The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg jumps the shark again – gets called out by NYT

The wailing today is that the collapse of the Antarctic ice sheet has already begun.

Guardian_antarctic_collapse

It’s pretty bad when other environmental reporters start calling you out on it, such as NYT’s Andrew Revkin did today. 

Yes, a slow affair indeed. Truly an abuse of the headline. Buried below the headline in the article, there is agreement with Revkin:

But the researchers said that even though such a rise could not be stopped, it is still several centuries off, and potentially up to 1,000 years away.

A lot can happen in several centuries, why even in the last couple of years Antarctic has seen  record levels on Antarctic sea ice.

And the temperature isn’t cooperating either:

RSS Southern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) – 1979 to Present for the area where sea ice forms (60 to 70S)

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

[previous graph removed - wrong latitude span and no replacement, my mistake -Anthony]

 

UPDATE: Revkin gives more reasoning on “collapse” here:

Consider Clashing Scientific and Societal Meanings of ‘Collapse’ When Reading Antarctic Ice News

 

Here is the paper the claim is based on:

Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica from 1992 to 2011.

Abstract

We measure the grounding line retreat of glaciers draining the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica using Earth Remote Sensing (ERS-1/2) satellite radar interferometry from 1992 to 2011. Pine Island Glacier retreated 31 km at its center, with most retreat in 2005–2009 when the glacier un-grounded from its ice plain. Thwaites Glacier retreated 14 km along its fast-flow core and 1 to 9 km along the sides. Haynes Glacier retreated 10 km along its flanks. Smith/Kohler glaciers retreated the most, 35 km along its ice plain, and its ice shelf pinning points are vanishing. These rapid retreats proceed along regions of retrograde bed elevation mapped at a high spatial resolution using a mass conservation technique (MC) that removes residual ambiguities from prior mappings. Upstream of the 2011 grounding line positions, we find no major bed obstacle that would prevent the glaciers from further retreat and draw down the entire basin.

And here is the press release from AGU:

New study indicates loss of West Antarctic glaciers appears unstoppable

12 May 2014
Joint Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new study finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea.

The study presents multiple lines of evidence, incorporating 40 years of observations that indicate the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica “have passed the point of no return,” according to glaciologist and lead author Eric Rignot, of the University of California Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The new study has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

These glaciers already contribute significantly to sea level rise, releasing almost as much ice into the ocean annually as the entire Greenland Ice Sheet. They contain enough ice to raise global sea level by 4 feet (1.2 meters) and are melting faster than most scientists had expected. Rignot said these findings will require an upward revision to current predictions of sea level rise.

“This sector will be a major contributor to sea level rise in the decades and centuries to come,” Rignot said. “A conservative estimate is it could take several centuries for all of the ice to flow into the sea.”

A photo of Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica taken by NASA Operation IceBridge. A new study finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. Credit: NASA

Three major lines of evidence point to the glaciers’ eventual demise: the changes in their flow speeds, how much of each glacier floats on seawater, and the slope of the terrain they are flowing over and its depth below sea level. In a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters in April, Rignot’s research group discussed the steadily increasing flow speeds of these glaciers over the past 40 years. This new study examines the other two lines of evidence.

The glaciers flow out from land to the ocean, with their leading edges afloat on the seawater. The point on a glacier where it first loses contact with land is called the grounding line. Nearly all glacier melt occurs on the underside of the glacier beyond the grounding line, on the section floating on seawater.

Just as a grounded boat can float again on shallow water if it is made lighter, a glacier can float over an area where it used to be grounded if it becomes lighter, which it does by melting or by the thinning effects of the glacier stretching out. The Antarctic glaciers studied by Rignot’s group have thinned so much they are now floating above places where they used to sit solidly on land, which means their grounding lines are retreating inland.

“The grounding line is buried under a thousand or more meters of ice, so it is incredibly challenging for a human observer on the ice sheet surface to figure out exactly where the transition is,” Rignot said. “This analysis is best done using satellite techniques.”

The team used radar observations captured between 1992 and 2011 by the European Earth Remote Sensing (ERS-1 and -2) satellites to map the grounding lines’ retreat inland. The satellites use a technique called radar interferometry, which enables scientists to measure very precisely — within less than a quarter of an inch — how much Earth’s surface is moving. Glaciers move horizontally as they flow downstream, but their floating portions also rise and fall vertically with changes in the tides. Rignot and his team, which includes researchers from UC Irvine and JPL, mapped how far inland these vertical motions extend to locate the grounding lines.

The Amundsen Sea glacier beds are below sea level, so that as the grounding lines retreat, the water below the floating ice shelves gets deeper rather than shallower. This image shows the beds of Thwaites and Haynes glaciers, with colors indicating depth. The large blue area under Thwaites Glacier is almost three-quarters of a mile (1,200 meters) below sea level. The broken lines at the front of the glacier show how the grounding line has retreated over 19 years; red is the 1992 grounding line, and black is the line's position in 2011. Credit: NASA

The accelerating flow speeds and retreating grounding lines reinforce each other. As glaciers flow faster, they stretch out and thin, which reduces their weight and lifts them farther off the bedrock. As the grounding line retreats and more of the glacier becomes waterborne, there’s less resistance underneath, so the flow accelerates.

Slowing or stopping these changes requires pinning points — bumps or hills rising from the glacier bed that snag the ice from underneath. To locate these points, researchers produced a more accurate map of bed elevation that combines ice velocity data from ERS-1 and -2 and ice thickness data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission and other airborne campaigns. The results confirm no pinning points are present upstream of the present grounding lines in five of the six glaciers. Only Haynes Glacier has major bedrock obstructions upstream, but it drains a small sector and is retreating as rapidly as the other glaciers.

The bedrock topography is another key to the fate of the ice in this basin. All the glacier beds slope deeper below sea level as they extend farther inland. As the glaciers retreat, they cannot escape the reach of the ocean, and the warm water will keep melting them even more rapidly.

The accelerating flow rates, lack of pinning points and sloping bedrock all point to one conclusion, Rignot said.

“The collapse of this sector of West Antarctica appears to be unstoppable,” he said. “The fact that the retreat is happening simultaneously over a large sector suggests it was triggered by a common cause, such as an increase in the amount of ocean heat beneath the floating sections of the glaciers. At this point, the end of this sector appears to be inevitable.”

Because of the importance of this part of West Antarctica, NASA’s Operation IceBridge will continue to monitor its evolution closely during this year’s Antarctica deployment, which begins in October. IceBridge uses a specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of science instruments ever assembled to characterize changes in thickness of glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice.

For additional images and video related to this new finding, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1m6YZSf

For additional information on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its potential contribution to sea level rise, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1oIfSlO

For more information on Operation IceBridge, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/icebridge

###

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138 thoughts on “The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg jumps the shark again – gets called out by NYT

  1. It might be worse than we thought, well maybe in the distant future, our models suggest that it could happen perhaps in 1000 years.

  2. So what’s the problem? She writes a piece full of BS,gets paid,and doesn’t give a hoot about what others say. Until you take away her paycheck,same old,same old. And scientific or un-scientific facts will not stop that. And just what the heck is “several centuries” or a thousand years? To me,several could be 20,000years from now.

  3. I think it’s great to see these extremely ‘alarmist’ headlines, followed by a bit less alarmist in the text. People will continue to see the ‘alarmism’ for what it is. And likely continued to get turned off by it. Especially when the same ‘journalists’ keep printing this crap.

  4. The Guardian is the ecoloons’ bible, so it can say old BS -and it does – and instantly it will become true. However, there are a few climate scientists who are genuinely embarrassed by its obsession with repeatedly trumpeting fantasy as fact.

  5. So in two alarmist stories reported during the space of on one day on WUWT the Antarctic is getting colder and warmer all at the same time. It’s both gaining ice and it’s losing ice. And both these occurrences are issues that needs us to do something right now. What exactly ?

