Greenland glaciers – melt due to sea current change, not air temperature

Arctic subpolar currents

Recent changes in ocean circulation in the North Atlantic are delivering larger amounts of subtropical waters to the high latitudes. A research team led by Fiamma Straneo, a physical oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, found that subtropical waters are reaching Greenland's glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss. Melting ice also means more fresh water in the ocean, which could flood into the North Atlantic and disrupt a global system of currents, known as the Ocean Conveyor. (Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

From a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution News Release : Team finds subtropical waters flushing through Greenland fjord

Waters from warmer latitudes — or subtropical waters — are reaching Greenland’s glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss, reports a team of researchers led by Fiamma Straneo, a physical oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

“This is the first time we’ve seen waters this warm in any of the fjords in Greenland,” says Straneo. “The subtropical waters are flowing through the fjord very quickly, so they can transport heat and drive melting at the end of the glacier.”

Greenland’s ice sheet, which is two-miles thick and covers an area about the size of Mexico, has lost mass at an accelerated rate over the last decade.  The ice sheet’s contribution to sea level rise during that time frame doubled due to increased melting and, to a greater extent, the widespread acceleration of outlet glaciers around Greenland.

While melting due to warming air temperatures is a known event, scientists are just beginning to learn more about the ocean’s impact — in particular, the influence of currents — on the ice sheet.

“Among the mechanisms that we suspected might be triggering this acceleration are recent changes in ocean circulation in the North Atlantic, which are delivering larger amounts of subtropical waters to the high latitudes,” says Straneo.  But a lack of observations and measurements from Greenland’s glaciers prior to the acceleration made it difficult to confirm.

The research team, which included colleagues from University of Maine, conducted two extensive surveys during July and September of 2008, collecting both ship-based and moored oceanographic data from Sermilik Fjord — a large glacial fjord in East Greenland. 

Sermilik Fjord, which is 100 kilometers (approximately 62 miles) long, connects Helheim Glacier with the Irminger Sea. In 2003 alone, Helheim Glacier retreated several kilometers and almost doubled its flow speed.

Deep inside the Sermilik Fjord, researchers found subtropical water as warm as 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). The team also reconstructed seasonal temperatures on the shelf using data collected by 19 hooded seals tagged with satellite-linked temperature depth-recorders. The data revealed that the shelf waters warm from July to December, and that subtropical waters are present on the shelf year round.

“This is the first extensive survey of one of these fjords that shows us how these warm waters circulate and how vigorous the circulation is,” says Straneo. “Changes in the large-scale ocean circulation of the North Atlantic are propagating to the glaciers very quickly — not in a matter of years, but a matter of months. It’s a very rapid communication.”

Straneo adds that the study highlights how little is known about ocean-glacier interactions, which is a connection not currently included in climate models.

“We need more continuous observations to fully understand how they work, and to be able to better predict sea-level rise in the future,” says Straneo.

The paper was chosen for advanced online publication Feb. 14, 2010, by Nature Geosciences; it will also appear in the March 2010 printed edition of the journal. Co-authors of the work include WHOI postdoc David Sutherland (now of University of Washington), Gordon Hamilton and Leigh Stearns of the Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Fraser Davidson and Garry Stenson of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Mike Hammill of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Mont-Joli, Quebec, and Aqqalu Rosing-Asvid of the Department of Birds and Mammals, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. Canadian and Greenlandic colleagues contributed valuable data on the shelf, from tagged seals.

Funding for this research was provided by the National Science Foundation, WHOI’s Ocean and Climate Change Institute Arctic Research Initiative, and NASA’s Cryosperic Sciences Program.

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Helheim glacier

Helheim glacier
Time-lapse photographs taken every 4 minutes show calving of the front of Helheim Glacier, August 2008. In 2003 alone, Helheim Glacier retreated several kilometers and almost doubled its flow speed.

Gordon Hamilton, University of Maine
» View Video (Quicktime) 56K Modem
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170 thoughts on “Greenland glaciers – melt due to sea current change, not air temperature

  1. It was considerably warmer in Greenland 70 years ago than it is today.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431042500000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    Alarmists think that Greenland formed in 2003 and disappeared in 2007. They have no interest in any other years.

    The US Weather Bureau reported this in 1922:
    http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/050/mwr-050-11-0589a.pdf

    The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Sitzbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-
    of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface.

    …he first noted warmer conditions in 1915, that since that time it has steadily gotten warmer, and that to-day the Arctic of that region is not recognizable as the same region of 1865 to 1917.

    Many old landmarks are so changed as to be unrecognizable. Where formerly great masses of ice were found there are now often moraines, accumulations of earth and stones. At many points where glaciers extended far into the
    sea they have entirely disappeared.”

  2. Well, in the first place, it’s not as though they melt either in response to warm air or warm water. It’s both. This is good news; it may help explain why Greenland glaciers are melting faster than the climate models predict. Changing ocean currents transferring more heat.

  3. The Oceans have it….make no mistake….they do.

    Even so….in this article….we have to still tolerate the drivel:

    “While melting due to warming air temperatures is a known event…”

    DUH!!

    When the temperature rises above freezing, ice melts.

    What known “event” besides the obvious should even deserve mention here.

    Also…the decline or increase of many glaciers has more to do with precipitation and not simply temperature.

    At least they are trying to figure it out. And that deserves props.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  4. What?! It isn’t the air temperature?! That’s still consistent with predictions.

    Just like all those snow storms. Warmer air holds more moisture ya know! (Please try to avoid thinking about the fact that 32F is the temperature where water freezes, and that this is not ‘warmer air’)

    Sea temperature rising is consistent with predictions. So is sea temperature falling, so just shut up already. There is no need to point anything out, because Earth is consistent with climate change, ok?

    [/snark]

  5. Aaaahhhh….nice to see some real science for a change. No mention of global warming in this discussion of changing oceanic currents?

    Thanks Steve Goddard for some historical perspective on Greenland warming. But where are the temperature readings and hard scientific data that can be adjusted downward by GISS et al. to show that these eyewitnesses and their anecdotal reports got it all wrong? :-)

    Actually, I hate to play devil’s advocate here but a few posts ago we were critiquing the IPCC’s glacier ‘science’ for its reliance on someone’s MSc thesis based on Alpine ski guides’ anecdotal reports of loss of glaciers. Perhaps the difference here is that in this case, the early 20th century fishermen, sealers and other witnesses had not been propagandized by the scientistic cult of global warming and thus led to expect only one specific outcome?

  6. Weird! I think I will have to read the article again… I did not see Global Warming or Climate Change mentioned.

  7. And in the broader scheme of things, if Greenland grows warmer because of ocean currents, somewhere else grows colder.
    Nice find, Steve.
    Here, we are discussing distribution, not the input/output to the system as a whole.
    Very important distinction.

  8. IIRC, the loss/gain of Greenland ice sheet is not homogeneous.
    In any event this may be another Inconvenient Truth.

  9. So, exactly why is the warmer water moving that far north?

    But, a logical explanation of glacial melt – especially as the melting is very inconsistent across the globe (is soot a factor?)

  10. Robert,

    GISS stations show that most of the Arctic and particularly around Greenland were warmer 70 years ago. A quote from Dr. Walt Meier at NSIDC “The current Greenland warming, while not yet quite matching the temperatures of 70 years ago,”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/09/21/nsidc-s-dr-walt-meier-answers-10-questions/

    I made a map in another piece showing which Arctic regions were warmer 70 years ago and which were cooler, based on GISS data.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/16/nsidcs-dr-walt-meier-answers-reader-questions-on-sea-ice/

  11. So there is some warm water around Greenland. We don’t know why. We don’t know if it has always been this way. We don’t know if it changes anything at all. But we are certain that these amounts of warm water are being delivered in ever larger amounts. Despite the fact that we’ve never measured them before.

    And we are obviously certain that CO2 is to blame.

    We can also confirm that no climate models actually model the interaction between the ice and the water. We are sure, however, that these climate models are accurate. Despite not having any notion of this essential facet of climate.

    And we are obviously certain that CO2 is to blame.

    /sarc off

    [snip] is ‘subtropical water’ anyway? Once sea water has ever been to the subtropics it is for ever ‘subtropical water’, or something? It was there last week, last month. last year? What? I was up in Mackay a few weeks ago. Does that make me ‘subtropical’, perhaps?

    The whole thing seems hideously speculative and insidiously alarmist with absolutely no basis in fact since there is no data to compare it to. Hang on, isn’t that the whole Al Gore Warming position?

  12. rbateman (22:14:58) “And in the broader scheme of things, if Greenland grows warmer because of ocean currents, somewhere else grows colder.”

    There are two things to bear in mind with regards to this. One is that the warming of the earth that is taking place affects the oceans, not just the air. Changing ocean currents are bringing some of that heat to Greenland. So while it’s true that the heat has to come from somewhere, it comes from the same place the warm air comes from: solar energy, enhanced by the greenhouse effect.

