NASA video tour of the Cryosphere 2009

WUWT commenter Ray tips us to a new video from NASA “The Tour of the Cryosphere 2009”. With all the interest in sea ice right now, it seems like a good item to review.

LIMA image of Antarctica

The new version of "A Tour of the Cryosphere" features the world’s highest-resolution map of the icy continent, from the NASA-USGS Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) project. Credit: NASA/USGS - click for a larger image

I found one thing about it really interesting though, the zoom in of the Larsen B ice shelf saying: “After twelve thousand years, the Larsen B ice shelf collapsed in just five weeks.”. While they didn’t say directly that it was attributable to “global warming”, many others have said so. Watch how that melt pool continues through the animation of sea ice growth as refreeze occurs. That’s a hint. There’s quite a number of volcanic peaks in the area, as listed here. Here’s a ground pix from the scene. and some BAS research that found some unexpected things. More on that another time.

From NASA News

Back in 2002, NASA created a film using satellite data that took viewers on a tour of Earth’s frozen regions. This year, NASA visualizers are taking viewers on a return trip to see how things have changed over the years.

“The Tour of the Cryosphere 2009” combines satellite imagery and state-of-the-art computer animation software to create a fact-filled and visually stunning tour that shows viewers the icy reaches of Antarctica, the glacier-pocked regions along the Andes Mountains, the winter snows of the American West, the drifting expanse of polar sea ice, and the shrinking Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland.

However, viewers who saw the original will notice differences in the new version, also created by the Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The new “Tour of the Cryosphere” video can be seen and downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio’s Web site.

“What we did was incorporate more recent data and kept all scenes from the original that were dramatic and interesting,” said film director and editor Horace Mitchell, who began updating the animation seven months ago, with help from visualizers Alex Kekesi and Cindy Starr. “The biggest change is that the entire film is in high definition.”

Another significant difference is evident as soon as the 5-minute animation opens. At the request of Earth scientists, who thought the film could be improved by a more realistic rendering of Antarctica, the team replaced the original imagery provided by Canada’s RADARSAT with the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA). Created from more than 1,000 high-resolution Landsat 7 scenes, the LIMA dataset seamlessly shows the entire continent in unprecedented and realistic detail.

Watch the YouTube Video:

HiDef › View video (30 Mb mov)

As the updated film takes viewers northward from Antarctica, the film treats viewers to the precise locations of glaciers scattered along the Andes Mountains in South America. The locations literally pop as the film continues its grand tour toward the planet’s northern climes.

After a quick tour of snowfall in the American West and its impact on vegetation in 2002 and 2003, the film moves across Canada and Alaska to show more recent satellite data of annual snow and ice overlaying these regions. From there, viewers travel to Earth’s North Pole where they see the monthly average concentration of Arctic sea ice in 2009.

To help drive home the point that minimum sea ice levels have declined dramatically since 1979, the SVS team inserted a chart that tracks the levels of minimum ice cover, which typically occurs in September.

The animation then moves from Arctic sea ice to Greenland. More recent data now are used to show changes in the Jakobshavn glacier, which receded only slightly from 1942 to 2001. Beginning in 2002, the rate of ice loss jumped dramatically. The film shows the continued rates of recession over the past four years.

The animation shows the world in a single “shot” — uninterrupted by cuts or scene changes, a technique that conveys the interconnectedness of the cryosphere and the reason scientists gather satellite data to monitor changes in the first place.

The film gives anyone who watches it a wealth of data collected from satellite observations, showing in detail the impact that recent changes are making on the planet, he said.

“We’re trying to tell NASA’s story with Hollywood’s tools,” Mitchell said.

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

Here is the transcript from NASA:

“A Tour of the Cryosphere 2009” Transcript

Though cold and often remote, the icy reaches of the Arctic, Antarctic, and other frozen
places affect the lives of everyone on Earth.

We start our tour in Antarctica. Where they meet the sea, mountains of ice crack and
crumble. The resulting icebergs can float for years. Ice shelves surround half the
continent. They slow the relentless march of ice streams and glaciers like dams hold
back rivers. But the region is changing. As temperatures increase, we see a growing
number of melt ponds. As this heavy melt water forces its way into cracks, ice shelves
weaken and can ultimately collapse. After twelve thousand years, the Larsen B ice
shelf collapsed in just five weeks.

Offshore, sea ice forms when the surface of the ocean freezes, pushing salt out of the
ice. The cold salty surface water starts to sink, pumping deeper water out of the way,
powering global ocean circulation. These currents influence climate worldwide.
Most ice exists in the cold polar regions, but we see glaciers like these in the Andes all
over the world. Most are shrinking.

Here in North America, millions of people experience the cryosphere every year.
Eastward moving storms deposit snow like thick paint brushes. Mountain snow packs
store water. Snow melt provides three-quarters of the water resources used in the
American west. Substantial winter snows produced a green Colorado in 2003, but
dryer conditions the previous year limited vegetation growth and increased the risk of
fires.

In the Rocky Mountains, there are patches of frozen ground called permafrost that
never thaw. These regions are unusual in the mid-latitudes. But farther north,
permafrost is more widespread and continuous, covering nearly a fifth of the land
surface in the Northern Hemisphere.

Sea ice varies from season to season and from year to year. Data show that Arctic sea
ice has shrunk dramatically in the last few decades. The effects could be profound.
As polar ice decreases, more open water could promote greater heating. More heating
could lead to faster melting, reinforcing the cycle. If this trend continues, the Arctic
Ocean could be ice-free in the summer by the end of the century.

These changes in ice cover are not limited to oceans. Greenland’s ice sheet contains
nearly ten percent of the Earth’s glacial ice. Glaciers in western Greenland produce
most of the icebergs in the North Atlantic. After decades of stability, Greenland’s
Jakobshavn ice stream, one of the fastest flowing glaciers in the world, has changed
dramatically. The ice has thinned, and the front retreated significantly. Between 1997
and 2003, the glacier’s flow rate nearly doubled to five feet an hour.

These are just some of the cryospheric processes that NASA satellites observe from
space. Continued observation provides a critical global perspective, as our home
planet continues to change – day to day, year to year, and further into the future.

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80 thoughts on “NASA video tour of the Cryosphere 2009

  1. I watched it and it seems to illustrate just how insignificant the collapsing Ice shelf is relative to the whole of Antarctica. Plus the Glacier they highlighted on greenland, pretty small and insignificant when compared to the rest of the Ice.

