice shelves.”

    Am I to believe the whole Antarctic is cooling for decades but one little bit is warming? If that is indeed the case, I cannot believe that CO2 is the reason. As stated elsewhere, perhaps volcanoes are the reason.

  41. I’ll bet the break up in 2002 generated a multitude of stories like “We only have 10 years to…….
    save Antarctica, save the glaciers, stop a 20 meter sea level rise or oh hell to save earth from evil mankind. But now all they have to report is their worst sea ice pic from orbit on their 10th anniversary. What a bunch of cherry picking cry babies……………..
    Uzi

  42. There ought to be some extraordinary fossils there in those exposed areas. I wouldn’t last two minutes in -52C air though.

  43. There seems to be confusion here between annual Arctic sea ice and Antarctic ice shelves. Annual ice may be one to a few meters thick. Shelves are much thicker; some are a kilometer thick. Comparing the area of annual ice with the area of shelves doesn’t make a lot of sense. The ESA article is about an ice shelf.

  44. There is one rather large problem with the ‘global warming caused this’ explanation, which is that there has been a large increase in sea ice in this area. We are about a month past Antarctic sea ice minimum, and the Larson iceshelf is surrounded by sea ice that extends by an average of about 200 kilometers beyond the long term (30 year) average extent.

    If global warming is melting the Antarctic Peninsula icesheets, why is the sea ice adjacent to the Peninsula increasing at such a rapid rate?

    BTW, the answer is probably, the Larsen icesheet is responding to past warming. How long ago is anyone’s guess. Another possible explanation is an increase in upwelling of relatively warm water along the edge of Peninsula.

  45. Hugh Pepper says:

    April 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    What we see occurring at both Poles and in the Himalayas are changes equivalent to the “canary in the cage” phenomena. A very real danger is that the muskeg in the North will also melt releasing vast quantities of methane and CO2. Should this occur warming will accelerate even more rapidly than at present.
    ————————————————————–
    LOL, lets do a little math. So a little area of warming, 1,700 sq K, of ice may be breaking off or reducing, due to ocean current changes, maybe due to underwater volacanism, is overwhelmed by 500,000 sq K of additionals sea ice, panic, the oeans are boiling.

  46. Smokey (April 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm):

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Though the IPCC climate models are popularly taken to make forecasts, they make none of them. They make “projections” which, though often taken to be forecasts, are not

  47. How many tugboats would it take to nudge that big ice wafer to port for some country in need of fresh water!?

  48. I found this image interesting.

    If the color coding is to believed, a lot if Antarctica is below sea level and subject to ocean forces.
    This will give an indication of elevation and flow rates are found here, scroll down 2/3 the page.

  49. Ice, like unreinforced concrete has low tensile strength and is assumed to have none when it is cracked. No engineer would build an unreinforced suspended or cantilevered slab as it would crack and collapse easily. The greater the span or projection, the more likely the failure.

    More ice formation makes the ice shelf larger and heavier and more likely to crack and break off. Melting or less freezing would make the shelf lighter and smaller and less likely to break.

    What is needed is properly engineered reinforcement installed in the top of the ice shelf. The steel and pipeline industries could carry out this task. Immediate action is required as concerned scientific consensus has determined that Antarctic ice shelf cracking is greatest threat to life on this planet. We cannot leave our children with a planet of cracking ice shelves.

  50. Golly gee whiz… I sure wonder how this world got to where it is. So much hysteria over something that useless.
    Maybe some recent tsunami activity had some affect on the crack.
    Where is all that Crackspackle when you need it?

  51. Terry Oldberg says:
    April 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm
    Though the IPCC climate models are popularly taken to make forecasts, they make none of them. They make “projections” which, though often taken to be forecasts, are not
    =======================================
    Really? According to the WordWeb dictionary the first meaning of the word “projection” is (surprise!): “a prediction made by extrapolating from past observations”.

    And of course those projections have always been sold to the press and politicians by “climate scientists” as predictions.

    • Greg House ( April 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm ):

      Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify. As you point out, at least one dictionary uses the two word as synonyms. However, as the two words reference distinct ideas in the climatological literature, to use them as synonyms in this context is to conflate these ideas.

      To conflate them causes trouble, for while a model’s “predictions” are falsifiable, a model’s “projections” are not falsifiable. Thus, to conflate the two ideas confuses entities that are not falsifiable with entities that are. A consequence is for it to appear that the methodology by which the IPCC reached its conclusion of CAGW from CO2 emissions was scientific when it was not.

      In an article published a year ago at http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/15/the-principles-of-reasoning-part-iii-logic-and-climatology/ I covered this topic in depth . However, bloggers in wattsupwiththat continue to conflate the two ideas by treating “prediction” and “projection” as synonyms. In doing so, they make themselves dupes of the IPCC. For the future, if bloggers were to take it upon themselves to avoid this practice, it would be clearly seen that the IPCC’s conclusions are not a conclusion from a scientific study and should be disregarded for this reason.

