Global warming and the Titanic II – on an epic collision course?

People send me stuff.

This morning I got a note about a new study that says:

Over the past decade, ice-loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has been accelerating, raising concerns about runaway losses and consequent sea-level rise. But research into the four major Greenland fast-flowing glaciers has enabled scientists to show that while these glaciers may show several bursts of retreat and periods of high iceberg formation in future, the rapid acceleration seen in recent years is unlikely to continue unchecked.

Translation: more icebergs as the glaciers accelerate to the sea according to the consensus last year, but now maybe less icebergs ahead thanks to this new computer model. But wait, is the science settled enough to launch a new ship because a model says there may or may not be less icebergs?

TitanicII_and_GW

The replica ship has a better chance of making landfall in New York than the original. “One of the benefits of global warming is there’s not as many icebergs in the North Atlantic,” The Age reported Palmer as saying at the announcement.

Source

A better chance? Well, that’s not good, especially when just recently researchers insisted Greenland is losing more ice at an accelerated pace, and it was a Greenland iceberg that sunk the original. Now they are claiming there will be less. Oh the uncertainty, it burns!

I don’t think anybody really has a clue, it’s simply more Coin Flip Climatology™ in my opinion. I wonder if passengers will have an iceberg uncertainty disclaimer on the ticket? Would you bet your life on a ship with a cloud of disaster hanging over its name on a computer climate model?

Here’s the recent press release about Greenland’s ice loss and how it will affect icebergs.

From the British Antarctic Survey

The effect of climate change on iceberg production by Greenland glaciers

While the impact of climate change on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet has been widely studied, a clear understanding of the key process of iceberg production has eluded researchers for many years

While the impact of climate change on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet has been widely studied, a clear understanding of the key process of iceberg production has eluded researchers for many years. Published in Nature this week, a new study presents a sophisticated computer model that provides a fresh insight into the impact of climate change on the production of icebergs by Greenland glaciers, and reveals that the shape of the ground beneath the ice has a strong effect on its movement.

Over the past decade, ice-loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has been accelerating, raising concerns about runaway losses and consequent sea-level rise. But research into the four major Greenland fast-flowing glaciers has enabled scientists to show that while these glaciers may show several bursts of retreat and periods of high iceberg formation in future, the rapid acceleration seen in recent years is unlikely to continue unchecked.

This is a crucial step forward in understanding how Greenland’s glaciers will contribute to sea-level rise in the future and indicates, say the scientists, how important a more detailed knowledge of such glaciers is. The scientists first investigated the current behaviour of the four glaciers and found that the rate at which they lose ice depends critically on the shape of the fjords in which they sit, and the topography of the rock below them.

A computer model for fast-flowing outlet glaciers was then specifically designed from their investigations. It gave a projected sea-level-rise contribution from these glaciers of 2cm to 5cm by the year 2200, which is lower than estimates based solely on the extrapolation of current trends.

Lead author Dr Faezeh Nick, of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, says,

“I am excited by the way we have managed to create a detailed picture of the workings of the glaciers. It turns out that if the fjord a glacier sits in is wide or narrow it really affects the way the glacier reacts. The important role of the terrain below the ice shows we need to get a much clearer picture of the rest of Greenland’s glaciers before we have the whole story.”

The scientists chose the four glaciers, Petermann, Kangerdlugssuaq, Helheim and Jakobshavn Isbræ, as together these drain around 20 per cent of the Greenland ice sheet. The model, which was developed within the EU funded ice2sea programme, predicts that, together these glaciers will lose on average, 30Gt of ice per year to 47Gt per year over the 21st century. A Gigaton (Gt) is the equivalent of 1 cubic kilometre (km3) of water. For comparison Lake Geneva contains about 90Gt of water.

Professor David Vaughan, who works at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge and is head of the ice2sea programme says,

“We know that the breaking off of icebergs from glaciers is influenced by climate, but this is the first time we’ve been able make projections of how the most important glaciers in Greenland will be affected by future climate change. The ice2sea research led by Dr Nick shows how a truly international programme can make it possible for scientists to work together across different institutions to make significant steps forward.”

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The paper Future sea-level rise from Greenland’s major outlet glaciers in a warming climate by Faezeh Nick et al is published on May 9 in Nature. A copy of the paper is available on request.

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In related news, as one previous disaster shows us, RealClimate may have to change their logo.

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42 thoughts on “Global warming and the Titanic II – on an epic collision course?