  2. Tom Wagner of NASA went on CNN last week to introduce NASA’s new cryosphere video and mislead the public about the state of Earth’s ice:
    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2009/09/03/nasa.coolest.earth.video.cnn?iref=videosearch

    Tom disingenuously highlights that an iceberg broke off Ross Ice Shelf a few years ago and that the Larson Ice Shelf “collapsed catastrophically”, insinuating that Antarctica is falling apart, when in reality Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is currently almost a million sq km above the historical average:

  3. You think that a volcano melted the Larsen B ice shelf? Well, let’s for the moment ignore the fact that the volcano you link to has never been observed to erupt. Let’s assume that it in fact underwent a giant volcanic eruption, equivalent in size to that of Krakatoa in 1883. That released something like 1e18J. Now let’s assume that all of that energy was converted with 100% efficiency into melting ice. The latent heat of fusion of ice is 333.6 J/g. So, that could have melted 3e15 g of ice. That’s 3 billion tonnes. The density of ice is about 1 tonne/cubic metre, so the volume of ice melted would then be 3 billion cubic metres, or 3 cubic kilometres.

    Questions for you to answer: 1. what was the volume of the Larsen B ice shelf? 2. Is it plausible that volcanic activity played any significant role in its demise?

    REPLY: Krakatoa? Oh, please. It doesn’t have to erupt, and it doesn’t need to be Krakatoa sized, only produce sustained heat that will dissipate into the surrounding waters. And given that there are 16 Nunataks in the Larsen shelf region, plus who knows how many more undiscovered submarine peaks, it is quite clear that there is quite a bit of geothermal activity in the region. An unstable ice shelf on top of a known geothermally active area would seem to have a plausible connection to getting heat from it.

    For example, on the other side of the peninsula we have Deception Island. WUWT’s moderator Charles has first hand experience with this:

    Deception Island is a beautiful place. I’ve been there. Ready to eat boiled shrimp sometimes wash up on the shore. ~ charles the moderator

    In 1921 the sea boiled:
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Animal-Life-in-Volcanic-Antarctica&id=737772

    Deception Island is mostly ice free, and seals come to warm themselves on the geothermally heated sands. No “Krakatoa boom” needed.

    http://www.air-and-space.com/200101%20Antarctica/25%20Deception%20Islanda.htm

    Further, if you’d bothered to read my links, you’d see that there has been some evidence for small eruptions in the Seal Nunatak group.

    From http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=1900-05=

    The Seal Nunataks are a group of 16 nunataks emerging from the Larsen Ice Shelf east of Graham Land Peninsula. The Seal Nunataks have been described as separate volcanic vents or remnants of a large shield volcano. Fumarolic activity was reported from Murdoch and Dallman cones in 1982, and fresh-looking pyroclastics and a lava flow at Dallman (not observed in 1979) were seen on the ice surface three years later (González-Ferrán 1983). Fumarolic activity was observed at Christensen in 1893, and Lindenberg was observed in eruption in 1893. Baker (1968) saw cinders on the ice surface, suggesting a 20th-century eruption. A 1988 British expedition noted that tephra away from nunataks was found only in ice-cored moraines, suggesting a glacial rather than pyroclastic origin. They noted no fumarolic activity, although water vapor resulting from radiant heating of ice-cored moraines was observed.

    So there’s ample evidence to suggest that the geothermal processes that created the Antarctic peninsula remain active and release heat into the surrounding waters. Larsen B ice may very well have had some geothermal influence. You don’t need an active eruption, and since the sea floor is not well explored there you can’t be sure what is there. I find it strange in the NASA video using sat imagery that the sea refroze everywhere but there. Explain that.

    The rest of Antarctica isn’t being broadly affected by ice melt, just a few places, and those are a tiny percentage of the total ice mass. Overall Antarctic ice trend is up. The places that are affected seem to be in geothermally active areas. Plus the whole ice shelf doesn’t have to be melted, but in areas where geothermal might create voids, the ice can weaken and break up from wind and tide forces alone.

    There’s some sat imagery of Antarctica that I’ll have to dig up that shows some melt pools in the middle of ice shelves.

    “RW” I see you are still afraid to put your opinion to your name. Man up. – Anthony

  4. Newscientist – World’s climate could cool first, warm later

    Forecasts of climate change are about to go seriously out of kilter. One of the world’s top climate modellers said Thursday we could be about to enter one or even two decades during which temperatures cool.

    “People will say this is global warming disappearing,” he told more than 1500 of the world’s top climate scientists gathering in Geneva at the UN’s World Climate Conference.

    “I am not one of the sceptics,” insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany. “However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it.”

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17742-worlds-climate-could-cool-first-warm-later.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

  5. Graphics are spectacular but 43 seconds in the voice over proclaims “ice shelves surround 1/2 the Continent, they slow the relentless march of ice streams and glaciers like dams hold back rivers”. Do they ?,ice shelves are floating and have intertia because of their size,but how responsible are they for slowing glacial movement ?

  6. All I know its about 12 degrees in Asuncion and 8 in Buenos Aires very cold for this time of the year but definitely within normal 10-20 year weather data…

  7. Hmmm, Nice video. I wonder though. Why now? It’s been seven years since the first one. The data shown for the retreating Greenland glacier ends at 2003. They say that “most” glaciers are retreating, but I don’t see any ones that aren’t in the video or explanation of why some are and others aren’t. Interesting.
    Are there any important issues coming up in the Senate? Any make or break world government climate conferences pending? Hmmm, I wonder.

  8. They are so busy parsing dates and data that it only leads one to believe they are trying to make people less informed, not more.

  9. “Ice shelves surround half the continent. They slow the relentless march of ice streams and glaciers like dams hold back rivers.”

    Could someone point me at a paper explaining how that works?

    Thanks

  10. There are over 160,000 glaciers on the planet, making the cherry-picking of receding glaciers about the easiest thing in the world to do. Just pick a few that are receding.

    Glaciers advanced and retreated at the same rate both before and after the Industrial Revolution, therefore CO2 is eliminated as a cause: click.

    [Source. Scroll down 20% of the page to “Glaciers.”]

  11. And what of the volacanoes hidden under the ice?
    What forms the Greenland basin, could it be a ring of fire, once activated, will melt glaciers at the rim?

  12. There is a wealth of information on all aspects of the global warming scam here. Great site to bookmark, it’s maintained by Popular Technology magazine. Some articles on glaciers:

    Alaska glaciers grew this year, thanks to colder weather (McClatchy)
    Alaskan Glaciers Grow for First Time in 250 years (DailyTech)
    Glaciers in Norway Growing Again (DailyTech)
    Global warming boost to glaciers (BBC)
    Melting glacier ‘false alarm’ (The Daily Telegraph, UK)
    Recent Glacier Advances in Norway and New Zealand (Physical Geography)
    Science debunks Glacier Park warming alarm (The Heartland Institute)
    Study: Glacier melting can be variable (Breitbart)
    Study Says Glaciers Formed During a Very Warm Period (The New York Times)
    Warming Climate Can Support Glacial Ice: It Did In Much Warmer Times (Science Daily)

