Operation ice bridge in Antarctica

While we have no mention in press of the record amounts of ice for the entire Antarctic continent as shown here, scientists are focusing on the one part of the continent that seems to get all the press. No word yet on whether Ted Scambos has a statement prepared already for the press.
From a press release of:

Peering under the ice of a collapsing polar coast

Low-level aerial surveys aim to understand rapid Antarctic melting

IMAGE: The cabin of a DC-8 aircraft has been converted for instruments and engineers.

Click here for more information.

Starting this month, a giant NASA DC-8 aircraft loaded with geophysical instruments and scientists will buzz at low level over the coasts of West Antarctica, where ice sheets are collapsing at a pace far beyond what scientists expected a few years ago. The flights, dubbed Operation Ice Bridge, are an effort by NASA in cooperation with university researchers to image what is happening on, and under, the ice, in order to estimate future sea-level rises that might result.

Since 2003, laser measurements of ice surfaces from NASA’s ICESat satellite have shown that vast ice masses in Greenland and West Antarctica are thinning and flowing quickly seaward. Last month, a report in the journal Nature based on the satellite’s measurements showed that some parts of the Antarctic area to be surveyed have been sinking 9 meters (27) feet a year; in 2002, one great glacial ice shelf jutting from land over the ocean on the Antarctic Peninsula simply disintegrated and floated away within days.

IMAGE: Antarctica’ Larsen Ice Shelf has deteriorated in recent years, and it is one target of the flights.

Click here for more information.

NASA’s satellite reaches the end of its life this year, and another will not go up until 2015; in the interim, Operation Ice Bridge flights will continue and expand upon the satellite mission. In addition to lasers, the plane will carry penetrating radars to measure snow cover and the thickness of ice to bedrock, and a gravity-measuring system run by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory that will, for the first time, plot the geometry and depth of ocean waters under the ice shelves. The gravity study is seen as key because many scientists believe warm ocean currents may be the main force pulling the ice sheets seaward, melting the undersides of ice shelves and thus removing the buttresses that hold back the far greater masses of ice on land.

“What our colleagues see from modeling of these glaciers is that warm ocean water is providing the thermal energy to melt the ice,” said Lamont geophysicist Michael Studinger, a co-leader of the gravity team who will be on some of the flights. “To really understand how the glaciers are going to behave, we need the firsthand measurements of water shape and depth.” Earlier this year, an icebreaker cruise co-led by another Lamont scientist, Stan Jacobs, sent an automated submarine to look under the region’s Pine Island Glacier, which has been moving forward rapidly in recent years. Its bed, where the ice contacts rock, is below sea level, and scientists are concerned about what would happen if a sudden large movement were to introduce seawater underneath. The plane flights, over some six weeks starting Oct. 15, are aimed at providing a wider-scale picture of Pine Island and other targets.

IMAGE: Ice shelves, extending from land over the ocean, form the ends of many Antarctic glaciers, making them vulnerable to warm ocean currents. Radar signals can measure the depth of ice,…

Click here for more information.

For each of some 17 flights, the 157-foot DC-8–too big for runways on Antarctic bases–will make an 11-hour round trip from Punta Arenas, Chile, with two-thirds of each trip spent getting to Antarctica. There, the plane will fly survey lines as low as 1,000 feet, some of them along sinuous glacial valleys that may test the nerves of both pilots and scientists. Some flights will investigate the region’s open sea ice, which also seems to be in decline. The campaign will cost about $7 million.

“We learned how fast the ice sheets are changing from NASA satellites,” said Lamont geophysicist Robin Bell, who is helping lead the project. “These flights are a unique opportunity to see through the ice, and address the question of why the ice sheets are changing.”

“A remarkable change is happening on Earth, truly one of the biggest changes in environmental conditions since the end of the ice age,” said Tom Wagner, cryosphere program scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington. “It’s not an easy thing to observe, let alone predict what might happen next. Studies like this one are key.”

Investigators from the University of Washington and University of Kansas will run their own suites of instruments. The scientists and engineers will narrate the progress of the mission on several blogs, including one hosted by NASA, and another by Lamont, as well as via twitter.

