The Ice in Greenland is Growing

Old Radar Sites In Greenland Show Icecap Growth Over the Years

(And let’s not forget what we’ve learned about the temperature reporting from the DEW line Radar Stations – Anthony)

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow

Though the ice may be melting around the edges of the Greenland Icecap in recent years during the warm mode of the AMO much as it did during the last warm phase in the 1930s to 1950s, snow and ice levels continue to rise in most of the interior. Johannessen in 2005 estimated an annual net increase of ice by 2 inches a year.

greenland-ice-growth

(Above: Recent Ice-Sheet Growth in the Interior of Greenland, Ola M. Johannessen, Kirill Khvorostovsky, Martin W. Miles, Leonid P. Bobylev, Science Express on 20 October 2005 Science 11 November 2005: Vol. 310. no. 5750, pp. 1013 � 1016, DOI: 10.1126/science.1115356)

A Canadian Icecap emailer noted during the cold war there were two massive radar sites built on the Greenland icecap now abandoned. They are called Dye-2 and Dye-3. When built they sat high above the snow, recent pictures show how the snow is building up around them, proving the snow build-up in recent times. This demonstrates this snow accumulation over time.

Dye-2 and 3 were among 58 Distance Early Warning Line radar stations built by America between 1955-1960 across Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Iceland at a cost of billions of dollars. Their powerful radars monitored the skies constantly in case Russia decided to send bombers towards America. After extensive studies in late 1957, the USAF selected sites for two radar stations on the ice cap in southern Greenland. Dye-2 was to be built approximately 100 miles east of Sondrestrom AB and 90 miles south of the Arctic Circle at an altitude of 7, 600 feet, and Dye-3 was to be located approximately 100 miles east of DYE II and slightly south at an elevation of 8,600 feet.

The selected locations for the new radar sites were found to receive from three to four feet of snow fall each year. Since the winds were constantly blowing with speeds as much as 100 mph, this snow accumulation constantly formed large drifts. To overcome this potential problem, it was decided that the Dye sites should be elevated approximately twenty feet above the surface of the ice cap.

Dye 3 was built in 1960. From a distance the structure, with its onion-shaped dome, looks like a Russian orthodox church. Dye 3 was an ice core site and previously part of the DEW line in Greenland.  (The Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line: A Bibliography and Documentary Resource List Arctic Institute of North America, Page 23). As a Distant Early Warning line base, it was disbanded in years 1990/1991. The Dye 3 cores were part of the GISP (Greenland Ice Sheet Project initiated in 1971) and, at 2037 meters, was the deepest of the 20 ice cores recovered from the Greenland ice sheet as part of GISP. Samples from the base of the 2km deep Dye 3 and the 3km deep GRIP cores revealed that high-altitude southern Greenland has been inhabited by a diverse array of conifer trees and insects within the past million years. (Eske Willerslev, et al. (2007) Ancient Biomolecules from Deep Ice Cores Reveal a Forested Southern Greenland Science 317 111-114)

The first image below is from 1972.

image

See larger image here.

Here it is in 2006.

image

See larger image here.

In looking back at the time the sites were abandoned, one console operator lamented “We were very busy during this time and I was sad to see it end. I remember thinking of all the waste,” he said. The site is slowly disappearing into the snow. Its outbuildings are no longer visible and drifting snow will consume it completely one day, but that day appears to be decades away.” Read more here.

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vg

posted on solar 24
“Solar activity continues at very low levels and the sun remains blank of sunspots. We are going through what has been a much longer than expected solar minimum.”
As every month passes… looks more and more like David Archibald’s prediction’ are coming to fruition LOL

Eric

Altimeter measurements are not definitive. They do not measure the mass of the ice. They measure its altitude, but can’t determine the density.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070327122328.htm
“…Just a few years ago, the world’s climate scientists predicted that Greenland wouldn’t have much impact at all on sea level in the coming decades. But recent measurements show that Greenland’s ice cap is melting much faster than expected.
These new data come from the NASA/German Aerospace Center’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace). Launched in March 2002, the twin Grace satellites circle the globe using gravity to map changes in Earth’s mass 500 kilometers (310 miles) below. They are providing a unique way to monitor and understand Earth’s great ice sheets and glaciers.
Grace measurements have revealed that in just four years, from 2002 to 2006, Greenland lost between 150 and 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year. One cubic kilometer is equal to about 264 billion gallons of water. That’s enough melting ice to account for an increase in global sea level of as much as 0.5 millimeters (0.019 inches) per year, according to Isabella Velicogna and John Wahr of the University of Colorado, Boulder. They published their results in the scientific journal Nature last fall. Since global sea level has risen an average of three millimeters (0.1 inch) per year since 1993, Greenland’s rapidly increasing contribution can’t be overlooked. ..”