    Growing – 50 Glaciers reverse the trend and grow in south New Zealand (Taipei Times)
    Growing – Bolam Glacier, Mount Shasta Glaciers Defy Global Warming, Grow (FOX News)
    Growing – Briksdal Glacier, Norway’s glaciers growing at record pace (Agence-France Presse)
    Growing – Dôme du Goûter Glacier, Permanent Ice Fields Are Resisting Global Warming (Science Daily)
    Growing – Fox Glacier has been advancing since 1985 (Alpine Guides)
    Growing – Franz Josef Glacier, A Glacier Grows, Undeterred by Heated Kyoto Debate (CNSNews)
    Growing – Guyot Glacier, Icy Bay Glaciers get up and go (SitNews)
    Growing – Himalayan Glaciers Are Growing … and Confounding Global Warming Alarmists (The Heartland Institute)
    Growing – Hotlum Glacier, Mount Shasta Glaciers Defy Global Warming, Grow (FOX News)
    Growing – Hubbard Glacier, Alaska: Growing and Advancing in Spite of Global Climate Change (USGS)
    Growing – Johns Hopkins Glacier is advancing and moving 3000 feet per year (Glacier Bay National Park)
    Growing – Jostedalsbreen Glacier, Norway’s glaciers growing at record pace (Agence-France Presse)
    Growing – Kolka Glacier is growing again (NTV, Russia)
    Growing – Konwakiton Glacier, Mount Shasta Glaciers Defy Global Warming, Grow (FOX News)
    Growing – McGinnis Glacier, Alaska Range Glacier Surges (Science Daily)
    Growing – Meares Glacier, an advancing glacier tearing up trees and rocks in its path as it grows (Alaska Tours)
    Growing – Mont Blanc Glacier, Global warming makes Mont Blanc grow (The Daily Telegraph, UK)
    Growing – Mount St. Helens Glacier, Glacier Grows in Mount St. Helens’ Crater (FOX News)
    Growing – Glacier resumes growing in Mount St. Helens crater (The Seattle Times)
    Growing – Mud Creek Glacier, Mount Shasta Glaciers Defy Global Warming, Grow (FOX News)
    Growing – Nigardsbreen Glacier is growing by 25 to 50 meters per year (Jostedal Glacier National Park)
    Growing – Perito Moreno Glacier, Defiant Argentine Glacier Thrives Despite Warming (Reuters)
    Growing – Pio XI Glacier, The biggest glacier in South America keeps growing every year (Visit Chile)
    Growing – Rockies: Colorado: 100 More Glaciers Are Discovered (The New York Times)
    Growing – Trinity Glaciers, Small Glaciers In Northern California Buck Global Warming Trend (Science Daily)
    Growing – Tsaa Glacier, Icy Bay Glaciers get up and go (SitNews)
    Growing – Watkins Glacier, Mount Shasta Glaciers Defy Global Warming, Grow (FOX News)
    Growing – Whitney Glacier, Mount Shasta Glaciers Defy Global Warming, Grow (FOX News)
    Growing – Wintun Glacier, Mount Shasta Glaciers Defy Global Warming, Grow (FOX News)
    Growing – Yahtze Glacier, Icy Bay Glaciers get up and go (SitNews)

  13. The road to Copenhagen is paved with GCM and CGI fairy tales. Next week we should see “The Three Little Pigs”.

  14. “To help drive home the point that minimum sea ice levels have declined dramatically since 1979, the SVS team inserted a chart that tracks the levels of minimum ice cover, which typically occurs in September.”

    Has anyone yet vetted this chart? Where is the scientific references for it? Is this a propaganda video or a science video? If it’s a science video please NASA provide the references to support your claims. I’d also want to know which portions of the imagery are actual satellite photos which photos from which satellites on what dates and times. Which portions are animations not from actual science data?

    Just my skeptical two cents worth.

  15. The same mantra on video. So global warmers keep on repeating the same lies.
    Propaganda all over the world (at least in SA) of sources of drink water disappearing, etc,etc. are repeated once and again paid by a well known canadian bank, by governments of countries like Finland, by NGO´s like Oxfam (which, btw, opposes to any mining exploitation), etc,etc.
    Beware, because….
    There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under heaven:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

  16. It seems that the precondition to be hired by NASA is to bow and kneel before a real sized sculpture of His Most Exhalted Prophet Al (“el gordo”), the uncomparable liar, and submissively kiss his sacred feet.

  17. I notice that they push out the “ice free arctic” to “the end of the century!” That should keep numerous research grants safe for generations! (Just don’t point out the earlier “settled” claims)

  18. Maybe NASA should concentrate on space as opposed to propaganda. I would be happy if our government dropped the AGW agenda and worried about continuing to be in space. But with budgets being wasted on AGW movies maybe there will be no money left for space exploration http://news.cnet.com/8301-19514_3-10347268-239.html. NASA propaganda studios may be all that is left, along with Jim’s math adjustment studio.

  19. I really like the movie, but the comment and the graphs are drenched with AGW propaganda.

    Unfortunately.

  20. Smokey,

    Your link to the Popular Technology plot of recession of glaciers presents data from Johannes Hans Oerlemans, but completely misinterprets it. The original analysis, which takes into account the varying temperature response of different glaciers, is in Oerlmans’ 2005 paper, Science 308, 675-677.

    The global temperature profile derived from the recession of the glaciers is in very good agreement with the instrumental record. There is no contradiction between the historical records of glacier length and the warming seen over the last 150 years. Apparently whoever put together that Popular Technology site (there is no magazine, just a right-wing blog) didn’t care to find and read the original reference.

  21. Perhaps someone with the proper skills, could take that video, edit out the sound track, and add one that a realist could support. And add the 2009
    data point to the graph, which should be available soon. Might even add in the current JAXA graph (gotta love that – couldn’t have hoped for much better).

    REPLY: …and since it is in the public domain, NASA would not have any copyright issues with it.

    Anthony

  22. Tom P,

    You are correct, I was mistaken thinking for some reason that Popular Technology was a magazine. Maybe I was thinking of Popular Mechanics — another “right wing” source of good information.

    But you’ll have to do a lot more convincing to show that out of the 160,000 glaciers on Earth, the AGW believers aren’t cherry-picking only those that are receding.

    For a part of the past century, the planet’s temperature rose a fraction of a degree C. It has since largely retraced its rise and isn’t much different now than it was thirty years ago. That fraction of a degree is not going to cause the planet’s glaciers to all start melting; most of them are already well below freezing. If the world’s glaciers were all melting it would be acknowledged by skeptical scientists [the only real scientists] everywhere.

    I’ll have to accept your citation [not that I doubt it], having canceled my 20+ year subscription to Science a decade ago when they started to sound like Scientific American.

    I posted 41 sources on glacier growth. So that’s one down, and forty articles to go. If you can credibly contradict even half of those reports, I’ll accept that the world’s glaciers are retreating.

    Otherwise, stories about glaciers disappearing is simply cherry-picked AGW spin, and it adds no more to the debate than the bogus claims of unusual sea level rise, the disappearing ozone hole, the Maldives and Vanuatu drowning from global warming, disappearing global sea ice, and all the rest of the alarmist scare stories that never pan out.