  52. It may be worth noting that the Larsen B iceshelf is 2,750km from the South Pole. Transpose that to the northern hemisphere and that places it fair square in the middle of Alaska and Iceland, Southern Greenland and well inside Canada, Norway, Russia, Finland and Sweden or in the Bering Sea, take your pick.

  53. RE
    Steven Mosher says:
    @ April 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    “…Finally, c02 doesnt “cause” warming in the way you think. Adding C02 or any GHG to the atmosphere raising the height at which the earth radiates that means, following known physical law, that the earth will cool less rapidly than it would otherwise. The spatio temporal distribution of that effect is not homogenous. We expect differentials.”
    …………………………..

    Oh right. And do the “differentials” also explain how it is that, during past ice ages of the most recent 2MY, global temperatures appear to decline while atmospheric [CO2] lags by as much as 3000 years?

    It’s the question the AGW believers and warmists generally never seem to want to answer – or offer an explanation. In the fatansy of virtual reality of “runaway greenhouse” how is it that global temperatures ever manage to do a U-turn at all with declines in CO2 lagging by several hundered-several thousand years?

    Is it because the maximum amount of CO2 is already in the atmosphere providing a cieling to maximum warming?

    Or do we get to find out in the next installment of ‘Nature: Other-worldly tricks and the temperature-CO2 (de-)coupled hypothesis (minus error bars)’?

  54. Gail Combs, here is a UGS world earthquake map for 2002, I too suspected a possible tsunami or seismic event, when you look at the map you will notice that Antarctica appears to be the only country/continent on the planet with out an earthquake, ever ?
    Although, many earthquakes are registered in the nearby oceans.

    Here is a KML for google earth that will show you all Mag5 earthquakes.

    2002 Earthquakes, Magnitude 5 ( http://www.google.com/url?q=http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/epic/kml/2002_Earthquakes_Mag5.kmz&sa=U&ei=jJp-T7yZIcX4mAXW5830Bw&ved=0CBMQFjAH&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNGrvlIJf7qzaHah_GkUX5atT4UoLg )

    The link came from this page ( http://earthquake.usgs.gov/search/?q=pacfic+ocean+2002&x=0&y=0&cx=012856435542074762574%3A49ga9ubtojk&cof=FORID%3A11&sa=Search )

  55. Should this article not be acompanied by a picture of a forlorn looking penguin standing on an isolated ice flow, (having forgotten how to swim and fish, obviously). With a little more Rott from Doctor Rott telling us how the poor little thing will starve without the ice?

    Ice shelves break mechanically not by melting.

    By the way, has anybody seen AlGore and the Hansen/Branson since they went to the Antarctic? I have seen nothing about their triumphal return in the media, just a letter from the Hansen to Slovenia which could have been written by any 12 year old greenie activist. Are they still there, crow-barring bits off the ice shelf? Should we send a search party?

  56. Greg House says:
    April 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm
    “Terry Oldberg says:
    April 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm
    Though the IPCC climate models are popularly taken to make forecasts, they make none of them. They make “projections” which, though often taken to be forecasts, are not
    =======================================
    Really? According to the WordWeb dictionary the first meaning of the word “projection” is (surprise!): “a prediction made by extrapolating from past observations”.

    And of course those projections have always been sold to the press and politicians by “climate scientists” as “predictions.”

    The IPCC is careful enough to include a section where they define what is a projection and what’s a prediction in their book, so you can’t blame them for using words as they define them. Sorry no link, it’s somewhere in the AR4.

    Anyhow, their idea is that they can’t make a prediction because they can’t initialize a climate model with the exact state at a given time as that state is not known. But that’s just a thinly veiled disguise to escape the critizism of mathematically knowledgeable nitpickers who tend to say, you can’t make a prediction for 2100 because of the exponentially growing discrepancy between your model and reality. This criticism cannot be refuted, only evaded.

    So it’s all a semantic game by the IPCC to evade criticism. BTW, assuming that what the IPCC does is scientific, they should have discussed these arguments themselves. But they have no competent personnel – watch Donna about that:

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/04/05/eike-releases-4th-climate-conference-videos-of-speakers/

  57. LazyTeenager says: April 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm “I am not a climate scientist either so allow me to speculate. Most of the earth’s increased heat retention occurs at the equator and the excess heat then moves to the poles. So heat collected over a large area is concentated into a smaller area. Hence a moderate temp increase at the equator becomes a larger one at the poles.”

    No, you should not be allowed to speculate when you write absolute drivel that has nought to do with the long, proud heritage of established physics. There have neen some home-made explanations of science on blogs before, but this is the doozy. Completely nuts.

  58. Finally, c02 doesnt “cause” warming in the way you think. Adding C02 or any GHG to the atmosphere raising the height at which the earth radiates

    So Steven, presumably you have the mathematics to be able calculate this change in height. Should come from the model you are using. Good, please inform us idiots of the change in height for an increase in co² of 3.27% of 0.00039 ppm (the human contribution) or for the total non-uniform addition to the atmosphere of about 100ppm.