  6. Yellowstone could explode or meteors might wipe out most of humanity before the sea rises that much. All that is certain is that governments will steal your savings long before you need a boat.

  7. I say encourage them to do more……….

    but of course, this is just the opinion of a racist, homophobe……………/SNARK!

  8. This is unbelievable there are three current ‘west Antarctic Ice sheet collapse ‘ stories running on yahoo . and on the day that the Antarctic sea ice reached record levels.

    Conspiracy of the media ….nah just damn lies.

    Funny if you ask me

  9. The great climate wolf is at the door.
    It will huff and puff until you pay the tax.
    Little boy Mann howls along with the wolf.
    Into selected pockes will your lifes work flow.
    The tax man comes, the tax man goes.
    Into whose pockets we all need to know.

  10. Curbing emissions from fossil fuels to slow climate change will probably not halt the melting but it – could – slow the speed of the problem, Rignot said.

    …you would think that first they would have to make a connection that fossil fuels had anything to do with it at all

  11. When the President of the U.S. can with impunity, stand in front of the American people and tell easily exposed lies. such as the earth has warmed faster in the last decade than even the most dire predictions…(or words to that effect)…something pretty terrible is going on. This A,P. reporter can jump sharks every day of the week and twice on sundays, and it won’t matter.

    I don’t know what the cure is….hell, I don’t even know what the disease is exactly.

  12. There was a “CLIMATE CHANGE” discussion on FOX News today where some Democrat woman rolled out the “97% Consensus” and labeled it GOSPEL…. I can’t afford to replace my TV so I didn’t throw anything at it.

  13. She’s got her facts totally wrong anyway. This from my NASA news release on the paper:

    “A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea.”

    This rapidly melting SECTION of the ice sheet is “in the Armundsen Sea Sector of West Antarctica”. It constitutes a tiny part of the WA ice sheet and concerns four glaciers in that small region. More detail on the relevant NASA page here (including maps and diagrams):

    http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/earth/antarctica-telecon20140512/#.U3FF3pK9K0c

    It is true that this small area is said to be set to disgorge a lot of ice by the time these glaciers have outflowed in the manner suggested by the paper and that belies the small area they cover. However the sea level increase they will give rise to is 1.2 metres, not “nearly 4 metres”. This is explained clearly in the news release:

    “These glaciers already contribute significantly to sea level rise, releasing almost as much ice into the ocean annually as the entire Greenland Ice Sheet. They contain enough ice to raise global sea level by 4 feet (1.2 meters) and are melting faster than most scientists had expected. Rignot said these findings will require an upward revision to current predictions of sea level rise.”

    Presumably it’s stated just as clearly in the paper itself. So it seems that not only is the Guardian signalling imminent collapse but collapse of the entire West Antarctic ice sheet when the paper says nothing of the sort. Does The Guardian have no shame at all?

  14. So the Pollard and Rignot quotes in the NYT article say: Over all, the loss of the West Antarctic ice from warming is appearing “more likely a definite thing to worry about on a thousand-year time scale but not a hundred years,” Dr. Pollard said…. [Rignot] said. “It happened many times before when the Earth was as warm as it is about to be.

    Note the words “more likely a definite thing” and “as warm as it is about to be.” So this is all speculation.

  15. They should send a ship of climate scientists to the Antarctic to verify the story. What could go wrong?

  16. pokerguy
    Not a disease, it is a liars cult.
    You must lie your way in.
    Yet like the Hotel Califorina.
    You can once in, only lie more,
    and never leave the shelter of the cult.

  17. Dueling propaganda machines from UW, NASA, UCI and JPL feeding MSM.

    The biggest “impact” of the papers will be to get a Union Session at the next AGU Fall Meeting with more Press/Propaganda grinding out 1950s-stype movie sci fi headlines with a secondary impact on the FY15 funding cycle at NSF polar programs.

    Ha

  18. As a former journalist, from an era when facts had to be checked and double-checked and news stories were presented in a sober and honest manner, Goldberg is a journalistic embarrassment . At some point, Alan Rusbridger, her editor, has to take action. The Guardian has been a laughing stock for too long – come on, Alan, you are an honest and Establishment-defying journalist…you need to sort out this fact-defying new ‘Establishment’ that has developed within your unsuspecting bosom.

  19. Pokerguy. . . The name of the malady is”Mediacracy”, Google the suffix acracy then the whole word. This new word from the urban dictionary describes the NYT and much other media involved in the cAGW narrative.

  20. The NASA Model of this particular WAIS glacier chose one of the smallest and least significant, underlaid by an unusual grounding bed that guarantees it has to melt rather than slide. The two biggest are the Ronne. Cannot use that, since all evidence says it is gaining ice. And the Ross, which might be slowly losing. But cannot use that, since the grounding line stopped receding 4000 years ago. We know not because of models, but because Ross collapse was the previous bugaboo. So the Andrill program cored into the seabed, and nope. So now pick a tiny outflow that might happen if the models are right, and extrapolate to WAIS. Beyond bad. Wrote an essay on Ronne/Ross for the next book. Unclear worth revising for this drivel.

  21. Being shouted from the rooftops without criticism in the Australian leftist press, as well.

  22. It’s not only the Guardianistas, there is also the expected hyperventilating hype from Justin Gillis of the NY Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/13/science/earth/collapse-of-parts-of-west-antarctica-ice-sheet-has-begun-scientists-say.html?hp&_r=1

    Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans as Antarctic Ice Melts
    By JUSTIN GILLIS and KENNETH CHANG
    MAY 12, 2014

    The collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica appears to have begun and is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming accelerating the pace of the disintegration, two groups of scientists reported Monday.

    The finding, which had been feared by some scientists for decades, means that a rise in global sea level of at least 10 feet may now be inevitable. The rise may continue to be relatively slow for at least the next century or so, the scientists said, but sometime after that it will probably speed up so sharply as to become a crisis.

  23. Nasa scientists: 1000 years of prediction based on 20 years of history! What was that? You need at least 30 years to define a trend? Well I suppose it depends whether its the ‘right’ trend or the ‘wrong’ trend. Oh dear.

  24. The people who report this BS know that this story and other like it are lies, but when “the ends justify the means” then lies are perfectly acceptable.

  25. This is complete B.S. It’s late fall / early winter in Antarctica. The temperature is below freezing. Nothing can possibly melt there for at least six months.

  26. It might be true that “such a rise could not be stopped” BY PEOPLE, but it can certainly be stopped by natural processes. Bizarre of these researchers to speak as if the only motive force in climate science is the one that can’t do anything.

  27. If you make ill-informed predictions about 5-10 years from now, people can look it up & call you out for it. If you make stupid predictions about 1000 years from now, a fat astrologer will make a show called Cosmos & claim you were a persecuted scientist. I know which I would prefer.

  28. I just saw the story on See-BS nightly news. They distorted….. I mean reported that there would be a 4 ft rise in sea level. But not before 2214. Wake me when its over!

  29. Off the subject but it just may be an anwser to how this all happened.

    News story of German science guys who wired up humans brains and up’d the voltage.
    Real lucid dreams and when the subjects woke up they were sure the dream was real.

    Must be they wired up Michael Mann first, he gets the hockystick graph dream, then the 97% who belive the same dream got the same voltage, thus Climate Disruption was born.

    Real Research.

  30. Actually, the situation is much, much worse. The Universe, which originated from the Big Bang some 15 billion years ago, may collapse again – as some (not all) studies suggest. We should view Jerry Brown’s governorship of California in this light.

  31. Keep in mind that NYT’s Andrew Revkin is objecting to the word “collapse”, which is reasonable given people’s perceptions of time scales. He is not disputing what the research says about the retreat of these glaciers: observations show they are losing mass mostly due to ocean water melting them along their terminating ice shelves, and the bedrock which is below sea level only slopes deeper on the “inland” side leaving no high ground to stop the process.