Wesbite here: http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/blog/category/ice-bridge/

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67 thoughts on “Operation ice bridge in Antarctica

  1. They’re not even bothering to hide the fact that they’re just making this stuff up. I guess they think they don’t need to.
    I’ll let someone else pick apart the obvious logical contradiction inside Tom Wagner’s statement at the end. Scientist, feh.

  2. record amount of ice but only for the record, “A remarkable change is happening on Earth, truly one of the biggest changes in environmental conditions since the end of the ice age,”
    That could be called ‘paranoid delusion’ to raise funds for some rather unecceary research. However, Greenland is thickening at the interior which naturally sends glaciers outwards. Only The latter is then taken up by alarmists as signs of the whole place melting. Its actally the opposite scenario.

  3. “ice sheets are collapsing at a pace far beyond what scientists expected”
    Must keep repeating!
    “ice sheets are collapsing at a pace far beyond what scientists expected”
    Must keep repreating!
    “ice sheets are collapsing at a pace far beyond what scientists expected”
    Say it three times and it become truth!

  4. “…vast ice masses in Greenland and West Antarctica are thinning and flowing quickly seaward.”
    I hope columbia u alumni concerned about these outright lies are refusing to give money to the university when it comes begging.

  5. Seems like the theme here is “measure locally, extrapolate globally”.
    I hope they’re not implying warm undercurrents continent wide, because that would fly in the face of slowly increasing sea ice extent.

  6. “plot the geometry and depth of ocean waters under the ice shelves”
    Interesting use of the word ‘geometry’…
    “some flights will investigate the region’s open sea ice, which also seems to be in decline.”
    It’s a good time to do that at the beginning of the Antarctic summer.

  7. I would not classify the statements as outright lies or damn the researchers for doing the study. They may succeed in unveiling some part of the truth and contribute to understanding Antartica and it’s glaciers. Let’s all try to keep an open mind about our limited understanding about climate and not assign pernicious motivations to all those doing science in these areas of study.

  8. Doug in Seattle (08:34:26) :
    “ice sheets are collapsing at a pace far beyond what scientists expected”
    Must keep repeating! ….
    Say it three times and it become truth!
    ——-
    I only need it to be said once to believe the scientists need to be replaced with new scientists.

  9. Wow – what great timing for this useless exercise. The satellite is still up and working, but they will begin this “research” on October 15 for six weeks (ending near the end of November). Do you think that they will be able to generate their worst case scenario “report” before Copenhagen in December ??
    I’ll wager a bet that they will !!

  10. “warm ocean currents may be the main force pulling the ice sheets seaward, melting the undersides of ice shelves and thus removing the buttresses that hold back the far greater masses of ice on land”.
    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but how does a floating ice sheet hold back the ice on land? I suppose it’s too much to hope the author will engage his/her brain and apply a bit of logic before writing the next scary story.

  11. Another story about melting glaciers. This only has any relevance to AGW if it really relates to prospective rises in sea level. But a glacier is simply a frozen river. Water from a melting glacier is simply river water entering the ocean.
    But there are a lot of unfrozen rivers around the planet and it is well known that lots and lots of these rivers no longer discharge anything like as much water into the ocean because of human use.
    We now have waters locked up behind dams and spread around cities and farmland (and garden lawns and golfcourses). My question is: Has any study been done to estimate how much less river water now reaches the ocean compared to say 100 years ago?
    As far as I can see from living at the seaside there is so far no trace of sealevel rise. So long as any extra glacier melt (if there really is extra glacier melt) does not exceed the loss of river flow to the ocean we will not be facing any sealevel rise even if there really is some Global Warming. We might actually see a little sealevel fall.

  12. “For each of some 17 flights, the 157-foot DC-8–too big for runways on Antarctic bases–will make an 11-hour round trip from Punta Arenas, Chile, with two-thirds of each trip spent getting to Antarctica.”
    = x tons of CO2?

  13. CHUCKLE !!!!!!!!!
    “some flights will investigate the region’s open sea ice, which also seems to be in decline.”
    That sounds like “joy riding” !!!

  14. Tom in Texas (09:20:33) :
    “For each of some 17 flights, the 157-foot DC-8–too big for runways on Antarctic bases–will make an 11-hour round trip from Punta Arenas, Chile, with two-thirds of each trip spent getting to Antarctica.”
    = x tons of CO2?
    ——–
    +
    = x number of DC-8’s not making the 2/3’s of the trip back to Chile.