  1. My first article concerning the melting arctic covered the period 1816 to 1860

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/

    it concluded;

    “William Scoresby I learn is buried in a church in Torquay, Devon, not ten miles from my house in South West England. There is a large plaque on the wall commemorating his Arctic voyages.

    http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/terryleaman/Tiscali/churches%202/Upton.htm

    There is also a memorial here to Henry Forbes Julian, son in law of Wm. Pengelly, who was one of the victims of the Titanic disaster in 1912. Which is precisely the point we take up the story in the next instalment , when we examine arctic ice variability up to the current day, which includes the sinking of the Titanic and the startling melting of the ice in the decades that followed.”

    —- ——-

    Here is Part two which examines the warming of the Arctic which began around the time of the Titanic and concluded in the 1940’s

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/10/historic-variations-in-arctic-sea-ice-part-ii-1920-1950/

    It contains numerous references to rapidly shrinking glaciers during the period. The current warming is by no means unprecdented

    tonyb

  2. The discussion seems to be only about ice loss. There is no mention of either ice gain or net ice loss. There is also the question of “Did the study examine the possibility that the glaciers are speeding up in response to an increasing snow load adding to the overall mass of the glacier?” If the glaciers are speeding up due to increased snow loads, how much of the water for that increase in snow came from evaporation from the oceans?

  3. Well, Titanic II has a better chance indeed, because I am sure it is equipped with radar.

  4. “Over the past decade, ice-loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has been accelerating, raising concerns about runaway losses and consequent sea-level rise.”
    To put things in context, the sea level rise due to the projected ice loss of 30 to 47 Gt/year is about one-third to one-half of an inch per century.

  5. Hmm, this just out http://news.yahoo.com/greenlands-glacial-melt-may-slow-study-suggests-170441308.html. I spotted a line in there that didn’t jive with me: “Capped with a thick cladding of ice, Greenland holds enough water to raise sea levels by 22 feet (7 meters).” Sorry but how does the math stack up on that? If I take a basic assumption that we just increase the level of the existing ocean surface area (361,132,000 km2) pretending that the oceans would not inundate any land area at all. And assuming that the icecap on Greenland is exactly equal in depth across the entire land surface area (2,166,086 km2). Then the ratio of ocean area to Greenland area is 166:1. Therefore, an increase of 7 meters would require 7 x 166 = 1,167 meters or 1.167 kilometers thick. Does Greenland have that depth of ice? Or is my math wrong?

  6. Will they lock 2nd class passengers below decks from time to time just to make the whole experience more realistic? Maybe the first class passengers can stand on deck and taunt them to help recreate the emotions of the time?

    What a blatant attempt to profit from an awful tragedy and prime example of human error that we should be learning from, not turning into some sort of tourist attraction.

  7. Can I coin “lessmore” as a catastrophist term like wetdry and warmcold?
    Not to be confused with the much-maligned “more or less” ;-)

  8. IS the ship going to use coal like the original? Will those 4 chimneys going to be just for aesthetics?

    If global warming can bring back old transportation devices, maybe we should bring back the Zeppelin… more CO2 in the atmosphere should help them float better by increasing the density of the air …

  9. Ray;
    If global warming can bring back old transportation devices, maybe we should bring back the Zeppelin…
    >>>>>>>>>>>

    A fine idea! Helium of course, not something astoundingly stupid like a flammable gas…

    But not for passengers. Make them heavy lift. Pick those ice bergs out of the water and drop them back on top of the Greenland ice sheet. Problem solved.

  10. In an article I read earlier it made clear that it will have 4 stacks but they will not be functional. No, it’s not using coal fired boilers.

  11. patrioticduo -Therefore, an increase of 7 meters would require 7 x 166 = 1,167 meters or 1.167 kilometers thick. Does Greenland have that depth of ice? Or is my math wrong?

    from http://www.dimensionsinfo.com/greenland-ice-thickness
    When examining the thickness of the ice in Greenland, one has to begin with the Greenland ice sheet. It is nearly 1.7 million sq km and covers 80% of the land’s …

    I think the point Steve Goddard continues to make on his Real Climate site is that the Greenland ice sheet at over 10,000 feet in elevation, continues to gain height. They build new observation stations on top of old ones and are now on number 6 I believe. The last one they built is on jacks so they can raise it every year. The weight of the ice sheet has depressed the ground 900 feet so I don’t see it sliding past the coastly mountain range either.