  59. Its just a normal cycle, snow falls, glaciers form, glaciers move towards the sea, ice shelf forms, ice shelf gets pushed out to sea, ice calves, bergs break off, bergs melt, snow falls, glaciers form, glaciers move towards the sea, ice shelf forms, ice shelf gets pushed out to sea, ice calves, bergs break off, bergs melt, etc etc etc.

  60. Snake oil salesman – as if warming would cause ice to break, does an ice block ‘ break’ as it warms ?
    Of course not, it melts from outside to in.
    These AGW obsessed fools see all things as anthrocentric.

  61. RE
    Disko Troop says:
    @ April 6, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I didn’t know Al and Jimbo were there…perhaps the title of this thread have been: ‘More Crap in the Anatarctic’?

  62. Hugh Pepper says:
    April 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm
    A very real danger is that the muskeg in the North will also melt releasing vast quantities of methane and CO2. Should this occur warming will accelerate even more rapidly than at present.

    Muskeg is bogland in the tundra — it doesn’t melt, it thaws, and it does so every summer.

    The only danger that thawed muskeg poses (other than falling into a hole and getting soaked) is that it provides a marvelous summer breeding ground for [channelling Carl Sagan] “billyons and billyons” of mosquitoes…

  63. The British research station on the antarctic peninsula shows no rise of the temperature for the last 25 years.

  64. Disko Troop says:
    April 6, 2012 at 12:41 am
    By the way, has anybody seen AlGore and the Hansen/Branson since they went to the Antarctic?

    They’re collaborating on a Powerpoint presentation. The slides will dramatically depict the ravages of Glowbull Worming by showing that not a single polar bear remains in the Antarctic…

  65. @Disko Troop says:
    April 6, 2012 at 12:41 am

    “Ice shelves break mechanically not by melting.”
    Yup.

    “By the way, has anybody seen AlGore and the Hansen/Branson since they went to the Antarctic? I have seen nothing about their triumphal return in the media, just a letter from the Hansen to Slovenia which could have been written by any 12 year old greenie activist. Are they still there, crow-barring bits off the ice shelf? Should we send a search party?
    If they are still there, the last thing we should do is send a search party. Leave well enough alone.

  66. @Werner Brozek

    Please, adjust your time frame. Looking at climate change over a period of less than 30 years is really not meaningful.
    See [SNIP: if you have an argument to make, make it here, but we are not sending traffic to an unreliable source. -REP] for a good illustration

  67. On the far side of the continent the Amery Ice Shelf has been expanding for at least sixty years. I suppose you could use it as proof Global Cooling is occurring, and we are all going to freeze. However at some point it will break off, at which point we can use it as proof Global Warming is occurring, and we all are going to fry.

    On the other hand, maybe we could just calm down. But would that get us grant money?

  68. At last! So can we play golf any time soon now? Swedish news 2008; “Antarctica becoming a golf course”:

  69. Luther Wu says:
    April 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm
    What?
    Only one troll?

    I got a real laugh when I saw your comment came immediately after a comment from Lazy Teenager. And LT got something right for a change, he/she said he/she wasn’t a climate scientist! That has become obvious from the quality of the other comments he/she makes.

  70. Steven Mosher said
    @ April 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    “…Adding C02 or any GHG to the atmosphere raising the height at which the earth radiates that means, following known physical law, that the earth will cool less rapidly than it would otherwise…”
    …………………………..

    Steven, explain this to me if you will. How does raising the height at which the Earth radiates reduce cooling ?

    I would have thought that if the effective radiating surface increased in height it’s radiating surface area would therefore have increased, which far from reducing the amount of cooling would in fact increase the amount of cooling thus providing a form of negative feedback.

    In other words you would have us believe that a larger surface area radiates less heat away to space than a smaller surface area ?

    Explain yourself please.

  71. “The northern Antarctic Peninsula has been subject to atmospheric warming of about 2.5°C over the last 50 years – a much stronger warming trend than on global average, causing retreat and disintegration of ice shelves.”

    I find this statement untrue. I could not find anywhere such data confirming this trend in the SH>.

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

    Note that the so-called ”global warming” is not global at all.
    In the Southern Hemisphere (SH) there is almost no warming. Clearly, you can see a big difference in the results for means between NH and SH? Check out these two weatherstations’ results from the antarctic.

    http://www.nerc-bas.ac.uk/icd/gjma/amundsen-scott.ann.trend.pdf

    http://www.nerc-bas.ac.uk/public/icd/gjma/vostok.ann.trend.pdf

    They are remarkably flat. Although I do not know where the original data are for these two graphs. Does anyone here know?

  72. It’s remarkable how these people are able to state with such certainty that the warming is definitively anthropogenic in cause.
    I always thought that temperatures needed to be above 0 Celcius for ice to melt. Silly me.

  73. “As ESA’s Envisat satellite marks ten years in orbit, it continues to observe the…. drone, drone drone”
    “One of the satellite’s first observations following its launch on 1 March 2002 was of break-up of a….drone, drone, drone”

    How lovely. Ten years old and still singing like a Canary.

