New study using satellite data: Alaskan glacier melt overestimated

From a press release provided by Centre national de la recherche scientifique in Paris, France:

Improved estimate of glacier decline in Alaska.

From the CNRS photo library, provided with the press release: Field campaign on the Saint Elias glaciers (Alaska and Yukon Territory) © M. J. Hambrey (Aberystwyth University)

Glaciologists at the Laboratory for Space Studies in Geophysics and Oceanography (LEGOS – CNRS/CNES/IRD/Université Toulouse 3) and their US and Canadian colleagues (1) have shown that previous studies have largely overestimated mass loss from Alaskan glaciers over the past 40 years. Recent data from the SPOT 5 and ASTER satellites have enabled researchers to extensively map mass loss in these glaciers, which contributed 0.12 mm/year to sea-level rise between 1962 and 2006, rather than 0.17 mm/year as previously estimated.

Mountain glaciers cover between 500 000 and 600 000 km2 of the Earth’s surface (around the size of France), which is little compared to the area of the Greenland (1.6 million km2) and Antarctic (12.3 million km2) ice sheets. Despite their small size, mountain glaciers have played a major role in recent sea-level rise due to their rapid melting in response to global climate warming.

Of all the ice-covered regions of the planet, ice loss has been the greatest in Alaska and northwestern Canada, where glaciers cover 90 000 km2. Results from the LEGOS glaciologists and their US and Canadian colleagues, published in the February issue of Nature Geoscience, lead them to conclude that these glaciers have contributed 0.12 mm/year to sea-level rise over the period 1962-2006, rather than 0.17 mm/year as previously estimated by a team at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks). The new estimate was obtained by comparing recent topographies, derived from Spot 5-HRS (SPIRIT project (2) funded by CNES) and ASTER (GLIMS/NASA project), with maps from the 1950-60s, which enabled loss from three quarters of the Alaskan glaciers to be measured.

How did the team from the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska estimate that the contribution of these glaciers to sea-level rise was 0.17 mm/year? In 1995, and then again in 2001, the researchers used an airborne laser to measure the surface elevation of 67 glaciers along longitudinal profiles. These elevations were then compared with those mapped in the 1950s and 1960s. From this, the researchers inferred elevation changes and then extrapolated this to other glaciers. Their results, published in Science (3), pointed to a major contribution to sea-level rise for the 1950-1995 period (0.14 mm/year sea-level rise), which then doubled in the recent period (after 1995).

Why did they overestimate ice loss from these glaciers by 50%? The impact of rock debris that covers certain glacier tongues (4) and protects them from solar radiation (and thus from melting) was not taken into account in the previous work. Moreover, their sampling was limited to longitudinal profiles along the center of a few glaciers, which geometrically led to overestimation of ice loss.

This new study confirms that the thinning of Alaskan glaciers is very uneven, and shows that it is difficult to sample such complex spatial variability on the basis of a few field measurements or altimetry profiles. Thanks to their regional coverage, satellite data make it possible to improve observations of glacial response to climate change and to specify the contribution of glaciers to sea-level rise.

Ice loss from Alaskan glaciers since1962 is evidently smaller than previously thought. However, thinning (sometimes over 10 m/year, as in the Columbia glacier) and glacial retreat remain considerable. Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question and proves to be a worrying indication of future sea-level rise.

NOTES:

(1) from Northern Arizona University (US) and two universities in Canada (University of British Columbia and University of Northern British Columbia).

(2) During the 4th International Polar Year (2007-2009), the glaciologists had free access to SPOT 5-HRS data thanks to the SPIRIT project (SPOT 5 stereoscopic survey of Polar Ice: Reference Images and Topographies). The high-resolution images from this satellite can be used to reconstruct precisely the topography of polar ice and thus study its past and future evolution in response to climate fluctuations. LEGOS is the scientific coordinator for this project, which was carried out with CNES, Spot Image and IGN Espace.

(3) Arendt et al, Rapid wastage of Alaska glaciers and their contribution to rising sea level. Science 297, 382-386 (2002)

(4) The lower parts of a valley glacier.

References:

Berthier E., Schiefer E., Clarke G.K.C., Menounos B. & Remy, F. Contribution of Alaskan glaciers to sea level rise derived from satellite imagery. Nature Geoscience, 3(2), 92-95, doi: 10.1038/ngeo737, 2010

72 thoughts on “New study using satellite data: Alaskan glacier melt overestimated

  1. That’s not true! The Glaciers in Alaska have all melted, All we are left with now is (yes, you guessed it) “rotten” ice….