  23. Nobody in thier right minds would pick on Mt. Shasta’s glaciers. I-5 runs right by it, and as such remains totally in the public view.
    But, it must be something else, like increased rainfall.
    There’s a really bad problem for AGW there, as they are constnatly screaming drought. You cannot have the glaciers growing on Mt. Shasta due to increased precipitation when the largest reservior in California is heralded as primarily rainfall watershed, yet at the same instant have a drought in that rain watershed.
    The glaciers on Mt. Shasta are admitted to be growing in a declared California drought, Mt. Shasta watershed included, both the lake and the mountain are plainly visible from a major Interstate Highway, and it is a huge embarassment for AGW.

  24. Smokey,

    Do you now have doubts about the very data you first brought to our attention? Oerlman collated all the historical glacier records available, some 167 datasets. There was no cherry picking – some of the glaciers are indeed growing:

    “Records of glacier length were compiled from various sources, building on a data set from an earlier study (14). It was possible to extend the set of 48 records to a set of 169 records from glaciers found at widely differing latitudes and elevations. The core of the data set comes from the files of the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Z” rich (15). Records were then included from glaciers in Patagonia (16), southern Greenland (17), Iceland (18), and Jan Mayen (19). Additional information was taken from the Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World (20) and from reports of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (21). The character of the records differs widely (Fig. 1). Some start in 1600 and have typically 10 data points until 1900 and more afterward. Other records start around 1900 but have annual resolution throughout. The longest record is that of the Untere Grindelwaldgletscher, which starts in 1534 (22).”

    In comparison you now want to put against Oerlman’s full historical dataset a mixture of news reports and websites which, although I have no reason to doubt their individual accuracy, represent just a snapshot of what is indeed cherry-picked data from a fraction of the glaciers that are currently growing.

    You don’t need to take my word for it – just read the (repeated) link you give to the same Fox News article:

    “MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. — Global warming is shrinking glaciers all over the world, but the seven tongues of ice creeping down Mount Shasta’s flanks are a rare exception: They are the only long-established glaciers in the lower 48 states that are growing.”

    “When people look at glaciers around the world, the majority of them are shrinking,” said Slawek Tulaczyk, an assistant professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who led a team studying Shasta’s glaciers. “These glaciers seem to be benefiting from the warming ocean.”

  25. Check out Nova tonight. They are investigating a super volcano in N. Greenland. Hmmmm……..less than 1000 miles from the N. Pole.

  26. Smokey (19:32:57) :

    Smokey, here is the Oerlemans paper:

    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/files/oerlemans_glacier_length.pdf

    Note the use of first order ordinary differential equations with tunable constants. Just guess c and tau and you’re in business.

    Also note the magnitude of the uncertainty and how the uncertainty was obtained.

    However, I find little evidence here that…

    “The global temperature profile derived from the recession of the glaciers is in very good agreement with the instrumental record.”

    Maybe there are other papers.

    I must, however, applaud Dr. Oerlemans for clearly documenting what equations he’s using, unlike some notorious NASA AOGCM’s which are currently being run on brand new, taxpayer-funded multiprocessing computers…

  27. I am nowhere near to being a scientist. I am in complete awe of most of you here who can remember all of the math and understand all of the formulas. I go by observations that my grandfather taught me as far as what to look for in plants and animals and he was the one to tell me that looking at the rocks was the way to know what happened in the past.
    I wish I could remember the documentary, it was several years ago, either History, Discovery or A&E, but it was about some glacier near the tip of South America that had broken off and it was captured on camera.
    I distinctly remember seeing black, and I mean BLACK like charcoal, way deep inside that ice as it fell off into the water. That’s when I started looking for volcanoes and boy I am learning a lot.
    But I also know that it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that when you heat up an ice cube on a slightly warm stove burner…it puddles really quite efficiently.

  28. I would like to see a comparison of ice thickness between last year and this year. I am thinking there will be an impressive change in the Arctic Basin due to compaction from wind driven ice jamming against Canadian coastlines. Remember the sliver of thick ice from last year? Tis more than a sliver now. Multi-year ice appears to develop from two sources:

    1. relatively stationary ice that adds layers every winter due to low summer melt

    2. jammed and jumbled baby ice building up against coastal areas in a single year due to wind changes that blows ice into and around the Arctic basin instead of out Fram Strait.

  29. At least they didn’t mention Mount Kilimanjaro, and they said that the arctic may be ice free by the end of the century, not 4 years as I think Al Gore said.

  30. Smokey,

    You might want to reconsider your views on Popular Mechanics. Their recent report on Climate Change Solutions: Live From World Science Fair described “what progress has been made toward thwarting global warming”, hardly a position you might identify with.

    First it was Scientific American, then Science, Fox News and now even Popular Mechanics that are not really telling it how you would like it to be told. Probably best to avoid all four if you want your beliefs to remain unchallenged.

  31. “RW (16:44:07) :”

    Ouestion for you. Have you been to Hot Water Beach in New Zeland? Ok, New Zealand isn’t under ice, but the principal is the same. Water is heated by geothermal activity and is forced, hot, to the surface. In fact it is so hot you cannot enter it unless you also allow cold sea water to mix with it.

  32. Frank K.

    “However, I find little evidence here that…

    “The global temperature profile derived from the recession of the glaciers is in very good agreement with the instrumental record.””

    Did you look at a comparison? Here is an overlay of Oerlemans’ glacier-derived temperature (thick red line) and the HadCRUT instrumental record:

    I’d say that was at the least very good agreement, justifying the basis of each of these two independent datasets.

  33. The locations literally pop as the film continues its grand tour toward the planet’s northern climes.

    Literally? They actually blew up real glaciers? So that’s where NASA’s budget has been going!

  34. Tom P,

    “They are the only long-established glaciers in the lower 48 states that are growing.”

    “When people look at glaciers around the world, the majority of them are shrinking,”

    Nothing like unsupported verbiage huh??

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    There are NO (none, nada, zip) comprehensive studies of glaciers worldwide. They are as sloppily covered as the land surface temperature. There are now both Kilimanjaro and Tibetan glaciers which have had detailed studies leading to the conclusion that AGW/Warming is NOT affecting their status and that precipitation is the primary driver. Other glaciers are in the process of being declared “AGW Free Zones!!” Most of the Greenland galloping glaciers have slowed back down and have been declared to be non-exceptional by glacier experts.

  35. Tom P (20:06:11),

    I always have doubts… unlike True AGW Believers.

    So let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

    Is it your contention that the receding glaciers identified are receding due specifically to global warming? Caused by carbon dioxide??

    If so, say it.

    In fact, it is precipitation — or lack of precipitation — at higher altitudes that causes glaciers to advance or retreat. In other words, weather. Any meteorologist can inform you about that.

    So, to get right down to it: are you saying that an increase in CO2 is the cause of glaciers retreating? “Yes” or “No” will do.