    Second, even if the earth’s climate were not warming (as it is) the melting of the ice causes warming of its own, via changes in albedo, for example. So even if it were a zero-sum equation, unless the loss of heat somewhere else is growing an ice sheet somewhere, the exchange will lead to more warming in the long run.

  13. The headline for this post is simply wrong. The team did NOT exclude warmer air temps from ALSO causing melting…they were simply looking at the effects of a the warmer currents. In fact, right in the press release they say:

    While melting due to warming air temperatures is a known event, scientists are just beginning to learn more about the ocean’s impact — in particular, the influence of currents — on the ice sheet.

    This kind of massaging of the actual finding of study are every bit as serious as any other kind of data manipulation…and totally inexcusable.

  14. Given the Tilsdale analysis of warm water movement (the Pacific decadal oscillation of warm water re El Nina), this is entirely consistent.

  15. @Robert, here are all station record from Greenland.

    Notice, that in all those hysterical prediction about Greenland, there was NEVER mentioned its recent temperature history, all hype was concentrated on recent, absolutely normal, temperature rise since 1980 (as the whole AGW is).

  16. We provide an analysis of Greenland temperature
    records to compare the current (1995–2005) warming
    period with the previous (1920–1930) Greenland warming.
    We find that the current Greenland warming is not
    unprecedented in recent Greenland history. Temperature
    increases in the two warming periods are of a similar
    magnitude, however, the rate of warming in 1920–1930
    was about 50% higher than that in 1995 – 2005.

    http://www.joelschwartz.com/pdfs/Chylek.pdf

    &

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2006GL026510.shtml

  17. Real science?

    “The research team, which included colleagues from University of Maine, conducted two extensive surveys during July and September of 2008,”

    That was a long scientific study. Surley “robust”
    And compared with earlier years?

  18. This is obviously the big warming sign that the thermohaline circulation has stalled. We’ll all be dead in a few weeks, except for the lucky few who happen to be climatologists who studied in the Antarctic, who will walk across the Continental US in temperatures approaching 400 degrees below absolute zero.

    Climatologists who read this site, please keep fresh batteries in your GPS units so you don’t fall through a mall skylight as you’re traversing a glacier. Mall roofs and walls are designed to withstand forces from a glacier but their skylights are not.

  19. Thanks Steve.

    Still, this leaves me curious where we’ll end up this summer. It seemed obvious something other than atmospheric warmth led to 2007.

  20. Yep, that letter from Sir Joseph Banks to the Lords of the Admiralty in 1817 just won’t go quietly into the night! Damn it why can’t we change historical records to suit todays arguments, grrrr!

  21. savethesharks (21:44:56) :

    Something in italics

    Dude, your posts are great, but you’re killing me – you always miss the closing tag. It’s the same as the opening tag, with a slash (unshifted question mark) before the i. In other words open the tag with lt. i gt., and close it with lt. /i gt.

    :)

    Mark

  22. Robert (22:32:14):

    So even if it were a zero-sum equation, unless the loss of heat somewhere else is growing an ice sheet somewhere, the exchange will lead to more warming in the long run.

    HUH? Explain yourself here. Does not follow.

    Also, what about heat lost to space?

    Your arguments seem to be sophistry. The burden of proof is on you to prove otherwise.

    [I know guys, I know….I am just feeding the troll.]

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  23. Robert (22:32:14) : “There are two things to bear in mind with regards to this. One is that the warming of the earth that is taking place…” [KLUNK!]

  24. And what do “most climate scientists” believe is the cause of shifting ocean currents? Why CO2, of course.

    How dare these upstarts at Wood Hole write a paper that doesn’t blame any warming event on CO2! I am positively incensed.

  25. Just finished watching the Nova special on Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey (sponsored by ExxonMobil). So when do they stop trying to convince us that monitoring the floaty bits of glacial tongues relates directly to the loss of the Greenland ice fields?

  26. R. Gates (22:32:22) : about the headline

    Son, do you have a burr under your saddle?

    The title of the post clearly claims to discuss the melt due to sea current change. It says nothing about the melt caused by air temperature except that the current discussion isn’t about that.

    And from the 4th paragraph you quote: “scientists are just beginning to learn

    One could fix this by adding what others have known for hundreds of years

  27. @aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES

    Interesting paper. Certainly there was a brief but intense warming episode from 1920-1930. It reminds us that there’s a lot of variation in the climate, especially with regards to local conditions. But the ten-year windows are pretty short to show anything about climate trends. If you look at a wider time window, like 1909-1939 vs 1979-2009 (also adding four more years of data) the average temp anomaly is clearly greater in the modern era.

  28. “The title of the post clearly claims to discuss the melt due to sea current change. It says nothing about the melt caused by air temperature except that the current discussion isn’t about that.”

    But in fact:

    “Greenland glaciers – melt due to sea current change, not(!) air temperature”

    Emphasis mine. I thought R Gates quite reasonably asked for integrity — don’t distort what the science says, especially when a large part of your critique of the conventional wisdom involves attacking others for distorting the science.

  29. Mark T (22:47:43) :

    Sorry my understanding of quotes is blah blah blah

    Even if I mess up….I am sue you get the gist of what i am saying.

    If you want to explain more to me your grievances more in detail….please email me at sharkhearted@gmail.com

    My name is Chris [as I always post at the end].

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USa

  30. I have a MAC. Have had this complaint before. Perhaps this stems from that? I am not sure what I am doing wrong. The only specialized lingo I use here is italics

  31. Robert (22:32:14) :

    What is the data that says the earth is warming?

    Many independent data sets, including the GISS data and the satellite records.

    “So even if it were a zero-sum equation, unless the loss of heat somewhere else is growing an ice sheet somewhere, the exchange will lead to more warming in the long run.

    HUH? Explain yourself here. Does not follow.”

    Loss of ice cover is a positive feedback, causing warming.

    “Also, what about heat lost to space?”

    What about it?

    “Your arguments seem to be sophistry. The burden of proof is on you to prove otherwise.”

    You are mistaken. The burden of proof is on you to prove your claim that they are sophistry, if you wish to make such a claim.

  32. John F.:

    I believe in accuracy, and so the title for this thread would have been honest and accurate if it had simply said:

    Greenland Glacier melt due to sea current change

    And left it at that. The way it was worded implies quite strongly that air temps were somehow proven to not to ALSO cause melting. It is misleading to have added “not air temperature”, but I undestand that I am a minority here (yes, a AGW “warmist”), and so of course the headline captures the spirit of what WUWT is all about and majority of posters here like to see….

  33. vigilantfish said:

    “Actually, I hate to play devil’s advocate here but a few posts ago we were critiquing the IPCC’s glacier ’science’ for its reliance on someone’s MSc thesis based on Alpine ski guides’ anecdotal reports of loss of glaciers. Perhaps the difference here is that in this case, the early 20th century fishermen, sealers and other witnesses had not been propagandized by the scientistic cult of global warming and thus led to expect only one specific outcome?”
    ————–
    I think the principal objection to the grey source anecdotes was not so much how wrong they were, but that they so much belied the strident claims of the AGW tocsin ringers that they only cited peer-reviewed material.

  34. Robert (23:18:40) :

    Pure sophistry. Folks this is a spin artist at work.

    [Although it is too much a compliment to use the word “artist” in this context.]

    Again I cite:

    Robert@ “So even if it were a zero-sum equation, unless the loss of heat somewhere else is growing an ice sheet somewhere, the exchange will lead to more warming in the long run.

    And “Loss of ice cover is a positive feedback, causing warming.”

    Does not follow. Non sequitur.

    Really a waste of time.

    DUH…..on loss of ice cover “causing” warming.

    Your quotes are not even worth addressing…but thanks for the fodder.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  35. Robert (22:32:14) :

    And you assume that the Earth is warmed constantly at the surface by the Sun.
    Irregardless that the exact mechanism(s) that accomplish this feat are poorly understood.
    You make a 2nd assumption that the greenhouse effect prevents any loss of heat on the Planet.
    There are already a bunch of GCM’s that make the same assumption, and they couldn’t account for the cooling, and it really is a travesty of assumptions.
    The hypothesis known as AGW is full of assumptions.

  36. Does anyone else remember a report a couple of years ago from a British survey team who found the melting rate of Greenland glaciers glaciers slowed back to 2000 levels “As if someone turned the tap off”? I can’t find any reference to it now. I seem to remember that when they presented their findings at a symposium lots of warmie scientists jumped up and started hollering and hooting.

  37. Robert (23:18:40) :

    AGW is not a proven or testable theory. It holds no value to add to the betterment of the world.
    It has failed all of it’s predictions so far.
    It is Pal-reviewed and hearsay.
    The null hypothesis holds until something comes along that tests out.
    That is how Science works.

    You can always write a book if you wish to remain hypothetical.
    Plenty of renowned people have done just that, and no harm done.