  2. “[I]nferred elevation changes and then extrapolated this to other glaciers” – that doesn’t sound like the original “calculation” was much more than a wild guess to make it into the press. Anyway, I’m glad the glaciers are still retreating from the last ice age and I see the obligatory “global climate warming” has made it into this article.

  3. It’s great that the data is getting better. The underestimation was no “conspiracy” but simply incomplete data. To really put this whole article into perspective in terms of how it might relate to AGW, just go to the final summary statement:

    Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question and proves to be a worrying indication of future sea-level rise.

    Bottom line, just as we saw with the Himlayan glacier melt fiasco, the direction isn’t being questioned…just the intensity.

  4. 0.12mm or 0.17mm per year of sea level rise has some people worried?
    You need to 97,000 cubic miles of ice to raise sea levels by 1 meter.
    97 cubic miles will give you 1mm of sea level rise.
    I’m impressed the satellites can record a change of 11.64 cubic miles
    of ice melt over a period of one year.

  5. …0.12 mm/year to sea-level rise between 1962 and 2006, rather than 0.17 mm/year as previously estimated.

    Do people recognize that these magnitudes are not much larger than the thickness of a human hair? They matter not at all in the context of 5 or so meters of surge from a storm. Moreover, we do not calculate what effects imbalances in the flow of groundwater into the oceans, nor imbalances in river in-flow, are versus net evaporation. Consequently how can we speak at all about cause and effect?

  6. There’s some information that I missed the other day in the report on the UAH January global-average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly that I read on another blog:

    0.72 is the highest Jan anomaly in the data, beating 0.59 in Jan 07 and 0.58 in Jan 98. That’s an improvement of 0.13 deg. C.

    And some more info to put things in perspective:

    “The UAH anomaly hit 0.50 last November, the highest Nov anomaly in the records. The runner-up was Nov ‘05 with 0.40 and only two other Nov anomalies exceeded 0.30.

    And the September UAH anomaly hit 0.42, the second highest for that month. The record was Sep ‘98 with 0.43, and only other September reading to exceed 0.30 was Sep ‘05 with 0.35.

    And the July UAH anomaly was also 0.42, the second highest in the record. The record was Jul ‘98 with 0.52, with the third place going to Jul ‘05 with 0.33. Only one other July exceeded 0.30.”

    AFAIK, the Pacific isn’t experiencing the Super El Niño it did in 1998, the PDO is in its negative phase and the sun is still not very active at the moment. Remarkable.

  7. …lead them to conclude that these glaciers have contributed 0.12 mm/year to sea-level rise over the period 1962-2006, rather than 0.17 mm/year as previously estimated by a team at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks).

    Then at the end of the article…

    Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question and proves to be a worrying indication of future sea-level rise.

    Since the mid-1990’s the rate has been doubled what it was for a period that includes the doubled rate? The rate from 1962 to the mid-1990’s must have been very small. How good were the old maps they used to figure it?

    Of course, when looking at the data, an obvious conclusion can be drawn. Making Alaska a state in 1958 accelerated the glacier melting. It was never this bad before statehood.

  8. “This new study confirms that the thinning of Alaskan glaciers is very uneven, and shows that it is difficult to sample such complex spatial variability on the basis of a few field measurements or altimetry profiles. Thanks to their regional coverage, satellite data make it possible to improve observations of glacial response to climate change and to specify the contribution of glaciers to sea-level rise.”

    If the glaciers are so difficult to map how can we rely on the 1950 mappings?

  9. “This new study confirms that the thinning of Alaskan glaciers is very uneven, and shows that it is difficult to sample such complex spatial variability on the basis of a few field measurements or altimetry profiles.”

    Makes me wonder about the GISS samples of complex temperature spatial variability.

  10. Comedy Central Data Team is at it again.

    They must have left some salt water in their graduates from the last test.

    This gets better and better.

    The CCDT needs to start serving popcorn with their shoes.

    Sorry, but I am not buying the B.S. – no way they can measure (or determine all of the inputs into supposed sea-level rise).