  74. @Peter Plail
    Added to a comment on a previous post was that Lazy Teenager is in Australia and runs a Mac software service for dental things.

  75. Peter Roessingh,

    How many of those short cooling periods were the result of cherry picking? You know, from an El Niño to a La Niña. Be honest now.

    The fact is a good measure of climate change is likely to need over 100 years and probably more. Even 30 years is suspect. We know it has warmed since the LIA. We still don’t know all the causes of the first 250 years of that warming but you think you know the cause of the last 30 (-10 where no warming has occurred).

    BTW, I got some prime ocean front property in Wyoming I can let go for a bargain.

  76. Climate models set up scenarios then tell us what would happen under scenarios. The input info is part well-understood mechanics, part fudge factor, and part vast gaping holes of missing quantities of less well-understood mechanics. Given this foul-looking input soup, I would not be publishing papers based on the foul smelling wild-ass poop that comes out the other end. That such publishing happens (seemingly at break-neck speed these days) speaks loudly of budget constraints keeping scientists sitting at computer model terminals instead of being out engaged in expensive field research. Or they could just be lazy.

  77. Mr. Hugh Pepper has ignited some colorful responses here. While I agree with the substance of the rebuttals, I want to say that flaming Mr Pepper is inappropriate. We skeptics hate it when it is done to us on other blogs. So let’s rise above, and concentrate on education.

  78. It seems to me that cracking is also a mechanical issue. If a piece of ice is over an area that is not supporting it, (cantilever, simply supported), build up of more ice (weight) would eventually break the structure (crack). what’s the mechanical properties of ice, how many hollow areas or unsupoorted regions are there and then simple to calculate how much weight(load) to break it, might also help to explain the issue and also point out that it is the work of more cooling, rather than melting.

  79. “What we see occurring at both Poles and in the Himalayas are changes equivalent to the “canary in the cage” phenomena.

    That’s “canary in the coal mine”, Hugh. And…

    Hugh could’nt bring himself to type the word “coal”………

  80. @ Richard M
    Sure i picked those cooling periods (and it was not easy!). The whole point of the graph is that cherry picking allows you to suggest there is no warming signal! When Werner Brozek shows only 20 years of data and puts a a trendline on the last 10 years to suppport his claim there is no global warming he does just that.

    We fully agree that 30 years is the minimum to make meaningful statements and show the significance of the trend.

    By the way, I did not make any claims about the origin of the observed warming. I only commented on the misuse of statistics to show there was *no* warming.

  81. @HenryP
    The data you are looking for regarding the fast warming of the Antarctic Peninsula can be found in this paper:

    Turner, J., Colwell, S., Marshall, G., Lachlan-Cope, T., Carleton, A., Jones, P., Lagun, V., Reid, P., Iagovkina, S. (2005). Antarctic climate change during the last 50 years. International Journal of Climatology, 25, 279-294.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.1130/pdf

    It has an erratum. The correct figures are here:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.1212/pdf

  82. As in poker, we see your satellite data and raise with other satellite data. From http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/icetide.htm

    They did it using the twin satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center. Large tides flow along the ocean floor beneath the Larsen and Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelves. Though scientists have long known of these tides, they have not yet been modeled accurately, said C.K. Shum, professor of geological sciences at Ohio State University. Yet the tides play a major role in scientists’ efforts to measure how much the ice sheets are melting or freezing, and how the melting ice will affect global sea levels.

    While the tides cause only minute fluctuations in Earth’s overall gravity, they are actually composed of massive amounts of water, he explained.

    The ice is a mile thick in parts, and the tides are so large that they can lift the shelves – with a combined area bigger than the state of California – as high as 15 feet.

    Scientists believe that these unseen tides can carve into the ice from underneath and eventually cause pieces to break off, as part of the Larsen Ice Shelf broke off in 1995.

    Looks mechanical and not CO2 to me.

  83. sunspot says:
    “when you look at the map you will notice that Antarctica appears to be the only country/continent on the planet with out an earthquake, ever?”

    Something is clearly wrong. Antarctica has over 30 active volcanoes:

    http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/region.cfm?rnum=19

    http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/region.cfm?rnum=1900

    Volcanoes always have associated earthquakes. I suspect there are few seismic stations in Antarctica (or perhaps none), which would explain the apparent absence of seismic activity.

  84. Peter Roessingh says:
    April 6, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Sure i picked those cooling periods (and it was not easy!). The whole point of the graph is that cherry picking allows you to suggest there is no warming signal!

    If you look at the any period over the last 15 years that is apples-apples (that is, ENSO consistent), you will see flat temperatures. Therefore, by making sure not to cherry pick the period you get no warming. That’s how one applies logic to the problem. You don’t have to do this kind of exercise with blinders on. The net is there has been no warming while CO2 emissions continue to increase.

    The only way this could happen is for there to be a cooling mechanism that is masking the warming. Interestingly, the IPCC could not find anything that allows for this to happen. That leaves you with a bit of a problem. Either the IPCC is wrong … or … the IPCC is wrong.