    The inevitable WUWT reference to Antarctic sea ice extent has little bearing on this.

  32. We need a sarcasm department of skeptics whose purpose is to submit all kinds of climate whoppers to the press – without the sarc-on and sarc-off tags. For example: “New computer model shows Antarctic ice to completely melt in 5 years!” (I could write a program in 5 minutes that would do this.) Obviously the press seems to accept and transmit anything without critical inquiry – so if this were done, John Q. Public would more readily catch on to the folly of it all.

  33. The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg is full of sh!t, just like her idiotic colleague Nafeez Ahmed (9/11 truther).

    Suzanne was the one who claimed the world’s FIRST, FIRST climate refugees in Alaska. I showed her she was wrong in comments at the Guardian for which I was banned.

    See THIS from me. And that is not even what I showed her. I made it clear she did not know what she was talking about. I showed her Holocene climate extremes in N. America with decadal and centennial droughts etc. [I can't be bothered to look so don't ask, it's buried in the Guardian comment somewhere.] I showed here relocated Alaskans before her claim due to climate changes decades ago.

  34. Clarification.
    Suzanne was the one who claimed America’s FIRST, FIRST climate refugees.

    I still showed her why she was wrong. However you spin the cat, she was wrong.

  35. They are going to simply have to let go of Antarctica for a while.

    National Geographic – 10 December 2013
    New Record for Coldest Place on Earth, in Antarctica
    Scientists measure lowest temperature on Earth via satellites.
    Using new satellite data, scientists have measured the most frigid temperature ever recorded on the continent’s eastern highlands: about -136°F (-93°C)—colder than dry ice…..

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131210-coldest-place-on-earth-antarctica-science/

    Plus this

    Abstract – 7 JUN 2013
    Recent snowfall anomalies in Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica, in a historical and future climate perspective
    Enhanced snowfall on the East Antarctic ice sheet is projected to significantly mitigate 21st century global sea level rise. In recent years (2009 and 2011), regionally extreme snowfall anomalies in Dronning Maud Land, in the Atlantic sector of East Antarctica, have been observed. It has been unclear, however, whether these anomalies can be ascribed to natural decadal variability, or whether they could signal the beginning of a long-term increase of snowfall. Here we use output of a regional atmospheric climate model, evaluated with available firn core records and gravimetry observations, and show that such episodes had not been seen previously in the satellite climate data era (1979). Comparisons with historical data that originate from firn cores, one with records extending back to the 18th century, confirm that accumulation anomalies of this scale have not occurred in the past ~60 years, although comparable anomalies are found further back in time. We examined several regional climate model projections, describing various warming scenarios into the 21st century. Anomalies with magnitudes similar to the recently observed ones were not present in the model output for the current climate, but were found increasingly probable toward the end of the 21st century.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50559/abstract

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

    Abstract – 2 NOV 2012
    An improved understanding of processes dominating the sensitive balance between mass loss primarily due to glacial discharge and mass gain through precipitation is essential for determining the future behavior of the Antarctic ice sheet and its contribution to sea level rise. While satellite observations of Antarctica indicate that West Antarctica experiences dramatic mass loss along the Antarctic Peninsula and Pine Island Glacier, East Antarctica has remained comparably stable. In this study, we describe the causes and magnitude of recent extreme precipitation events along the East Antarctic coast that led to significant regional mass accumulations that partially compensate for some of the recent global ice mass losses that contribute to global sea level rise. The gain of almost 350 Gt from 2009 to 2011 is equivalent to a decrease in global mean sea level at a rate of 0.32 mm/yr over this three-year period.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL053316/abstract

    Plus record April extent. Why can’t they let go of an expanding, freezing pole? We gave them the Arctic but that’s simply not enough. Suzanne has to find something to justify her propaganda.

  36. Captain, the ice is breaking up.

    IN the last decade of the nineteenth century, between 1892 and 1897, there occurred an enormous outburst of ice from the Antarctic which filled the Southern Ocean with ice floes and icebergs to such an extent that traffic between South America, Africa, and Australia had to seek a more northerly track. This outburst had far-reaching climatic repercussions. The monsoon regimen of the Indian Ocean was profoundly disturbed……In 1899 – 1900 upwards of 6,500,000 people were on famine relief for several months. The loss of cattle was great, running into many millions…….

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/208079?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21103345664011

    [Apologies if I have made any typing errors as it is from an image.]

  37. This whole thing is a re-interpretation of what we were taught in regards to glaciers in the 1970s/80s. At that time we were taught that Glaciers increased their flow rate due to increased inputs at the top of the glacier – that is, increased snow at the top caused the Glacier to flow more rapidly much like a river. Even at that time, the study of glaciology was not new and was based on nearly a century of observation by explorers and mountaineers.

    Suddenly we now have this concept that increased flow is due to meltwater “lubricating” the base of the glacier and causing it to attenuate. I can’t help wondering if this “new interpretation” isn’t based on trying to fit facts to a theory.

    I also really struggle with the concept that these glaciers are melting in the way described – I was on an Antarctic flyover trip on the 30th January this year. The maximum temperature was 4 degrees Celcius and this lasted for about 2 hours – we could see ice crystals forming on the sea even as we flew over. Given this was the peak of summer, I find it hard to believe that the subsurface temperatures of the Glaciers were affected at all – of course this was “Eastern Antarctica” so it might be different in other locations.

  38. During the late 1950s there were some reports of strange warming trend in Little Antarctica, West Antarctica. This was caused by carbon terror-oxide. When will we act? We must act then and now. It makes us fee useful and gets rid of our WESTERN comfort guilt.

    Weather
    Volume 14, Issue 6, pages 191–197, June 1959
    A Warming Trend At Little America, Antarctica

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.1477-8696.1959.tb00572.x/abstract

    ————————
    New York Times – May 31, 1958
    An analysis of weather records from Little America shows a steady warming of climate over the last half century. The rise in average temperature at the Antarctic outpost has been about five degrees Fahrenheit.

    http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F2091FFA3555127B93C3AA178ED85F4C8585F9

    ————————
    Newburgh-Beacon News – Dec 16, 1959
    Scientists Poking Around Antarctica Melt Mysteries

    http://tinyurl.com/obwsxe7

  39. Hmm 200 to 900yrs. Knowing that alarmists are going to bring the disaster forward as much as decently possible and knowing that 100 yrs has fallen into disrepute, perhaps we should tighten this up and get rid of the too accurate top estimate. Let’s say ~500-1000 yrs. After all, they are probably using too high a climate sensitivity a la IPCC.

  40. New study indicates loss of West Antarctic glaciers appears unstoppable

    12 May 2014
    Joint Release

    Yet in a few years time they will say ‘Scientists Surprised by…….’

    It is garbage through and through. Let me give you and example of a “prediction” that is going to fail. I am 100% certain. No caveats from me. FAIL.

    Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University has predicted that the Arctic would become ice free in 2015 or 2016. He even explains what constitutes ‘ice free’.

  41. “There was a “CLIMATE CHANGE” discussion on FOX News today where some Democrat woman rolled out the “97% Consensus” and labeled it GOSPEL…. I can’t afford to replace my TV so I didn’t throw anything at it.”

    This is the beating heart of the warmist position. Want to put a stake through that beating heart? Who doesn’t? Somehow we need to scrape up the money to hire a nationally known, respected polling firm to design a survey of scientists as to their position on CAGW…

  42. The Antarctic glaciers studied by Rignot’s group have thinned so much they are now floating above places where they used to sit solidly on land, which means their grounding lines are retreating inland.
    …………..
    The point on a glacier where it first loses contact with land is called the grounding line. Nearly all glacier melt occurs on the underside of the glacier beyond the grounding line, on the section floating on seawater.