  11. The new study is an update. However, it compares a different period of years and includes different glaciers and comes to a similar conclusion as the 1950-1995 study determined. 0.12 mm/a versus 0.14 mm/a. Not a significant difference. The 0.17 mm for a different time period is hardly a significant difference. At this point it cannot be determined whether both studies are accurate, or which may be more accurate, but the results belie the headline. This is not a large change. The mass balance of alaskan glaciers is always changing so the same span of years must be used for direct comparison. Note the mass balance record for Lemon Creek Glacier, the second longest record in Alaska
    http://www.nichols.edu/departments/Glacier/Lemon.html
    and note the changes in Gilkey Glacier
    http://glacierchange.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/215/

  12. “Neven (11:24:37) :
    […]
    0.72 is the highest Jan anomaly in the data, beating 0.59 in Jan 07 and 0.58 in Jan 98. That’s an improvement of 0.13 deg. C.”

    Sounds pretty impressive. We should see some serious water vapour feedback now.

  13. ‘Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question and proves to be a worrying indication of future sea-level rise.’

    Wouldn’t a scientific report just say:

    ‘Moreover, the mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question.’

    Sounds like the conclusion has been pre-written for the IPCC.

  14. R. Gates (11:05:42) :

    It’s great that the data is getting better. The underestimation was no “conspiracy” but simply incomplete data. To really put this whole article into perspective in terms of how it might relate to AGW, just go to the final summary statement:

    Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question and proves to be a worrying indication of future sea-level rise.

    Bottom line, just as we saw with the Himlayan glacier melt fiasco, the direction isn’t being questioned…just the intensity.
    ========
    what is being questioned, is the “link” to co2.
    not climate variability.

  15. SPOT-5 Satellite Launch Date: May 3, 2002

    ASTER Satellite System: Launch Date 18 December 1999

    “Recent data from the SPOT 5 and ASTER satellites have enabled researchers to extensively map mass loss in these glaciers”
    “Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year”

    … This seems to be an interesting conclusion to draw from observations that weren’t being made at the time !

  16. Neven,

    I notice that August, October, and December somehow did not make your list of ALARMING temps!!! Why is that??

    If your ALARMING temps are so ALARMING, how did these other months not even manage to be much above average?? Darn, you apparently MISSED something in compiling your ALARMING statistics!!! Wonder what this freezing February will be?? Wonder why the Arctic ice isn’t significantly lower than recent years if things are so HOT!!!

    Hmmm, UAH switched to a different satellite sometime last year. Maybe you could check and find out when??

    With all due respect to the hard work of Dr. Spencer and the rest of the UAH crew, remote sensing is highly statistics based and, occasionally, mistakes are made in the calibration. Amazingly enough, almost always corrected to the high side!!

    You ever think about those adjustments meant to correct for the atmospheric conditions between the sensor in orbit and the band of atmosphere below a lot of other atmosphere?? They must be based on how historic atmospheric conditions have affected the sensing. What if there is something different, if only slightly, in the conditions in the atmosphere between that band and the sensor?? You think they will get a true reading??

  17. What are the odds … the slow drip – drip of the IPCC’s loss of credibility owing to recently aired stories, the slow drip – drip of the UEA’s loss of credibility due to revelations in The sCRUtape Letters which also have contributed to the erosion of ‘climate science’ in general … have we seen the tide take a bit of a turn, is it possible now for scientists with more questions than answers to question AGW doctrine, openly and in public, to challenge the accepted precepts which are used and abused to support the ‘theory’ of Anthopogenic (carbon-based humanoid caused) Global Warming (AGW)?

    Published works like this cause me to think so.
    .
    .

  18. Mike J (11:35:03) :
    If the glaciers are so difficult to map how can we rely on the 1950 mappings?

    There is really not much to say about where we are going if we don’t have high confidence in where we have been.
    Which is a fancy way of saying we can’t.

  19. Climategate professor starts boo-hooing

    From Britain’s Sunday Times

    Professor Phil Jones said in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times that he had thought about killing himself “several times”.

    Not sure if that’s actually possible, but reading on…

    Jones, 57, said he was unprepared for the scandal: “I am just a scientist. I have no training in PR or dealing with crises.”

    Wonder if he was so candid on his job application?

    [Jones] now accepts that he did not treat Freedom of Information (FoI) requests for the data as seriously as he should have done

    Sorry, Phil – it’s called the law of the land.

