Good news: World’s biggest ice sheets likely more stable than previously believed – upsets previous estimates of melting and sea level

Researchers show that high ancient shorelines do not necessarily reflect ice sheet collapse millions of years ago

World’s biggest ice sheets likely more stable than previously believedFrom the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research:

For decades, scientists have used ancient shorelines to predict the stability of today’s largest ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Markings of a high shoreline from three million years ago, for example – when Earth was going through a warm period – were thought to be evidence of a high sea level due to ice sheet collapse at that time. This assumption has led many scientists to think that if the world’s largest ice sheets collapsed in the past, then they may do just the same in our modern, progressively warming world.

However, a new groundbreaking study now challenges this thinking.

Using the east coast of the United States as their laboratory, a research team led by David Rowley, CIFAR Senior Fellow and professor at the University of Chicago, has found that the Earth’s hot mantle pushed up segments of ancient shorelines over millions of years, making them appear higher now than they originally were millions of years ago.

“Our findings suggest that the previous connections scientists made between ancient shoreline height and ice volumes are erroneous and that perhaps our ice sheets were more stable in the past than we originally thought,” says Rowley. “Our study is telling scientists that they can no longer ignore the effect of Earth’s interior dynamics when predicting historic sea levels and ice volumes.”

The study, published online in Science on May 16, was a collaboration that included CIFAR Senior Fellows Alessandro Forte (Université du Québec à Montréal) and Jerry Mitrovica (Harvard), and a former CIFAR-supported post-doctoral fellow Rob Moucha (Syracuse).

“This study was the culmination of years of work and deep collaboration by researchers in CIFAR’s program in Earth System Evolution,” explains Rowley. “For this study, each of us brought our individual expertise to the table: Rob and Alex worked on simulations of Earth’s mantle dynamics, Jerry provided calculations on how glaciers warp Earth’s surface, and I shaped our understanding of the geology of the landscape we were looking at. This study would not have been possible without CIFAR.”

The team studied the coast from Virginia to Florida, which has an ancient scarp tens of metres above present-day sea level. Until now, many research groups have studied this shoreline and concluded that during a warm period three million years ago, the Greenland, West Antarctic and a fraction of East Antarctic ice sheets collapsed, raising the sea level at least 35 metres. But the new findings by Rowley and his team suggest that these ice sheets, particularly the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (the world’s largest), were probably more stable.

To do their study, the team used computer simulations to follow the movement of mantle and tectonic plates that occurred over time. Their prediction of how the ancient shoreline would have developed over millions of years matched what geologists mapping this ancient coast have observed. The next steps for the team are to try to make accurate predictions in other locations around the world.

“The paper is important because it shows that no prediction of ancient ice volumes can ever again ignore the Earth’s interior dynamics,” explains Rowley. “It also provides a novel bridge between two disciplines in Earth science that rarely intersect: mantle dynamics and long-term climate. It is the kind of study that changes how people think about our past climate and what our future holds.”

Source: http://www.cifar.ca/ancient-shorelines-ice-sheets-stability

h/t Dennis Wingo

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

Dynamic Topography Change of the Eastern United States Since 3 Million Years Ago

David B. Rowley, Alessandro M. Forte,Robert Moucha, Jerry X. Mitrovica,
Nathan A. Simmons, Stephen P. Grand
Abstract

Sedimentary rocks from Virginia through Florida record marine flooding during the mid-Pliocene. Several wave-cut scarps that at the time of deposition would have been horizontal are now draped over a warped surface with a maximum amplitude of 60 m. We modeled dynamic topography using mantle convection simulations that predict the amplitude and broad spatial distribution of this distortion. The results imply that dynamic topography and, to a lesser extent, glacial isostatic adjustment, account for the current architecture of the coastal plain and proximal shelf. This confounds attempts to use regional stratigraphic relations as references for longer-term sea-level determinations. Inferences of Pliocene global sea-level heights or stability of Antarctic ice sheets therefore cannot be deciphered in the absence of an appropriate mantle dynamic reference frame.

 

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72 thoughts on “Good news: World’s biggest ice sheets likely more stable than previously believed – upsets previous estimates of melting and sea level

  1. IOW eons ago when nothing was being measured we had no measurements and all our guesses were wrong.
    and all our money was wasted.

  2. Geologic time scales confound humanity. Considering where the continents were 55 million years ago, and where they were 3 million years ago and the 300,000 years current humans have been around, it is no surprise we don’t understand all the parameters. And maybe the timelines and assumptions I have referenced are also wrong. We take evidence and create a hypothesis that lasts until other evidence is found and we have to formulate a new hypothesis. But sometimes people are so invested in the current hypothesis, it takes a lot of evidence to change the hypothesis (CAGW). Great article.