    Maybe they thinned because the glacier was moving so slowly. If so, then maybe when its speed increases, it will have less time to thin and it will eventually sink and drag on the bottom again. (??)

    Are there historic measurements of the temperature of the seawater in that region? What indications do we have that it’s been warming over the last 50 years or so?

    Might the increased flow of ice into the Southern ocean cool it down enough to counteract the thinning process significantly?

    Might the increased flow of ice into the Southern ocean start to cool the globe? How much? Might it do so more effectively than a reduction of CO2 emissions would? (If so, why sweat the small stuff?)

    Can a reduction of our emissions raise the temperature of the seawater there? How much? How long would be needed for it to take effect? How certain can we be of our estimate of this?

    If the increased ice flow can’t be stopped or significantly slowed by mitigation, as is implied in the news stories (“inevitable collapse”), then adaptation is all that’s left, and we can forget about costly, futile renewables, etc. (right?).

  43. Here is the official sea surface temperature record for the region. I would not call that a warming trend, especially the last 15 years.

    How do they project that warming will continue in the region when the trend is zero if not down.

  44. Sounds like the normal ebb and flow – I guess the headline “The more things change, the more they stay the same” is not catchy enough.

  45. Bill Illis says:
    May 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm
    “Here is the official sea surface temperature record for the region. I would not call that a warming trend, especially the last 15 years.

    How do they project that warming will continue in the region when the trend is zero if not down.”

    They sprinkle pixie dust and unicorn horn shavings on a crystal ball, and then tap their heels together 3 times.

  46. From another article I read:

    “the West Antarctic ice sheet is melting because of naturally-occurring warm water welling up from deep in the ocean. ”

    It sounds like AGW has nothing to do with this, and there’s no guarantee it will continue.

  47. Peter Miller:
    “The Guardian is the ecoloons’ bible, so it can say old BS -and it does – and instantly it will become true. However, there are… SNIP (a) SNIP …few climate scientists who are genuinely embarrassed by its obsession with repeatedly trumpeting fantasy as fact.”
    There, I fixed it for you.
    And therein lies the problem.

  48. Just because the media spin is alarmist doesn’t mean the scientific evidence is bogus. The WAIS has disappeared completely during past interglacials. The ice sits on a basin that is up to 2500M below sea level. Once water gets under the ice I can see how it could increase the flow further decimating the volume.

    I suspect the authors of these studies have swallowed the Kool Aid and believe we are on an unstoppable increase in global temperatures. If we have global cooling in the coming decades it will be interesting to see if the grounding line advances.

  49. Western Antarctic ice melting is proceeding at such a pace that world sea levels are likely to rise by 4 feet in the next ten years according to an FM radio station here in Perth a few minutes ago. Is it a prerequisite that journalists have full lobotomies prior to starting their career path? It appears that way.

    If I ‘d have known that I would have ever been subjected to such crap about supposedly serious scientific issues when I was studying geology a few decades ago, I might have considered taking a cyanide pill. Listening to such bollocks is SERIOUSLY painful.

  50. So to be clear. The Antarctic is experiencing the largest ice growth for some time. Temperatures are not going up but since the Antarctic is a shallow bowl shaped depression where ice is piling out and up on top there is a steadily increasing pressure building up on the ice sheet as a whole. This increase in pressure requires some kind of outlet and in this case it appears to be the Amundsen Sea Embayment. Sounds to me like nature as a reflection of physics is doing exactly what it is supposed to. However since this is a comment on ‘Climate Chage’ I add the now obligatory we are all going to die.

  51. I’d like to note a fact about this posting and all the ensuing comments. Both call and response are solely concerned with the language of the Guardian article. No one has evidenced any interest in pursuing a discourse concerning the substance of the papers on which the media is reporting.

    “Jokers on the right of me, jokers on the left of me”

    • Bob Bajini says: “No one has evidenced any interest in pursuing a discourse concerning the substance of the papers on which the media is reporting.”

      I guess you missed my comment.

  52. Bob Bajini says:
    May 12, 2014 at 7:24 pm
    ========================

    uhhhh Bob, maybe that’s because the thread IS about the Guardian article and its hyped presentation of the putative scientific facts. You are free to display your scientific prowess at any time, but spare us the sanctimonious twaddle about “jokers” who comment on the actual lead posting.

  53. She’s as bad (and by that I mean worse) as Louise Gray at the Telegraph, who wrote the usual alarmist crap last year after we had the first decent summer in the UK for seven years, claiming that European summers are 2°C warmer since the 1950s due to climate change.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/10303052/Summers-are-getting-hotter-honest.html

    “It found that an area across southern England, the Low Countries, northern Germany and Denmark experienced the greatest increase in the temperature of hottest days over the last 60 or so years. ”

    Of course, absolutely nothing to do with the post WW2 population boom and urban planning explosion.

    http://tinyurl.com/kk4vsxr

    What was the urban/rural temperature differential from UHI again? Oh yeah….about 2°C. The big question is, what does more damage. Burning stupid, or repeated facepalming?

  54. Since there are ‘no pinning points’ the glaciers must completely empty. But that begs the question: How did they form in the first place? Did PIG erodes its earlier pinning points? Did the glaciers form in one massive blizzard all at once?

  55. Goldenberg is completely deranged.

    Witness

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/08/white-men-environmental-movement-leadership?commentpage=1

    “Why are so many white men trying to save the planet without the rest of us?
    Climate change affects minorities and women, the elderly and the poor. But the leadership of the environmental movement is pale and male. That doesn’t look like progress”

    Best pay her no heed. She’s a Guardian shill of the very worst sort. And that’s saying something.

  56. @Bob Bajini says:May 12, 2014 at 7:24 pm
    =====================

    Bob. Look at the Goldenberg article I link to above. We rest our case. Suzanne is a propagandist. End of. And that once august newspaper, The Guardian, whose forefather, the Manchester Guardian I was brought up on, in its day a true bastion of classical Liberal* values, should hang its head in eternal shame. It’s trash now, of the worst sort.

    * Ille est, not the modern Left Liberal, which, in newspeak is of course anything BUT Liberal.

  57. The narrative works. Lie first, lie big. Just watching a BBC Breakfast item on the newspapers at 5:50am and they talked about not being able to do anything about global warming as its already here. No mention of the 1000 years, everything was couched in terms of immediacy. Even journalists don’t read the small print and are fooled by the article. Ultimate scaremongering

  58. Jeff in Calgary says:
    May 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm
    “Isn’t this about a floating ice sheet? How is a floating ice sheet melting going to raise sea levels? Am I missing something?

    I think the reasoning is this: Antarctic ice extends to high elevations but slopes down to the Ocean. The downhill moving ice gets to the ocean and while having a “grounding” comes in contact with the sea ice. As “global warming” melts the sea ice, that will remove the back-pressure and allow the sloping land ice to more rapidly move downhill. Someone has suggested this is like the cork in a bottle of bubbly – once movement has started it cannot be stopped. So into the ocean the land ice goes and the sea level rises. We are doomed.
    Then again, why hasn’t this happened during any of the previous warm periods?
    You will have to followup on this if you like. I’m not inclined to read much of this junk.

  59. Bob Bajini says:
    May 12, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I’d like to note a fact about this posting and all the ensuing comments. Both call and response are solely concerned with the language of the Guardian article. No one has evidenced any interest in pursuing a discourse concerning the substance of the papers on which the media is reporting.

    “Jokers on the right of me, jokers on the left of me”

    “No one”? Nonsense. I left a long post about the substance:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/12/the-guardians-suzanne-goldenberg-jumps-the-shark-again-gets-called-out-by-nyt/#comment-1634668

  60. Bob: “Both call and response are solely concerned with the language of the Guardian article. No one has evidenced any interest in pursuing a discourse concerning the substance of the papers on which the media is reporting.”

    Indeed, this is an article about the stupidity of Goldberg’s pseudo-journalism, not about the papers.