  15. re: william (08:56:47) :
    I agree with your assessment that some new evidence of how the antarctic ice shelves are changing might be discovered. But………..the problem with the press release is so common with most of these “scientific endeavors”, is that the researchers have already stated what their conclusions are going to be. Do you not find statements made by Tom Wagner a little disconcerting? Climate related observations and measurements we are now taking are covering very short time spans. Typically 30 years or less. I would guess far less with the Antarctic. How can we draw such dramatic conclusions (ie sea level changes, etc) without a longer view?

  16. “Starting this month, a giant NASA DC-8 aircraft loaded with geophysical instruments and scientists will buzz at low level over the coasts of West Antarctica, where ice sheets are collapsing at a pace far beyond what scientists expected a few years ago.”
    So, are there going to be flights over the coasts of East Antarctica, where ice sheets are growing at a pace far beyond what scientists expected a few years ago.”?

  17. Antarctica is a continent comprising something like 14 million square kilometers of area. Climate is uniform over that entire area. Most of Antarctica is cooling and ice is thickening over most of the continent. What could be causing areas in West Antarctica or the Antarctic Peninsula to be melting since we know CO2 is not to blame? Undersea volcanism? Terrestrial volcanism? Shifting wind currents? Shifting ocean currents? Hopefully these scientists will uncover some true scientific answers, because we know CO2 has nothing to do with it.

  18. The west Antarctic is loaded with volcanos or vents. I recall a map once posted in WUWT that listed all of them. It would be nice if this map could be posted more often when the west Antarctic comes up.

  19. Concerncing the link I posted above:
    “…because temperatures through the summer were relatively cooler due to cloudy skies, according to The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The Chukchi and Beaufort seas were especially cool compared to 2007. Winds also tended to disperse the ice pack over a larger region.”
    Then why didn’t all those climate modellers take that into account when they made their August projections? They were all way off the mark.
    Clearly, as Antarctica shows, they are all engaged in propoganda, and not in science.

  20. “What our colleagues see from modeling of these glaciers is that warm ocean water is providing the thermal energy to melt the ice,”

    said Lamont geophysicist Michael Studinger,
    Uh…Duh?

  21. Under-Ice Volcano Eruption Spewed Ash Over Antarctica:
    “Heat from the volcano likely melted a large amount of ice around it, and this meltwater probably ran under the base of the ice sheet and out to sea, the researchers say.
    The volcano could continue to melt ice around it, and the meltwater could lubricate the base of the ice sheet, speeding up the movement of the nearby Pine Island Glacier, helping make it today one of Antarctica’s fastest-flowing glaciers.”
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/01/080121-antarctica-volcano_2.html

  22. As a pilot and long time observer of the aerospace scene I wonder where they found a “Giant DC-8.” And how much bigger is a Giant DC-8 than a normal one?

  23. Some where is the lower recesses of my mind i remember a story of a recent research vessel getting behind a recently collapsed ice sheet aand claiming that they had been furthur south than any other vessel. A few days later someone noted that a polar research vessel had been furthur south in the early 1900″s. The first story got the headlines the second may have been on the back page.

  24. These people have been educated far beyond their intellectual capacity and of necessity have created and populated a parallel landscape where they can play at being scientists. In that they are abetted by professional politicians who know very little about anything, having never worked in the real world, and whose grasp of the meaning of the words democracy and freedom is becoming frighteningly similar to that of the early 20thC leaders of -isms.

  25. “For each of some 17 flights, the 157-foot DC-8–too big for runways on Antarctic bases–will make an 11-hour round trip from Punta Arenas, Chile, with two-thirds of each trip spent getting to Antarctica.”
    … and how do they get back?