Patrick Henry

Sea level hasn’t risen for three years. If Greenland and Antarctica were melting, there would have to be an associated rise in sea level.
http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_noib_global_sm.jpg
Curious that the “world’s greatest climatologist” seems to have a different opinion, seemingly defying the laws of conservation of mass.
http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/news_repository/will-oceans-surge-59-centimetres-this-century-or-25-metres
a study led by James Hansen, the head of the climate science program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and a professor at Columbia University, suggests that current estimates for how high the seas could rise are way off the mark – and that in the next 100 years melting ice could sink cities in the United States to Bangladesh.

Patrick Henry

“That’s enough melting ice to account for an increase in global sea level of as much as 0.5 millimeters (0.019 inches) per year”
Eric,
At that rate, it will only take 2,000 years for sea level to rise another meter, on top of the 100 meters it has risen during the last 15,000 years. One meter is less than the difference between high and low tide on most beaches.

in the first photo, who is that guy in mukluks mooning us?

Bruce

I think the truth is they are still calibrating Grace.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215091013.htm
Some ice melts, the bedrock rises. More ice acculumlates, the bedrock sinks and they have to guess what it all means.

Jack Simmons

I remember reading the Club of Rome reports. Rather scary at the time, but today we can see the fallacy of extending trends.
At least the Club of Rome had the good sense to use real trends. Hansen is using imaginary trends from computer models to make his predictions.
If Greenland is melting, why aren’t these old DEW line installations high and dry?
Why is it World War II planes left there 60 years ago are hundreds of feet down in the ice?
And these people are worrying about 2% of an inch rise in ocean levels per year?
Sometime in the future, and I don’t think it will be decades, people will simply laugh at this silliness.

Peter S

The 1972 picture shows the snow already engulfing this building – it was originally built on stilts.
This very nice photo from ’67 shows the original construction…
http://www.firebirds.org/menu10/mn10_p29.htm

Rick Doyle

I do not know if these sites were built directly on the ice, but if so the structures will slowly sink into the ice, just by their weight. (ref the South Pole Station’s building history)

anna v

It also shows the local effect of albedo, if it is not sinking in the ice by its weight as somebody offered.
I would think though that building on stilts, which is usual in areas where there is no solid ground, makes it stable enough. Other wise, if it were sinking, it would have tilted, since certainly the weight is not equally distributed.

philincalifornia

Why is it World War II planes left there 60 years ago are hundreds of feet down in the ice?
———————
Well, aside from the obvious snow, a bit of gravity maybe too ?? Which brings me to a similar layperson’s question:
I’ve lived in the East San Francisco Bay now for 30 years. For those who know it, I drive or walk the frontage road along the Bay between Emeryville and Berkeley frequently. As a photographer of wading birds, I have observed the mudflats many times at high tide, low tide and tides in-between. Now, although eyeballing may indeed be more accurate than getting your data from Hansen, I’m still wondering why the San Francisco Bay water level, by 30 years of eyeballing, looks like it’s lower. Is it:
a) because it is lower ?
b) because the seismic activity in the region is lifting the land mass ?
c) dredging of the mud has decreased ?
d) because Mr. Pauchuri thinks that I also believe that the earth is flat ?
e) through z) of other reasons ?
Anyone know ??

E.M.Smith

http://www.p38assn.org/glacier-girl.htm
WWII Bombers under ’25 stories’ of ice in Greenland… I’d guess that at 3 to 4 feet per year, more or less.
Gee, ice & snow accumulating in the interior and flowing to the edges where it melts near all the (relatively) warm water. Sounds like a normal glacier to me…
I think it was the History Channel had a film of the recovery and restoration of one of the P38 bombers. Amazing.