  61. Some crazy people just can’t feel ‘happy’ and ‘contented’ unless they think the world is about to end…

  62. When the most so called “powerful” people (Obama , Putin and that gang) can stand in front of us (their employers) and blatantly lie. What the h..ll does anyone expect from a so called “journalist” at the Guardian or for that matter any MSM outlet and a guy like Carney? All they are after are money and grants (paid by you btw).

  63. I’m with noaaprogrammer above. I think we should actually start putting out stuff just as absurd about global climate spots, stating the most dire made-up news possible that has a basis in truth. It will add to the garbage and people will start to see through it. I’ll start:

    http://www.thehighesttides.com/

    “Scientists are concerned about rising high tides after it was revealed that the tide in the Bay of Fundy could rise by up to 53 metres this year. Scientists point out that if global oceans rise by the same amount then 4 billion people will be displaced, and global starvation will cause the death of the rest of the world’s population. Scientists have called for more funding to study this enormous threat to mankind.”

  64. This type of accounting probably makes sense to those more familiar to analyzing the spending habits of the one percent, but normal folks know that to find accumulation of something you consider income as well as outgo. Glaciers eventually flow into the oceans just as rivers do and rivers don’t raise the levels of the oceans without a deficit of return.

    Any movement that can find an AGW link between their climate hypothesis and the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria is not to be considered sane.

    Any observers that have watched this thing from “overpopulation” to “global ice-age” to “mass famine” to “global warming” to “climate change,” and expect an apology from the wrong headed Left that has serially proposed such nonsense are equally insane.

    To the Left (however it is currently manifested): The only truth is that which advances the cause and that which retards the cause is false because the cause is the ultimate truth.

    Where science goes wrong is in fighting religion with facts and logic. Religion stands on different legs than science. The wrongness of these serial failures of predictions* is in suggesting that, because of their cause, “they” have some innate right to tell me what kind of light bulb, deodorant or food I can use.

    * These were not failures of the movement as in all cases the serial failures (failures from a science standpoint) actually served the purposes of the movement, or cause. The motivating crises are disposable and, like shoes, wear out and need replacing from time to time.

  65. A good indicator of a bullshit article is when there is no comments section included at the bottom. The bbc and guardian don’t allow comments on their propaganda material.

  66. conscious1 says:

    “The WAIS has disappeared completely during past interglacials.”

    Actually there is almost no concrete evidence for this, and a lot against it. For example there is ice older than the last Interglacial in a number of places in West Antarctica. According to the ANDRILL core the last time the WAIS was perhaps significantly smaller than now was during MIS 31, the 14:th last Interglacial, more than a million years ago.

  67. BBC used it as a “main” headliine this morning?? Yawnn!! nothing to see here move along LOL!

  68. A few of the comments above refer to a lack of sceptical comment at the Guardian;there is a very good reason for that , they ban anyone who argues with the resident warmista trolls or who points out that the articles , especially by Nutticelli are essentially extraordinarily lazy “journalism”.
    I have been banned for the third time by the muppets. I,m sure they can find a consensus whenever they like , just shut out the dissent.
    Just have to figure out my next guise to get back in and wind them up.

  69. Sorry if this has been said already but here’s a thought. The premise of the paper is that once the ice thins, or sea level rises, the grounding line will move south allowing the ice to be further melted from below. If this ice started off as the lower part of a glacier it is highly likely to contain a substantial quantity of ground-up rock that has been scraped of the continent. When the ice melts this rock will be deposited, until the sea bed is raised to the new level of the ice sheet and equilibrium is restored. The runaway melting that the paper claims would thus be avoided.

  70. Based on my veranda thermometers temperature curves, my Z1 HP supercomputer and bad statistical knowledge I make the following predictions: There will be much more ice in 3125. Because there is so much water on the planet which still is not ice. And my refrigerator tells me, even when there is warm air behind it, it is very cold inside. This is based on physical principles. So global warming will cause cooling. Now, prove me wrong for my year 3125 predictions.

  71. It’s too bad the earth surface can’t rebound IF there is less ice atop it.
    Then we might have had a chance.

    If only…

  72. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Skippy darling, your logical train has slipped into the sea. One cannot reliably assess or criticize Goldenberg’s putative sensationalist presentation of the authors’ ideas without examining those ideas.The charge leveled on Goldenberg – whether accurate or not – is predicated upon the content of the scientific articles.

    Thus Spoke Bajini

    “Skiphil says:
    May 12, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    uhhhh Bob, maybe that’s because the thread IS about the Guardian article and its hyped presentation of the putative scientific facts. You are free to display your scientific prowess at any time, but spare us the sanctimonious twaddle about “jokers” who comment on the actual lead posting.”

  73. Jimbo says:
    May 12, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    Captain, the ice is breaking up.

    IN the last decade of the nineteenth century, between 1892 and 1897,

    ————————

    Tying in with Jimbo’s account from another source,

    19th century-

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/climate/Iceberg.htm

    In 1893 (after arriving in Nelson in September 92), the iron sailing ship “Margaret Galbraith” was homeward bound around Cape Horn. Mr. N.H. Burgess the 2nd Officer reported that from three days north of the Falklands to about one weeks sailing north of the Falklands they were “among the ice,” which culminated with a days sailing past a single giant berg “40 to 50 miles long,” The account suggest the ship may have been only making 3 to 5 knots around this time, certainly at night one would expect them to throttle back. They had a close call on first encountering the ice north of the Falklands.
    It may be partly by chance that the length of this iceberg was reported because the sailing people seemed more impressed by the height of ice encountered than the extent of any particular piece. The 40 to 50 mile long berg mentioned above was reported as being 1000 ft asl at the NE end.

    [5] The 1000 ton plus iron sailing ship “Himalaya”, on a 109 day voyage from Liverpool to Wellington, departed 9, November 1894 and arrived 25, February, 1895. The captain reported seeing several icebergs off the Cape (of Good Hope) and then, “.. that from the Cape to the Crozets was a most trying time as icebergs were in sight for a distance of two thousand miles.”

    Alaska glaciers have been melting for 250 years and now they are growing,

    ” for who is to say the snake will not turn into a dragon”

  74. three days north of the Falklands to about one weeks sailing north of the Falklands they were “among the ice,”

    so between a 150- 300 miles north of the falklands they find this massive iceberg, what size was it when it started out!!

  75. Giant iceberg spotted south of Australia
    Dec 09, 2009

    http://phys.org/news179556530.html

    so this one is much, much, much, smaller than the 19th century one and they say-

    “Young described the icebergs as uncommon, but said they could become more frequent if sea temperatures rise through global warming”

    Was the 19th century as warm as today?

  76. Jeff in Calgary says: Isn’t this about a floating ice sheet? How is a floating ice sheet melting going to raise sea levels? Am I missing something?

    John F. Hultquist says: I think the reasoning is this: Antarctic ice extends to high elevations but slopes down to the Ocean…

    People seem to be missing the key point that the bedrock the ice sheet sits on is already below sea level, and as you move further into the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the bedrock only gets deeper. The more it retreats, the larger the face that can be melted from below by the ocean. The part of the ice sheet that is above sea level will add to sea level when it disappears. The part below sea level will not.

    This little animation from one of the many links with further information might help clarify what’s going on:

    http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/earth/antarctica-telecon20140512/

  77. Wrong, Bob, my logic is impeccable but your reading comprehension is deficient.

    You are not understanding either the sentences in the head posting or the clear statement in my comment. The thread is clearly about discrepancies and exaggeration comparing the authors’ claimed results of the study with the hysteria of the Guardian deadline and article.

    That is why my statement said “putative scientific facts.”. Assume the Abstract’s summary of the study’s findings to be correct. Does the Guardian headline and article provide an accurate and precise summary, or not?