  26. Jonathan Drake (11:28:27)
    Thanks for the link. It was an interesting story, made somewhat disappointing by the ambiguousness of what seems to me to be the accompanying photo with the headline: “Photo: Under-Ice Volcano Eruption Spewed Ash Over Antarctica”. The headline and caption for the photo certainly makes me think this is the subject volcano and the fast moving glacier in the photo certainly looks fast moving, yet the looking at the photo, the glacier is the Koettlitz Glacier.
    Anyway, so I thought the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) must be “nearby” as they state. Nearby, though, is 1,350 miles to the west of the photo. So, either a) the volcano is somewhere else, and they used this photo to improperly accentuate the story, or b) there is/was a volcano here and there’s another one 1,350 miles away at Pine Island Glacier, because I don’t see how steam from a volcano at Koettlitz Glacier, 1,350 miles to the west of PIG, and with a long, large mountain ridge in between, is going to lubricate PIG.

  27. So, this is one of the “biggest change in environmental conditions since the end of the last ice age!”
    Is it me or does this sound like a complete load of garbage? I mean, what sense is there in that statement? They report that the ice that floats in the sea is melting in the summer and in the same sentence they then imply that this has never happened since the end of the last ice age. At the end of the last ice age thousands of cubic kilometers of ice began to melt, raising sea levels by tens of meters, and they are comparing this with that!
    I should file this research, if indeed it can be dignified with such a term, into the same file as the one about climate change altering the tilt of the earth’s axis and AIT.

  28. Tom in Texas (09:20:33) :
    “For each of some 17 flights, the 157-foot DC-8–too big for runways on Antarctic bases–will make an 11-hour round trip from Punta Arenas, Chile, with two-thirds of each trip spent getting to Antarctica.”
    = x tons of CO2?
    ——–
    +
    = x number of DC-8’s not making the 2/3’s of the trip back to Chile.

    LOL! I wondered about that!
    Anyway, assuming Tom Wagner and company make it back to Chile, Anthony, maybe you could invite him to post a response here to the questions posed in this thread, in particular the reason for his alarmist a priori ‘global warming’ conclusions in the face of increasing sea-ice area and increasingly colder temperatures for the Antarctic continent as a whole.
    /Mr Lynn

  29. Velicogna and Wahr (2006) used high resolution gravity data (GRACE) to determine that the WAIS was losing 148 ± 21 km3/year of ice mass from 2002-2005 and that the EAIS (the vastly larger bit of Antarctica) was stable or even possibly gaining ice mass.
    Sea level didn’t rise at all from 2005-2008 according to the CU satellite altimetry data… So I kind of doubt the ice mass loss accelerated after 2005.
    Antarctica’s ice volume is about 25 million km3… The WAIS comprises about 10% of the total ice volume (~2.5 million km3).
    148 is 0.0059% of 2.5 million and 0.00059% of 25 million. At the 2002-2005 melt rate, the WAIS will be gone in 17,000 years… That’ll only leave about 22.5 million km3 of ice mass in Antarctica (EAIS). If the EAIS starts to melt at the same rate as the WAIS, the Antarctic may become ice-free in only 170,000 years.

  30. Anyway, so I thought the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) must be “nearby” as they state. Nearby, though, is 1,350 miles to the west of the photo. So, either a) the volcano is somewhere else, and they used this photo to improperly accentuate the story, or b) there is/was a volcano here and there’s another one 1,350 miles away at Pine Island Glacier, because I don’t see how steam from a volcano at Koettlitz Glacier, 1,350 miles to the west of PIG, and with a long, large mountain ridge in between, is going to lubricate PIG.
    Not only that but the volcano erupted 1700 years ago.

  31. In my day Columbia was an institution noted for its scholarship and objectivity.
    How are the mighty fallen!

  32. A potentially relevant paper – “Inferring surface heat flux distributions guided by a global seismic model: particular application to Antarctica” by Nikolai M. Shapiro and Michael H. Ritzwoller (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V61-4CMNSXC-6&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1040502749&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=26fbf0236fcbdce1db45bbdf6b3a130b).
    This is behind a paywall, but the abstract concludes with – “Mean heat flow in West Antarctica is expected to be nearly three times higher than in East Antarctica and much more variable. This high heat flow may affect the dynamics of West Antarctic ice streams and the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.”