George E. Smith

Does the ice pack on Greenland grow. One measurement over a long period of the 20th century, when “global warming” was supposed to be rampant, was measured with the aid of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft.
A couple of B-17s and a gaggle of Lightning fighters were being ferried to England in 1942. They ran into heavy weather and had to put down on the ice in Greenland.
The crews were rescued; but it was concluded there was no reasonable way to get the aircraft off the ice again; so they were abandoned.
Many years later; around 2002 as I recall, the aircraft were discovered entombed in the ice (60 years after abandonment). Some of the planes got crushed by the ice on top of them, but at least one P-38 was considered to be sufficiently intact to be recoverable.
They dug down into the ice and removed the ice from around the plane nleaving a space, that enabled the plane to be taken apart and hauled to the surface. The plane was fully restored to flying condition, and a few years ago it took to the air somewhere ion Texas as I recall, after being entombed in the ice for 60 years.
Oh I forgot to mention; the P-38 was buried 262 feet under the ice, when it was discovered and salvaged.
And yes I am recounting this from memory; so all you doubters can google it up for yourself and correct my mistakes.
It is reasonable to conclude that the long term growth rate of Greenland ice in that part of the island is about 4.37 feet per year, so by the time we get that 10 deg C global warming rise in 100 years or so, and the oceans have risen 200 feet, the rest of those planes will be safely buried under about 550 to 600 feet of ice.

E.M.Smith

Jack Simmons (21:06:25) :
I remember reading the Club of Rome reports. Rather scary at the time, but today we can see the fallacy of extending trends.

Some of us can see the fallacy, others… Required reading in the Economics of Ecology class I took in the ’70s was “The Limits to Growth” by Medows et. al. (i.e. the Club of Rome stuff). The professor was very very good. Mr. Gustafson, I think it was. We had to read “Limits” for 2 or 3 weeks and he let us get up a good head of panic steam… then pulled the rug out.
We were then given a bibliography of the hundreds of works that had destroyed “Limits” and told to pick some percentage of them and report on them. We all felt suckered after reading the critiques… There is nothing like feeling “had” to turn you from the Dark Side 😉 In one swoop he created an entire classroom of new skeptics…
At least the Club of Rome had the good sense to use real trends. Hansen is using imaginary trends from computer models to make his predictions.
Um, I don’t think so. What “Limits” did was computer projections. The only major difference I can see between “Limits” and Hansen is that the models in “Limits” were far simpler (and still wrong). There was an attempt to say that they had not made predictions, only ‘projections’. More hog wash. When the book says ~”We are going to run out of natural gas in 10 years” that’s a prediction even if you wrap it in a disclaimer of ‘if all trends continue’.
The astute reader will notice that 40 years later we have record supplies of natural gas… “Limits” suffered from 2 major flaws (and many minor ones).
The most basic was taking resources as fixed amounts and applying exponential consumption models. Resources are not fixed, they are price dependent, and consumption models are not exponential, they are “S” shaped with price. They also applied exponentials to other things, like population growth, that are also “S” shaped rather then exponential. Their model was broken, rather like Hansen’s model.
The other major flaw was not allowing for resource substitution. Just how many vacuum tubes would it take to run your iPod? Oh, guess we don’t need all that much glass, energy, and metal after all since we’ve moved on from vacuum tubes… I now use a plastic bucket in the yard. When I was a kid it was galvanized steel. etc.
Sometime in the future, and I don’t think it will be decades, people will simply laugh at this silliness.
Yup. It will be added to “Y2k” and the “Tech Bubble” in the modern equivalent of “Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” (a Must Read, BTW…)
[Wow. Good to see someone who knows how resource dynamics wok and how the Club of Rome screwed up. ~ Evan]

John Philip

Patrick H – D’ya suppose the ice will melt more or less rapidly as temperatures rise?
This recent report on Abrupt Climate change
http://downloads.climatescience.gov/sap/sap3-4/sap3-4-final-report-ch2.pdf
estimated that each 1C rise in temperature adds about 300 Gt per year of ice mass balance loss (but with error bars of 133 Gt). A quick back-of-the-envelope territory sum and
1 cubic kilometre ice = approx 0.92 Gt
1 cubic kilomtere = 0.239 cubic miles
So each additional 1C adds about another 78 cubic miles / year to the rate of melt. An increase of 4C over todays’s temperatures would give a SLR of 0.17 inches/year, a crudely averaged linear increase of 3C between now and 2100 would result in a SLR from meltwater alone of about 12 inches, but with an uncertainty of about +-5 inches.
But the majority of projected SLR (about 70-75% according to the IPCC WG1 Technical Summary) is actually due to thermal expansion rather than meltwater. So a 1 to 1.5m SLR by 2100 is surely at the top end of the range, requiring a worst case temperature rise but it is not totally implausible. If the ice sheet disintegration proves to be non-linear, as Hansen speculates, and some recent observations seem to indicate, then multi-metre rises are a distinct possibility.