  36. You know…I’m one of those types that loves to look at maps. I’m something of a collector. When I read an article that says that something was found “near” a particular spot I become highly dissatisfied at the lack of an exact location.
    When I followed the links to the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory so that I could read the expedition reports I found exact coordinates for each entry….except for the entry regarding the discovery of the volcano.
    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news/reports/2004/CORC04/05_10_04.htm
    I want coordinates for this volcano.
    *sigh* More digging…

  37. RBateman,

    from a lifetime California resident, we are NOT in a DROUGHT!! We ARE using more water than we have available.

    Rainfall below average is not exactly the definition of a drought!!!!

    We DO need to decide whether we are going to build desalination or recycled sewage plants, continuously ration water, limit growth drastically, or all of the above.

  38. Thanks Anthony for putting that video/story up.

    It’s funny how they skipped all those glaciers along the Ring of Fire that sit on top of volcanoes… those could go anytime due only to increased volcanic activity or as we have seen with Kilimanjaro due to a reduced evaporation from forests around because of increased human occupation and deforestation.

    When they are only down to only two cases where glaciers or ice shelves melted or broke down (probably from natural processes), they should admit they are wrong about the whole CO2=AGW thing… give it up Al.

  39. “We’re trying to tell NASA’s story with Hollywood’s tools,”

    Shouldn’t it be instead: We’re trying to tell Hollywood’s stories with NASA’s tools?

  40. Regarding glacial retreat, see section 2.2 (pages 28-32), “Glaciers,” of Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu’s paper, “Two Natural Components of Recent Climate Change,” here (as a 50-Mb PDF):
    http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/little_ice_age.php

    He writes, on p. 28: ” Figures 9a-9f show records of glaciers in Alaska, New Zealand, the European Alps, and the Himalayas, respectively, which have been receding from the time of the earliest records, about 1800. … It is clear that the retreat is not a phenomenon that began only in recent years, or after CO2 emission increase in1946.”

    And on page 32: ” Altogether, long-term glacier data presented here show that glaciers advanced from about 1400 and began to retreat after 1800 (cf. Akasofu, 2008). These facts confirm that the Earth experienced the LIA.”

  41. “MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. — Global warming is shrinking glaciers all over the world, but the seven tongues of ice creeping down Mount Shasta’s flanks are a rare exception: They are the only long-established glaciers in the lower 48 states that are growing.”

    “When people look at glaciers around the world, the majority of them are shrinking,” said Slawek Tulaczyk, an assistant professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who led a team studying Shasta’s glaciers. “These glaciers seem to be benefiting from the warming ocean.”

    And the rain watershed appears to be in the grips of low-precipitation patterns, with Mt. Shasta towering over it, in mocking silence as it’s glaciers grow in total defiance of computer models.
    You cannot have it both ways.
    The same moisture stream hits both the watershed and the volcano, or they miss it. There is no magical moisture stream designed for the volcano only.
    Go ahead, take a drive on I-5 up there when a storm hits. It can rain so hard you can’t see where you are going. Special, eh?

  42. rbateman (20:06:50) :
    Check out Nova tonight. They are investigating a super volcano in N. Greenland. Hmmmm……..less than 1000 miles from the N. Pole.

    But the N. Pole is headed to Siberia at 40 km / year average or so… Though some days it can jump around 80 km wandering round its present ‘location’.

    So, any more “stable” landmark for the volcano? Name? Link?

  43. kuhnkat (21:28:59) :

    Born & raised here myself. I know we are not in a drought, we are in a low precipitation year, 3 in a row. They debasin the Trinity reservoir, then sell it to the highest bidder. AGW dances around the Mt. Shasta embarassment, then backpeddles with a flimsy magic-carpet moisture stream to explain it.
    The state handed out water contracts in high-water years it could not maintain, then screams global warming.
    AGW is an agenda.
    California is just plain in the hands of very bad management.
    Both are awash in gross contradictions.

  44. E.M.Smith (22:11:21) :

    Naw, it was a rerun. They ended up in Indonesia finding a mega-volcano, but not before checking out a volcano in Iceland that killed 9,000. The only interesting part about Greenland was that it held massive amounts of S02 in a layer of ice 75,000 years old from the mega-volcano. They did say it dropped the ocean temps dramatically and plunged the Earth into a 1,000 year ice age.

    I am still intrigued by the strange basin that Greenland’s Ice Cap is locked into. Would really like to see something modern on it.

  45. Anthony–In response to your reply to RW:

    1. Deception Island is 150 miles away from the Seal Nunataks, so the level of activity at one does not imply anything about the relative activity of the others. Mt. Saint Helens erupted in 1980. There was nary a whisper at nearby Mt. Rainier. Pre-cooked shrimp do make a tasty journalistic morsel, but don’t tell us anything about Larsen.

    2. The Seal Nunataks are all concentrated within 25 miles of each other on the northern fringe of what used to be Larsen B. The part of the ice shelf that initially destabilized was over 30 miles away from the nearest one, which would seem to imply that none of them had anything directly to do with it. Particularly damning to that theory is the fact that none of the sea ice surrounding the Seals in the video shows evidence of melting. All the Seals are surrounded by ice even after the collapse. One would think that their geothermal activity would have more of an impact on the ice right next to them than it would on the ice 30 miles away.

    3. The best information at the Volcanism Project website you linked to gives the last confirmed volcanic activity of any significance in the Seals at more than 20 years ago. You’re working here under the assumption that no one has been there or trained a satellite on them since then to get an update.

    4. The prevailing winds blow clockwise around the Antarctic continent; thus, it is quite common for polynyas and pockets of low-concentration ice to form off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, even in the Antarctic winter season. You can see in the video how the same thing happens further south along the coast and creeps up toward the Larsen B area as the ice slowly circulates in the eddy created by the peninsula. The same thing happens in the Ross Sea every season, and that has nothing to do with volcanoes either.

    5. Perhaps there ARE heretofore unknown volcanic vents directly beneath the remnants of Larsen B and not 30 miles away like the Seal Nunataks. However, the presence of volcanic activity does not automatically make it the likely culprit for local ice melt. How do you know that frequent geothermal activity isn’t the norm? How do you know that the ice shelf wouldn’t have spread over an even greater area had it not been for geothermal activity keeping the growth of Larsen B in check? How did undersea volcanic vents cause the extensive melt ponds on the surface of the ice shelf? When you hold a match to an ice cube, the melting doesn’t occur on the side away from the flame.

    Sorry for the long post, and I don’t know if RW will mind me butting in. I look forward to your comments.

    REPLY: I understand the points you are making. I’m simply trying to illustrate (especially with #1) that this entire Peninsula area is geothermally active, and yet no one considers this massive heat source even as a possibility. 2. Again I’m pointing out that the entire area has geothermal sources. Are they directly below? Don’t know. What data we have is weak, but I’m pointing out the possibility. On 3 no, that’s your assumption. I was simply providing a reference. 4 yes, I’m familiar with the wind pattern. On 5 what I was referring to was some sat photos I’ve seen in the Ross ice shelf area where you’ll see these blue circles, where the ice is starting to melt from below. I’ll see if I can find them.