  38. “Robert (22:32:14) :
    […]
    Second, even if the earth’s climate were not warming (as it is) the melting of the ice causes warming of its own, via changes in albedo, for example. So even if it were a zero-sum equation, unless the loss of heat somewhere else is growing an ice sheet somewhere, the exchange will lead to more warming in the long run”

    Robert, do you run a carbon offsetting outfit or do you really have a genuinely negative outlook on live? I don’t remember you pondering the enormous increase of albedo in the USA, Europe and Asia through increased snowfall.

  39. Robert is correct about melting ice and albedo. Its very simple, ice reflects IR radiation, darker sea absorbs it. Sun shining on ice is reflected and does not heat it much. Sun shining on dark sea is absorbed and heats it more.

    So far we are at ‘just physics’. If ice retreats, warming due to IR absorption will occur. This isn’t sophistry, whatever is meant by that, but simple physics.

    The implications of this however are, as usual, not simple physics. The question is whether the increased warming by radiation absorption at those latitudes is a significant contributor either to ice melt or to the warmth of the planet. And the answer is probably no.

    So Robert’s point is perfectly valid, the phenomenon described is real and is occurring, its just that it is probably not of sufficient magnitude to matter. In particular, on a global scale, it is going to be minute in terms of feedback from clouds. And in terms of ice melt, its going to be minute compared to the effects of ocean currents, as this article explains.

    The point is a bit like saying that when you turn on the air conditioner in a car, you will have to power the compressor, and that will increase fuel consumption. That is just physics. Well yes, maybe. But how much of a percentage difference will it make? And if you close the windows at the same time, how much effect will the lowered wind resistance have.

    We are dealing with a very complicated machine here, and it is a mistake to conclude that we can tell from ‘just physics’ what, and how important, the effect of changing one input variable will be.

  40. Robert, the previous warm period on Greenland was much longer than 10 years. Take a look at the GISS record for Angmagssalik and you’ll see. Only 2003 was really exceptional. And 2003 happens to be mentioned in this paper as well. And it was the summer of deadly heat in Europe.

  41. Rotten ice! I found it.

    Little OT but found out what the infamous rotten ice really is! I gather from the link below that it is formed in cold water forming new ice, not in the breaking up of warm melting ice.

    It is a normal new ice process as the ice is being formed and undergoes brine exclusion in-between the chunks of ice with little salt content in order to allow the excess salt to escape and so a solid sheet of ice can form.

    Learn something new every day! Appears it isn’t something unprecedented or unusual after all as in the alarmist article month’s ago! Shame on that ‘expert’ for omitting this type of key information from his audience!

    Look half way down under “formation of sea ice”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation

  42. R Gates said:
    ” This kind of massaging of the actual finding of study are every bit as serious as any other kind of data manipulation…and totally inexcusable.”
    ———————
    You did observe that this is a headline that you’re objecting to.
    You’ll notice that it’s not a sentence; there is no finite verb. You should appreciate that, since you exhibit an imperfect understanding of conjugation in your comment.
    Anyhow, to continue in the same fatuous vein that you initiated, I’ll suggest that this headline could just as easily be construed as ” Greenland glaciers – a study of the melt that is due to sea current change, not air temperature” as your inferred version, which goes along the lines of “Greenland glaciers- the melt is due to sea current change, not air temperature.”

    Whatever!!

    I agree with Jerome’s comment that this is another two month wonder about something “we’ve never seen before” because we never looked.

  43. What is the data that says the earth is warming?

    Many independent data sets, including the GISS data and the satellite records.

    From 1979 – 1998, yes. (Since then, cooling is the new warming.)

    P.S., define “many”. Besides, HCN is for the birds. And GISS is for the bottom of the birdcage.

  44. Steve Goddard (22:53:53) :

    Yep. Saw that. Another good one. I’m hoping you’re right. I’m in the northwest, and for us, this year is much different than the last two (which produced the rebound from 2007). Hence, the reason for my apprehension.

  45. Robert (22:32:14) :
    You’ve made some (apparently) good points, but I have a minor grammatical quibble. When referring to any warming or cooling trend the tense can only be past, because that’s all we know about. To say the planet is warming is begging the question, as, for instance, just at the moment, it is quite clearly cooling. In fact, of course, it must be doing one or the other and has been throughout the last 4500000000 years, minimum.
    Yes, your arguments are sophistry, as illustrated by your willful misunderstanding of (the rather clumsily constructed) paragraph “Your arguments seem to be sophistry. The burden of proof is on you to prove otherwise.” It should be evident to anyone on this site that the object of the second sentence is the meanings of your arguments, not the acusation of sophistry.
    (Sorry, chaps, I had to feed him, he was looking so hungry and pathetic).
    Now, back to the glaciers.

  46. Hmm, couple of things. I don’t dispute that southern Greenland has warmed in the last 20 years and it could well be ocean currents which have instigated this. But there’s no doubt that the area also warmed in the 1920-30s and also in the Viking period. And lets not forget that the Helheim Glacier’s retreat stopped in 2006 – http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/02/12/greenland-redux/ – scientific / media reports of the galciers’s current status are rare – I wonder if that is because it is still advancing?

  47. Southern Greenland temperature from recently released data.
    The numbers, if true are indeed alarming, if they are ‘value added’, than someone was rather generous with the ‘value’ added.
    Here are graphs showing 6 locations, up to mid 1990’s, there is no great deal of excitement, the east coast warming, west coast cooling, and the southern tip more or less unchanged. Suddenly around 1994-5, whole hell gets loose at the two west coast locations, and in the short time of 10 years, while elsewhere world is cooling, average annual temperatures go up by almost an incredible +3 degrees in location of Egedesminde (68.7N, 52.8E), and a somewhat more modest +2C in
    Nuuk /Godthaab (64.2N, 51.8W), a bit further south.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC10.htm
    It is an ironic coincidence, that the line indicating these sudden temperature changes goes trough a town aptly named Alert!

  48. Same issue of Nature Geoscience has a related paper:

    “Rapid submarine melting of the calving faces of West Greenland glaciers”

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ngeo765.html

    Conclusions are similar. Warm water is important to the rate of glacier melt.

    “Besides, HCN is for the birds. And GISS is for the bottom of the birdcage.”

    So you say. Between you and the GISS, I’ll take the GISS.

    “From 1979 – 1998, yes. (Since then, cooling is the new warming.)”

    I’m sorry, no. The last decade was the warmest on record.

  49. @ Stevegoddards link above Monthly Weather Review:-
    See extract and note the water temperatures?

    “There were few seal in Spitzbergen waters this year, the catch being far under the average. This, however, did not surprise the captain. He pointed out that
    formerly the waters about Spitzbergen held an even summer temperature of about 3degrees. Celsius; this year recorded temperatures up to 15degrees and last winter the ocean did not freeze over even on the north coast of Spitsbergen.

    With the disappearance of white fish and seal has come other life in these waters. This year herring in great shoals were found along the west coast of Spitsbergen, all the way from the fry to the veritable great herring.

  50. OT, but after again engaging with a warmist online, I’m left wondering that warmists need courses in how to think. Maybe it is just me, but warmists seem to be swallowing ever more convoluted speculations in order to shore up their hypothesis. Of course I could be wrong… that’s the point.

  51. evanmjones (00:20:27) :

    “Robust” is the new “gravitas”.

    And apropos of not a lot, I notice that “nuanced” is the new “get out of jail free” card.

  52. The Warmists have a strong tendancy to ignore other factors causing Arctic ice melt, some of which are caused by humans. Many of them are begining to realise that the recent late 20th century warming might just be natural as Arctic ice recovers, Antarctic ice hits record levels and the snow line moves south etc.

    “..the model suggests aerosols likely account for 45 percent or more of the warming that has occurred in the Arctic during the last three decades.”
    Source: NASA

    They do use models though! :o)

    They also like to ignore that there is nothing unusual in Arctic ice melt if you bother to do research and look into what history tells us.

    “Recent mapping of a number of raised beach ridges on the north coast of Greenland suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice free.”
    Source: NGU (Norwegian Government Agency)

    And just for fun Crocodiles roamed the Arctic 55 million years ago! WUWT?

  53. And 4 degree Celsius is warm?
    Did you ever take a dive in 4 degree Celsius water!
    You will need a first aid team to get your heart beating again.

  54. “This is the first time we’ve seen…”

    How often has this statement been made in relation to weather (not climate) events.

    The authors then assume that it has never happened before, and then extrapolate this event the be the norm for the future.

  55. O/T – Neuralgate ?

    Reading through chapter 9 of the AR4 http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf – I got a shock to see they’ve referenced 2 climate models based on Neural Networks. One of them is on page 690:

    “Consistently, a neural network model is unable to reconstruct the observed
    global temperature record from 1860 to 2000 if anthropogenic
    forcings are not taken into account (Pasini et al., 2006).”

    The other neural net model is referenced throughout the text – see the references to “Knutti et al.(2002; 2003)” or “Knutti et al (2003)”.