  33. “Studies like this one are key”… no kidding, really? It’s the case of the blinds scientists describing an elephant and one of them trying to convince the rest that the ear is the elephant despite reports of the contrary…

  34. P. Gosselin,
    Thanks for the link! Wow!
    “Damocles” states The Arctic sea ice cover in 2007 was the lowest ever recorded. In 2008, the sea ice extent was slightly bigger than 2007, but still dramatically low. The 2009 data shows that the sea ice extent is bigger than the two previous years. However, this does not mean that the Arctic sea ice is recovering, rather the opposite.
    Good grief. “This does not mean that the Arctic sea ice is recovering, rather the opposite.” What is this poppycock? (comes from the Dutch word for diarrhea and seems quite appropriate)
    DAMOCLES research project was launched in Finland in Arctic centre of Lapland University. It is expected to end in 2009. Project’s budget is about 30 million euro – funded by the EU and EU members!!
    The main technological objective of DAMOCLES is to develop a prototype for an Arctic Ocean Observing System (AOOS) including major innovations and breakthrough in High Technology instrumentation adapted to a remote and harsh environment such as the Arctic Ocean.
    However if you peruse their website it is all too abundantly clear – it’s another science boondogle – meetings, conventions etc. and you need read no further than the project title “DAMOCLES” to know what is the only possible outcome or conclusion from this organization – yes siree – it is all confirmed – the Arctic faces a total catastrophe – oh and …errr yes…we spent all the money and BTW we need a lot more money to even begin to complete our endless-do-loop-modelling and research!

  35. I don’t think I’d call a DC-8 “giant”. It wasn’t a wide-body like the DC-10, L-1011, or 747. There was a stretch DC-8 version, longer than the normal version, but I still wouldn’t call it “giant”.

  36. Just noting that there is a point whereby the weight of a large glacier over a landmass will cause the continent and the continental margins to sink so much that the ocean is able to underpin the glaciers and flood the continent and cause the glaciers to melt.
    This does not seem to be much of an issue for Antarctica right now, it is already well below sea level in most parts (and certainly not in Greenland’s case since the edges are well above sea level) but it does seem that this has happened in the paleoclimate.
    This seems to have occured in northwest Africa about 430 million years ago and in southern South America 390 to 360 million years ago. These areas were right over the south pole at the time periods mentioned and there seems to be periods whereby there was a rapid melt of the glaciers which had built up over the landmasses (and the sedimentary records show the areas had become flooded by the ocean.)
    In a way, this is not much different that the Arctic Ocean basin is right now. The majority of it is within the continental shelves of North America and EuroAsia but since it is well below sea level, there is no land glaciers on these continental shelves. This situation also exists for Hudson Bay which was under 3 kms of ice during the last ice age. It was depressed so much that it is still below sea level.
    This issue might also explain why Antarctica half-deglaciated 27 million years ago. There was no change in GHGs or any continental drift arrangements to explain it, but the glaciers melted back from convering the entire continent in the 8 million years previous. As mentioned, even today, much of Antarctica is well below sea level.
    A little off-topic I know, but the data I have shows this seems to actually happen.

  37. Mr. Drake, Dusty et al.
    As I pointed out in a letter to the Times of London which they published the Antarctic peninsular is a volcanically active region. Beyond realising that if you have a glacier atop a more or less active volcano, the ice is likely to melt from the underside of the glacier we know so little about the process that we cannot predict what is likely to happen.
    We certainly cannot stop it.
    And it has nothing whatsoever to do with global temperatures or anything else.
    Fascinating to study it of course, but presumably since it has been doing it, on and off, for many thousand years I don’t see that has anything to do with AGW.
    Kindest Regards.

  38. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current is unique in that it is the only oscillating current that circles the globe. It splits at the ridge between Antarctica and South America, with much of the current traveling North while the remaining segment continues to circle the globe. The current is amazingly strong, probably the strongest current in the oceans proper. It also has a Circumpolar Current Wave that oscillates about every 8 years and changes weather within the Antarctic climate zones.

  39. Bill Illis (19:17:22)
    The earth rebounds, when the glacier’s gone. I’ve read that there are areas of the northern US that are still rising.
    And I’ve seen it mentioned with respect to Antarctica’s below sea level glaciers.
    Should they hypothetically disappear, the rebounding sea floor would even further increase sea levels.