Philip_B

While snow added 60 cubic kilometers (14 cubic miles) of ice mass to Greenland’s interior each year between 2003 and 2005, the low-lying coast areas of Greenland lost nearly three times as much ice – 172 cubic kilometers (41 cubic miles) – each year during the same period.
This is the signature you would expect from a warming climate. Increased ice in the interior due to increased precipitation. Decreased ice at the margins due to melt.
I can’t say how valid/accurate the gravimetric measurements are, but I am suspicious of satellite data that is truncated and doesn’t show up to the present. I checked the GRACE website and there hasn’t been any more data published I could see (much of its in German). So all we have is 3 years of data for the Greenland ice melting much faster than thought claim.
If this was the serious problem claimed you’d think publishing the data would be a priority. Unless of course the newer data doesn’t show rapid accelerating ice melt.

janama

Here’s how they built them
http://www.lswilson.ca/dye2construct.htm

Patrick Henry

John Philip,
I’ve been watching global warming play out since about 1978, and have seen nothing dramatic happen. I don’t expect to see anything dramatic in the next 30 years. Looking at the history, we should expect another news cycle of global cooling hysteria within the next ten years.
“Only two things are infinite, the Universe and human stupidity – and I am not so sure about the former.”
Albert Einstein

Jerry

philincalifornia (21:47:44)
Very reasonable questions, Phil, but you wouldn’t believe how hard to answer.
First, some geology/geodesy (I’ll keep it simple, if only so I can understand it!). Far from being a billiard ball, the earth is more like a blob of jelly. It’s (nearly) a sphere because that minimises the sum of the potential energies of all its particles. It’s a flattened sphere because it’s rotating. If you disturb the shape of the earth, e.g. by spinning it faster or piling up a mountain range, it will quite rapidly adjust to the new equilibrium shape.
Now think of the Earth’s surface as flat. Except that it isn’t! Mountains stick up, and ocean basins go deep. The fastest-responding element on the surface is water. Actually that responds rather too fast, as it sloshes about under the influence of lunar, solar and all the other gravitational effects. Still, we can damp that out to get a mean sea level. But, the mountains, etc. are still floating on the rock of the mantle. As tectonic plates move about they pile up into each other and pull apart leaving gaps. In San Francisco you’ll know all about that!
Now 18,000 years ago a goodly part of the Northern hemisphere was covered with a couple of miles of ice. With a density of about .8 tons per cubic metre it was about a third of the density of rock, so it was the equivalent of about 4,000 feet of mountain pressing down, and in 18,000 years it has all gone. So now the rock that was underneath the ice finds itself deeper than it should be and so is forced up by the pressure on the mantle driven by those bits that were not ice-covered but driven up by the weight of the neighboring ice sheets (think rubber sheet on water with weights put on it).
OK so far? That’s isostacy. But it’s not the only thing that’s going on in the Earth’s surface. As Tectonic plates collide some slide down under others, forcing them up above where they “should” be – like the Rockies, Andes and Himalayas. There are also uneven distributions of mass within the Earth which mean that the theoretical surface is not even a flattened sphere. The ocean surface roughly follows the gravitational surface, but currents also distort things.
At the end of all that, what is sea level?
Crudely, anything but level. The geodetic answer is rather more complicated, but at the end of it to claim that sea levels are rising world-wide is highly questionable. Yes, we can measure overall sea levels from satellites, but only for the last 30 years or so. All previous records depend on tide poles at ports, and these were put in with reference to stable land levelling benchmarks. Ultimately, the land levelling benchmarks were put in with reference to sea level derived from years of tidal observatiions. Anyone see the circularity here?
Given that land levels are anthing but stable (the Indonesian earthquake of 2001 saw land level sprang up 5 metres in one go), anyone who tells you that world sea lavels have risen or fallen by x cm in the last century or so is talking b*****ks. The land surface is going up and down like a w’s ds all over the world, so to say that we can measure the level world-wide (as opposed to locally) to that degree of precision is compleat nonsense.

Neil Crafter

John Philip
Patrick H – D’ya suppose the ice will melt more or less rapidly as temperatures rise?
John Philip – D’ya suppose the ice will melt more or less rapidly as temperatures fall?