    Artificial Neural Networks were popular in the 1980’s when I was doing my Computer Science Masters degree, but the hype around them has long since been discredited. They can be used successfully for a very narrow range of problems, but proving AGW is an extremely dubious use of them. They should not be featured in an IPCC report which can influence a significant portion of the world’s economy.

  56. “A research team led by Fiamma Straneo, a physical oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, found that subtropical waters are reaching Greenland’s glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss. Melting ice also means more fresh water in the ocean, which could flood into the North Atlantic and disrupt a global system of currents, known as the Ocean Conveyor. ”

    That sounds like a self correcting mechanism to me.

    John M Reynolds

  57. Climate change machine falling apart faster as BP deals blow to Obama fight on climate

    The Obama administration’s faltering efforts to pass climate change legislation suffered another blow on Tuesday when BP and ConocoPhillips abruptly pulled out of the leading business group lobbying for curbs on US greenhouse gas emissions.

    By withdrawing from the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), the oil groups, together with Caterpillar, the heavy machinery company, signalled that they would take a more focused approach to the issue by pushing for specific policies that would benefit them, rather than the principle of reducing emissions.

    “It’s really important that we get climate change legislation…but it’s about what’s in the bill, not just about getting a bill,” Red Cavaney senior vice-president of government affairs at Conoco, said. “We need to spend time addressing the issues that impact our shareholders and consumers.”

    BP and Conoco on Tuesday said the proposed energy legislation that has stalled in the Congress would impose an unfair burden on the oil industry. “We will continue to work for passage of federal legislation that…is environmentally effective, reduces emissions across the US economy in a measured and affordable way and which treats all energy consumers and producers in a fair and equitable manner,” BP, Europe’s biggest oil company, said. “We don’t believe legislation currently pending in the Congress achieves these objectives.”

    The two oil majors have been working together to propose a “linked fee” – something between a tax and a full-blown cap-and-trade system for reducing carbon emissions – that they say would provide more predictability for consumers.

    The House of Representatives has passed a cap-and-trade bill but efforts to get similar legislation through the Senate have ground to a halt as healthcare reform and jobs have taken priority. The Obama administration has instead increasingly turned to regulation to impose limits on carbon emissions.

    Royal Dutch Shell is now the only large oil company still a member of USCAP, which was founded in 2007 to set out a plan for a limit on greenhouse gases and tradeable emissions permits. The group played down the departures, saying that its membership was constantly changing. Three companies – AES, Alstom and Honeywell – joined in October.

    Daniel Weiss, a climate change analyst at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank, said the companies’ were now more interested in lobbying for policies that affected them directly. “They are now at the stage where they are interested in cutting deals that benefit their specific companies, rather than supporting the overall architecture,” Mr Weiss said.

  58. So warmer water doesn’t heat the air above it? I must have missed when the ocean decoupled from the atmosphere.

  59. So – the glacier/ocean interaction is not considered in global climate models.

    WHAT?

    Considering how much scaremongering there has been by the fantasists, over the impact of melting glaciers on sea levels I find this statement truly extraordinary. The fantasists whitter on about feedbacks and tipping points and don’t bother to include the interaction between 2 of the most significant, and therefore critical, components in the system?

    Just what DO they include in their models?

    Unbelievable.

    I reckon I could produce a better GCM in Excel in less than a day (well maybe 2 or 3 days, then)

  60. Interesting article.

    Wish it had delved a bit deeper about the currents themselves. The speed and the causes. Currents are driven totally from heat differential, right. So if currents have accelerated so much, the tropic heat is spreading faster to cooler north areas which in turn cause ocean radiation at a greater rate than when current was slower and moving less energy. Normal TD.

    Since we have not seen the sun in this type of configuration since the late 1800’s, we could be witnessing what the earth does to shed excess energy. Seems logical that could very well be what is occurring. The thirty years from the 70’s to 2005 were exceptional solar wise. We are just coming out of the modern day grand maximum. Next few years should tell it all.

    Could this be how earth rids itself of excess heat? Does the earth as a whole follow TD principles such as minimum time? Kind of counter-intuitive that the move to increase current flow which spreads warmer water and that radiates at a greater rate could also melt more ice in the arctic due to the shedding of energy. That energy is tiny compared to the total energy received in the last thirty some years. However, by itself is still sizeable amount of energy. This energy has had thirty some years to conduct to deep layers of the soil and oceans, and therefore it will take it quite some years to shed it if we are in fact at the start of a cooling period.

    Solar irradiance is now at that suppressed level. The sun recently hit levels not seen since the early 1900’s and are close to those around 1820’s. What is happening is not “business as usual” as in the late 1900’s and up to 2005.

    Would welcome any ideas, thoughts. I seem not able to pin it down.

    The last AGU meeting was quite enlightening, If you have a chance and the time, at least 30 minutes, it will open your eyes, especially Mr. Solanki’s paper as lead speaker.
    WUWT- Dalton Minimum Repeat goes mainstream
    http://eventcg.com/clients/agu/fm09/U34A.html

  61. OT: I cannot use Tips & Notes at all these days. It locks up my whole browser. Can you perhaps install an automatic archiver to cut in at a not impossible number of posts? thanks in hope.

  62. Do I get this right? More warm water from the subtropics reach Greenland and melts ice. That means the warm water leaves 80 cal for each g of ice it melts. If the water is say 5 deg C it leaves 80 g water of 4 deg C + 1 g water of 0 deg from the ice, or 20 g of 0 deg +1 g 0 deg from the ice. It’s just to scale it up to current global level?
    Anyhow it means cooling of the water and according to the map it returns south. It will mean a cooling of the waters nearer to the equator.
    About the albedo it ought to be just the surface of the ice sheet that adds to the albedo, not the mass.
    Ice bergs floating in the water do not add to the sea level as they melt, only to cooling of the water. As they fall into the sea, however the level outght to rise?

  63. What’s more interesting is how complex climate “forecasting” actually is, and this paper just confirms that point of view.

    The deep ocean currents drive the “conveyor belt” which brings warmer water to northern Europe. The very cold, very saline water just south of Greenland sinks very fast due to its high density and this is the “driver” – along with the deep Antarctic water it picks up on the way – for the rest of the ocean heat transport.

    If the Greenland ice sheet melts too fast then the salinty drops and this conveyor switches off. Massive impacts globally from small changes one way or the other.

    If you want it in a soundbite:

    global warming could cause globalcooling

    The “switching off” of the thermohaline currents or THC can cause the refreezing of the Arctic with all of the positive feedback that the ice albedo and other effects bring.

    Check out Predictability? With a Pinch of Salt please.. Part One

  64. Stefan (01:30:37) :

    Nope. It’s not just you. Cult-like. Well programmed. Here’s how you tell, have you ever had an actual conversation with one of them. I mean where they say, yeah that could possibly be. You knowing all along it’s perfectly possible by proper physics? Check out a book at the library on cult mentality, it’s real, it’s dangerous, and it requires professional de-programming for a person to come back to reality and rejoin real people with real faults. You see, they actually think they have no faults.

  65. Just what DO they include in their models?

    Raw data fed through a grinder and poured into a mold for all I know.
    Even Colonel Sanders admits there’s chicken and spices in the list.

  66. I have a question; perhaps rhetorical. Why is it we are only now finding all these natural factors and influences on climate change in such detail? I’m not just talking about this ocean effect but all the other very illuminating and interesting details posted on this and other similar blogs. Why haven’t organizations like the IPCC come out with all this before instead of the alarmists scaremongering nonsense? Isn’t it time to threaten such organizations with law suits unless they come clean?

  67. The observations are valuable, and add to our store of knowledge, however they always seem to need to pop a statement like this in:

    “Melting ice also means more fresh water in the ocean, which could flood into the North Atlantic and disrupt a global system of currents, known as the Ocean Conveyor. ”

    The use of the word “disrupt” is unfortunate. It implies that a system which was stable is getting knocked out of kilter.

    If you study the history of Greenland you become aware the climate has varied. In the MWP the Greenland Vikings could grow crops, while the Little Ice Age was so cold it drove the Dorset Inuit from East Greenland.

    It is likely these events did have some effect on “a global system of currents, known as the Ocean Conveyor. ” However the system simply adapted. It didn’t break down or go berserk in any dramatic way.

    Likely it is part of a greater oscillation akin to the AMO.

    This is not to say the observations aren’t valuable. I just wish these scientists didn’t have to be so cotton-picking dramatic, to get anyone’s attention.

  68. Philip T. Downman (02:11:41)
    As they fall into the sea, however the level outght to rise?

    Yes, provided that they grow slower than they fall into the sea.
    Mostly they provide a big thrill for tourists in canoes, until someone gets whacked by one, then the tours will go the way of barrell riding over Niagra Falls.

  69. I find the most telling part of the article is the phrase “scientists are just beginning to learn more about the ocean’s impact — in particular, the influence of currents — on the ice sheet.”

    So yet another example of the science not being settled. The sooner all concerned realise that a snapshot of the current understanding of any scientific subject is just that, a snapshot, not the enduring state of the science. It’s like trying to judge the ending of a film (movie) from a single frame picked at random.