  85. Hugh Pepper says:

    A very real danger is that the muskeg in the North will also melt releasing vast quantities of methane…warming will accelerate even more rapidly…

    Hugh, you’re a genius! Because methane is reportedly 20X as potent a green house gas as CO2, it is imperative that we harvest as much as possible from Arctic regions before it gets released. Then we can convert it to far less dangerous CO2.

    Of course, the resulting CO2 will start melting deadly methane hydrate deposits located worldwide:

    So the obvious solution is to harvest them and convert them to CO2 as well. Hugh, you just solved the methane crisis and the energy crisis simultaneously, and made the world a more productive and beautiful planet to boot! I nominate Hugh Pepper for the next Nobel Peace Prize!

    Does this need a (sarc) tag?

  86. Well one shouldn’t need to point out that the Antarctic Peninsular is OUTSIDE the Antarctic circle; so the sun shines there EVERY DAY.

    One also shouldn’t need to point out that the Antarctic Peninsula, has the entire Pacific Ocean on the West side of it, and the entire Atlantic Ocean on the East side of, and those oceans slosh back and forth, in what are known as TIDES, on average, about twice EVERY day.

    TIDES are typically characterized (on average) by the RISING and FALLING of SEA LEVELS, and since ice floats on sea water, this twice daily lifting and dropping of those ice shelves, will (on average) result in severe stretching stresses on both the top and bottom surfaces of those ice shelves. Try doing that twice a day to your favorite concrete road bridge and see what happens over time.
    There are OTHER satellite pictures, that show sections of those sheleves that collapsed around 50 years ago, and have now grown back, but at a lower altitude, since they are lacking 50 years of snow deposition, that the surrounding areas have received.

    So the breaking of floating ice shelves, that are in sunshine every day, and stressed daily is not a mystery.
    And it also should not be necessary to point out that when you break ANY solid into two parts, the total surface area increases ALWAYS, no matter what, so the melting rate will increase, if in a melting regime, and subsequent breakup of melting pieces, will only accelerate the further melting rate due to the continual increase in surface area.

    This phenomenon can be observed daily in any ordinary glass of ice washed in a small amount of Coca Cola (or Pepsi too).

  87. Larry Ledwick (hotrod ) says:
    April 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Yet if you look for “largest iceberg ever recorded” on wikipedia you will see no mention of this gargantuan ice berg,


    actually the 1956 iceberg *is* mentioned as the largest in the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceberg

  88. Richard M says: (April 6, 2012 at 9:01 am)

    If you look at the any period over the last 15 years that is apples-apples (that is, ENSO consistent), you will see flat temperatures.

    Who are you kidding? We agreed that 30 year was the minimum or meaningful trendlines. But for your information, since the 60’s there is *no* 15 year period to be found without a positive trend line. Where is the graph to back up your claim?

    Never mind, I am done here.

  89. What’s that you have there? Oh, only some of the most advanced sophisticated human technology used to build and put it into orbit hard ware to observe the known universe, cool what are you going to use it for? (Waite for it) to watch ice melt! enough said!

  90. What’s that you have there? Oh, only some of the most advanced sophisticated human technology used to build and to put it into orbit, hardware to observe the known universe, cool what are you going to use it for? (Waite for it) to watch ice melt! enough said!

  91. @Hugh Pepper

    Since your canary has passed in his cage did you engage in a full root cause analysis? Did your analysis conclude that it was CO2 that killed your canary?

    I would also like to know how you prepare your chicken bones (since your canary is dead and all) do you boil them first?

    How long do you dry them before you can employ them for their predictive powers?

    The reason I ask is because I am interested in preparing my own chicken bones for their incredible predictive powers.

    ROFLMAO HUGH, good one eh?

    If I had to guess the engineers that helped design the ENVISAT instruments read this article and have to quietly roll their eyes. What ridiculous unscientific drivel.

  92. Third time lucky ;)

    What’s that you have there? Oh, only some of the most advanced sophisticated human technology ever employed by any known civilization (that has ever existed on earth) being currently implemented to build and deliver this technology into orbit, some of the most advanced hardware in existence to observe the known universe. Cool what are you going to use it for? (Waite for it) to watch ice melt! enough said!

  93. Gail Combs suggested earthquakes/volcanoes as having possible involvement in the loss of the Larsen shelf. The idea is reasonable. Larsen B is at about -65.4:-60.4 Deception Island, ” an island in South Shetland off the Antarctic Peninsula, which has one of the safest harbours in Antarctica. The island is the caldera of an active volcano, which caused serious damage to the local scientific stations in 1967 and 1969.” (Wikipedia) is at -62.9:-60.6, so there is clearly tectonic activity close by. Global warming seems an unlikely hypothesis in an area that averages around -30 deg C and can reach above zero for a few weeks in mid-summer.

  94. Marinara says

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/05/more-crack-in-the-antarctic/#comment-947516

    Henry says
    That was funny. I doubt though if many here caught your point. The other good point here (I cannot remember now who made it) is that the weight of increasing ice in the antarctic could be a (good) cause for the cracks.