Carlo

Greenland appears to be floating upwards – its landmass is rising up to 4 centimetres each year, scientists reveal.
And the large country’s new-found buoyancy is a symptom of Greenland’s shrinking ice cap, they add.
“The Earth is elastic and if you put a load on top of it, then the surface will move down; if you remove the load, then the surface will start rising again,” explains Shfaqat Khan of the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen.
In the case of Greenland, the “load” is its ice cap, he says.
Such uplift is not an unknown phenomenon. Relic “raised beaches” are relatively common in some areas, where the loss of ice after the last Ice Age caused the land to rise, leaving beaches often metres above the water.
Khan and his team detected the country’s uplift using measurements from GPS stations located on the bedrock, underneath the ice.
Khan and his colleagues have been monitoring data from these stations since 2001 and have found that the southeastern tip of the country is definitely rising upwards. They have also found that the rate of rise has dramatically accelerated in recent years
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12872

Alan the Brit

Jerry 🙂
Brilliant! Just wish my geology lecturers could have put it all in so simple terms I would have understood it much better!
I have a suspicion that we are in free-fall over climate. We observe a change in something, being simple bead wearing stick waving humans we have to attribute it to the gods being angry at us, so we have to appease them! Why can’t think about these changes & conclude that they are simply things we haven’t noticed before, not that we’ve caused them to happen. It was warmer that today in the Bronze age, ditto in the Roman age – they made wine in Yorkshire for instance, it was warmer again in the MWP when the Vikings settled on Greenland, it warmed & cooled at least 4 times during the past 140 years or so. All these periods correlate better than CO2 levels in the atmosphere with changes in the Sun’s output & Sunspot activity.
The problem is that the Tyndall Centre & the Hadley Centre were all set up to find evidence of Global Warming caused by mankind. After a few years one has to produce results as large budgets are involved, along with salaries, pensions, career advancement, status, etc. The whole thing becomes a whirling mass of self-supporting & justifying for existence rather than pure research & science.
BTW, it’s ruddy cold in the UK right now again, a thick carpet of frost everywhere in the west, thank goodness the wind hasn’t returned! More coal please!

Thomas J. Arnold.

George E.Smith.
A man who knows his stuff! and anyone, who doubts his knowledge has taken leave of his/her senses.

Pierre Gosselin

Patrick Henry,
Hansen is blowing hot air again. Ask him to put money down on his bs.
I personally sent another e-mail to WP Juliet Eilperin:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/24/AR2008122402174.html
Offering to bet $10,000.00 on a sea level rise of 30 mm over the next 5 years (0.6 meters by 2108). (I upped the ante thinking my first offer for $1K was maybe too measly for her).
Not a peep!

Pierre Gosselin

Carlo,
if they are so sure, they they’ll put their money where their big mouths are.
But observe how they bolt for the exits when we demand they back up their drivel. And observe how they bolt when Steve McIntyre demands they provide their raw data! They’re all a bunch of charlatans.
True land masses rise when ice loads are removed. Also true land masses rise when adjacent neighbouring land are pressed down by increasing ice loading. The pressed-down land areas simply displace the land areas that are less weighted down, and so upwards.
It could very well be that added ice weights in some areas of Greenland are simply pushing those areas that are not gaining weight upwards. This is the case with Scandanavia, which is still rising because of the removed huge ice mass from the previous Ice Age. Scandanavia’s rising is allowing the northern coastal parts of Germany to sink. This is actually being measured today – 10,000 years after the end of the last Ice Age.

To Carlo:
According to the above discussion, Greenland may have lost of order 1000 km3 of ice in the recent 10 years. Take for simplicity only 100000 km2 of southern Greenland and attribute all loss to that area. Makes it an average loss of 1 meter ice in that area. And this should lead to an annual raise of 4 cm per year or 40 cm in 10 years?
That really would be a special sort of jelly (following Jerry).
I know the total area of Greenland is 1.7 million km2 with about 3 million km3 of ice, equivalent to approx. 7 m sea level.

Sekerob

How odd that the fall out from 40s/50s open air nuclear tests in many places can no longer be found. Meaning, no topping up.
As for the principle of building sand or snow dunes, just put any obstructive buildup and it will, thus zero surprise those radar stations now lying deeper in.

TerryS

Philip_B (23:21:42) :
This is the signature you would expect from a warming climate. Increased ice in the interior due to increased precipitation. Decreased ice at the margins due to melt.

Just so that we can be clear on this could you tell us what the signature would be for:
a) No warming or cooling.
b) Cooling.
Presumably these signatures would be completely different from a warming signature and so would be easily distinguishable.

stan

P-38 was a fighter (i.e. pursuit plane). B-17 was a bomber.