  70. Philip T. Downman (02:11:41) :
    Sounds pretty right to me. Think of the iceberg tou mention cooling the NA waters. Would that tend to speed up or slow down the current, even though is’s a tiny effect?

  71. Andrew (01:48:14) :

    “This is the first time we’ve seen…”

    How often has this statement been made in relation to weather (not climate) events.

    The authors then assume that it has never happened before, and then extrapolate this event the be the norm for the future.

    This is I am afraid the state of affairs the world over in all walks of life. I see it in my own profession too. Is this part of cognitive dissonance? I was working as a young technician at a well know international lab many years ago, I was sent “below stairs” for a year as a Clerk of Works to get site experience – what a sight & what an experience that was. I digress, upon returning to the fold of the drawing office, I prepared a specification for the decoration of an office upon completion, as I shared architectural & engineering roles in part, & used the term “mist-coat” + 2 No full coats emulsion, the “mist” being simply a watered-down emulsion coat to seal the surface of the plaster before applying the final decorative finishes. The senior architectural technician & the senior architect, both challenged my terminology as they had never heard of it before & I was therefore wrong, but despite my protestations was forced to change it to their invented term of “sealer coat”. I eventually (days later but the damage was done) demonstrated that such a term was actually in SPONS, the “bible” of quantity surveying used by all in the UK construction industry, (a copy of which was on the architect’s shelves, gathering dust one presumes although its cover was a nice bright colour)!

  72. Sorry I forgot to add that this was a illustration of the arrogant attitude people have to things they have not seen before, the ilogical but automatic presumptious conclusions being that it has to be new!

  73. Caleb:

    “..The use of the word “disrupt” is unfortunate. It implies that a system which was stable is getting knocked out of kilter..

    It is likely these events did have some effect on “a global system of currents, known as the Ocean Conveyor. ” However the system simply adapted. It didn’t break down or go berserk in any dramatic way?

    Perhaps it did.

    Some of the paleoclimate evidence suggest that the THC (thermohaline current) which has one effect of driving heat from the sub-tropics to northern Europe has switched off and changed direction more than once in the past.

    It would definitely be a strong disruption.

    It might be the mechanism by which the interglacials ended and the start of the subsequent ice age.

  74. R. Gates (23:32:58) :

    I believe in accuracy, and so the title for this thread would have been honest and accurate if it had simply said:

    Greenland Glacier melt due to sea current change

    And left it at that. The way it was worded implies quite strongly that air temps were somehow proven to not to ALSO cause melting. It is misleading to have added “not air temperature”,

    But the air temperatures haven’t risen enough to significantly increase the melting rate, have they? If not, or if they are decisively outweighed by the rise in water temperature, then the headline is essentially OK. Perhaps, it should have been more lawyerly and read:

    Greenland Glacier melt predominantly due to sea current change not air temperature

    Or:

    Accelerated Greenland Glacier melt due to sea current change not air temperature

    The headline has to be read in the context of the previous alarmist news about the topic, whose whole point has been the acceleration of the melting. (There would be nothing alarming about the normal rate of melting, which has always been going on, so there’d be no news about it.)

    This accelerated melting was attributed to global warming or climate change, giving the reader the impression (as intended) that air-melting was occurring. (An increase in melting from warmer water wouldn’t be alarming, because the Argo buoys indicate that the global sea temperature is stable — and therefore that the warmer waters near Greenland were only a local blip.) Thus the headline isn’t guilty for not including the word “acceleration,” given that that is the whole context of the Greenland glacier controversy. There’d be no controversy without it. It’s a rebuttal of the implicit message of prior headlines.

  75. “Melting ice also means more fresh water in the ocean, which could flood into the North Atlantic and disrupt a global system of currents, known as the Ocean Conveyor. (Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)”

    Has any one actually considered if this is possible or whether it is just another one of those statements left over from the glory days just a few weeks ago when climatologists could make any statement that they wanted with impunity in support of their scary global warming scenarios.

    I doubt that there is any actual evidence which quantifies the contribution from excessive ice melt on the degree of salinity. I suggest that it was just another unsupported assertion along with many others that have been made in the propaganda war. Other than local dilution at the point that melt water enters the sea, I would hazard that it is impossible to measure any change in salinity as the volume and the conveyor’s velocity passing the glacier regions amounts to there being many orders of magnitude greater volume of conveyor than excess melt water run off. And as the melt water is at a lower temperature than the conveyor, a negative feedback (that word that climatologists love to invoke) would be operating to help maintain sea water density. But even if there were a measurable dilution, could it ever be anywhere near strong enough to even slightly perturb the conveyor.

    In short I think it is another load of poppycock that needs to be debunked.

  76. The one weakness I find in this report is that it speaks of changes in the North Atlantic Circulation but it does not seem to discuss how this current has actually changed in recent years.

  77. vukcevic (01:37:35) : Did these changes follow geomagnetic field variations you have pointed out several times here?
    Is it possible that these changes were, in turn, related to recent changes in the jet stream?…and
    Is it possible that these changes in the jet stream were caused by variations in the solar “wind”, which, in turn, responded to changes in the solar polar field?

  78. I once told a distinguished engineering professor who was an expert at Greenland icecap radar imaging that the icecap sits in a bowl and can’t slide precipitously into the sea, and he had the gall to try to tell me that the topography of Greenland’s land surface was poorly known. He’d just finished pooh-poohing the 800 year lag of CO2 to temperature in the ice core record, too. This was for an audience being challenged about the hysteria by you know who.
    =============================

  79. Ref – wayne (02:10:32) :
    “Interesting article…”
    ___________________
    Ditto. Need to watch/study that Global Conveyor a lot more.

    Ref – Peter of Sydney (02:37:55) :
    “I have a question;…”
    ___________________
    Think of Government Motors (GM). As long as there’s nothing in the newspaper all is AOK; that is as far as the general public is concerned. But folks in the know have known GM was sick and dying of cancer since the mid 1960’s; same for USSteel and others.

    Ref – scienceofdoom (03:21:43) :
    “Some of the paleoclimate evidence suggest that the THC (thermohaline current) which has one effect of driving heat from the sub-tropics to northern Europe has switched off and changed direction more than once in the past.
    “It would definitely be a strong disruption.
    “It might be the mechanism by which the interglacials ended and the start of the subsequent ice age.”
    ______________________
    Now we’re talking ’cause and effect’. We need to hold off the vinegar and see if articles have any points of value. If the Sun has so little effect on climate according to some here who should know, then the “Global Thermohaline Circulation” sounds like a great place to look for answers. Turn down or off the North Atlantic Current and Europe freezes (along with the North Sea and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere). And what’s driving the North Atlantic Current? The good old Gulf Stream. There’s more to sea water than salt. Sort of like the old song about bones connected one another.

  80. Excellent work. We owe a great debt of gratitude to WattsUpWithThat & ClimateAudit for the work they do.

    However, it is hard to keep track of all the different climate reports that have errors in them. We need some kind of web repository where these errors are indexed and a description of the errors is outlined. It is very difficult to keep track of how many contentious climate documents exist visiting the various blogs because they update so frequently.

  81. Kim

    On Greenland’s land topography-
    Go to ngmapcollection.com; click on “oceans” then click on “arctic ocean floor map 1971”. This map will show that the under ice topography of Greenland has been known for at least 40 years.

  82. Stefan (01:30:37) :

    OT, but after again engaging with a warmist online, I’m left wondering that warmists need courses in how to think. Maybe it is just me, but warmists seem to be swallowing ever more convoluted speculations in order to shore up their hypothesis. Of course I could be wrong… that’s the point.

    ———–

    In classic Kuhnian philosophy of science, this phenomenon of trying to twist convoluted speculations in order to shore up an existing hypothesis is a sure sign that the paradigm governing that hypothesis is in a state of extreme failure, shortly to be jettisoned.

  83. If you see here:

    You can see the south east side of greenland coast with positive temperature anomaly, but watch the gulf waters south of the US, whence the gulf warm current comes: cold.
    It looks more like a local phenomenon perhaps related to displacement to the south of the jet stream, which is related to changes in artic pressure, detailed already by Erl Happ:
    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/solar-warming-solar-cooling/#comment-272
    It’s the Sun Al Baby!

  84. Perhaps it might be an appropriate time to consider the possible effects of discontinuities of the temperature profile along the horizontal line of the thermohaline circulation given that it is estimated that a round trip is approximately 1000 to 1500 years and that happens to coincide with the climate cycling from MWP to LIA to present.

    Has anyone got a link that explores that issue ?

  85. For anyone interested in how the ocean currents determine sea surface temps around Greenland they should visit http://ocean.dmi.dk/satellite/index.php and select NordAtlanten in the drop down (or just click on the map below). That said it’s worth looking just for the current image for the North Sea and Baltic which illustrates just how cold this winter has been.

  86. Not trying to start a fight or anything, but is it possible that GHG induced warming of the various latitudes is making the ocean currents stay warm longer and push further north towards greenland, or is that out of the question? Again, not trying to start a fight, just asking an honest question.