  12. Clive Palmer is ‘Taking the Piss’. He knows how to drum up publicity and knows what the main Stream Media wants to hear, and will publish.
    Palmer is currently putting together his own political party in Australia to stir up the existing one party state. A one party state that still propagates and supports, ‘the science is settled’ notion of the catastrophists.
    Listen to him here.

    http://www.2gb.com/article/our-next-pm-clive-palmer

    Andrew Bolt is painting Palmer as a showman and a Kook, but giving Palmer ‘Oxygen’ in Australia would be career ending in Australian Media.
    Palmer bought a Nickel Refinery for a ‘song’ and appears to be running the place with the assistance of the employees in the troubled industrial relations mess, that is Australia.
    He may soon pick up Australia for a ‘song’ and we’ll see what he can do then! I just hope he runs on one platform alone. The promise to clear out our Parliament of the professional political ruling class. They have been the death of democracy (and science) in Australia.

  13. Ah yes, icebergs. 1913 they were an issue. 2013, not so much, with or without global warming…

    As for Zeppelins, there were already attempts to bring them back for cargo lifting operations. Search for Skycat. Personally I think a Titanic 2 is beyond lame. The first Titanic achieved nothing other than sinking. Why not make a replica of a ship that actually mattered?

  14. To demonstrate their confidence in the ship, maybe for their first voyage the Titanic II will depart the UK on April 10th just like Titanic did.

  15. Competent seamen have a healthy respect for the sea – and what’s found in it. That includes icebergs in the March to August North Atlantic, and sea ice wherever found. Ice is still a real ship killer.
    Radar helps, especially if you have both 3 and 10 centimetre [X and S bands] – but even today bergy bits – that may outweigh Titanic II – may not be detected, even by a diligent radar watch, until within a mile.
    Lifeboats for all on board; better than before!
    Better still, and I’m sure incorporated, are modern communications, allowing ice-front positions, rogue bergs, and SST charts to be passed to the ship [even if not the internet-deprived passengers!].
    If Edwardian standards mean Edwardian prices for beer wine and spirits, I may be interested!
    But – ahhh – no ice in my glass . . . .

  16. Warmists are simply obsessed with Greenland hoping it will start to wilt and melt badly in some kind of runaway Thermageddon. Greenland showed only “a modest ice-sheet response to the strong warming in the early Eemian” (Nature – 2013). A time when hippopotami paddled in the rivers Rhine and Thames.

    For greater past warming rates and glacial retreats in Greenland during the 20th century (pre-1950) see my cited papers here.

    Just this March we had on WUWT
    Greenland ice melt overestimated due to satellite data algorithm issue

    There may actually be nothing to see here and we may have to just move along folks.

  17. I had a subscription to the Boston Symphony Orchestra for years. I always found it touching that there was a plaque in the lobby “Dedicated to … who died while playing as the Titanic went down.” There aren’t too many muscians who die heroically while carrying out their job.

  18. My question about the new Titanic II, is will there still be the accommodations for the 1006 third class passengers segregated from the other classes, in true Edwardian fashion? How authentic are they willing to go?

  19. I misread it the first time. They seemed to be overdoing the authenticity bit:
    “Passengers will be offered a one-time travel experience …”

  20. Well, I just hope they don’t experience the offer of period clothing thrown-in too literally….

  21. I think the point Steve Goddard continues to make on his Real Climate site is that the Greenland ice sheet at over 10,000 feet in elevation, continues to gain height.

    Ice elevation is a strong positive (cooling) feedback and what causes the glacial phases of ice ages.

    As the outlet glaciers are flowing, the mass of the ice will be more or less in equilibrium with the rate of outflow. Decrease the ice mass and glacier outflow will decrease.

    To be fair, the study seems only to address the behaviour of the outlet glaciers themselves, and not changes in the Greenland icesheet.

    Otherwise, I wish climate scientists wouldn’t use ‘sophisticated’ like it was a good thing. Science should strive for the least ‘sophisticated’ answer. Occam’s Razor, the Law of Parsimony and all that.

  22. What mass of iceberg would be needed to crack the shell, of an ocean-liner in cold water, travelling at full speed on a foggy night.
    Even at a glancing blow, something has to give, the ice or the steel ?
    Are the rivets still being blamed ? Or the steel itself ?
    Not that either were designed to ram icebergs.

  23. I would rather he re-built the Great Eastern.

    Or the fabled Ptolemy Forty. People could pay to experience first hand what it would have been like to crew a fifty foot oar. VIPs could re-live life as a Marine cavalry officer.

    Why not re-build HMS Hood and blow it up again. invite the descendents of the thousand odd incinerated crewmen to press the button.

    Or recreate the sinking of USS Arizona. Spend a few weeks bobbing in a life belt among simulated sharks…or real;ones.