  3. Well, YES. I’ve been wondering when people would take into account isostatic rebound!

  4. “Our study is telling scientists that they can no longer ignore the effect of Earth’s interior dynamics when predicting historic sea levels and ice volumes.”

    The fact that scientists WOULD ignore tectonics (the effect of interior dynamics) is astounding! Typical of agenda-driven oversimplifications…!

  5. Wayne, I think it’s more like governments invested big time because they saw the potential to govern a crisis for their benefit. Not sure about the history of the planet, but historically it has always been the goal of the elite to rule over the rest of us. Oligarchy comes in many forms and they are mostly bad.

  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_glacial_rebound

    “Viso-elastic….mantle may take many thousands of years to reach equilibrium….[aka] the ‘glacial isostatic adjustment’ also involves downward, horizontal land movements….[as well as] sea level, gravity field and rotational changes.” I’ve got a “Geo-nuclear” tab full of articles at my website on these NON constant climate changing forces.

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/himalayan.html

    It’s only an upward movement of 1 cm/year…but the Himalayan Mountains would require a substantial internal force for any vertical movement. Now if we accept these kinds of movements, can Plato’s Atlantis be objectively discussed ? In this Universe, noting is constant and equilibrium is an illusion.

  7. This is good news indeed – except for econuts, as it doesn’t strengthen the narrative of their apocalyptic religion.

  8. Geologists have known rise-fall cycles of 2-10m throughout “stable” geologic times is the norm since oil well logs were invented. The seas were not moving – the crust was!

    But geologists aren’t “real” scientists who see computers as more truthful than observations, so their opinion on current processes just doesn’t count.

  9. The last earthquake in the Quebec/Ontario region about five or six years ago was the result of the earth rebounding from the weight of the earlier ice sheet covering Canada. It certainly stands to reason the interior of the planet has been dismissed despite the evidence.

  10. Mike jarosz say: at 7:31 pm
    “Wayne, I think it’s more like governments invested big time because they saw the potential to govern a crisis for their benefit. Not sure about the history of the planet, but historically it has always been the goal of the elite to rule over the rest of us. Oligarchy comes in many forms and they are mostly bad.”
    ————————–
    Agree, but would add something that is an order of magnitude more evil,…these so called elite see the opportunity with AGW to rid the planet of useless eaters to attain a sustainable human population level proportionally commensurate with those of a well run wild life conservation park.

  11. A tip of the hat to the research team, this is what science is suppose to be about. It’s refreshing to see an honest study with no preconceived or predetermined conclusion.

  12. “…Good news: World’s biggest ice sheets likely more stable than previously believed – upsets previous estimates of melting and sea level…”

    Better news: The abstract never mentioned the words “global warming” or “global climate change” – that means that it won’t show up in the next John Cook “97% paper”. Even if it had been used by using “global sea-level height”, it would have fallen into the group that stated no position on AGW.

    The consensus falls, one paper at a time…

  13. This makes so much sense. I remember hearing a Lindzen lecture years ago wherein he talked about how continents rise and fall. He said something to the effect that how can we be so sure that it’s the seas that will rise? What if it’s a continent that will fall because of some isostatic movement, or some event that happens on the other half of the world? It was an epiphany for me. I vaguely remembered the principle of isostasy and looked it up again. It made perfect sense, and so do these scientists’ findings.

  14. Otter says: May 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Well, YES. I’ve been wondering when people would take into account isostatic rebound!

    They do already; A GIA adjustment of 0.3 mm/year is added to all sea level rise measurements.

    Can’t quite see the logic in that, surely it is nett sea level rise which matters, rather than trying got take into account estimates of ocean deepening as the land rebounds. (is it measured, or just theorized? I don’t know)

    The best estimate from the most stable tidal guages gives us a sea rise figure of 1.5 mm per year, (including the GIA adjustment), and I figure the nett rise of 1.2 mm/year is probably close to reality, as there are a huge number of adjustments and jerry rigging going on to make satellite figures work.

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

    http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/GRASP_COSPAR_paper.pdf

  15. Here is why east coast USA is worried … they are actually sinking:

    We have constructed a rigorous quality-controlled database of late Holocene sea-level indices from the U.S. Atlantic coast, exhibiting subsidence rates of <0.8 mm a−1 in Maine, increasing to rates of 1.7 mm a−1 in Delaware, and a return to rates <0.9 mm a−1 in the Carolinas. This pattern can be attributed to ongoing GIA due to the demise of the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/37/12/1115.abstract

    Now, should we build levies, or try to stop the ocean rising?
    Yes, you, up the back … Canute isn’t it? … Yes, what do you think?