  87. Robert (21:47:39) :

    “At that single station, I’m sure it was, but over Greenland as a whole? The anomaly over Greenland from 1999-2009 appears significantly greater than that present from 1930-1940, using the “Global Maps from GHCN Data” feature”

    Now that’s an interesting question. Why not have a look at this ‘interactive map’ which shows the warming/cooling trends in the GHCN raw dataset from 1910 to 1940 and then click on the ‘dark red’ dots for the Greenland stations.

    GISS raw data trends 1910 to 1939

    GISS raw data trends 1910 to 1939

    Here are the GISS raw/adjusted temperature charts for four Greenland stations that show the warming/cooling trends for the full 1880 to 2010 period, the 1880 to 1909 period, the 1910 to 1939 period, the 1940 to 1969 period and finally the 1970 to 2010 period.

    GodThab Nuuk

    Jakobshaven

    Upernavik

    Angmagssalik

    Now I don’t know about you but it sure looks to me that for most of these Greenland stations the rate of warming between 1910 to 1939 is greater than or as great as the warming between 1970 to 2010?

    Now look back at the 1910 to 1939 interactive map and have a look at the Icelandic, north Norwegian and other stations thar are affected by the ocean currents in the Nordic Seas. Spot anything?

    Stykkisholmur

    Reykjavik

    Akureyri

    Jan Mayen

    Isfjord Radio

    Bodo Vi

    Tromo/Skatto

    Vardo

    Again I don’t know about you but it sure looks to me that for most of these Nordic Sea stations, as with the Greenland stations, the rate of warming between 1910 to 1939 is greater than or as great as the warming between 1970 to 2010?

    Now how can that be when the late 20th century warming is supposed to be due to CO2 and other anthropogenic GHG emissions? Isn’t the recent 2007 low in Arctic sea ice extent supposed to be due to global warming because of man’s contunued reliance on fossil fuels? I wonder what the Arctic sea ice extent was back in the 1920s/30s? I wonder what was happening to those Greenland glaciers back in the 1920s/30s when the warming trend was greater than it has been in the late 20th century?

    Now hands up who still thinks that an odourless, colourless trace gas vital to the continued existence of life on this planet determines our climate rather than natural cyclc ocean currents like the PDO/ENSO/AMO//NAO?

  88. Does anyone monitor Greenland’s icecap in terms of extent and depth? It would seem that extent is an issue relating to water temperature and current speed, historic ice accumulation, and air temperature. Whereas internal depth would be a function of current ice accumulation, air temperature, wind conditions, and solar loading.

  89. Re: Roger Knights (03:24:26):

    Air Temperatures were not part of the study, had nothing to do with the study, were not considered, and should not have been put in the title. The title as worded implies an “discovered exclusion from cause”, of air temperature and that is not at all, in any way what the Woods Hole team was investigating or found. It’s a misleading headline, period.

    And while I recognize that WUWT is not necessarily friendly to ‘warmists’ like me, I would hope that hyping of headlines beyond the actual content of a study would cross the line. But apparently not. Finally, as we January 2010 saw record warmth in the troposphere which is consisent with AGW models, I have yet to be offered one shred of evidence that warming is not occuring. The slowing of the rise in global temps over the past few years is exactly what would be expected during a solar mimimum and extended La Nina, and now that we’re headed toward a new Solar Max, the march upward in temps is continuing exactly as AGW models would posit. If the world is not warming, why the new record high temps?

  90. JonesII (05:07:20) :
    “vukcevic (01:37:35) : Did these changes follow geomagnetic field variations you have pointed out several times here?”

    I am not convinced about direct solar input of one kind or the other. for time being I consider GMF as a reasonable proxy, rather than a driver of the climatic events.
    I am currently assembling further data. For time being it is difficult to say is the GMF causing temperature changes, by having an effect on the Atlantic ocean’s currents, or the ocean’s currents variability has a reverse effect on the GMF. Further complication is huge geodesic anomaly in the Hudson Bay area, one of the two locations of the magnetic pole peaks. This area is the main supplier of fresh waters to Labrador Sea (and subpolar gyre), regulating the extent of Gulf warm waters progress along the Greenland coast. For more details see part I at:
    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/41/83/04/PDF/NATA.pdf
    Magnetic graph of interest:

    more at: http://www.vukcevicco.uk/GandF.htm

  91. Jacob Coburn: Of course it’s possible, but you then need to explain why those currents were just as warm, or maybe even slightly warmer, 60-80 years ago (and even warmer 1200 years ago).

    Btw. I should have included this link in my previous note about the temperature record from the area near the Helheim glacier:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431043600000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    As you can see, the last few years were all within the same range as the whole 1930 – 1960 period, with one single exception (2003).

  92. To Robert

    Almost all of us skeptics at this site acknowledge that after the MWP (medieval warm period) there was an LIA (little ice age) since which time (1600’s or so) there has been a long term trend of global warming, with various cycles of warming and cooling related either to solar cycles or ocean oscillations or both superimposed. So we expect that “baseline” temps a hundred years ago may be slightly cooler than current temps (although we have also learned that upward measurement bias in temps due to siting and urbanization issues mess up the data).

    KW

  93. R. Gates (23:32:58) : Regarding your contention that “It is misleading to have added “not air temperature”“; it appears the air and water temperatures are simliar, ie. slightly above freezing, and the air is so only seasonally. Considering the difference in mass between air and water, the effect of air is insignificant, making the statement “not air temperature” true.
    This also responds to Nick (02:06:43) : So warmer water doesn’t heat the air above it? a typically specious statement.

  94. The term “global climate” has no meaning. “Climate” is a useful term from a local basis as it means what the succession of weather events are likely to be. It is obvious from reading history that local climates can vary considerably over time. These local climate variations often have resulted in occurances of famine, whether from consistant low temperatures or consistant wet conditions over a short (years) period, or conversly, extended (years) periods of drought.

    The important part of all of this has been whether enough food could be produced to feed a population of humans adequately for survival.

    Fortunately, with the increase in concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, growth of plants (primary source of food) has been enhanced, so there have been far fewer instances of famine overall.

    Humans have done little to cause this enrichment of CO2, and attempts to lower levels of CO2 are most foolish. Not only would attempts to do so be futile, but it would be senseless to take any steps which would bring back the times of widespread famine, which most certainly would happen if we did manage to lower global average temperatures a couple of degrees or so.

    You folks back in Florida, where air temperatures nearing 100F seem awfully hot should realize that we cope quite nicely here in Phoenix, AZ when temperatures get above 115F. Increases in average temperatures of a couple of degrees won’t mean either the end of the world or the extinction of humans.

    Far better to spend research dollars on figuring out ways to cope with constantly varying weather events than blowing money on attempting to change that which we have no control over. It might not satisfy the curiousity of some, but from the standpoint of the betterment of conditions we humans will have to live with, it would be money well spent.

    Early springs and late fall frosts are just fine and dandy for farmers, who produce the food we have to have to survive. Late frosts in spring cause havoc, as do early frosts in fall. Somewhat warmer is far better than cooler. Variance is not “change”, and whatever location on the face of the planet, variance of local climates has been common.

  95. Don’t worry. A thousand years from now, tree-ring data from Bolivia will prove that this “Arctic Warming Period” was a myth.

  96. “While melting due to warming air temperatures is a known event, scientists are just beginning to learn more about the ocean’s impact — in particular, the influence of currents — on the ice sheet.”

    Says the article.

    “Greenland glaciers – melt due to sea current change, not air temperature”

    Says the title here. Suggested correction:

    “Greenland glaciers – melt due to sea current change, AND air temperature” (that being a known event).

  97. I just looked on the Accuweather Global Warming site where they say the warming is Sub tropical .Catchy title wouldn’t you say. The funny thing is this report was done back in July of 2008 through Sept.

  98. R. Gates (07:33:01) :

    “…I have yet to be offered one shred of evidence that warming is not occuring…”

    What about Phil Jones saying “no statistically significant warming since 1995…” ?

  99. scienceofdoom (03:21:43) :

    I think most of the really shocking changes to the sea’s systems of currents (such as the Gulf Stream and the thermohaline circulation) were caused by really dramatic releases of fresh melt-water into the Atlantic. These events are hard to envision, for we don’t have any melt-water lakes of that size on earth in modern times.

    One prehistoric lake may have covered large areas of northern Canada, (Lake Winnipeg and Great Slave Lake are but lingering puddles,) and extended into what is now Hudson Bay, and all this water was held back by an ice dam which, when it finally crumbled, was washed away and eroded very swiftly. The amount of fresh water abruptly surging into the north Atlantic was colossal, and (in theory,) screwed things up royally. It took (in theory) something like a thousand years to recover.

    Compared to such events, the amount of water involved in the melting back of coastal glaciers is tiny.

    Not that they don’t have an effect on thermohaline circulation or the Gulf Stream, however their effect likely is best described as fluctuations, rather than as an overwhelming crisis.