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

    Have blessed Easter You All

    If you are interested in riddles take a good look at this:
    http://www.shroud.com

  95. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/2002/2002_data.php

    DirkH says:
    April 6, 2012 at 12:44 am
    Greg House says:
    April 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm
    “Terry Oldberg says:
    April 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm
    Though the IPCC climate models are popularly taken to make forecasts, they make none of them. They make “projections” which, though often taken to be forecasts, are not
    =======================================
    Really? According to the WordWeb dictionary the first meaning of the word “projection” is (surprise!): “a prediction made by extrapolating from past observations”.

    And of course those projections have always been sold to the press and politicians by “climate scientists” as “predictions.”

    The IPCC is careful enough to include a section where they define what is a projection and what’s a prediction in their book, so you can’t blame them for using words as they define them. Sorry no link, it’s somewhere in the AR4.

    Anyhow, their idea is that they can’t make a prediction because they can’t initialize a climate model with the exact state at a given time as that state is not known. But that’s just a thinly veiled disguise to escape the critizism of mathematically knowledgeable nitpickers who tend to say, you can’t make a prediction for 2100 because of the exponentially growing discrepancy between your model and reality. This criticism cannot be refuted, only evaded.

    ================

    http://www.ipcc-data.org/ddc_definitions.html

    Definition of Terms Used Within the DDC Pages

    “Projection

    The term “projection” is used in two senses in the climate change literature. In general usage, a projection can be regarded as any description of the future and the pathway leading to it. However, a more specific interpretation has been attached to the term “climate projection” by the IPCC when referring to model-derived estimates of future climate.

    Forecast/Prediction

    When a projection is branded “most likely” it becomes a forecast or prediction. A forecast is often obtained using deterministic models, possibly a set of these, outputs of which can enable some level of confidence to be attached to projections.”

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch3s3-3-1.html

    3.3.1 Climatic drivers Projections for the future

    The following summary of future climate change is taken from the Working Group I Fourth Assessment Report (WGI AR4), Chapter 10 (Meehl et al., 2007). The most likely global average surface temperature increase by the 2020s is around 1°C relative to the pre-industrial period, based on all the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES; Naki?enovi? and Swart, 2000) scenarios. By the end of the 21st century, the most likely increases are 3 to 4°C for the A2 emissions scenario and around 2°C for B1 (Figure 10.8).

    =========

    My bold. The IPCC uses projection to mean prediction, regardless some apologists for their failures like to pretend otherwise. But the point is anyway, that they have have proclaimed their models’ predictions as being real science, and changed the direction of governments to the detriment of tax payers, businesses and development world-wide directly from this claim. Their accountability cannot be downplayed, that’s just disingenuous.

    • Myrrh:

      Though the IPCC says that “when a projection is branded ‘most likely’ it becomes a forecast or prediction” this does not make it so. Regardless of whether a projection is branded “most likely” it does not have the earmarks of a forecast/prediction.

  96. Ethically Civil says:
    April 6, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Larry Ledwick (hotrod ) says:
    April 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Yet if you look for “largest iceberg ever recorded” on wikipedia you will see no mention of this gargantuan ice berg,


    actually the 1956 iceberg *is* mentioned as the largest in the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceberg

    Yes it is in a different wikipedia article than the one I was referring to. I was specifically referring to:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceberg_B-15

    Which was returned from a google search for “largest iceberg ever recorded”, and in its first sentence says”
    Iceberg B-15 is the world’s largest recorded iceberg. It measured around 295 km long and 37 km wide (183-23 mi), with a surface area of 11,000 km² (6,835 mi²) — larger than the island of Jamaica. The mass was estimated around three billion tonnes. After almost a decade, parts of B-15 still have not melted.[1]

    Just another example of the inconsistency and unreliability of Wikipedia for controversial subjects. If a student does a targeted search for the largest ice berg he/she will likely find the erroneous information in B-15, rather than drill down to the bottom of a generic page on icebergs.

    Thanks for finding that, at least someone who updates wiki has a clue.

    Larry

  97. Peter Roessingh says:
    April 6, 2012 at 5:18 am

    The moderator does not like my source showing that a timeframe of at least 30 years is needed for meaningful trends in climate change.

    I do not trust GISS, but see the graphs below showing two different 30 year periods from both GISS and HadCRUT3. On both sets, the slope for 1982 to the present is LOWER than the slope from 1974 to 2004.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1970/plot/gistemp/from:1974/to:2004/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1982/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1970/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1974/to:2004/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1982/trend

    How do they support the original assertion that
    Hugh Pepper says:
    April 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm
    Should this occur warming will accelerate even more rapidly than at present.

    So while there IS warming over 30 years, there certainly is no acceleration in the warming based on the above graphs. And since there is no acceleration in the warming, it cannot accelerate even more rapidly.