    This is a perfectly legitimate activity, taking the summary which the study’s author provide and assessing whether or not the journalists have given an appropriate review of the findings.

    You are free to compare the Abstract in detail with the contents of the paper(s) (which you have yet to do here, since you prefer cheap shots at Anthony and the commenters). The thread (and my comment) OBVIOUSLY refererence the journalistic exaggerations of the authors’ own summary of their study. Consider the plain meaning of Revkin’s statement quoted near the top of the thread:

    Awful misuse of “Collapse” in headlines on centuries-long ice loss in W. Antarctica. See rates in papers. Same as ’09
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/study-west-antarctic-melt-a-slow-affair/
    1:54 PM – 12 May 2014 Manhattan, NY, United States

  78. I know two polar ice experts. The new study doesn’t contain anything that they haven’t been saying for years.

  79. These climate alarmists have no credibility predicting weather in the short term so they have now picked a time frame that is more safe for them, namely a 1000 years away. Unable to predict even the next season (as we saw with the last US and UK winter predictions and the 17 years of global temperature pause instead of unprecedented warming , they are now grasping at straws with even worse predictions .

  80. Seems like we have two problems here: (1) the authors need to go back to Glaciology 101 and learn how glaciers work, and (2) the journalists need to stop hyping things they know nothing about. Keep in mind we’re talking here about a small part of the glacial system of West Antarctica which makes up a tiny fraction of the total glacial ice in Antarctica. This is not the main Antarctic ice sheet, which is the East Antarctic glacier.

    What glaciers do is determined by the amount of accumulation of ice and snow in their upper parts and the amount of ice lost in their lower parts. The terminus of a glacier that ends in the sea can be affected by changes in the position of the grounding line (the place where sea water reaches beneath the glacier and separates the glacier from its bed. The entire glacier is NOT controlled by the position of the grounding line. Shifts of the grounding from time to time occurs also in Alaskan glaciers and what happens is the calving rate goes up and a section of the lower glacier may break up until a new grounding line is established. The terminus of the glacier then stabilizes and the effect is not felt in the upper reaches at the glacier source. These folks seem to think that a glacier is controlled by its grounding line (like a stopper in a bottle) and if it moves the entire glacier will slide into the sea! Nonsense. What will probably happen to these four small glaciers is the position of the grounding line will simply move upstream a bit, re-establish, and the glaciers will stabilize at the new terminal position. The West Antarctic ice sheet is NOT collapsing, the retreat of these small glaciers is NOT caused by global warming (neither the globe nor Antarctica have warmed in almost 18 years), and sea level is NOT going to rise 10 feet.

    As for journalistic hype, the only thing you can say is that it’s total crap. The Guardian hype is laughable–all they have done is destroy what is left of their credibility. The NY Times continues to lose its credibility with Gillis’s statement:

    “The finding, which had been feared by some scientists for decades, means that a rise in global sea level of at least 10 feet may now be inevitable. The rise may continue to be relatively slow for at least the next century or so, the scientists said, but sometime after that it will probably speed up so sharply as to become a crisis.” (Gillis, NY Times)

    Some calving of the termini of these four small glaciers is not going to raise sea level 10 feet–
    the rise of sea level will continue at about 7 inches per century and we will see little, if any, effect from changing the grounding line of these glaciers.

    • The most likely cause seems to be geothermal and not warm sea water. https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/25611.aspx Didn’t know there is a rift between E & W Antarctica.

      Until the retreat in the grounding lines halt this is something to monitor closely. There is only a 5% chance of collapse in 200 years but I have witnessed how fast volcano’s can change topography at Mt St Helen’s.

  81. Don Easterbrook says:

    Don, you can’t compare WAIS with Alaskan glaciers. The WAIS sits on a basin that is up to 2500M below sea level. Once water gets between the land that anchors the glacier its flow can increase. This is what is being measured. The rates of flow have increased likely due to a lack of impingement at the grounding lines. No scientists are claiming the glaciers will collapse into the sea in a rapid manner. Just that the rate of loss will continue to increase due to positive feedbacks.

  82. Don Easterbrook says: What will probably happen to these four small glaciers is the position of the grounding line will simply move upstream a bit, re-establish, and the glaciers will stabilize at the new terminal position.

    Based on what? What are they going to re-establish and stabilize on? This is nothing like Alaska. The bedrock is below sea level and deepens as you go “inland”. The surface area of ice exposed to ocean water grows as the grounding line retreats. The process is described here:
    http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/news/antarctic-ice-sheet-20140512/

    Instead of sweeping one-size-fits-all statements about how glaciers behave, a response to what is actually being observed and discussed in West Antarctica would be more appropriate.

  83. conscious1 says: The most likely cause seems to be geothermal and not warm sea water.

    There is volcanic activity in the area, but it appears to be too localized to explain the changes observed along the length of the Amundsen Sea coast of West Antarctica. From the British Antarctic Survey:

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=341

    The flow of this glacier towards the coast has speeded up in recent decades and it may be possible that heat from the volcano has caused some of that acceleration. However, it cannot explain the more widespread thinning of West Antarctic glaciers that together are contributing nearly 0.2mm per year to sea-level rise. This wider change most probably has its origin in warming ocean waters.

  84. conscious1 says:
    May 13, 2014 at 8:43 am
    (criticising Don Easterbrook says:)

    Don, you can’t compare WAIS with Alaskan glaciers. The WAIS sits on a basin that is up to 2500M below sea level. Once water gets between the land that anchors the glacier its flow can increase. This is what is being measured.

    And somehow you are trying to imply that the WAIS touches that 2500 meter-deep ocean floor somewhere under the WAIS? Nonsense.

    Also, “This is what is being measured romanticized/predicted/publicized/propagandized.”

    You need to present a few simple facts, since you are trying to defend this propaganda as your religious acolytes write papers supporting their funding sources in their administration’s bureaucracies ….

    What is the actual cross-section of the ocean floor from sea level out to the continental shelf under the WAIS?
    What is the cross-section of the WAIS from top-of-mountain (inland, where WAIS thickness = 0.0 meters), out to the continental rock at sea level, out to the furthest edge?
    What is the height of the WAIS at the 0,0 sea level intersection of the WAIS and the continental rock?
    What is the height above sea level, and below sea level of the WAIS at its furthest edge?
    What is the depth of the ocean floor under the WAIS at its furthest edge from the continental rock?
    (See above, obviously.)

    These so-called “scientists” writing for publicists and bureaucrats sucking the public tax dollars for their endless funding and energy control programs are similar to those who claim the Greenland ice sheets will “slide off into the sea” … when the central Greenland ice caps are sloped off of mountainous rings around Greenland that force the ice sheet back AWAY from the sea. Who predict in their publicity that Greenland glaciers (the tiny, short 50 kilometers around the OUTSIDE of Greenland’s mountains predict the behavior of the massive 1000 kilometer-wide central Greenland ice sheets.

  85. RACookPE1978 says: “A few facts, since you are trying to defend this propaganda”

    I’m not defending any propaganda. The media portrayal of this issue is absurd.

    This issue has been studied since 1968 and the observed retreat of grounding lines, thinning of glaciers and increase in their flow rates is empirical evidence that this is a potentially unstable system. I think the authors are making some assumptions about future warming and I wonder if global cooling could reverse this trend but the fact is that water has come between below sea level grounding lines.

    Are you going to deny the physically measured evidence because the media has wildly overblown the issue?

  86. sure thing leo, it isnt the KNOWN HEAT coming from the volcano doing the melting it clearly has to be the HUMAN caused heating that we CANT FIND!

  87. conscious1 says:
    May 13, 2014 at 8:43 am
    (criticising Don Easterbrook says:)

    Don, you can’t compare WAIS with Alaskan glaciers. The WAIS sits on a basin that is up to 2500M below sea level. Once water gets between the land that anchors the glacier its flow can increase. This is what is being measured.