    He’s playing for sympathy – but the commenters take no prisoners…

    TOP COMMENT

    Did you know Phil that real scientists always remain objective and don’t manipulate the data to fit preconceptions.

    Real scientists don’t manipulate the peer review process.

    Real scientists allow other scientists to publish work unhindered.

    Real scientists encourage other scientists to replicate and thereby prove their work.

    REAL scientists remain apolitical.

    Clearly you are not a scientist. I wish you no ill and I hope you learn to live with your mistakes but please don’t play for sympathy.

  20. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) includes this proviso:-

    2.6.2.1 There is still need for further study before it can be firmly concluded that the increase in arctic temperatures over the past century and/or past few decades is due to anthropogenic forcing.

    However, the Executive Summary of ACIA gives no such proviso, stating that for global climate “human influences have now become the dominant factor” and “These climate changes are being experienced particularly intensely in the Arctic”

    http://amap.no/acia/

    ACIA is about ready for a detailed audit.

  21. “Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question and proves to be a worrying indication of future sea-level rise.”

    The antarctic loss is ‘accelerating’ according to NASA as well. Of course we are never told the rate of ‘acceleration’. Somehow I think if the acceleration were truly ‘spectacular’ one would openly quantify it.

  22. “Ice loss from Alaskan glaciers since1962 is evidently smaller than previously thought. However, thinning (sometimes over 10 m/year, as in the Columbia glacier) and glacial retreat remain considerable. Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question and proves to be a worrying indication of future sea-level rise.”

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    0.25mm/yr sea level rise x 100 years = 25mm/century rise or = 1″ rise per century, am I right?

    At the present rate of mass loss, in 100 years the sea level could increase by an entire inch? Why didn’t I just soil myself in fear? Am I missing something here?

  23. e-mail 1213201481.txt between Mann and Jones mentions a paper that suggests temperature signals are not easy to detect in the Arctic, indeed the “last place to look”!

    “1981: This looked at statistics of annual/winter/summer
    Temperatures for the NH and zones of the NH to see what
    signals might you be able to detect. SNR problem really.
    Showed that best place to detect was NH annual and
    also Tropics in summer. Last place to look was the Arctic
    because variability was so high.”

  24. kuhnkat (12:13:16) :

    Wow, both barrels!

    “UAH switched to a different satellite sometime last year.”
    I believe they switched due to a precipitous drop in signal.
    “Sensor Drift” was the reason given.
    “…mistakes are made in the calibration.”
    You bet they are, and they can affect results greatly.
    It may be necessary to have a close look at the down linked data,
    which includes the sensor collections and ,more importantly, the
    ancillary/auxiliary data which shows the configuration of the sensor
    at the time of the collection. It might be prudent also, to look at all
    uplinked configuration commands and calibration results.

  25. We’re doomed and I’m going out to buy a bathing ring before they’re sold out.

    In another thirty years I’ll probably be six inches closer to the sea.

  26. ‘Ice loss from Alaskan glaciers since1962 is evidently smaller than previously thought. ‘

    Well I’ll be. Imagine that.

    Upon further examination, as Climate Changes, one region’s glaciers expand and another’s melt off. It hasta be Shasta.

  27. juraj v – Do you also have snow fall and or temperature records. Based only on memory from 40 years of hiking/skiing in the Swiss Alps would lead me to believe that, based on the curve you present, glacier advance is delayed by at least a decade after cloud cover/snowfall increase. Perhaps a lot of snow has to accumulate on top of the glacier before the weight changes the plastic flow of the glacier.

  28. “This new study confirms that the thinning of Alaskan glaciers is very uneven, and shows that it is difficult to sample such complex spatial variability on the basis of a few field measurements or altimetry profiles.”
    ————-

    and leads to these terms in your final assessment : climate change, sea level rise, “spectacular acceleration”, worrying indication of future sea-level rise.

    god help you. and the colts ;)

  29. I hardly dare comment. I’m tempted to be rude. How does anyone know if the melt actually made the sea rise? Surely there are other factors such as evaporation, changes in inputs, thermal expansion, undersea floor changes, maybe even silt run off & so on. Is this all understood & sorted? I’ve not checked but if were a betting man…. happy to be corrected, I may be getting too cynical.

  30. “Rob (14:22:36) :

    How about the mass loss here, can`t be CO2 can it.
    it.”