    By the way, do you not agree with Santer that only 17 years is needed to see a trend?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/19/santers-17-years-needed-for-a-sign-of-climate-change-compared-against-the-ipcc-models/

  98. It’s been hinted at here but not said- INCREASED ice formation causes shelf ice to break off, not warming. More ice forms, the ice flows under the increased weight, extends out into the ocean too far, and- breaks off due to mechanical stresses. As mentioned, ice has almost zero structural integrity.

  99. Woke-up this morning sure that I would find at least some conjecture from Stephen Mosher or Hugh Pepper or any of the warmists/ warmistas to my question: how can global avge temperature ever decline once caught in GHG “runaway greenhouse” … without invoking physical mechanisms unrelated to GHGs?

    It’s a simple question. The warmists must have considered it given the unambiguous geological record of CO2 and global avge temeprature trends…surely?

  100. Peter Roessingh says:
    April 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Who are you kidding? We agreed that 30 year was the minimum or meaningful trendlines. But for your information, since the 60′s there is *no* 15 year period to be found without a positive trend line. Where is the graph to back up your claim?

    No, we didn’t agree on anything. You made a blanket statement that was not correct. There is no right or wrong time-frame to look at data. You just need to understand how it affects certainty. That also includes periods over 30 years.

    Also, I never said there was a 15 year period. I said any period that matched ENSO phases within the most recent 15 year period.

    Based on your lack of reading comprehension, I’m not surprised you’re susceptible to propaganda.

  101. “The northern Antarctic Peninsula has been subject to atmospheric warming of about 2.5°C over the last 50 years – a much stronger warming trend than on global average, causing retreat and disintegration of ice shelves.”

    I just read this in CNN and they have a completely different spin on the 2.5 C.

    Note the difference!
    “The northern Antarctic Peninsula has been subject to atmospheric warming of about 2.5 degrees Celsius (36.5 degrees Fahrenheit) over the last 50 years — a much stronger warming trend than on global average, causing retreat and disintegration of ice shelves.”

    See

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/05/world/antarctica-ice-shelf/index.html?hpt=hp_bn2

  102. I’ve just found a paper analysing temperature data at Faraday station, which is located at the same latitude as the Larsen C icesheet, although on the other side of the peninsula.

    http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/463/2077/241.full

    Our analysis has shown that the increase in the minimum monthly temperatures is approximately 6.7°C over 53 years (1951–2003), whereas we did not find any significant change in the maximum temperature over the same period.

    Two points about this.

    At this location the average daily temperature never gets above 2C or 3C, which means night time temperatures will very rarely get above 0C. So the large increase in minimum temperatures will have minimal effect on temperatures over 0C and hence minimal effect on ice melt.

    As I explained in an article that Bishop Hill was kind enough to publish on his blog, minimum temperatures usually occur in the early morning when incoming solar insolation exceeds outgoing longwave radiation. Australian temperatures recorded at fixed times clearly show that at least half of the increase in minimum temperatures was due to increased solar insolation from decreased clouds and particulate pollution.

    IMO it’s highly likely that the increased melt of the Larsen iceshelf’s is caused by increased solar insolation, which can melt (sublimate) ice at far below 0C. And not cause by the increases in minimum temperatures. Although both have a common cause, decreased clouds.

  103. This also explains the large discrepancy of rapidly increasing sea ice surrounding the Larson icesheets while the icesheets themselves are decreasing, as I noted above.

    The ‘melt’ of the icesheets will be cumulative over many years. So a relatively small increase in summer melt from solar insoation will accumulate over decades. This is not the case with sea ice, almost all of which melts every year, So increased solar insolation may cause a decrease in the summer sea ice minimum, but this ice will rapidly reform once the brief summer passes and have no effect on ice extent for the rest of the year. Decreased clouds will, of course, cause lower temperatures at night and its night 80% of the time around around Antarctica. Explaining the rapid increase in sea ice.

  104. Henry@Philip

    I very much doubt the report you quoted. I think the guys who reported and measured were confused.
    I have now analysed all the daily results coming from 19 weatherstations in the SH
    and found the following averages:

    Maxima rising at 0.44 degrees C per decade
    Means rising at 0.06 degrees C per decade
    Minima going down at -0.10 degrees per decade

    In the light of my own results the reported result of 0.5 degrees C warming per decade seems highly improbable. He even admits that he could not find similar warming at other places in Antarctica which should have let the alarmbells go off that something was wrong with the data from Faraday/Navadsky but it seems he chose to ignore it.
    In addition, the reported warming is not coming from earth itself, e.g. due to increased GHG or volcanic activity or increased vegetation. It is due to more intense sunshine and or less clouds and or less ozone.

  105. HenryP,

    Care to give a reference that goes into more detail, what stations, over what period?

    Decreasing minimum temps is an unusual finding over a significant number of stations. The more usual finding is most warming is in winter minimum temps.

    The decrease in cloudiness seems to be at lower levels which has a particularly large effect on solar insolation when the sun is near the horizon ( just after dawn at midlattitudes and most of the time at the latitude of the Antarctic Peninsula), but as there no systematic measures of cloud changes by altitude, its another aspect of the climate we know almost nothing about.