    As we’ve illustrated time and again, the peninsula reacts differently that the mainland in many ways, even though it should be in a separate climate zone.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/18/what-happens-when-you-divide-antarctica-into-two-distinct-climate-zones/
    Yet the peninsula temp data and ice shelves issues are being used as a basis to define the temperature and ice situation for the entire continent, and that’s simply wrong.

    I seem to recall a story/paper about a recent DSRV robot vehicle doing a survey under Larsen B after it broke up and finding all sorts of vents and marine life. I’ll see if I can locate that also. – A

  46. Smokey,

    I am contending nothing, but rather trying to reduce controversy. Oerlemans’ analysis is based on temperature, not precipitation or some other climatic factor being the dominant factor in determining the lengths of the glaciers. The excellent agreement between his derived temperature dataset and the instrumental record justifies that assumption.

    Hence, unless there is some reason to think the analysis has been fudged – and I have come across no suggestions to that effect – temperature is indeed the main driver for the movement of glaciers. The conclusion is therefore that the overall retreat seen over the last 150 years is due to the global increase in temperature. If you choose to dispute this, please tell me your grounds. If not we can move on.

    kuhnkat,

    “There are NO (none, nada, zip) comprehensive studies of glaciers worldwide.”

    I don’t think you’ve been paying attention – Oerlemans’ Science paper is just that. You might want to study it from the link kindly provided by Frank K.

  47. http://www.geus.dk/program-areas/raw-materials-greenl-map/greenland/gr-map/kost_02-uk.htm

    Found some Geologic Maps. The area of Greenland they zoom in on has known Devonian-Quaternary volcanics offshore. Who knows what is under the ice.
    Opposite side from the shown glacier melt stream has the same, but longer stretch. Another dot of volcanic in the very northern tip.

    Full page is here:
    http://www.geus.dk/program-areas/raw-materials-greenl-map/greenland/gr-map/kost_1-uk.htm
    Select your segment.
    Compare with the video.
    Late 2007 -2008 report of hot-spot under the ice, vascillates between possible magmatic origin to simple Ice pressure hot spot.
    Another ‘probably just’. Discovering team moving on to Antarctica.
    Google away.

  48. Patrick Davis (20:39:05) : Ouestion for you. Have you been to Hot Water Beach in New Zeland? Ok, New Zealand isn’t under ice, but the principal is the same. Water is heated by geothermal activity and is forced, hot, to the surface.

    Oddly enough, there is a similar, though opposite sign, example in Hilo Hawaii. Snow melts on the volcano, enters underground lava tubes et. al. and comes out again right near the ocean edge at the seaward edge of Hilo. It is DARNED cold water! There was a fish farm there that used it as a feature: to grow trout! They had something of a local monopoly on fresh cold water trout…

    If you go swimming at the nearby beach, you can see the mixing layer as the fresh water diffuses out of the beach and floats on top of the salt water. When I was there, it was a foot+ of fresh near shore, but rapidly dwindled to about 6 inches 20 feet or so from shore. Then it just got cloudy murky as it was all mixing. (This is a memory from 1/4 century ago so the distances could be a bit warped by time… but the memory of being darned cold upon entry but warming off shore is still sharp ;-)

    So you see, there is this little problem that you can get water, hot or cold, traveling 10s of miles (or more?) and popping out somewhere else far far away from the volcanic source. And it can be in quantity.

    Now put the volcanic heat source down low and the ice up high, the quantity of energy transfer can be spectacular. Look at mid ocean ridges as an extreme example…

  49. Tom P (22:36:17) :

    ……….. The conclusion is therefore that the overall retreat seen over the last 150 years is due to the global increase in temperature. ………..

    When was it that the LIA ended ? What was the CO2 output of humanity in 1850? You should know this for your hypothesis, it’s quite basic.

  50. The voice on the video consistently use and speak the word “the future” in a typically alarming way and, if not explicitly, possibly alarming context.

    To the left in the picture of the glacier on Greenland the thear 1884 appears. Outside the picture to the left we would have seen years in the 18th century.

    The Heliogenic (linking Lubos Motl) has the whole picture of this:
    http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2009/07/ilulissat-panic.html

    Also in the medieval times the ice in the summer arond the east coast and nortern coast wasn’t there. In the holocenic optimum there was also periods without ice on the Arctic sea.

    I guess Smokey 17:43:36 also is right; there are also growing glaciers (and I guess no glacier is ever stable).

  51. ‘Perhaps someone with the proper skills, could take that video, edit out the sound track, and add one that a realist could support. ‘

    I have the necessary skills. Send me a script.

  52. Re: Smokey (17:43:36) :

    Growing – Pio XI Glacier, The biggest glacier in South America keeps growing every year (Visit Chile).

    Just cherry picking to remark that all neighbouring glaciers of Pio XI are shrinking. So the growth of Pio XI must be due to some dynamic process while not contradicting GW.

    Over 90% of the worlds glaciers are shrinking. Buy some tickets and do a world tour to see for yourself.

  53. rbateman (21:52:51) : “When people look at glaciers around the world, the majority of them are shrinking,” said Slawek Tulaczyk, an assistant professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz,

    Well, there’s your answer…

    When looking for a school with my son, we visited the UC Santa Cruz campus. They bragged excessively about their incredibly leftist programs. Things like: every single topic was infused with propaganda. Want to take math? You will be studying “Men are evil. Whites are evil. People Destroy the Planet. Etc.”.

    By the end of the day we both wanted to “book it out of there” incredibly fast. I, a UC alumni, knew it had a “lefty” reputation, but the reality was so far around the bend it was astonishing. We settled on UC Riverside who had a far better academic program and more middle of the road politics. (Frankly, I’m not sure what their political slant is… and that is how it OUGHT to be… We visited, they focused on academics, we signed up.)

    So take any professor from UCSC and you MUST get AGW propaganda. If they did otherwise, they would be burned at the stake upon return to the campus. If you don’t believe me, just visit the campus during recruiting week. While the top level of their web site is all sanitized “neutral” dig a little and you start to hit stuff like this:

    http://www.ucsc.edu/news_events/text.asp?pid=2983

    This is a press release about a writing class. You know, Noun Verb Object. Topic sentence. Expansion.

    This spring, students in Sarah Rabkin’s Environmental Action Through Writing class tried their hand at producing works powerful enough to change hearts and minds.

    OK, there is your first clue. The title and the goal.

    “This quarter is when I realized, ‘Hey, I’m actually a good writer,’ ” said Kate Pearl, a junior majoring in environmental studies and economics.

    “More than anything, this class has given me an opportunity to explore my own opinions,” said Audrey Fry, who is majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology and environmental studies. “It’s helping me figure out what I believe in. I’ve been doing some serious soul searching.”

    “Literary analysis is like walking with crutches, because you’re walking along on the shoulders of what others have said,” explained Heather Griffith, who is pursuing a combined major in environmental studies and biology with a minor in literature. “I’m used to the formula, and I can whip it out. In this class, you have to do more thinking.”