    You seem to be thinking that CO2 increase causes a rise in temperatures. That’s OK, there are a lot of people like you. But how do the photos prove a causal link that you assume?

  31. Rob (14:22:36) :

    How about the mass loss here, can`t be CO2 can it.
    it.

    http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/swissglacier.jpg

    Considering the panic that ensued the last time those glaciers advanced and devoured town after town along the glacial routes, they appear to have learned thier lesson this time around. They didn’t attempt to “urbanize” the vacated land. Well, as of 1966 they didn’t.
    Nice forest that sprang up. I’m a sucker for evergreens.

  32. I recently drove the Icefield Parkway from Jasper to Banff, one of the most spectacular drives on earth. You can do it in a little over two hours, but I seriously recommend four.

    You pass through the Columbia ice field and glaciers are visible at various points. One of the “toes” of the Athabasca glacier comes right down to the highway. We stopped and I hiked to the face in a few minutes. It had been over twenty years since I last stopped, and the amount the glacier had receded versus my memory was significant. So I decided to ask the old chap what was up.

    Me; hey, good to see you again, been a while. Listen chum, its just you and me, no one else around, anything you say is just between you and me. So give it to me straight. Are you receding or not? What’s up with this CO2 thing?

    Glacier;

    I waited a long time, and I thought I was being pretty respectful, but he never answered the question. I got back in my truck and an hour down the road realised my mistake. Frigid and won’t communicate. Its not a guy its a chick. I have to come back with flowers, chocolates and maybe something sparkly if I want an answer.

    Seriously the local literature shows that Athabasca has been receding for the last 110 years, prior to which there were no records. Prior also to significant rises in CO2. I’ll do the calculation when I have time to see how long the IPCC 3.7 watts/m2 would take to melt 10 meters of ice… I am betting it is a LOT longer than 110 years.

  33. kuhnkat (12:13:16) : “With all due respect to the hard work of Dr. Spencer and the rest of the UAH crew, remote sensing is highly statistics based and, occasionally, mistakes are made in the calibration.”

    If we’ve learned anything in the last few years, we’ve learned to take all scientific data with a grain of salt. That said, I think the satellite temp data are probably the best available at the moment…interpret that how you will.

    Personally I hope this short warming trend continues, as it has brought some drought relief to my miserably-governed state (you guessed it: California), but alas I suspect it’s just “natural variation”.

  34. Rob (14:22:36) :

    Your picture of the Argentiere glacier in 1850 shows a large lateral moraine behind the church spire indicating that the glacier had already retreated considerably even before 1850.

  35. I take it that the fractional millimeters being reported are arithmetic constructions, having nothing to do with real sea level measurement changes.

    I accept the logic of the study and the difficulty of doing it. What bothers me is the unstated bias that seems to underlie the reporting of the work; namely, we found melting which must be from a warmer climate which must be from more CO2 in the atmosphere which must be from people driving SUVs. Can’t they just report what they did and what they found and leave the rest up to Al Gore and Rajenda Pachauri – both very good at making up stories.

  36. K Kilty – couldn’t agree more. There is a plain assumption that the entire water mass ends up in the ocean 1:1. Hmm, funny, several of these glaciers have significant delta systems – so no consideration that aquifers may have changed with changing ice masses – not precipitation patterns around the glacial landscape which also could result in water masses being recycled via the landmass at different rates.

    In my opinion – another “computer”-generated hypothetical output with just little hard science behind. Too bad – since these guys are actually quite good scientists.

  37. redetin (12:58:51)

    The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) includes this proviso:

    2.6.2.1 There is still need for further study before it can be firmly concluded that the increase in arctic temperatures over the past century and/or past few decades is due to anthropogenic forcing.

    To most should read:

    2.6.2.1 There is still need for further study before it can be firmly concluded that the increase in arctic temperatures over the past century and/or past few decades is due to solar forcing as proposed by work of the Smithsonian Observatory and Lean et al (1995) being the largest possible natural factor not yet fully investigated thoroughly.