  40. “NASA’s satellite reaches the end of its life this year, and another will not go up until 2015; in the interim, Operation Ice Bridge flights will continue and expand upon the satellite mission. In addition to lasers, the plane will carry penetrating radars to measure snow cover and the thickness of ice to bedrock…”
    Now wait a second…
    I’m a radar tech, and I know enough to realise that if you point a radar at something, that something heats up. Now point that radar through multiple feet of ice (they did say measurements to bedrock), and ice melts.
    Don’t believe me? Put a plate of ice cubes in a microwave, and turn it on.
    How much power is that ice penetrating radar putting out, anyway?

  41. Motivations and global warming aside, I envy though scientists and their flights on the DC-8. I miss those bygone days when flying was still an adventure.

  42. @John Stover
    A Giant DC-8 is 157′ X the number of years in journalism school of the observer.
    @Dusty
    No,no, it’s just headwinds south bound. Wait. Maybe someone is just fractionally challenged.
    @Douglas, DC
    Fancy flying low-level over the Antarctic in a DC-8? Hope it has been re-engined. Used to be the world’s fastest tricycle.

  43. Pine Island? Didn’t we just discover an active volcano there?
    Why no discussion of volcanic temperature/circulation effects on glaciers? If you look at a map of antarctic volcanoes, and a map of glacier alarm, there seems to be an interesting correlation.
    Is it just me?

  44. British Government is spending £6,000,000 on TV adds to make people aware of climate change ( eureferendum) glad I am not a British !

  45. From my understanding of the mechanics of a glacier from an engineering standpoint, the “flow” of the tongue of a glacier is more of an extrusion process, than a “flow”, such as the flow of water in a river. The flow of a river is the flow of individual molecules of water, with gravity acting upon each molecule of water in the river, and each molecule flows independently of other molecules.
    Inland precipitation (snow) builds up in height in/over a basin, and the snow gets compressed into ice at the bottom of the snow. When sufficient pressure of the buildup of ice occurs, the ice at the bottom is extruded. As the glacier is bound by geological land masses, the extrusion is at the outlet of the basin containing the glacier. Greater pressure from increasing snow/ice levels increases the extrusion process, and increases the rate of movement and furthers the advance of the tongue of the glacier. The rate of the “flow” can not exceed the inland precipitation rate. The addition to the mass of the glacier by precipitation requires more precipitation than the outward “flow” of the ice, as water is always being lost from the surface of the glacier due to sublimation (change of state of the water from solid to vapor without an intermediate liquid state, but with the same removal of heat that is required for both changes of state of the water, i.e., from the solid to liquid, and from liquid to vapor). This removal of ice/snow by sublimation is enhanced by wind, with greater wind velocity over the surface of the glacier increasing the rate of sublimation, and reducing the mass of the glacier.
    The rate (in mass) of the flow of ice/snow of a glacier can not exceed the rate of inland precipitation, less water loss due to sublimation. It doesn’t seem to me, an engineer who has done a considerable amount of hydraulic engineering, that reducing the friction at the bottom of a glacier would substantially increase the extrusion process of the ice, as reducing the friction in a channel would increase the flow of liquid water. In any event, the output can’t exceed the input.

  46. For each of some 17 flights, the 157-foot DC-8–too big for runways on Antarctic bases–will make an 11-hour round trip from Punta Arenas, Chile, with two-thirds of each trip spent getting to Antarctica.
    Let’s see, 17 X 1/3(11) = 62.3 hrs. over the ice, max. /
    Area of PIG:175,000 km² (whole catchment)[1] = 2809 km2 +
    and other targets
    This is starting to look like an airborne Catlin Expedition. What can possibly go wrong?
    Dusty (13:40:36) :
    ……1,350 miles to the west of PIG, and with a long, large mountain ridge in between, is going to lubricate PIG.

    Oh, now I see. It’s just a county fair greased pig contest.

  47. Pardon me, that last paragraph should read “The rate (in mass) of the flow of ice/snow of a glacier can not exceed the rate of inland precipitation, less water loss due to sublimation. It doesn’t seem to me, and engineer who has done a considerable amount of hydraulic engineering, that reducing the friction at the bottom of a glacier would substantially increase the extrusion process of the ice, any more than reducing the friction in the bottom of a basin of water would increase the flow out of the basin through a channel. Reducing the friction in the channel out of a basin of liquid water will increase the velocity of the water in the channel, but will reduce the depth of water in the channel and will not increase the flow in mass of water out of the basin by any substantial amount.