    —————————————————

    We are not to compare WAIS with Alaskan glaciers because (description of WAIS) WHEREAS (missing) (description of Alaskan glaciers)(missing).

    Half a contrast is no contrast.

    The same with the next sentence; the preposition ‘between’ needs an ‘and’ to make any sense.

    We are left to infer what is meant in an incoherent sentence.

    AFAIK, the termini of the glaciers in Prince William Sound are sitting on rock that is below sea level. They’re able to advance further as long as the terminal moraine prevents the sea from under-cutting the glacial snout. Eventually, the waves win and rapid retreat occurs. Once the terminus retreats to shore, the end moraine begins to reform and the glacier can advance.
    Glaciers Columbia and Meares are only a few miles apart and yet one is strongly retreating and the other strongly advancing. Numerous other tidewater glaciers are known to have undergone multiple cycles of retreat and advance of tens of miles in the past.

  88. “New study indicates loss of West Antarctic glaciers appears unstoppable”

    If it’s unstoppable, there’s nothing we can do, right?

    So let’s stop all the whining and demanding our money and just enjoy the (thousands of years of) life we’ve got left. :-D

  89. Criticism for alarmism here should go to the paper’s author, not the Guardian, since Rignot used it in the press release – interview process:

    “The collapse of this sector of West Antarctica appears to be unstoppable,”

    Authors sometime have a hard time sticking to the text of their own papers.

  90. mebbe says: -Yea my grammar sucks. Are you an English teacher?

    You have a valid point about the termini of Alaskan glaciers but all of those originate above sea level. Once they retreat to land the ocean can’t continue to undercut it. The WAIS has no such limitation. That is why you can’t compare the two systems.

    Until there is evidence that the retreat in grounding lines has stopped their theory of unstoppable loss has support. I think they are making linear projections based on limited data. It may be natural for grounding lines to retreat and advance there but the limited window of observation only shows rapid retreat.

  91. It is my understanding that there is a scientific difference between land-ice and sea-ice. Is that understanding correct?

    Doesn’t that seem like something that should be explained to us common-folk? Can we have a primer on how those two separate ice-bodies act? i.e. I’m assuming sea-ice melts and freezes every year while land-ice is slightly more permanent. Or is this incorrect? Anyway, it sounds like land-ice may be melting at a rate that is greater than historical trends. Is that true? It sounds like sea-ice is growing at a rate higher than historical trends. Is that true?

  92. So . . . am I to understand that large glacial flows in the West Antarctic are flowing UPHILL as a result of CAGW?

    Hmmm . . . this new learning amazes me.

  93. Jacob says: Your understanding is correct.

    There is a theory that states the increase in Antarctic sea ice is because of all the fresh water floating on top as a result of the melting of WAIS. I would love to know if this theory has any validity. I have been using Antarctic ice extent as proof CAWG fears are overblown for years. If the theory is correct I have been wrong about it being proof of a lack of warming.

  94. conscious1,

    It’s a very typical (but, to my mind, bizarre) assumption that only teachers appreciate perspicuous prose. I sure ain’t one and I don’t consider myself gratuitously pedantic, either. I just begrudge having to re-read a sentence because solecisms have made it ambiguous or undecipherable.
    Many grammatical mistakes don’t confuse one too much but sometimes just an excess apostrophe can lead you down the wrong path for several words.

    Anyway, there’s much about the descriptions of the dynamics of the WAIS that strains my credulity.

  95. Bob Kutz says:
    May 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    “So . . . am I to understand that large glacial flows in the West Antarctic are flowing UPHILL as a result of CAGW? ”

    No, the WAIS reaches heights of 3000M above sea level. The theory is that below sea level water is getting under the ice sheet making it flow faster. I believe it to be very dishonest blaming human emissions as the cause.

  96. “And there’s not any significant warming over the entire continent, as it is nearly flat as well (from 70S to the pole” …
    That graph looks like there has been no warming, even a decline, in the recent decade. So it is “nearly flat” if you start at the left, but, using Christopher’s technique, starting at today, and working backwards as far as you can go, while still keeping the slope of the trend line at zero or negative… it will go back a ways… no recent warming, even cooling in recent times

  97. Or, to look at this another way, here is what should have been the headline for this story;

    “One of the most striking features is they have been reacting almost simultaneously. We do think this is related to climate warming.” — lead author of the study Eric Rignot, glaciologist at the University of California, Irvine, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

    If it hasn’t anything to do with warming then it necessarily has nothing to do with anthropogenic warming.

  98. The next time you see a news story that screams about Antarctic ice bergs floating in the southern oceans are a sure sign of global warming – show them this.

    Abstract – 2005
    Icebergs near New Zealand and related phenomena
    Icebergs were seen in the Southern Ocean between Campbell and Antipodes Islands in late December 2004. This note lists other times when icebergs were sighted near New Zealand, in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the South Island cold weather patterns, exceptional snowfalls, massive snow avalanching and glacier expansion episodes were broadly coincidental with the times of iceberg appearance relatively close to our shores.

    …………….During the 19th century there were occasions when bergs were much more abundant and travelled much further north than at any time since……

    In the summer of 1892 a major influx of icebergs, the northernmost at 42° 20´S was observed around the Chatham Islands. More bergs drifted around the Antipodes and Bounty Islands. At this time (1892-1893) there were many berg sightings about or north of the 60th
    parallel between 170° and 140° W. Again, in the summers of 1894, 1897 and 1898
    there were many icebergs around Bounty and the Antipodes Islands……
    source

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

    Antarctic icebergs near New Zealand
    …The icebergs reported by Russell (1895) from sightings between 1888 and 1895; from N.Z. Marine Department records 1922 to 1948* in the area from Australia to South America, and the records of bergs occurring between 1892 and 1899 (Meteorological Office, London, 1907) are plotted in Figs 1 and 2. The Hinemoa records (Fig. 3) are of a field of bergs seen around the Antipodes Islands in 1897…..

    In September and October 1892 large numbers of very big icebergs were reported from vessels at points between 200 n.m. (nautical miles) east of New Zealand and 300 n.m. east of the Chatham Islands, between latitudes 42° S and 50° S. S.S. Coptic (between 180° and 174° W in 46° S) “met some enormous icebergs two hundred and fifty feet high“; S.S. Star of England reported “The morning after leaving Lyttelton, New Zealand, saw huge iceberg, a little later engines had to be stopped; completely surrounded by icebergs. Nothing but ice three hundred feet high could be seen from aloft………

    Shand (1893) describes the bergs of this group as seen from the Chatham Islands on 28 and 29 October 1892 and for “a week or more” after. More than eight bergs were seen, the largest “not less than 500 ft in height“,…..
    (source – pdf)

    Someone at the Guardian recently suggested that global warming sank the Titanic. It was pointed out that ice-bergs at that time so far south were a sign of cooling. She backed down a little but kept pointing to her source. She forgot to read the caveats there.

  99. @conscious1 Thanks for the response. Maybe I missed the blog post that went over all the nitty-gritty stuff.

  100. A Primer, As-Ordered.

    But there are actually five different “ice” geometries. If you confuse approximation appropriate (somewhat) to one to the others, you can get very, very confused. (Or re-educated,as the CAGW religion desires, that is.)

    From the interior out towards the sea. But let’s start below sea level, since the “central Greenland” AND Antarctic basins – the rock that is the “bottom” of the ice caps in these regions ARE below sea level near their centers. So, we have a very, very wide “bowl” of bare rock, very, very gradually sloping from the coastal mountain ranges DOWN towards a low point below sea level, then very, very gradually sloping back UP towards the mountain ranges that form the the other boundary.