B Buckner

The ice is “plastic” as evidenced by the flow of glaciers. Any heavy structure built on the ice will sink over time.

Eric

Bruce said,
(21:05:06) :
“I think the truth is they are still calibrating Grace.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215091013.htm
Some ice melts, the bedrock rises. More ice acculumlates, the bedrock sinks and they have to guess what it all means.”
The article you pointed to was about Antarctica. The article on Greenland I linked had a section about the changes in the earth’s crust. It said,
“To confirm just how much of the mass Grace detects in Greenland and Antarctica is due to snow and ice, scientists also have to determine the contributions from another source, Earth’s changing crust. “When Grace sees a change in polar gravity,” says Watkins, “part of it is today’s ice melt and part is what is called post-glacial rebound.”
“A long time ago during the last ice age, this region was pushed down by even more snow and ice, and now this mantle wants to come back, or rebound,” explains Erik Ivins, a JPL Earth scientist and Grace science team member.
One way to look at the problem, says Ivins, is to imagine a bathtub filling up with water from a faucet but losing water from holes in the bottom of the tub. At the same time, the bathtub may be changing shape.
Ivins and his colleagues are refining the computer models used to understand and predict post-glacial rebound. It turns out that beneath the ice sheet covering Greenland, the mantle isn’t changing the shape of the “bathtub” very fast. “This tells us that the large mass changes Grace detects in the southeastern region of Greenland aren’t due to post-glacial rebound,” says Ivins. ”
So the rebound could make us think that greenland was actually losing less ice than it is, if it were not taken into account.

Pierre Gosselin

You have to view it like a water bed. If somone lays beside you, you go up. If that same person gets up and leaves, the area of the departing person rises, and you sink.
Land rising in itself does not necessarilly mean that the ice it carries is diminishing. It could also mean that the nieghbouring land is just getting a heavier load (more snow). Kind of Like a teeter-totter.

Pierre Gosselin

266 spotless days in 2008 – 2nd most spotless year since 1900.
http://icecap.us/index.php

Mike from Canmore

Jack Simmons (21:06:25)
“Sometime in the future, and I don’t think it will be decades, people will simply laugh at this silliness.”
But will we and our children be laughing at the taxes, both overt and hidden, and lost liberties which are constantly being eroded?
Once a cap ‘n trade is and the giant bureacracy required to run it (gov’t run of course) is in place, good luck removing it. It needs to be fought now.
Canadians sent a resounding “No” to carbon taxes, but now they are trying to negotiate a cap ‘n trade policy with the USA. A little summary of the expected regulatory environment from the National Post is here:
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2008/12/02/cap-and-burn-canada.aspx

Pierre Gosselin

I’ll go out on a limb and say:
2007/2008 are likely the most spotless consecutive 2 years in a couple of centuries.
And keep in my our modern observational technologies!

John

I don’t think the change in snow depths around the DYE stations mean much. I suspect that snow drifting is somewhat like sedimentary deposits in water.
My parents used to live on a tidal estuary in Florida. Think mud flats.
One year a small concrete post with a sign warning of a submarine cable crossing was emplaced in the middle of the estuary. The post was perhaps 8″ square. At low tide the base was in maybe two feet of water, and it protruded about 6′. At hightide the post protruded maybe 3′. The flow was perhaps 4 mph at peak.
Ten years later the post was towards one end of a mud island, perhaps 100′ x 20′ at high tide and 400′ x 40′ long at low tide. Perhaps 18″ of the post protruded from the soil. About 40′ from the post there was now a deep water channel 6′ or so deep at low tide whereas formerly one could only navigate in that area by canoe.
As far as I could tell the cause of the radical transformation of the topography was solely the result of the small perturbation in the current and the consequent “drfiting” of the sediment caused by putting that little post in.
Similarly in my back yard the planting of an apple tree, a meager sapling, caused a far larger drift of snow to occur stretching for many yards.
I have seen several foot deep snow drifts formed in a flat featureless plain by the minor wind perturbation of a ground level railroad track.
I would not attach much importance to the “burying” of features like the DYE stations in Greenland.

Robert Wood

O/T Maybe a Q for Leif,
On Spaceweather.com, the holographic image of the Sun, which is normally four or five days later than the current image, shows a possible far-side sun-spot. Shouldn’t it be visible from Earth by now?