  48. Whatever the results, I’m glad they’re at least trying to “bridge” the data gap. The existing satellite might quit soon, and the gap until the next one is frustrating to people trying to study the ice. At least these flights will collect some data during the gap. I am glad that I don’t have to try to convert this data into something comparable to the satellite data for that region.
    What will be interesting is whether there is a difference between this data and the satellites. This is using different technologies over much shorter distances. For data which can be compared (the surface layer) the differences will be interesting in several ways. The fact that they’re also able to use instrumentation which a satellite can’t is a bonus, and I hope they learn some interesting things about the geology and ice behavior.

  49. The rate (in mass) of the flow of ice/snow of a glacier can not exceed the rate of inland precipitation, less water loss due to sublimation. It doesn’t seem to me, an engineer who has done a considerable amount of hydraulic engineering, that reducing the friction at the bottom of a glacier would substantially increase the extrusion process of the ice, as reducing the friction in a channel would increase the flow of liquid water. In any event, the output can’t exceed the input.
    Based on the following from the Cornell University Department of Geological Sciences it would appear that the outflow can exceed the input.
    http://www.geo.cornell.edu/geology/eos/iceflow/model_description.html

  50. tty (23:53:33) :
    Odd that nobody has commented on the obviously faked (well, mislabelled) image of the Larsen Ice-shelf. An ice-shelf is dead flat since it consists of ice floating on the sea. The image on the other hand is obviously of a glacier, not shelf-ice. There are even nunataks (=mountains sticking up through the ice) visible.

    That looks like one of the glaciers that used to flow into the Larsen before its demise in 2003 (perhaps Hektoria or Green). The caption is fairly accurate, the Larsen has deteriorated, so much so that there’s very little left.

  51. :Henry
    Don’t believe me? Put a plate of ice cubes in a microwave, and turn it on.
    All that energy in your microwave oven is contained and continuous wave and will heat your ice cubes up very nicely over a minute or so. Don’t try this at home, but if you could open the microwave door, rigging it so that it won’t switch off and point it at your plate of icecubes which you have put 1500feet away [the height that the DC-8 will fly at], then cut the power of the oven to 10% of it’s CW value because these things are pulsed, then open and close the door very quickly because the DC-8 will be flying past at a couple of hundred mph, you will see that the ice cubes will hardly notice the microwave energy and will be far more concerned about being sat outside on a plate in the sunshine!

  52. “In this recent post, we discussed the problems with recent data that showed the argument presented by the EDF’s millionaire lawyer playing clueless environmentalist on Lou Dobbs Tonight that this will be the warmest decade is nonsense. This claim was well refuted and Al Gore’s credibility disassembled by Phelim McAleer, of the new documentary Not Evil, Just Wrong that challenges the lies and exaggerations (totalling 35) in Al Gore scifi horror comedy film, An Inconvenient Truth. 9 were serious enough for a UK judge to require a disclaimer itemizing them be read whenever, the movie was shown in the schools.”
    Climate Depot posted my videos of this Lou Dobbs CNN Story.
    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/3306/CNNs-Lou-Dobbs-Hosts-Rare-Global-Warming-Debate-Over-Gores-Errors–Mocks-claim-that-capandtrade-is-market-based-plan-Video

  53. I love how WWS doesn’t have a clue what the scientists is talking about and dismisses Dr. Wagner’s statement as if he were some kind of expert.
    Just because we don’t understand ALL the minutiae of work doesn’t mean we can’t see where things are headed. You don’t have to understand how your car’s internal combustion engine works to know when you’re driving off a cliff.
    I’m sure somebody with no obvious understanding of how stochastic systems function or even basic mathematics or physics for that matter is in a position to lecture us all about what is and isn’t happening to the ice in West Antarctica. I’d be willing to bet WWS has never been to Antarctica. What a true “expert” he is. Please give us more words of wisdom, sir. We’re listening. Tell us how things work in Antarctica.
    I’ll give you a direct challenge WWS: Come up with a model using verifiable empirical evidence that says climate change isn’t happening and I’ll give you my life savings. You think you’re so smart WWS? Put your money where your mouth is. If you think scientific research is easy, you show us experts how it’s done. I triple dog dare you.

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