    Now, look back at that list of majors. Notice that all of them are “something” plus “How we are destroyers of earth”? So it doesn’t matter if you are an Econ major, a Biologist, or a literature major. You’ve got that Gaia Stamp of Approval… Even the title of the class says it is writing with a built in slant.

    Daniel Press, professor of environmental studies and chair of the department, is a big fan of the class, which he co-taught with Rabkin for several years. “I learned an incredible amount,” he recalled, adding that he would offer 10 sections of the class and require it of all majors, if there were funds to do so. “We have a very writing-intensive major anyway,” he noted.

    And the head honcho wants to shove it down everyone’s throat if only the state were not so bankrupt that he was running out of other peoples money to spend!

    The course’s emphasis on environmental action through writing is particularly apt for students in environmental studies, many of whom struggle with feelings of hopelessness about the state of the planet. Writing can be a tool for social change, they learn, and Rabkin’s assignments encourage students to engage in public debate. After writing 90-second opinion pieces for radio, many recorded their spots for broadcast on KUSP Radio’s “First Person Singular” program.

    And here we have a return of the emphasis on “feelings” and “hopelessness” with a focus on political action and “social change” with the idealized product being local propaganda pieces.

    So know you know…

    Not one word about things like, oh, how to make a water treatment plant to support a city in health. Or the benefits to malaria rates of draining the swamp (California is an endemic malaria zone…). Or the advancement of society from better technology. Or the Economic benefits of wealth creation. Or..

    The whole campus was like that. “Math and Women’s Studies Major” and “Physics and Minority Advancement Major” and “English and Ecology” and “Environmental Studies and Technology is Evil and White Men Did It Major” and … you get the idea. Very student hostile if the student happens to be white, technologically gifted, and becoming a man. So we voted with our feet.

    (For the inevitable person who does not know me and wants to pigeon hole me as a Radical Right Republican: 1) I am an independent, not a republican – I think both major parties are worthless. 2) I encourage women to achieve and have driven my daughter to distraction with stories of Celtic Women raising armies, leading countries, and doing ANYTHING they want. 3) I’m a native Californian from near San Francisco. A California Redneck Republican is about the same as a Texas Democrat with communist leanings… And I’m not a republican. 4) I don’t care what you do, or with whom, as long as I don’t have to hear about it or see it on the nightly news. Sex, drugs, sheep, fast cars, slow booze, praying to Gaia, being vegetarian OR hunting Bambi. It just is none of my business. Nor is your reproductive state or how you care to change it. (well, maybe not the sheep… they really ought to get a choice in the issue…) 5) We eat 2 to 4 vegetarian main meals per week, we recycle, etc. ad nauseam. 6) I have been a speaker of both English and Spanish since about the age of 4 and my best friend from that age was a Mexican neighbor kid. My favorite motorcycle buddy is a black guy married to a Philippina woman. I have a Jewish uncle and relatives. 7) At one time I was a member of or contributor to both The Sierra Club and Greenpeace – though not since they went around the bend… 8) IF I wear shoes, I prefer they be Birkenstocks. 9) I run biodiesel in my car whenever I can get it. 10) I do the cooking at home, and most of the dishes, since my wife has a “day job”. I serve her dinner when she gets home. 11) It isn’t about ME, it’s about THEM. )

    So if I thought they were “over the top and around the bend”, well … that gives you an idea…

    You cannot have it both ways.

    The same moisture stream hits both the watershed and the volcano, or they miss it. There is no magical moisture stream designed for the volcano only.
    Go ahead, take a drive on I-5 up there when a storm hits. It can rain so hard you can’t see where you are going. Special, eh?

    Drove that road many a time. Got stuck in a blizzard by the side of I5 about 10 miles from Weed once; all night. When the storms come it, it’s pretty much the whole shebang or nothing. 10s to 100s of miles wide.

    I suppose you could get marginally dry air that only dumped moisture when lifted up the mountain, but then that ought to have happened in the past, too, so the “glacial anomaly” ought not to change…

    Basically, I agree that the “drought and glacial growth” option looks like a non-starter to me. I’d be more inclined to the idea that it finally cooled off a bit extra from the last eruption. Which these folks:

    http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Shasta/description_shasta.html

    say was about 200 years ago. 1800?

    The last known eruption occurred about 200 radiocarbon years ago.

    Good skiing, though, and decent trout in the stream at Dunsmuir.

    In a half century of driving past it, I can’t say that it looks any different now than then. Sometimes a bit less snow covered (1960s?) sometimes more (1970s?) but always about the same on average.

    BTW, the top of Mount Lassen near by Shasta is quite hot. Last eruption about 1914 IIRC. Explosive ejecta from some event or other in the distant past made it down past Chico about 30 miles. We used to do field trips out to look at the lava “bombs” and igneous rocks as part of “earth sciences”… Either one of those two volcanoes can light up and rumble any time they want to. They are both ‘active’ volcanoes.

    IFF we do enter a period of enhanced volacanic activity, it could get really exciting in Chico…

  54. RR Kampen (01:11:22): “Over 90% of the worlds glaciers are shrinking. Buy some tickets and do a world tour to see for yourself.”

    You may be right. A long list doesn’t prove most glaciers grow. There are e.g. more than 9000 glaciers in India alone. 1 percent growing and 99 percent shrinking glaciers can make a long list of growing glaciers. :-)

    But I don’t think the subject of anthropogenic GW has anything to do with he rate between shrinking and growing glaciers. When the Earth head towards its next ice age, or even its next little ice age, 90/10 should change to 50/50 and “reverse”. The current state is one of natural changes which has nothing to do with AGW.

  55. Tom in Texas (19:29:12) :

    Maybe that ‘Greenman’ chap could use his video editing skills to show the video from the skeptical point of view?

    But, then again, maybe not.

  56. NS,

    The movement of the glaciers is driven by the temperature changes since 1850 – we agree on that. Indeed there seems to be little to argue about here – for example here’s Roy Spencer’s views on the subject last year:

    “…we could be in for 30 more years of no warming, or even some cooling, a gradual return of more extensive sea ice in the Arctic, and glaciers that start growing again.”

    I think Roy Spencer qualifies as one of Smokey’s “skeptical scientists.”

    But I don’t think most of the temperature variation since 1850 can plausibly be explained by the end of the Little Ice Age. Rather than a slow, linear recovery which would have trended up over many centuries, the combined instrument and glacier temperature records show warming concentrated mainly in the last one hundred years:

    Any hypothesis as to what caused these temperature changes has at least to be consistent with this record.

    RR Kampen

    “Over 90% of the worlds glaciers are shrinking. Buy some tickets and do a world tour to see for yourself.”

    Where did you come up with this percentage? I suspect your source is confusing glaciers around the world – which outside the polar regions are necessarily mountain glaciers – with ice sheet movement, particularly in Antarctica.

    Oerlemans’ analysis connects the recession of mountain glaciers recorded worldwide over the last 150 years with the global increase in temperature over the same period.

  57. RR Kampen,

    Sorry – I misread your “shrinking” for growing. Of course most of the glaciers are currently shrinking!