  100. Global warmers have enough space to publish their beliefs in the MSM, they don’t need a post here. It would be more interesting to see what has happened with, for example, the Ap index and current solar cycle.

  101. Am I right to conclude from this story that only those parts of the glaciers that are already largely submerged in the deep fjords are subject to melting due to warm currents? So the melting of that ice would hardly contribute to sea level rise. Also only a fraction of the kilometers thick Greenland ice sheet is located in a position where water is in direct contact with the ice. So isn’t this whole story a storm in a teacup?

  102. “Just what DO they include in their models?”

    Apparently there is only one algorithm:

    5 For X=1 to RETIRE
    10 Input Rnd(CO2(AGW))
    15 TOTAL(C02)=TOTAL(CO2)+CO2(AGW)
    20 HEAT=TOTAL(CO2)*Rnd(FUDGE)
    25 If HEAT0, Sum(Sound(ALARM) + Apply(GRANT))
    35 TOTAL(GRANT)=TOTAL(GRANT)+Apply(GRANT)
    40 If TOTAL(GRANT)-CONFERENCE(SWANK)<0 Apply(GRANT) else Hide(HEAT)
    45 If X=RETIRE Goto BAHAMAS else next X

  103. My favorite caveats!!!!…”suspected mechanisms”….”difficult to confirm”?

    And, of course the obligatory career enhancing ……“We need more continuous observations to fully understand how they work, and to be able to better predict sea-level rise in the future,” says Straneo.

    These guys at Woods Hole are soooo gooooood.

  104. Stephen Wilde (07:00:52) :

    I sure would like to see thermohaline circulation studied more. Considering the infow is up by Greenland, and apparently is due to the melting and refreezing of ice, it seems the inflow must occur in pulses. How would these pulses be handled further downstream in the current? I wonder if there are actual waves in the thermopause. Then I wonder how these waves might effect the rate of upwelling, in areas where the thermohaline circulation comes back to the light of day.

    If you find any good papers, let us all know about it.

  105. JonesII (05:07:20) :
    “vukcevic (01:37:35) : Did these changes follow geomagnetic field variations you have pointed out several times here?”

    I am not convinced about direct solar input of one kind or the other. for time being I consider GMF as a reasonable proxy, rather than a driver of the climatic events.
    I am currently assembling further data. For time being it is difficult to say is the GMF causing temperature changes, by having an effect on the Atlantic ocean’s currents, or the ocean currents variability has a reverse effect on the GMF. Further complication is huge geodesic anomaly in the Hudson Bay area. one of the two locations of the magnetic pole peaks, This area is the main supplier of fresh waters to Labrador Sea ( and subpolar gyre), regulating the extent of Gulf warm waters progress along the Greenland coast. For more details see part I at:
    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/41/83/04/PDF/NATA.pdf
    Magnetic graph of interest:

    more at: http://www.vukcevicco.uk/GandF.htm
    “The warm water current branching of the North Atlantic Current and combination of the Arctic cold currents (the Hudson Strait current as the major variable) create Labrador Sea currents; this tightly governs the strength of the Subpolar gyre’s circulation, which is the engine of the heat transport across the North Atlantic Ocean.”

  106. “Almost all of us skeptics at this site acknowledge that after the MWP (medieval warm period) there was an LIA (little ice age) since which time (1600’s or so) there has been a long term trend of global warming, with various cycles of warming and cooling related either to solar cycles or ocean oscillations or both superimposed. So we expect that “baseline” temps a hundred years ago may be slightly cooler than current temps (although we have also learned that upward measurement bias in temps due to siting and urbanization issues mess up the data).”

    Some people acknowledge that there is a warming trend, and some (like the person who challenged me on it) do not. Once we agree that there’s a warming trend, the question is what is causing it.

    While the UHI has been proposed as a cause of measured warming, the data has stamped rather heavily on that supposition:

    Assessment of Urban Versus Rural In Situ Surface Temperatures in the Contiguous
    United States: No Difference Found

    THOMAS C. PETERSON
    National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina
    (Manuscript received 26 May 2002, in final form 23 February 2003)

    ABSTRACT
    All analyses of the impact of urban heat islands (UHIs) on in situ temperature obser vations suffer from inhomogeneities or biases in the data. These inhomogeneities make urban heat island analyses difficult and can lead to erroneous conclusions. To remove the biases caused by differences in elevation, latitude, time of observation, instrumentation, and nonstandard siting, a variety of adjustments were applied to the data. The resultant data were the most thoroughly homogenized and the homogeneity adjustments were the most rigorously evaluated and thoroughly documented of any large-scale UHI analysis to date. Using satellite night-lights–derived urban/ rural metadata, urban and rural temperatures from 289 stations in 40 clusters were compared using data from 1989 to 1991. Contrary to generally accepted wisdom, no statistically significant impact of urbanization could be found in annual temperatures. It is postulated that this is due to micro- and local-scale impacts dominating
    over the mesoscale urban heat island. Industrial sections of towns may well be significantly warmer than rural sites, but urban meteorological observations are more likely to be made within park cool islands than industrial regions.

    So the UHI does not appear to be a significant source of measured warming. And obviously the satellite data shows warming as well.

    As to whether this is a normal recovery from the LIA: to resolve that, there’s no getting around the hockey stick (which is to say, temperature reconstructions of the last 1,000 years). While there are a few scientists who still believe in a global MWP comparable to present warming, for the most part, the reconstructions agree that the 20th century warming is anomalous in the last thousand years.

    While some people use the data on the MWP to argue for an as-yet unknown natural process causing the warming, I feel this is a non-parsimonious explanation. We know GHGs cause a greenhouse effect — that has been known for a couple of centuries, since long before any “controversy.” We know that, because of human activity, there are more of these GHGs in the atmosphere than there used to be. The most commonsensical explanation is that the GHGs and the warming are connected, not seperate, phenomena, and since we know what’s causing the elevations in GHGs, the warming is most likely the effect of that increase.

  107. Robert (22:32:14)

    “So while it’s true that the heat has to come from somewhere, it comes from the same place the warm air comes from: solar energy, enhanced by the greenhouse effect.”

    OR – from undersea volcanoes in the Pacific – bwhahaha!

  108. “Melting ice also means more fresh water in the ocean, which could flood into the North Atlantic and disrupt a global system of currents, known as the Ocean Conveyor. (Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)”

    Yeah, and the tooth fairy might leave a million dollars under my pillow.

    Can they demonstrate an historic precident for such disruption, aside from the Lake Agassiz or Baltic floods?

  109. So I wonder what Svend Hendriksen (A Nobel Peace Prize Winning Glaciologist, who lives in Greenland) thinks about this research. I am sure he is familiar with the basic variables of this location and situation.

    Svend; If you have your ears on; maybe you could give us your insight, as to what is going on up there.

    George

  110. vigilantfish (21:55:27) :

    “Actually, I hate to play devil’s advocate here but … MSc thesis … the early 20th century fishermen, sealers and other witnesses …”

    An MSc thesis is drawn from papers with either derived or first hand data, and there is a selection process involved. The fishermen and sealers provide first hand data, and they are directly concerned about where to find their money.

  111. Nice to know, but the question begged is “why are the ocean currents behaving differently now, and is this part of some known cycle (and of what length), or something new and different that might be related, or intensified, by global warming?”

  112. Robert,

    Please explain exactly how the data was homogenized by Patterson at NCDC – we are all intensely curious as to how this process is carried out… As you are doubtless aware most of us are skeptical of the processes used and the agenda of those who are performing this work.

    Homogenization is a process invented for creating a stable configuration in milk, in which fat globules are evenly suspended throughout the lighter skim-milk. For those of us who have had the privilege of drinking unhomogenized milk in the past, there is a clear recognition that the raw product is very different from the homogenized version, with a lovely layer of cream that floats on top of the milk. Is the milk identical to the cream? Hardly! I suspect that the term used in Peterson’s paper to describe the manipulated data conveys a confession as to how well the results reflect the reality conveyed by the actual data record.

  113. Obviously wobbles, tilts, etc in the Earth’s orbit plays huge roles in what happens with climate. I just watched a show yesterday about the greening of the Sahara. Every 20K years, according to this show, the Sahara turns green. They think humans came out of Africa during one of these green times and settled in what is now desert. The lakes of the Sahara were gigantic. After time the lakes dried and the desert came back. The remaining peoples headed to the rivers and settled along the Nile, and its all history from there.

  114. “Please explain exactly how the data was homogenized by Patterson at NCDC – we are all intensely curious as to how this process is carried out”

    I’d suggest reading the paper — no doubt it has a methods section.

    Looking at the abstract, it appears that in referring to “Homogenization” he’s talking about what the medical literature usually calls regression analysis. In lay terms, that means taking into account all the other things that can mess with temperature readings “differences in elevation, latitude, time of observation, instrumentation, and nonstandard siting,” to isolate the supposed UHI effect.