  16. RE: Mike jarosz says:
    May 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    While I fear you may be right about cynical people bailing out on the concept of freedom for all, and hoping to be sly enough to wind up on the up-side of an oligarchy, I feel there is another segment of the Alarmist population that is simply insecure, and seeks to end their insecurity with a somewhat absurd belief they can control the weather.

    In actual fact we can no more control the weather by sacrificing our wealth than we can control a volcano by sacrificing virgins. However it apparently makes some feel more secure, (unless they happen to be a virgin.)

    I can remember the first time I heard the idea of sacrificing a virgin. I was a small boy looking at a New Yorker cartoon, and was so puzzled I asked my Dad to explain it to me. After he explained the idea, I failed to get the joke. In fact, I was downright indignant. I felt that I sure wouldn’t stand for having perfectly good virgins chucked into a volcano. I’d rush in and rescue the girl, even if it meant I had to chuck a couple witch doctors into the volcano. (I was so young and innocent that the girl’s virginity would have been safe with me.)

    I felt very glad I did not live in a culture that was so stupid. However the passage of a half century has changed my culture, and perhaps we now may be so stupid.

    Certain Alarmists need to face the fact there is no cure to certain insecurities. We cannot control the weather, sea levels, volcanoes, earthquakes, and the depressing fact that, in the end, we all die. Sorry, you fellows, that’s just the way creation got created. Would you rather you hadn’t been created at all? If so, you are missing a lot of beautiful things. I myself am rather enjoying the roller coaster ride.

  17. Another battle between Geophysicists and Geographers. The Laws of Physics versus The Gods of Astrology. The IPCC is a ‘Social’ Geographer Society; just listen and look around the 5-Star Hotel bar at the ‘Plenary Meetings’ where the ‘Intelligencia’ convene to ‘exchange’ lofty ‘scientific’ notes. Hoy hoy.

  18. “… you, up the back … Canute isn’t it? … Yes, what do you think? [MarkX]

    A Voice from the back of the room: Are you talking to me? Are you talking to me??? Are you talking to ME?! AHEM! They caaaaaalll meeee, KING Canute! [;)]

    Actually, Dr. Krauthammer (and likely others) mischaracterize the venerable monarch. At low tide, King Canute placed his throne just below the high tide line, “O mighty ocean, stay back!” (or something close to that) he intoned. Then, he waited. When the waters were swirling around his feet, he stood up. Turning to his people he said sternly, “No one, not even a king, can command the tide. Only God can do that.”

    Lesson: Don’t put your faith in mortals. Not even kings.

    (That is, Canute didn’t believe he could control the tide.)

    *********************************************************
    Re: Stuart L. (Little? Is that YOU, Stuart??! Watch out for the bad cat!)’s reminder about marine fossils on the top of Mt. Everest, both King Canute and I agree that they most likely got there by a Great Flood. Yes, I firmly believe the flood, upon which floated the 8 remaining people and enough animals to repopulate the earth, covered the entire earth. While one may choose not to believe it happened, to assume a priori that it did not is not rational — it is simply a philosophical choice. You either believe it or you do not. You cannot prove it did not occur.

    I believe the evidence found all over the planet is stronger for a Great Flood than the evidence for its having not occurred.

    A skeptical mind is not a closed mind, it is a careful mind, open to whatever the evidence shows.

  19. Are you telling me the ground is not fixed in place ? whoever heard of the ground moving ?

  20. Caleb, what a great post. Thanks for being so candid. I think that, even now, a virgin who was not your newly wed wife would be safe with you. You have integrity.

    I just have to add one thing to your insightful post, re: “the depressing fact that, in the end, we all die.” For me, while it is depressing when those I love die, that I will, one day, die, is a joyful thought. The day I gaze on my last sunrise will be my loveliest day. THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

  21. Yes, Master of Puppets (at 9:31PM – “The IPCC is a ‘Social’ Geographer Society; just listen and look around the 5-Star Hotel bar at the ‘Plenary Meetings’ where the ‘Intelligencia’ convene to ‘exchange’ lofty ‘scientific’ notes.”), the IPCC is merely a den of corruption and hypocrisy. It reminds me of Sergei Kourdakov’s* description of the after-party in the Soviet Union around 1971. Kourdakov, around age 19, a top Komsomol (or Communist Youth) leader, was given the high honor of attending a major Communist Party meeting and the exclusive party afterward.