    Imagine, if you will, the tops of the Appalachians in eastern NY stae, then sloping down towards Lake Eire and Lake Ontario (“sea level”) then under those lakes to their rocky bottoms and back up towards another east-west mountain range north of Lake Ontario. the BARE ROCK (NOT the top of the ice caps!) looks like a very large, immense but very, very shallow “saucer” with high bare ridges on both sides, and a low area in the middle. (The middle of the saucer happens to be below sea level. )

    Now, the walls of this 2000 kilometer-wide saucer are only 2 – 3 kilometers high! Bare rock (now) but “only” 1, 2, and 3 kilometers high! (The “valleys” (passes) between the peaks are “lower” than the maximums obviously, but still high above sea level, and the peaks are higher yet.) Now, if I fill the center of this 2000 kilometer wide “saucer” with jello (gelatin, pudding, or the semi-solid food of your choice) I can fill the center higher than the edges, right? So, this sticky, not-very fluid, “ice” is the continetntal ice cap of both Greenland and Antarctica. Its center is below sea level, squished in place by the 3300 meter high spot, trapped but not-perfectly-rigidily-in-place by the hig coastal mountains surrounding a center valley whose center is below sea level.

    BUT THE SLOPE OF THIS ICE CAP CANNOT “MOVE” ICE. The “ice” is trapped by the high mountain ranges on all sides (with a very, very few “valleys where the ice can slowly flow out) and MUST stay in place. The “slope” of this central high ice cap “slope” – at 1/1000 slope. ZERO. Now, it would appear that the “cie” would flow out from the center towards the sea, but the friction of the ice against the rock below, the nearly zero slope of the center “peak” against a rocky, mountainous edge higher than the central peak, and the near-zero “sideways force” of a near-zero slope trying to move ice “uphill” towards these boundary ridges mean that the central ice cannot move.

    What is deposited by snowfall, rain, ice, and precipitation is lost by sublimation, evaporation, and meltwater going down under the icecap and then slowly out through the valleys thousands of kilometers away.

    So, meltwater.

    Supposedly, meltwater under glaciers “accelerates” them by reducing friction. In Alpine glaciers 1/4 kilometer to 1 kilometer wide, meltwater has occasionally DOES speed up glaciers downhill. Then it promptly goes away through the lowest flowing path under the glacier between the glacier and the bedrock, and LEAVES. Meltwater CANNOT “build up” into a multi-tens-and-hundreds-of-kilometer-wide slick and perfectly lubricated luge track speeding that thousand-kilometer wide ice cap downhill (actually “uphill”) against the sloping bedrock!

    Area of Greenland ice cap = 17.0 Mkm^2.
    Area of Antarctic ice cap = 14.0 Mkm^2.

    NEITHER cie cap gas a CONSTANT thickness nor weight nor cross-section. Keep ALWAYS that 1:1000 slope of their upper ice surface. And the mountain ranges that trap both on all sides: north, east, south, and west.

    Second type of ice: Classic Alpine Glacier.

    Very, very steeply sloped, very narrow “river” of ice. Well-defined start point -> high against a very high bare rock wall ABOVE a sloping glacier valley aimed directly downhill to a warmer outlet below. NEVER longer than the mountain it started against. Usually 5 kilometer to 25 kilometer long. Very, very few longer 25-30 kilometers. Some even only 1-2 kilometer long.

    This is the “glacier ice” you have been indoctrinated into believing exist everywhere. It doesn’t. The Alpine glaciers around Greenland and in some places around Antarctica are just that: AROUND the edges of that continent and island. They do move at varying rates at different times. they do melt and retreat whenever deposits at the top are less than melting at the bottom. they move directly proportional the difference in height of absolute top and absolute bottom, friction level between bottom and middle, and the “sharpness” of their entrapping valley walls.

  101. South pole is 90 degrees south, not zero. You have shown the TLT data from the equator to 70 degrees south. Eric Swanson, pointed this out to Eli. FWIW 60-70 will cover the edge of the continent.

    [simple typo in choosing the graph from the FTP site - removed since there is no coverage over the S pole -Anthony]

  102. Let us continue with the requested “Primer” ….

    Continental Shelf Ice. Very, very thick but fragmented and compressed ice.

    Shelf Ice extends (obviously!) from the surface down to bedrock, OR from the surface down to the bottom edge of the floating shelf ice. The ice shelf can ONLY “ground” against the bedrock on the ocean floor where the ocean is “shallow” enough (close enough so the the 0,0 of the sea floor) so that the ice that is underwater can touch the ocean floor. Assume you have a 100 meter thick “ice shelf” on a constantly-sloping perfectly even rock bedrock. At the intersection of bedrock and sealevel, the ice shelf is 100 meter thick, the top of ice is 100 meters ASL.

    We move out to sea a little ways. The ice shelf is still 100 meters thick, but the top of bedrock is at sea level – 50 meters. The ice shelf is grounded still on bedrock, but is “at sea, right? But it ISN’T “floating” at all, it is stuck fast against the sea floor bu the 50 meters weight of ice above sea level. “hot water” under this mass of sea ice “might” melt it some, but that “hot water” needs to be constantly replaced (or it will freeze out by the -54 degree air temperature keeping the top of ice shelf ice at -54 degree C. )

    Now, let’s more to 75 meters sea floor bottom. Bottom of ice shelf = -75 meters. Top of ice shelf = 25 meters. Same as at 50 metrs depth.

    But, at -90 meters depth or deeper, the ice MUST start floating. Or begin freezing above up on top so that it gets thicker, gets heavier, and is forced deeper. Top of ice shelf above sea level cannot be higher than 1/10 sea floor depth, or the ice shelf will begin floating. Its edge might get pushed out into shallower water, or into a bay or inlet or up against an off-shore island, but the ice shelf itself will always be either gaining mass and getting forced down against the seafloor, losing mass and beginning to float up off the sea floor, or be already heavier (thicker than 90% of the sea floor depth) than seawater and be grounded firmly into the sea floor rock and debris.

    Note: The NSIDC has assured me that the they do NOT include ice shelves – off of Greenland AND off of Antarctica as a partof “sea ice”. Great Lakes “freshwater” sea ice is also NOT included in their daily reports of sea cie extents and sea ice area.

    Sea Ice. This ice is always floating on the sea surface. Freezing out from the air cooling the top of the water, or from the air cooling the top of sea ice, then this heat energy moving up through he existing sea ice from the hot water (2-4 degree C) to the bottom of the existing sea ice.

    Sea ice varies through the year. Sea ice might be blown up against continental ice, and might be (almost always, actually) touching or bumping against grounded or floating shelf ice, but is not a part of either system Glacier ice flowing out of a glacier valley into the sea moves and drops off small icebergs into the sea ice, which just gets moved sideways and bumped away from the glacier.

  103. The rest of the blogosphere is chuckling over “70S to the pole”. The graph says “70S to 0.0″, which is from 70 degrees south to the EQUATOR. RSS apparently doesn’t cover the pole, because of the orbit it’s in.

    [REPLY: And it was removed. Mr. Thorstensen. I'll chuckle over the fact that you think RSS is "in orbit". - Anthony]

  104. Typical liberal BS. Make it up as you go, lie, lie, lie. Now all those gullible inferior thinking liberal losers are running around screaming “The sky is falling”. How irresponsible but then it is all about fake science, pushing propaganda, and the religion of Globally Warming/Climate Change or whatever they are calling it lately. These liberal control freaks will do and say any breaking lie

  105. Notice that Suzanne Goldenberg’s story on this in the Guardian has comments turned off. Hmmmm.

  106. Re Jimbo says: May 12, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    Captain, the ice is breaking up.

    The 1929 paper linked here:

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/208079?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21103345664011

    contains an interesting sentence that might offer a clue to when the term “El Niño” came into general use:
    “He shows that the Humboldt Current must have been deflected westwards early in 1925, allowing the warm coastal waters from the Bay of Panama, i.e. the countercurrent El Niño, to penetrate southwards along the coast and tuns cause an abnormal rainfall along the arid coasts of Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.”

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