  38. Rob (14:22:36) :

    No. It can’t possibly be man-made CO2, look at the dates. Just as much of the receeding was prior to higher CO2 levels than after. I’ll reword the question, could it possibly be the sun or other natural causes? Anyone out there able to think and question? (Speaking to the confused masses visiting WUWT in a search for the truth)

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/07/new-study-using-satellite-data-alaskan-glacier-melt-overestimated/#comment-311757

  39. Speaking of glaciers melting, I see the Pachauri smutty novel just made it into the Australian media:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/un-climate-chief-rajendra-pachauri-comes-under-attack-for-steamy-book-promoted-by-bp/story-e6frg6so-1225827732916

    I would have posted on the Pachauri thread but it was locked for being O/T.

    In other snow & ice related news I see the Tasmanian CRC for Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems is claiming the “drought” in Western Australia may be tied to increased snowfall in Antarctica. They go a step further to speculate that this has all been linked to man-made GHGs:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/newshome/6773111/wa-drought-is-proof-of-climate-change/

    Just as a minor point of fact… while the SW of Western Australia is experiencing gradually decreasing rainfall (this is well established) the northern portion of the State (think around the Ord River) has been getting plenty of rain. But given that 3/4 of the population lives in and around Perth (in the SW) it is only the low rainfall that occurs down here that counts I guess… another blatant example of anthropocentric thinking.

  40. Recently, there was a post on WUWT showing NASA was estimating that Antarctica was melting at the rate of around 100 cubic kms per year – this represents about 0.28mms annual rise in ocean levels.

    Here we have an estimate of 0.12mms per year from melting glaciers in Alaska.

    If the world’s other melting glaciers give us – let’s guesstimate a generous number of 0.25mms per year – that makes a total of 0.65mms per year of annual sea level rise being provided by melting glaciers.

    However, the University of Chicago (recent WUWT post) says the average sea level rise has recently been rising at around 3.2mms per year.

    In other words, what accounted for the other 2.55mm (or 80%) annual rise in sea levels? Obviously, there have to be other factors, presumably geological, at work. It is not sediment loads dumped into the oceans from rivers, which amount to around an annual 20 billion tonnes (or 10 billion cubic metres), equivalent to 0.03mms annual rise.

    The only possible reason I can think of is that the continents are sinking very slowly into the mantle under their own weight.

    The point, once again, is that anything to do with climate is always very much more complex than the alarmists would like us to believe.

  41. Well someone has the right idea, Read here from Englands daily express.
    GLOBAL warming is set to become global cooling this century, a leading analyst claimed yesterday.

    Professor Michael Beenstock said theories of climate change are wrong.

    He warned climatologists have misused statistics, leading them to the mistaken conclusion global warming is ­evidence of the greenhouse effect.
    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/156811/Global-warming-to-become-global-cooling-claims-expert

  42. hmmm 0.12mm PER YEAR rather than 0.17mm ha?

    Well just to check for myself, I went down to the beach this morning and stuck a ruler into the water to check the sea level. I got these empirical results…

    Up 8 inches…..down 6 inches…..up 2 feet (wow) down 2.2 feet….up 13 inches…down 1foot
    All that within 45 seconds. Anyone good with maths to help extrapolate these to 100yrs? (Dang sand in my shoes)

    Oh! where do I apply for a grant?

  43. Bulldust (16:45:07) :

    They love to play the shell game, do they not?

    Which is why so many of them are in hot water.
    Disingenuity comes at a price.

  44. An overstated difference of 0.05mm/yr, how can this not be natural variability?

    When will the stoopidity end!!!!!!

  45. Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question and proves to be a worrying indication of future sea-level rise.

    Since the rate of sea level rise has instead appeared to have slowed* over the past few years, my main conclusion from this “study” would be that the authors need therapy for what is possibly a global anxiety neurosis.

    *http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

  46. I was up at the columbia ice fields last summer, they have melted hugely since I was there in the 1960’s, but if you look at the dated stakes in the ground it has melted even more since the mid 1800’s. It would make a great post by someone that can write.

  47. No. It can’t possibly be man-made CO2, look at the dates. Just as much of the receeding was prior to higher CO2 levels than after. I’ll reword the question, could it possibly be the sun or other natural causes?>

    There is no doubt that there are natural causes, the question is how much? 1%? 50%? 99%?
    That said, I would think that the Sun would be a secondary driver on this issue. Since snow and ice reflect most of the sunshine that hits them, variation in solar flux would have a minor effect in either direction. The larger effect on a glacier’s thickness would be heat transfer from the atmosphere to cause increased melting in the summer, and decreased snow fall in the winter to build it up. You would have to start with both of those factors as primary drivers. The chain of events that affect them though would include solar variation. and ocean currents. and so on.