    What he saw opened his eyes to what Communism is all about: a dictatorship of a drunken, gluttonous, greedy, elite. He, a true believer in communism, was shocked at what he saw in that private banquet hall. The IPCC is essentially a communist club. Only those whose consciences have been seared can stand to remain a part of it. Kourdakov eventually defected to Victoria, B. C., Canada around 1973. Within 2 or three years, Quebec communists assassinated him. [from Kourdakov's book, The Persecutor, Spire Books (1976?) -- story of how he, a KGB agent, went from persecuting Christians to becoming one himself. He was only about 24 years old when he died.]

  22. Caleb writes of: “… the idea of sacrificing a virgin.”

    Or perhaps the gods might be satisfied with the sacrifice of just the virginity thereof, and not the whole virgin???

  23. “To do their study, the team used computer simulations……. Sorry, lost interest there.

  24. The estimates of ice sheet volumes and sealevels during the earlier Pleistocene is done by balancing ‘water’ isotopes, mostly 18O, since heavy water evaporates less easily. For the last glacial maximum we have sealevel indicators some 120 meters below the surface in several areas around the equator. However if you crunch the numbers you end up with way too much ice.

    And then there is this forgotten study (forgotten maybe because it’s compromising the current scholar view?).

    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/30/4/379.abstract

    Beijing inundated by the sea within the past 80 k.y.: Nannofossil evidence

    Beijing was to be more than a hundred meter above sealevels in the current ice age model, not below. That would have been ‘impossible’ and also glacial rebound/isostacy has nothing to do with that.

    I’d say this study deserves a duplication attempt and if so, we should toss away all our conclusions about the Pleistocene and vertical earth movements.

  25. “However, a new groundbreaking study now challenges this thinking.”

    Hmmm, groundbraking? We structural geologists have never taken shorelines in a particular geographic location as reference points for eustatic sealevel rise or fall. Only when a globally correlated rise or fall can be established one may use this methodology.

  26. Let’s keep a little perspective: this is only one paper. I’d like to see a bit of confirmation before we go off the deep end. (Pun not intended) :-)

    This sounds interesting and certainly deserves more attention, but haste makes waste bad research.

  27. Ok, I’ll put my twopenneth worth in – just for the heck of it.
    In essence, all geologists know full well that the idea of fixed ‘ground level’ is a non starter. But what we do not have is any ‘fixed’ point of reference. We know full well that mountain ranges got built, plates moved, subductions zones occurred, etc, etc. and the most important bit – is that this movement has been going on for 4.6 billion years. what was the start point? – we dunno!
    what are we actually looking at when we look at the ‘current’ earths crust? – we dunno for sure!(but we can and do deduce things, like what kind of conditions sediments were laid down in, ages of rocks, etc)

    FWIW, my personal take on crustal movement (or perhaps more accurately – ‘crustal volume’) – is that the total crustal volume is essentially ‘static’ but in a constant state of flux or movement. But consider if this is reasonably true, when a mountain range is getting built – somewhere else on the planet, the crustal volume must be going down (by an equal and opposite amount).

    Thought experiment/imagination time:
    If we consider the earth as having a molten or semi-molten mantle – then it is not unreasonable to assume that, in complete equilibrium (i.e. no movement and everything ‘levelled out’ over time due to gravity), the crustal rocks would be an even ‘volume’ laying as a ‘skin’ evenly spread over the mantle. Consider then, that the total ocean volume sits on top of this ‘skin’ – which would be at a given water depth (i.e. estimated oceanic volume spread over the entire globe).

    Now, lets introduce some tectonic movement….what happens? – the crust rises in some part of the globe and correspondingly falls at another part (making a mountain range in the rising part, and a deeper ocean in the falling part). The net crustal volume hasn’t actually changed – neither has the net ocean volume – they just shifted about!

    Ignoring (for the minute) any glacial ice content variation (and isostatic rebound) – we then have to ask, what is the starting point for any sea level observations? Answer – there isn’t one!
    Logically, if the crust moves, the sea must move too – hence we will be unlikely to reconcile sea level observations around the world without detailed knowledge of the crustal movement and volumetric changes thereof.

    If we have a rising volcanic mountain range – where has that material come from? It comes from the mantle, which is replenished by subducted material somewhere else. The mid-atlantic oceanic spread is widening the ocean, making its ‘volume’ greater – but the pushing together of other plates is making the available ‘volume’ in those areas smaller. If the oceans were not physically connected – you would see the Atlantic dropping and the Pacific rising, in such a scenario. Neither would be due to Glaciation/Ice melt/CAGW or whatever – just the natural volumetric change/flux of the planets crust.

    Having said the above – now add in the NATURAL climatic ‘glacial’ variations – and I defy anyone to come up with a start point for where sea level should be – or even what an imaginary ‘equilibrium’ level might possibly be. From that it follows that any observed sea level variation (up/down/static) are in NO WAY indicative of a simple man-made cause. End of.