  58. Tom P (20:53:36) :

    Did you look at the “temperature” history for North America? Did you look at his differential equations? Did you look at his uncertainty analysis? Did you look at his methodology for deriving c and tau? How about his weighting scheme for developing a world “temperature”? Creating a hockey stick with two first order ODEs and a pair tunable constants does not impress me…but, after all, this IS climate “science”…

  59. Frank K.,

    “Did you look at the “temperature” history for North America? Did you look at his differential equations? Did you look at his uncertainty analysis? Did you look at his methodology for deriving c and tau? How about his weighting scheme for developing a world “temperature”?”

    Yes I did – what is your, or anyone else’s, particular criticism of his approach?

    “Creating a hockey stick with two first order ODEs and a pair tunable constants does not impress me…”

    which implies that he fudged (i.e. “tuned”) his analysis to create what you regard as spurious result (i.e. “Creating a hockey stick”). Do you have any evidence to support such a serious allegation. If not you might want to withdraw what you have written.

    “…but, after all, this IS climate “science”…”

    No, this is not climate science, it is glaciology. It is an independent corroboration of the variation of temperature over the last 400 years. But if you have a problem accepting the data, then there is little chance of you understanding the processes that might be behind that variation.

  60. Notice how the rapid changes for Jakobshavn glacier in 2003-2005 slow down through 2006-2009. The Larsen shelf collapse MAY be due to volcanic activity. The Jakobshavn glacier is like a leaky faucet, and there’s a reason it accelerated (and slowed down again):

    “Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ triggered by warm subsurface ocean waters”
    by DAVID M. HOLLAND, ROBERT H. THOMAS, BRAD DE YOUNG, MADS H. RIBERGAARD AND BJARNE LYBERTH

    http://efdl.cims.nyu.edu/publications/refereed/ngeo_greenland_08.pdf

    Greenland’s land mass is like a kidney bean with the Bay of Baffin extending into the midsection. So most of the icebergs form in the northwest (the glacier is partially in the water):
    http://www.athropolis.com/map10.htm

    As for volcanic activity in the Arctic, there’s the Gakkel Ridge…

    http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/03/pr0367_images.htm

    http://www.awi.de/en/research/research_divisions/geosciences/marine_geology_and_paleontology/research_themes/bathymetry_and_geodesy/gakkel_ridge_amore/

    Regards,
    Bob

  61. From personal experience; I grew up on a lake that is an impact crater on the Canadian prairies. It is the deepest lake in the province. In winter, there was an area of the lake that was never safe to snowmobile on no matter how cold for any length of time. It can be as cold as -30 for weeks at a time. Winter ice thickness was 4 to 5 feet on average, but not in that area of the lake. The lake was spring fed, but these were not hot springs. They were probably warmer than the ambient temperature of the lake, but it was the water flow that kept this area ice free. Logic dictates that the melting of the area called the Wilkins ice shelf ( a minute section of the Antarctic, as someone else pointed out) could have a number of differing causal factors, the least of which is AGW. We need to eliminate all natural factors before jumping to confusions.

  62. Getting back to Larsen B…one needs to remember – it ‘broke off’ & not ‘melted’. Didn’t someone do some research pointing to larger-than-normal ocean swells from the North Pacific traversed southward & caused extra vertical movement in the ice shelf (which may have been aggrivated by melting from below) which caused it to break away? Remember, the ice shelf is floating, ice is brittle & water is an incompressible fluid. If large swells flow twards the face of a large floating ice structure, something has to give.

    Just something to think about…
    Jeff

  63. Tom P (07:02:53) :

    I did look at his analysis, and it is fine as it stands, but if you had read his paper carefully, there are a lot of caveats and assumptions. His methodology for tuning c and tau are again fine for his study, but they are estimates and even he admits that the magnitude of the temperature will be affected by precipitation and the number of records available, among many other things.

    “It is an independent corroboration of the variation of temperature over the last 400 years. But if you have a problem accepting the data, then there is little chance of you understanding the processes that might be behind that variation.”

    No, one can accept the data, such as it is – it is the analysis methods and uncertainties associated with those methods that are open for debate – which indeed is the essence of science.

  64. Frank K.,

    Of course there are uncertainties in the analysis – these are reflected in the error bars in the derived temperature plots. Do you have any reason to believe that Oerlemans miscalculated these? If not the only “debate” to be had is rather restricted to where on the error bars the actual temperature trace might lie.

    Within these error bars the agreement between the glacial and instrument record is indeed striking. As you still seem reluctant to accept these results, perhaps you can suggest some better records of temperature for the last 400 years.

  65. That’s a great site, Smokey and a very useful post! The video is stunning and by turning the sound off, one lowers the seething anger level caused by listening to propaganda.

  66. That is a great graphic, and luckily I had no headphones so I didn’t have to listen to anything. By the way, the graph of Arctic ice extent, which goes dismayingly downhill, starts in 1979 just after the mid 1960s to mid 1970s growth of “permanent ice and snow in North America” to paraphrase NAS in 1975. It is too bad there isn’t equivalent data from long before.

  67. When I first heard about the Larsen-B shelf, the impression left was that half of Antarctica has just melted (!).

    So, as a curious sort, I decided to dig a little deeper into the reports and pictures. And, as already mentioned, finding this shelf on a map is, well, a needle-haystack kind of thing. As already stated, the images indicated a breaking off, and not necessarily melting.

    One point I found curious, though, is the mention of the mid-latitudes permafrost being ‘unusual’. I was expecting the commentary to indicate that it’s shrinking. In addition, it indicated 2003 was normal but 2002 was a much drier year; reversing the chronological order of occurrence is pretty disingenuous.

  68. And another point:

    “After twelve thousand years, the Larsen B ice shelf collapsed in just five weeks.”

    Such statements are pure propaganda and doublespeak. Implying that some outside influence caused something to happen can be acceptable, but in the current context it is disingenuous.

    There are numerous natural and geological events ‘which just happen’ after decades, centuries or milennia of stability, particularly when someone is not sitting right on top of it monitoring it. Additionally, these events are not tied to a single unifying cause.

    Man has always liked to think that he is in control of his surroundings; and if he isn’t, strives for this. But a lot of the time, S*** Happens. Sometimes you can go something about them, sometimes you can’t. Volcanoes, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis. It would be ‘nice’ to attribute through some convoluted chain these effects to something under our control, because it means we’d be (potentially) able to do something about them. Sadly, that’s not the way the real world works. Being all touchy feely ‘world unite’ for a common good is great while you are trying to get laid, but science it ain’t.

  69. The unacknowleged limitation of satellite data is that it begins in the late 70s, when temperatures were starting to rebound from a deep multidecadal dip, and extends only a decade past the 1998 peak. That’s too short a record for drawing long-term conclusions, especially about lagging processes such as sea-ice extent and glacial variations. It’s irresponsible to create and maintain the impression that the available data constitutes an unmistakable secular trend.

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