  48. Well just to check for myself, I went down to the beach this morning and stuck a ruler into the water to check the sea level>

    wow humbug, that makes a ton of sense. I am very close to a glacier fed lake, so I zoomed right down there and stuck a ruler in. I figure the water has to go through all kinds of lakes and rivers to get to the ocean, so why not measure at the source instead of several levels down?

    I used the time interval as you and got deltas from the mean of 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0. Granted at -27 C the water I am working with is a bit stiffer than yours, but I don’t see where that invalidates the results. I see no trend here to get excited about. Wanna go dibbs on a grant application?

  49. keith in hastings UK (14:58:53) :

    quote Surely there are other factors such as evaporation, changes in inputs, thermal expansion, undersea floor changes, maybe even silt run off & so on. Is this all understood & sorted? I’ve not checked but if were a betting man…. happy to be corrected, I may be getting too cynical. unquote

    Ocean surface evaporates 120 cms/yr. If you polluted the surface with something which reduced evaporation — I’m sure there must be something which could do it — it would only need to reduce it by 1/7000th.

    http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/peril_oil_pollution.html

    JF

  50. Alan H (11:48:33) :

    Pretty desperate stuff on the front page of the Independent on Sunday.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/thinktanks-take-oil-money-and-use-it-to-fund-climate-deniers-1891747.html

    Follow the money.

    Bob Ward, the policy director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics, said: “A lot of the climate sceptic arguments are being made by people with demonstrable right-wing ideology which is based on opposition to any environmental regulation of the market,

    About the Grantham Research Institute.

    The Institute was established in May 2008 through a generous £12 million donation from the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment|.

    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/About/about.aspx

    Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.
    Hannelore Grantham – co-founder
    R. Jeremy Grantham – co-founder

    Supportets among many:- Greenpeace and WWF.

    http://www.granthamfoundation.org/

    Jeremy Grantham is the Chairman of the Board of Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo, a Boston based asset management firm well known among institutional investors, but relatively unknown to retail investors. He’s an investor in various stock, bond, and commodity markets.

    Think carbon trading markets.

  51. wayne (16:03:24) :

    Wayne,
    Agreed, but my point was about the difference between the wording of the Executive Summary and that of the science section, on which the Exec Summary should have been based, (even if the science is wrong.)

  52. ********
    R. Gates (11:05:42) :

    Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid 1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question and proves to be a worrying indication of future sea-level rise.
    *********

    Spectacular? Worrying? Alot of hyperbole there. Worrying how, exactly? Have you not seen the graph showing leveling off of sea-level rise in the past ~5-10 yrs that’s been posted here numerous times just recently? That seems to be opposite of what you state.

  53. DirkH (15:07:05) :
    DirkH (15:07:05) :

    “Rob (14:22:36) :

    How about the mass loss here, can`t be CO2 can it.
    it.”

    You seem to be thinking that CO2 increase causes a rise in temperatures. That’s OK, there are a lot of people like you. But how do the photos prove a causal link that you assume?

    Dirk, I was joking mate.

  54. “Roger (15:12:20) :
    Anthony, have you seen this report out of Vancouver :


    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Arctic+vanishing+faster+than+most+pessimistic+models+researcher/2532293/story.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+canwest/F229+(Vancouver+Sun+-+News)

    
I haven’t seen an update on the extent of the Arctic ice coverage in a while. I wonder how this claim matches the actual facts.”

    I wouldn’t take too much notice of this if I were you. The Scientist in question took an icebreaker to the Arctic and said he saw some rotten ice once. Well woopy f**king doo. (Aliens).

  55. One thing that is somewhat encouraging here is that the effects of debris on the glacier surface are finally being taken into account. A study after the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 found a very large change in the dynamics of a glacier resulting from a quake-triggered landslide that covered part of it. Unfortunately the usual simplistic picture of a glacier promulgated by the MSM is that it is just a big, melting ice cube. Of course, a glacier is an extremely complex system affected not only by mean temperature and precipitation, but by a wide range of climatic and geological variables. It also has its own internal kinematics, which can be expressed by glacial “surges”. Well, at least “notice is being taken”.