  28. Gosh. Real science.

    How on Earth did they get funding ? Someone must have made a slip up there.

  29. No redundant thread-bombing intended, but this subject has been mentioned before, and judging by the comments, need to be mentioned again. From Wiki on “Earth Tide”….

    “The Earth tide encompasses the entire body of the Earth and is uninhibited by the thin crust and land masses of the surface, on scales that make the rigidity of the rock irrelevant.”

    As a civil engineer, I dealt with surveyors who were jubilant over the potential of converting the Texas State Plane Coordinate system from the cumbersome, line of sight, triangulation system of the USGS to a satellite GPS system. The initial results for horizontal control were encouraging, but there was a vertical anomaly. This was assumed to be corrected as more satellites were in orbit, giving greater satellite triangulation signals. Instead, the anomaly had a consistent VERTICAL daily variation of, on average 18″ per day. The Moon lifts the oceans, on average 6 ft per day. This moving mass unloads the ocean floor, and when coupled with the same tidal force lifting the plastic, molten rock below, causes this daily Earth tide.

    Suddenly there was a good explanation for Plate Tectonics, as the Lunar gravity exerted an upward and westward pull, creating cracks along the sea floor rift lines, which were instantly in-filled with molten rock from below. This molten rock fill instantly solidified in contact with with deep ocean 4C water, causing a daily, but irregular ‘ratchet’ effect on the plates, resulting in uplift and subduction zones. This movement is only possible because deep Earth fission heat, which is also not constant, provides the movable mass of molten mantle rock, and the rift fill material. Restating correctly from above….

    “In this Universe, nothing is constant and equilibrium is an illusion.” This includes our silly notion of fixed atomic decay rates and decay products, as well as any notion of Terra Firma. The poorly measured watts/meter square of geothermal heat flow is also an inaccurate measure of the extent of this fission energy. For more on that, see “Earth’s Missing Geothermal Flux”.

  30. NASA are well aware of the problem that we currently have no real frame of reference in order to separate out sea level rise and fall from isostatic variations. And so a number of satellites are planned to establish this.

    I think there was an article about NASA’s plans for this on WUWT a little while ago. Maybe a WUWT mod can find the link and add it here;

  31. I suppose I should add my take on isostatic rebound too – which is that this is also compensated for in the ‘volume balance’. if a massive load of ice sits on the crust – it pushes it down – which correspondingly pushes the crust (including the ocean floor) UP somewhere else. The net volume of oceanic water has reduced (to make the ice) – but the ice (frozen water) is still ‘in the system’ as weight on the land!
    Theoretically, if this was an experiment in a bucket of water and a floating block of wood (as a closed system), and you froze some of the water and put it onto the block of wood, the water level would remain exactly the same! (Archimedes and all that!).
    consider the crustal rocks as floating on the mantle and you have the same principle!

  32. Isostatic adjustment can go both ways. NE Scotland is sinking slightly despite being covered in ice 12000 years ago. The west of Scotland is rising so somewhere between the two is a tipping point.
    Where have I heard that term used before?

  33. The ‘team climate scientists’ and their sycophants remind me of a school of fish in a tight bait ball … they know their number is up but pack in closer and closer in the hope that any other fish than themselves gets picked off by the pelagics.

  34. should have added that the reverse is true – i.e. if you melt the ice, the land rises, but the ocean floors will drop to compensate – ergo, no significant sea level change.

    Of course, what we can see – is that the time it takes for the crust to adjust is much longer than the time it takes for ice to melt and reform – so that is why we see actual sea level variation! It’s basically due to the time lag in the whole ‘adjustment’ process.

    Hope all that made sense – or I’ve wasted everyones time!
    regards
    Kev

  35. I don’t understand. Are you saying that when people previously checked the geological record for past sea levels, they failed to consider the possibility that the ground may have moved? I am possibly stating the obvious here but that’s a bit surprising isn’t it? I mean geology is a bit to do with the fact that the ground does move – over geological time frames. That’s why they call it geology, isn’t it?

  36. To do their study, the team used computer simulations …

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

  37. Found it.

    New proposal from NASA JPL admits to “spurious” errors in current satellite based sea level and ice altimetry, calls for new space platform to fix the problem.

    This recent internal PowerPoint presentation (obtained from an insider) from NASA JPL touts the new GRASP (Geodetic Reference Antenna in Space) satellite project. I’d say it is more than a bit of a bombshell because the whole purpose of this new mission is to “fix” other mission data that apparently never had a stable enough reference for the measurements being made. This promises to rewrite what we know about sea level rise and acceleration, ice extent and ice volume loss measured from space.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/03/why-ice-loss-and-sea-level-measurements-via-satellite-and-the-new-shepard-et-al-paper-are-highly-uncertain-at-the-moment/

    This new satellite system could be “game changing”.