    I know…round up a thousand anti-Israel campaigners and set them off on a non-stop (literally, no port of call and no known destination) world tour aboard a reconstruction of the SS StLuis.

    Stephen Hawking could be honorary captain.

  24. Anyone who know’s Clive know’s he being incredibly facetious with his iceberg comment.

  25. Wamron I am now forewarned. Before I read any future posts of yours I will not be drinking coke at the same time, the Hawking comment got me. Coke bubbling out of the nose is not pleasant. It is sad the brilliant Stephen Hawking has been taken in on so called man caused climate change and joins the academic boycott of Israel.

  26. NC…well thanks, its good to make folks laugh…but about that coke, you arent supposed to bubble it out of your nose, you are supposed to sniff it in…or so they do in the movies..

  27. Oh come on you posters – get with it.

    This is all allegorical. Anthropogenic Global Warming IS Titanic II, and it’s already hit the berg.

  28. Talking about collusion, let’s appreciate the business dealings between Al Gore and the Thomson Reuters owned Globe & Mail.

    http://ezralevant.com/2013/05/gores-hypocritical-oil-spiel.html

    So the Globe organized Gore’s presentation on the oil sands and the pipeline. They controlled the message barring journalists who would ask tough questions to approach the “Nobel Laureate”… Nobel Peace laureate, that is, a political award, not a scientific one, a distingo the Globe does not even make in their propaganda effort.

    It worth quoting Maurice Strong the fugitive who set up all this UN Global Warming fearmongering, who appeared recently in an exclusive interview for… the Globe & Mail dated April 2, 2013:

    “This government’s negative positions on climate change, its repudiation of the Kyoto Protocol, and its withdrawal from other United Nations, environmental and related programs have already transformed us from leader to laggard. (…) The role of the media in fostering this dialogue and ensuring that it is fully informed is critical.”

    So Stackhouse, the Editor in Chief of the Globe & Mail, listens when the Green Godfather speaks: fully informed means, media campaigns. So the Globe obliged and brough Gore to Toronto.
    Worse, one should remember that the Globe took a very critical stance against newspapers -even student papers- during the Mohammed Cartoongate affair back in 2005. One of their reporter even accredited the thesis of the little Danish imam visiting all these Muslim dignitaries on his own initiative, a thesis that was debunked by Danish newspapers. What was not published in the Globe back then was that Telesat a subsidiary of Thomson’s Bell Canada, owner of Globemedia made a deal with Directv to own the North American broadcasting rights to Al Jazeera. No surprise then when the CRTC allowed AJ in Canada to gleeful celebration in the Globe…
    And few years later, Gore sold his own Current TV business to Al Jazeera…
    So there is way more than meet the eyes in Stackhouse lapdog interview and the business connection between giants of the green agenda Thomson Reuters, Strong, and likely the puppet that has been propelled at the top of the Liberal Party of Canada, who is pushing for a federal carbon tax so billionaires can get even richer on 36 million captive Canadiens.

  29. CO2 and Global Warming broke my foot!

    I was walking my dog along a grassed area along the road and my foot went over on it’s side into a rut that I couldn’t see because the grass was so long. I broke my metatarsal bone. The grass wouldn’t have been so long if it hadn’t been for CO2 and global warming making it grow so fast and I would have seen the rut.

  30. Wamron says:
    May 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm
    I would rather he re-built the Great Eastern.

    Or recreate the sinking of USS Arizona. Spend a few weeks bobbing in a life belt among simulated sharks…or real;ones.

    ~~~~~~~~~~\===::==/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I think you are referring to the USS Indianapolis.

  31. Bloke Down Pub.probably. Was the Arizona one sunk in Pearl Harbour ? Must be famous for sometjing. I got the two confused.

    Next up:
    STEPHEN HAWKING EXONERATED????????????????????

    Its been announced that reports of his Israel boycott were a bald lie.
    His staff have said he wont be going to the conference because medical reasons prevent him flying.

  32. Just load up the Titanic II with true believers that really think the Arctic will be ice free soon, turn off the radar and the minds, and sail along in blissful ignorance with cameras rolling of course for the theater and screen rights. But be warned of reality looming up ahead in the fog of conflicting data and biased climate science. Just make sure Al Gore, Mann, Hansen, and the other green capitalists are in the first class cabins.

  33. The replica ship has a better chance of making landfall in New York than the original.
    Reading between the lines, if the #2 hits an iceberg / sinks every third trip, thats a ‘better’ rate than the original.

  34. I would not temp God or Fate with this one I hope there are enough lifeboats this time..

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