  56. So, the glaciers are not melting at the predicted “accelerating” rate, in fact they are melting at the same rate that they have since 1820-1850 or so. Indeed, pretty much the average since the last ice age. In the purest terms, despite R.Gates’s pathetic attempts at obsfucation, there is no CO2 effect at all.

    I am sure simeone else has pointed out that 0.12mm is about the width of a human hair. Oh and would Ms/Mr Gates care to explain how the Himalayan glaciers are going to melt when there source is considerably below zero? If anything global warming should be causing increased precipitation and the Himalayan glaciers should be growing.

  57. So they estimated ice loss from those glaciers, and they were able to show via radioactive tracers, that every last drop ended up in the oceans, and also that there was nowhere on earth, any increase in evaporation due to the global warming. so all of that melted ice must have resulted in sea level rise; how could it have been otherwise ?

  58. Answer to Mike J (11:35:03) :
    You can’t relay on 1950’s mapping. What you can do, and the so called experts should have done had they done their homework properly, is looking closer at photos taken in the past giving that you do have correct day for when they were taken. Anyone skilled in analyzing photos would be able to tell those so called scholars and experts that they have been comparing apples with pinapples and nuts with coconuts. Photos from Alaska as well as taken in for example the Spitsbergen islands do tell a complete different story than the alarmist assumes them to do, given of course that one take the date and month in consideration.

    But that doesn’t seem to be the case for most of the so called experts.

  59. It is time to stop taking any notice of these followers of the AGW religion and start to pursue all the money trails.
    Time has come to hold them to account for their less than honest endeavours. Anthony has done a wonderful job, some one with financial credentials needs to take up the reins. Hound them until the truth prevails. I have seen enough of these child frighteners to last me a life time. Chase them all right down to the dumb brain washed school teachers, that have been terrifying our children. Wayne Job OZ

  60. “”” davidmhoffer (15:12:59) :

    I recently drove the Icefield Parkway from Jasper to Banff, one of the most spectacular drives on earth. You can do it in a little over two hours, but I seriously recommend four.

    You pass through the Columbia ice field and glaciers are visible at various points. One of the “toes” of the Athabasca glacier comes right down to the highway. We stopped and I hiked to the face in a few minutes. It had been over twenty years since I last stopped, and the amount the glacier had receded versus my memory was significant. So I decided to ask the old chap what was up.

    Me; hey, good to see you again, been a while. Listen chum, its just you and me, no one else around, anything you say is just between you and me. So give it to me straight. Are you receding or not? What’s up with this CO2 thing? “””

    Well David, I did the Banff to Jasper in 1967; both ways actually, and we stayed overnight at a little motel on the other side of the hiway from the foot of the Athabasca. As I recall, the ice was damn near to the hiway then (it was mid July), and we went up on it in a sno cat. But it was supposed to be in heavy retreat at the time, so I imagine , in the mean time it had pulled back some from the road. So if it is back to the road again, then there must have been some period of advance.

    And I’m with you on the spectacularity of that drive; quite awesome; and the fact that you can pull off the hiway, on either side, literally every foot of the whole distance (140 miles I believe); makes for a breathtaking drive.

    I photographed it from end to end. Unfortunately, all 140 or so photos that I took on my Braun Paxette rangefinder camera, were all on top of each other. The sprocket hole tore on the film, and it never advanced a notch.

    To add insult to injury, I suspected that something was wrong, so when we were overnighting at Athabasca, I got inside a cloth camera bag and opened the camera, and felt in to see if there was film; and there was; but it was torn. If I had fixed it then, we could have reshot most of the pictures returning to Banff.

    We actually were on our way to the arctic circle, up the Alcan Hiway. 11,000 miles in five weeks with three kids in a VW square back Sedan. The real program was to get the family from St Louis Mo, to San Jose California.

    Good to know that the Columbia Ice Fields are holding their own, except for the general ice age extraction.

  61. Brian P (21:21:16) :

    I was up at the columbia ice fields last summer, they have melted hugely since I was there in the 1960’s, but if you look at the dated stakes in the ground it has melted even more since the mid 1800’s. It would make a great post by someone that can write.

    I agree, if you google columbia glacier there is NO information of retreat beyond 1980 which is why Gore used this.

  62. Peter Miller: The majority of sea level rise is purported to be from thermal expansion. There are many research papers focussed on ocean heat content. Try Google Scholar.

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