  38. Many first year university geology students are taught to measure height differences in raised beach levels to determine rates of tectonic uplift. Movements in the earths crust can be much more substantial and occur over shorter time frames than sea level changes due to a warming climate.
    Why is this not taken into account by climate change models when predicting sea level rises? Most of the worlds ocean floor is moving both horizontally and vertically by continental drift. These movements are commonly several millimetres a year. This has been known for many decades and can often be measured.
    Compare the water level in a half full plastic water bottle when it is squeezed with the water bottle when the water is warmed. Note that the water level changes dramatically in the squeezed bottle. Now apply both slow warming and slow squeezing to the bottle at the same time. Can you tell which makes the water level change the most – squeezing or heating?

  39. Kelvin Vaughan says:
    May 19, 2013 at 3:31 am
    “I wonder if gravitational waves would affect the height of the geostationary orbit?”

    That would make it rather easy to detect them, and scientists are still trying to do that with extremely sensitive equipment. So probably not.

  40. As we have seen before , on the very long term , geology & climate are usually tightly interlocked.

    And yet climatologist routinely dismiss the geologic record as unimportant in their research …. probably because they can’t support alarming hypotheses if they do include a geologic perspective.

  41. For those of you who aren’t geologists, sea level changes over geologic time has been a topic of significant research as sea level changes have a fundamental influence over how & where sedimentary rocks types are distributed, which in turn is fundamentally important in finding & developing oil & gas deposits. A subject for debate is always if a given change in the stratigraphic reocord is global or regional, whether it is tectonically driven or whether it is climatologically driven. This article is just one of many which looks at this issue. If you are interested is seeing what sea level changes look like over geologic time , see this link:

  42. J Martin says:
    May 19, 2013 at 2:59 am
    Gosh. Real science.

    How on Earth did they get funding ? Someone must have made a slip up there.

    The geologists must have been getting peeved at all the funding going to the climatologists, so they used the magic words Climate Change in the grant application and hey presto! they got their project funded.

  43. Janice Moore says:
    May 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    “I believe the evidence found all over the planet is stronger for a Great Flood than the evidence for its having not occurred.

    A skeptical mind is not a closed mind, it is a careful mind, open to whatever the evidence shows.”

    This is re marine fossils in the rocks of Everest. Janice, evidence for buckling up of once lower strata caused by the collision of the Indian land mass with the Asian land mass, strange as it may sound, is the reason for the position of these fossils. Indeed, the Himalayas are still rising at 5mm per year. Remember this slow rate geologically is very significant and equals 5m per thousand years and 5km/million years! From Wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayas#Geology

    “During the Upper Cretaceous, about 70 million years ago, the north-moving Indo-Australian Plate was moving at about 15 cm per year. About 50 million years ago, this fast moving Indo-Australian plate had completely closed the Tethys Ocean, the existence of which has been determined by sedimentary rocks settled on the ocean floor, and the volcanoes that fringed its edges. Since both plates were composed of low density continental crust, they were thrust faulted and folded into mountain ranges rather than subducting into the mantle along an oceanic trench.[4] An often-cited fact used to illustrate this process is that the summit of Mount Everest is made of marine limestone from this ancient ocean.[9]

    Today, the Indo-Australian plate continues to be driven horizontally below the Tibetan plateau, which forces the plateau to continue to move upwards. The Indo-Australian plate is still moving at 67 mm per year, and over the next 10 million years it will travel about 1,500 km into Asia. About 20 mm per year of the India-Asia convergence is absorbed by thrusting along the Himalaya southern front. This leads to the Himalayas rising by about 5 mm per year, making them geologically active.

  44. grumpyoldmanuk says:
    May 18, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    “To do their study, the team used computer simulations……. Sorry, lost interest there.

    Not so fast grumpyoldmanuk, you should have read down to where there is a 60 metre warp in the old shoreline trace which at the time of formation was horizontal. At least you have to admit that some differential movement must have occurred since – actually 60m is a heck of a warp.

  45. J Martin says: May 19, 2013 at 5:23 am

    “…..Found it. ….[....]….
    This recent internal PowerPoint presentation (obtained from an insider) from NASA JPL touts the new GRASP (Geodetic Reference Antenna in Space) satellite project….”

    Thanks, good stuff, but c’mon mate..gimme a bit of credit . I did provide a link! :-)

    markx says: May 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/GRASP_COSPAR_paper.pdf

  46. Speed says:
    May 19, 2013 at 3:58 am

    “To do their study, the team used computer simulations …

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

    If it were the same sauce I would agree.

    grumpyoldman has the same prejudice.