John Galt

If anybody can contact Mr D’Aleo, please let him know his Icecap.us site is down.

philincalifornia
The link below leads to information on projected future sea level rises in San Francisco bay of 20-80 cm. This estimate goes directly back to what I said in an earlier post that govt agencies are being instructed to use IPCC projections whether or not they are rooted in reality –this estimate goes from the bottom to top end at from 8 inches per century-(reasonable) to getting on for three feet-(fantasy figures).
http://www.climatechange.ca.gov/events/2006_conference/presentations/2006-09-14/2006-09-14_KNOWLES.PDF
The next link gives information on the bay-you appear to have the longest tide gauge measurements in the western world. Over the last century the mean sea level rise has been eight inches. Intriguingly the first report above seems to have taken a projection that doesn’t match the actual figures-sea levels appear to have dropped over the last 2 years but the projection is taken from the high point.
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/topics/navops/ports/san_francisco_tide_gauge.pdf
There is a famous sea level mark in Australia made about the same time as your tidal gauge was established, held up by the Australian authorities as ‘proof’ of considerable rise-nicely debunked by John Daly in this link
http://www.john-daly.com/ges/appendix.htm
This all demonstrates that sea levels go in cycles as does the climate-I would hazard a guess that the warm periods prior to 1850 would have had a higher mean sea level than when the tide gauge was established in the 1850’s and todays levels are merely approaching it again
This is my own graph of Hadley CET figures (I am British) which shows temperature spikes back to the 1660’s. If your part of the world resembles this dataset the thermal expansion mentioned below would only kick in during the warm years thereby raising sea levels.
http://cadenzapress.co.uk/download/menken_hobgoblin.jpg
San Francisco bay sea levels are complicated by regular cyclical thermal expansion (the PDO?) Building and seismic activity-it is difficult to believe your famous earthquakes haven’t had some effect on sea levels locally.
All things being equal however I would say nothing extraordinary is happening and there is no evidence whatsoever to support a 80cm rise and the next few years might see a continuation of the current apparent fall (eyeballed only)
TonyB

tty

Carlo:
Using the current rate of isostatic readjustment to prove current changes of an icecap is nonsense and those “scientists” must know that. In northern Sweden the land is rising about 3 feet per century, in Stockholm about 1.5 feet per century. That is due to a melting ice-cap allright, but one that melted about 11,000 years ago. Rock does flow, but not fast. Also we don’t have a good understanding of the rheology of the Earth, so we can’t really estimate how fast isostatic readjustmen occurs.
By the way it is this uncertainty about isostasy that make the GRACE data extremely dubious. The results must be adjusted by ‘modelling’ the movement of the rock under the ice-cap. So to calculate the current change of the icecap thickness, you first have to know the current and past changes of the thickness and integrate their effect on isostasy.
By the way that New Scientist writer doesn’t seem to have the slightest idea of the magnitude of glacial isostasy. “Leaving beaches often metres above the water”, indeed. 285 metres in Central Sweden to be exact.
A little note on the difficulty of determining sea level. The sea level during the last interglacial is an AGW poster child. It is invariably stated to have been 4-8 meters higher than at present. Actually nobody knows how high it was since it is extremely difficult to find a place where the land hasn’t either sunk or risen during the last 100,000 years. The last interglacial coastline can now be found anywhere from +190 metres to -130 metres depending on where you look for it. This means that the land has risen from +2 to -1 millimeter per year over a 100,000 year period. Short term changes are of course much larger. Measuring sea-level changes of fractions of millimetres per year without a very good independent coordinate system (meaning GPS) is in my opinion impossible.

Adam Sullivan

Isn’t Obama amazing?
He said that “this is when the oceans stopped rising” when he accepted the Democratic nomination and he was right!

Austin

Just looking at the provided image, the integration of the losses and gains points towards a net gain.
The losses are not all along the coast like you would expect, but are limited to certain areas. Perhaps 60% of the coastline has shown losses with the other 40% showing no change.