  106. Philip says:
    Care to give a reference that goes into more detail, what stations, over what period?
    Decreasing minimum temps is an unusual finding over a significant number of stations. The more usual finding is most warming is in winter minimum temps.

    Henry says
    I look at all the data from 1973-1976 to 2011 depending on availability.
    Twelve (SH) stations are reported here:

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

    I must still add the results of 9 more SH stations to my tables as reported there.
    And a further 9 more NH stations…..
    However, I am thinking of cutting my tables not per month but to rather look at time periods,
    i.e. last 10 years, last 20 years, last 30 years etc. or as per relevant sun cycles.
    Warming in the NH is now almost identical for maxima, means and minima: 0.27 degrees C per decade, but I can still clearly see that a large portion of the warming from the SH is taken to the NH by currents and weather systems.
    Overall, globally, the ratio Maxima-Means-Minima is now standing at 4 :2 :1
    My point was that the paper you (they) are quoting is apparently only based on the reported results from one station – which is completely rediculous.

  107. Henry says

    My point was that the paper you (they) are quoting is apparently only based on the reported results from one station – which is completely rediculous.

    It is the station closest to the Larsen icesheets under discussion, and it appears to the one that the frequently quoted ‘2.5C Peninsula warming’ comes from. It is also the longest continously operated station on the Peninsula.

  108. Henry@Philip

    The method they use to calculate mean temps. is incorrect. They measure the max. and min. together and then divide by 2. At best this a a reasonable estimate of the mean. But it is not the mean. Weather and temps. can change significantly in an hour. Also the human influence of recording every 6 hours. So there is no actual recorder. Too many possibilities for error…..
    I could accept that by some fluke, minima are going up there as also noted at 4 of my 19 SH weather stations. But at the same time they report that maxima have stayed the same. That has not happened in any of my 19 SH weather stations. The average I found of maxima going up is 0.44 degrees per decade. I donot use any data before 1973 until the advent of continuous recorders.So, maxima may have indeed increased there by 0,5 degrees C per decade (seeing that the place is near to the ozone hole). And that it what has caused the warming.
    The only conclusion I can reach from all that is that they must have messed up badly or they deliberately misrepresented the data to make it look like man’s carbon footprint is responsible for the warming.

  109. Henry,

    This is an article I wrote based on comparisons of min max temperatures with temps recorded at fixed times.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/11/4/australian-temperatures.html

    It concludes that mean temperatures calculated from min/max temperatures have a spurious warming signal caused by rising minimum temperatures that is about half of the total warming since around 1960.

    The cause is almost certainly reduced cloud cover (in part due to reduced aerosol seeded clouds) and reduced aerosol scattering of solar irradiance.

    If you did not find increasing min temps in the more recent continuous temp measurements that is consistent with my conclusion that increasing min temps since 1960 are primarily due to reduced developed world anthropogenic aerosols from the 1960s to the 1990s. An effect that stopped and may have reversed in the 1990s.

  110. Hi Philip

    It looks like your findings broadly correspond with my own,namely
    “In overall summary, it is clear that increased solar insolation, caused by a combination of decreased clouds ”
    The only important factor that you forgot to mention imho is that of the ozone layer. You have to understand that the sun’s UV makes ozone and ozone cuts ca. 20% of sunlight. So paradoxically, less UV from the sun makes less ozone which allows more sunlight in. In addition it has been proven that chlorine/fluor/bromine destroys ozone. (CFC’s). I understand that from 1980 the ozone layer has been growing again but it is not back to pre 1970 levels, I think…..
    For minima, in the SH, the only two stations ducking the negative trend of -0.01 degree C per annum are those of Sao Paulo and Brasilia with 0.022 and 0.026 gegrees C per annum respectively. I suspect that UHI and more vegetation is the cause for that (like we saw in Las Vegas). Auckland was +0.015 degrees C per annum but Christchurch is -0.001. That is your NZ puzzle.

    The way I understand “mean” is that it is the average of all measurements during the day. Nowadays with recorders, you can measure every second of the day or more and print a mean and a max. and a min. at the end of the day.

    I am going to spend some time cutting my tables in periods – I first have to sit and figure out which periods would be giving us interesting information.

  111. Henry,

    Ozone is a bit of a climate wildcard. I understand in general terms the role of ozone, but ozone is just as politicized as CO2, and the Montreal Protocol just as fraudulent as the Kyoto Protocol.

    IMO published papers on the role of ozone in the climate can be relied upon just as much as papers on the role of CO2 in the climate – not much.

  112. Philip says:
    Ozone is a bit of a climate wildcard.

    Henry@Philip
    True. But it is a factor. You have to try to understand from the references I give here: http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011
    why I think the ozone is an important factor, many times greater than the CO2. If you look at the CO2 14-16 it is overlapped by water vapor and oxygen ozone. At 0-1 um ozone blocks ca. 15-20% of incoming light (of high energy) on its own. So less ozone means less blocking.
    Whether the less ozone is due to natural depletion or whether depletion is helped by man, it could be a contributary factor for global warming (as witnessed by the increase in maxima)

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