    Computational Fluid Dynamics(CFD), used to evaluate and manipulate the Coanda Effect for example, is as complicated as the majority of modeling gets down here amongst the mortals. Adrian Newey excepted.

    Most modeling utilized by science is vastly simplistic in comparison.

    Modeling climate is a whole other ball-game for the prinincipal reason that CFD is a David compared to the Goliath of Climate System Modeling. Chaos is a manifold problem ;)

  47. “Several wave-cut scarps that at the time of deposition would have been horizontal are now draped over a warped surface with a maximum amplitude of 60 m. We modeled dynamic topography using mantle convection simulations that predict the amplitude and broad spatial distribution of this distortion.”

    I assume this warped surface amplitude of 60 meters is the max for the length of the entire eastern U.S. coastal plain. That would equate to a slope of .o4 feet per mile. Am I following this? You wouldn’t notice that much dynamic topography in a bowling alley.

    The eastern U.S. coast sits on the more stable portion of the North American plate moving west from the mid-Atlantic ridge. Isostatic rebound from glacial melt would be more pronounced on the northern portion of the plate. Can’t tell from the map, or abstract.

    Wonder if they checked any marine seismic profiles on both the western portion of Europe and eastern U.S. to determine if the onlap sedimentary sequences matched. If a match, it’s all eustatic sea level change by glacial melting. Oh, excuse me, “glacial collapse.”

  48. Really? Does this mean that the seashells and swamp fern fossils imbedded in the mountains around Wallowa County are there because of uplift and not because of ancient sea levels being that high? Oh my gosh! I did not know that! Tectonic uplift! Quick! Give the man a Nobel Prize for a new discovery! Rewrite all the grade school science books to include this new information!

    Oh…wait…

  49. One of the, at first confusing concepts in the Physics study of “Dynamics”, is the concept of “Reference Plane”, that systems involving motion will vary, depending on the location of the observer. The reason i mentioned the 1980′s implementation of the GPS system, is that this was the ONLY method of detecting this vertical, Earth tide, land mass movement. All geology research that i have reviewed since that time has been in reference to that correct Earth model.

    The second point involving Plate Tectonics relates to the previously unexplained “westward” movement of the plates in my 3:02 am post. Without proof of Earth tide, it could only be assumed that tectonics was a random motion. Once Earth tide was accepted, this Lunar force was obvious. Some further explanation may be beneficial. On one side of a paper, draw a large circle, place a “N” in the center and an arrow at the perimeter indicating a anti-clockwise rotation. Now on the other side of the paper draw a smaller circle and place a “M” in the center. You are now looking down on the Earth from the north pole. As the Earth spins, the rotational motion, prior to passing the Earth-Moon axis line, is in the direction of the Moon’s gravity, thereby reducing the gravitational effect. Once the Earth’s surface passes the axis line, the Moons gravity is combining with the Earths rotation to pull the crust to the west with a STRONGER force than the pre-axis transit force.

    False paradigms are built on false reference planes. As the reference plane changes, the basis for the false reality is undermined and will fail. If this basic Earth science is not taught in elementary school at present, then it SHOULD be. We are capable of understanding far more than our blinkered government, education, media and entertainment thought police allow. As more of the false reference planes in science and history are corrected, the overlying and overbearing current false social structure paradigm will also fail. Every epiphany is permanent, find and share Truth.

  50. “Lesson: Don’t put your faith in mortals. Not even kings.”

    Or in immortals, since they don’t exist.

  51. “””””….. The Indo-Australian plate is still moving at 67 mm per year, and over the next 10 million years it will travel about 1,500 km into Asia…….”””””

    Crikey ! the whole bloody plate is moving much faster than the sea level is rising.

    I think we should be focusing on unauthorized Australian invasion of India, and forget about sea level rise.

  52. Paul Marko says:
    May 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

    “I assume this warped surface amplitude of 60 meters is the max for the length of the entire eastern U.S. coastal plain. That would equate to a slope of .o4 feet per mile. Am I following this? You wouldn’t notice that much dynamic topography in a bowling alley.”

    First, Paul, a 60m difference in sea level is half the total swing between Ice Age and interglacial so it is a mammoth variation – any estimates made of Pliocene sea levels from it and the amount of ice they erroneously thought melted would certainly depend where your university is located along this scarp. Secondly, welcome to the world of annual small changes. The Himalayas are rising approximately 5mm a year. Geologically this is enormous: 5 metres in a thousand years, 5 kilometres in a million years! A warp of 60 metres in a relatively quiet stable part of the earth’s crust over 3 million years is significant.