Drew Latta

Jerry:
To add to your discussion about isostacy: remember that ocean plates also aren’t fixed and will sink under the weight of water due to ice melting.
Secondly, ice sheets also have gravitational effects, so during the last glacial maximum, the northern hemisphere ice sheets pulled more ocean water towards them due to gravitation.

philincalifornia

Jerry, let me echo the thanks of people before me on your very educational response to my question.
I Googled around a bit for more local information. This is pretty interesting:
http://www.bcdc.ca.gov/planning/climate_change/SLR_strategy.pdf
These people, who appear to be looking at practical approaches to conservation of the Bay (as opposed to the carbon swearbox approach) quote a rise in the Bay water levels of 7 inches between 1900 and 2000. I assume that would’ve been measured using tide poles. There is no mention of local land elevation rises (or declinations) affecting this number (although this might not necessarily be the forum for getting into the specifics of that). Given the high seismic activity of the region and known changes in elevation (for example tide pools rising many inches following the 1989 Loma Prieta quake in 1989), one would have to believe that this would affect the numbers for the SF Bay to some extent.
A quote from the authors:
“1 It is particularly difficult to develop a thoughtful strategy for dealing with sea level rise in the Bay when the temperature increase scenarios used by the California Climate Change Center yield possible increases in water level in San Francisco Bay over the next 100 years that have a tenfold difference between the lowest and highest potential increases.”
Good luck with that guys.
It’s so much easier to just legislate against carbon dioxide, isn’t it ??

G Alston

Alan The Brit — “The problem is that the Tyndall Centre & the Hadley Centre were all set up to find evidence of Global Warming caused by mankind. “
Sort of. Their models were designed from the start to look at the effect(s) of CO2. They put variables in, slosh it about, and not so surprisingly, the answer is that CO2 has something to do with it all. (Wow. Who knew?)
Models don’t discover correlations with solar output, geomagnetic flux, or cosmic rays. They can’t; they’re designed to model what happens when CO2 is increasing.
That models support the CO2 hypothesis is expected, yet the reporting on this seems to not quite grasp that these models are wholly unable to come to any other possible conclusion. I reckon it’s the reporters who don’t grasp it therefore are unable to frame things in context in their “reporting.” None of them seem to know the difference between technology and magic anyway, thus exposing themselves as the butt of Arthur C Clarke inspired after-dinner barbs. Unfortunately, most politicians have no idea who Clarke was, either.

Roger

Let me get this straight – The ice and snow melt – -the sea rises – but nothing gets flooded because the land rises along with the sea. Where’s the problem?

crosspatch

“Grace measurements have revealed that in just four years, from 2002 to 2006, Greenland lost between 150 and 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year.”
It will be interesting to see what things have done since 2006. It would not surprise me to learn that those conditions have reversed since then.
As for sea level, I think we can state with fair certainty that the last interglacial saw higher sea levels even if we can not determine accurately exactly what they were. We would know this simply from seeing where the tree line was. I believe I read that the tree line was some 400 (either km or mi. I can’t remember the units used but I remember the number 400) North of where it is now in North America. If the tree line was 400 miles North of its present location and the continents haven’t shifted much from their present location in that period, we could reasonably assume that Southern Greenland, for example, would have been much warmer than it is now.
If retreating glaciers in Greenland were to expose any small ponds that would have existed during that period, pollen from sediment at the bottom of those ponds/lakes might give us some idea of the glaciation cycles of that area.
But overall, glacial periods are becoming longer. The “normal” state of the system is glaciation with “interglacial” warm periods a temporary state. I believe we would be best served to look at things in that light when making plans for such things as nuclear contamination storage. A good place might be, instead of a mountain in Nevada, a place blasted into bedrock in Northern Canada that will be under a mile of ice for 100,000 years starting at some point in the not too distant future.
And since the switch to glaciation appears to happen quite rapidly we need to have at least some idea of what we are going to do to help our citizens in Alaska and our neighbors in Canada when climate shifts suddenly and their land becomes uninhabitable. As we are entering a period of orbital shape that is increasingly favorable to glaciation, it might take only one deep solar minimum to trigger the switch. If the Little Ice Age were to repeat today, we might not come out of it. And if we do, and if it happens again 200 years from now, we would stand an even better chance of not coming out of it as the orbit will be even more favorable to glaciation than it is now.

The answer to some of the questions upthread with regard to the settling of the DYE-2 station can be found here [scroll down to the second to last graphic: “Table 1”].

Jeff Alberts

George E. Smith (23:00:01) :
Does the ice pack on Greenland grow. One measurement over a long period of the 20th century, when “global warming” was supposed to be rampant, was measured with the aid of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft.

Yeah, I’ve mentioned this here before (been a while). Good thing all that ice melted…

Jeff Alberts

Yup. It will be added to “Y2k” and the “Tech Bubble” in the modern equivalent of “Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” (a Must Read, BTW…)

Y2K wasn’t a complete delusion, there was some risk. It was, however, blown WAY WAY WAY out of proportion.