  53. “Our study is telling scientists that they can no longer ignore the effect of Earth’s interior dynamics when predicting historic sea levels and ice volumes.”

    I hope their geology is better than their English, or has it become normal to predict the past?

  54. Steven Mosher says:

    ” May 19, 2013 at 8:21 am

    pfft. they used models. thats not real data”

    Glad to see Mosher doesn’t believe in models :-). Now can we just call off this CO2 is evil meme and get back to cheap and abundant energy and prosperity?

  55. Gary Pearse says:
    May 19, 2013 at 10:02 am

    “a 60m difference in sea level is half the total swing between Ice Age and interglacial so it is a mammoth variation”

    The 60m they refer to is the variation in the topography (elevation) of the stranded shoreline horizon, not the variance in sea level between glacial cycles. No?
    If the 60 meters is related to techtonic warp, not Glacial rebound on one end, what caused the vaiance on a relatively stable continental plate?

  56. “The paper is important because it shows that no prediction of ancient ice volumes can ever again ignore the Earth’s interior dynamics,”

    So the climate scientists were told that a quarter of a century ago but used their influence to prevent studies like this being funded in favour of AGW ones. Perhaps we will see the one that says that the climate changes are to do with a cyclic disturbance originating in the north west passage area which affects the ocean current flow getting some funding.

  57. As someone else noted, the top of mount Everest is sedimentary rock from an ocean bottom. Just about 6 million years ago, the land making the mountains where the Grand Canyon is now, was on the bottom of a shallow inland sea. It’s now a few thousand feet in the air.

    The California coastline rises a few feet at a time, some times (during large quakes). The entire coast range has ongoing uplift (that is why we have those dramatic high cliffs that occasionally fall into the ocean, taking $Million houses with them).

    The notion that the land is static is a silly one. It’s always either rising, or eroding away, and does so by thousands of feet…

    In High School we took a geology field trip up into the Sierra Nevada mountains… to collect Sharks Teeth… from when THEY were ocean bottom… (For most of the history of the Earth, there was no life with teeth… they are a recent invention in geologic / evolutionary time scales).

    The earth moves, sometimes quite fast. During the Indonesia quake / tsunami the bottom of the ocean moved up 9 feet in one giant rumble. There’s a big rift zone in east Africa where far too soon it will become a new inland sea. At one point Madagascar was part of Africa and was rifted off. That rift is still active, but more inland now, slicing off a new chunk of Africa… While Africa is slamming into Europe and pushing up the Alps. (And, eventually, will close the Strait of Gibraltar and then the Mediterranean Sea will evaporate… as it has done in the past…)

    Oh, and don’t forget that just about 12,000 years ago Canada was an Ice Sheet up to a couple of miles thick. It will be again in some thousands of years more. ALL of the wildlife and forests of Canada are going away, to be scraped off and frozen under mile high ice. Think that will “leave a mark”? The notion we can freeze time in a bottle and somehow keep Canada like it is at present is the completely broken notion. Life flows and changes with the geologic times. Nothing is static or stable.

    THE best thing we can do for Canada is haul out all the coal and tar sands and oil we can, and burn it, then pray to God that there really is a CO2 warming effect; since if there isn’t Canada is doomed. Similarly Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Finland, Russia / Siberia, etc. etc. (Oh, and both Chile and Argentina too…)

  58. There are ancient coral fossil shelves in the Caribbean that form solid strata bands and show that those coral formed over 1000 years approx where there were no hurricanes at all in that time ( ie 1000 of constant coral fourishes without destruction ). There is absolutely no explanation for this and scientists who discovered it were amazed. One was quoted as saying : “We know virtually nothing about the geological past in anywhere near enough detail. Everyday a general assumption is challenged” Another said : “Who turned off the Hurricanes for a 1000 years in this part of the world ?” . I think it may finally be dawning on those many scientists who jumped on the catastrophy bandwagon too soon that they forgot the cornerstones of science…. Experiment, deduce, challenge [ then repeat ].

  59. Those cores of the ongoing variable continental ice coverage will likely not melt until we break out of the Quaternary. What, maybe 10M years from now if we are lucky?

  60. Funny. I was skimming through the latest issue of Pop Sci ($6 for a year subscriptions, but you get what you pay for) last night and there was an article about how sea level rise of +/- 25 feet would be plausible over the next century based on Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet melting driven by global warming. Not surprisingly, the study the article referenced uses the same elevated prehistoric shorelines as the study in this article. All with nice graphics of the NY Metro area and Los Angeles underwater. Might be nice if these scientists spoke to one another on occasion.

  61. The KISS version: climatologists were (eagerly) suckered by mis-attribution of the lifting of old shorelines above current sea level.

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