    “As you are doubtless aware most of us are skeptical of the processes used and the agenda of those who are performing this work.”

    I think genuine skepticism is directed at things we want to believe in — things that further your own “agenda” of discrediting the theory of AGW. The capacity to doubt your own theories, and imagine you might be wrong, is the characteristic of a truly skeptical mind. Being intensely suspicious of those that tell us things that we don’t want to hear is an example of confirmation bias, not skepticism.

  115. Phillep Harding (10:27:14) :

    vigilantfish (21:55:27) :

    “Actually, I hate to play devil’s advocate here but … MSc thesis … the early 20th century fishermen, sealers and other witnesses …”

    An MSc thesis is drawn from papers with either derived or first hand data, and there is a selection process involved. The fishermen and sealers provide first hand data, and they are directly concerned about where to find their money.

    ——

    I should have gone to sleep last night instead of posting that comment. What happened is that it just occurred to me that some of the trolls might pounce on Stephen Goddard’s use of anecdotal information in the first response and I wanted to make a preemptive remark. However, my observation was more directed toward the comments made by other excellent critics on a prior thread rather than the way the MSc student gathered the information. There was some commentary concerning how peoples’ memories often don’t go back far enough to give their observations sufficient context, which reduced the validity of the student’s conclusions based on these observations. Your comments about the selection process entailed in producing an MSc thesis is quite right.

  116. Didn’t Bill Nye say that global warming was going to screw up the thermohaline circulation and maybe even shut down the Gulf Stream?

    ZOMG… Could Bill Nye be wrong? Could 100,000 to 1 Richard Lindzen be right?

  117. You gotta love the brass huevos of these folks. From the press release quoted above:

    “This is the first time we’ve seen waters this warm in any of the fjords in Greenland,” says Straneo.

    Well, duh, this is because you don’t have any historical data to compare it too, so of course it’s the warmest. Or as they say in their study (emphasis mine):

    These findings are supportive of the ocean trigger hypothesis but not conclusive until it is shown that conditions were different prior to the last decade such that submarine melting was greatly reduced. Lack of historical data from Sermilik and other glacial fjords, however, makes it difficult to determine what conditions were like in the past.

    I can only admire the audacity of the hype, though …

  118. ” savethesharks (23:41:23) :

    Pure sophistry. Folks this is a spin artist at work.”

    I know you intend this as a criticism of me, but given what follows, it reads more like a disclaimer for the rest of your post.

    Reply:This is a warning to be savethesharks and Robert. Tone it down. Personal attacks on other commenters are strongly frowned upon here. And as always. I don’t care who started it. ~ ctm

  119. Ref – Robert (09:41:04) :
    “Almost all of us skeptics at this site acknowledge that after the MWP (medieval warm period) there was an LIA (little ice age) since which time (1600’s or so) there has been a long term trend of global warming, with various cycles of warming and cooling related either to solar cycles or ocean oscillations or both superimposed. So we expect that “baseline” temps a hundred years ago may be slightly cooler than current temps (although we have also learned that upward measurement bias in temps due to siting and urbanization issues mess up the data).”

    Some people acknowledge that there is a warming trend, and some (like the person who challenged me on it) do not. Once we agree that there’s a warming trend, the question is what is causing it.
    ____________________
    From a quick review of the above, you’re NOT a troll:-) Ain’t life a beach? Chin up! Dukes Up! Spread your weight! Bend your knees! Now…SWING!

  120. Robert,

    “So the UHI does not appear to be a significant source of measured warming,”

    Unconvincing argument since it uses the same homogenisation that have been criticized in the CRU and GISS reconstructions. In othe words – a tautology.
    Fact: Raw data from rural sites do not show a warming trend in the lower 48 states, whereas raw data from urban sites do.

    “While there are a few scientists who still believe in a global MWP comparable to present warming.”

    A few – like 805 Scientists from from 478 research institutions in 43 different countries contributing to a body of knowledge over 50 years in the making. In would be more accurate to point to the few scientists who don’t believe in a global MWP.

    “for the most part, the reconstructions agree that the 20th century warming is anomalous in the last thousand years.”

    In order to accept the evidence of a few debunked hockey stick studies while willfully ignoring the mountain of contrary evidence suggests a mind that is closed to facts.

    “While some people use the data on the MWP to argue for an as-yet unknown natural process causing the warming, I feel this is a non-parsimonious explanation.”

    Some people argue that because compute models cannot reproduce 20th century warming without CO2 forcing and feedbacks, then AGW must be real. I call that an argumentum ignoratium. If, as nearly everyone willing to open their eyes can see, climate has varied constantly and unfailingly on every time scale, without human caused CO2 driving it, then this “unknown” mechanism must, in fact, exist. If it existed then, then it must exist now.

    The scientific method is actually pretty simple. Observations tell us that climate has varied and was warmer 1000 years ago during the MWP, the Roman warm period before that and the Minoan warm period before that. You start by trying to reject the null hypothesis – that modern warming is different from any of the others such that another explanation is required. The null hypothesis can only be rejected if the hockey stick reconstruction was real, something even Phil Jones is trying to distance himself from. That’s why the MWP was called “putative,” – it knocks a pillar out from the AGW hypothesis.

  121. R. Gates (07:33:01) :

    Before you get too excited by the record spike in UAH temperatures, please remember the record only goes back to 1979.

    Also remember that the 1998 spike was followed by a nearly equal and opposite decline. (Bob Tisdale would point out the “step change,” if I said “equal and opposite” rather than “nearly equal and opposite.”)

    I think the spikes and dips in the temperature record likely should be called “weather, not climate.”

    There seems to be a fair amount of data suggesting a cycle of roughly 30 years warming followed by 30 years of cooling. In 10 years or so there might be some dips which could be “record setting.” This is to be expected, considering the recording of the UAH data will, at that time, only record 40 years of a 60 year cycle. 30 years from now we will have recorded a full 60 year cycle, more or less, and can see what the “trend-line” looks like.

    That seems a heck of a long time to wait.

    Therefore I’d like to suggest something that will make everyone happy. I suggest we all watch the daily thermometer. After the sun rises temperatures will rise, and Alarmists can all cheer like crazy. Then, in the afternoon, temperatures will sink and Skeptics can all cheer like crazy. Everyone will get to cheer, and after that we can all go to bed and sleep soundly for eight hours, and then do it all again the next day.

  122. George E. Smith (10:15:19) :
    “So I wonder what Svend Hendriksen (A Nobel Peace Prize Winning Glaciologist, who lives in Greenland) thinks about this research. I am sure he is familiar with the basic variables of this location and situation.”

    Mr Hendriksen appears not only be top Nobel Peace Prize Winning Glaciologist, but also interested in art controversies:
    extract: Greenland Art Review © 2010
    Published 14-02-2010 11:21 by S. E. Hendriksen
    Was ‘Art fraudsters’ self-deceived?
    If Svend Erik Olsen and Jannie From the ‘art scammers and fraudsters’, so their plan is only starting to take shape now that the trial is over. If they have a ‘plan’, then it is so advanced a few people have noticed it yet. Eastern High Court misunderstood the matter entirely, but is an excellent means for couples’ ‘future’ claim of 30 million. Sterling …
    (google translation)
    Med venlig hilsen
    Greenland Art Review
    V/ Svend Erik Hendriksen
    Nobel Peace Prize 1988 (Collectively) etc
    http://www.glar.gl/

  123. This is key:

    “[…] not in a matter of years, but a matter of months. It’s a very rapid communication.”

  124. “”” vukcevic (12:12:08) :

    George E. Smith (10:15:19) :
    “So I wonder what Svend Hendriksen (A Nobel Peace Prize Winning Glaciologist, who lives in Greenland) thinks about this research. I am sure he is familiar with the basic variables of this location and situation.”

    Mr Hendriksen appears not only be top Nobel Peace Prize Winning Glaciologist, but also interested in art controversies:
    extract: Greenland Art Review © 2010
    Published 14-02-2010 11:21 by S. E. Hendriksen
    Was ‘Art fraudsters’ self-deceived?
    If Svend Erik Olsen and Jannie From the ‘art scammers and fraudsters’, so their plan is only starting to take shape now that the trial is over. If they have a ‘plan’, then it is so advanced a few people have noticed it yet. Eastern High Court misunderstood the matter entirely, but is an excellent means for couples’ ‘future’ claim of 30 million. Sterling …
    (google translation)
    Med venlig hilsen
    Greenland Art Review
    V/ Svend Erik Hendriksen
    Nobel Peace Prize 1988 (Collectively) etc
    http://www.glar.gl/ “””

    Svend is a very nice chap; and very knowledgeable about glaciers both in Greenland where he lives most of the time; but also in Antarctica. And since those polar orbit satellites fly over both, he can get pictures and stuff from either end of the earth dropped down to him when the bird goes over his place. And he lives out in the boonies, not some bustling big city with traffic lights. He can also educate us on just what those breaking up Antarctic ice shelves are really doing; and the stuff he has sent me in the past suggests they break up all the time. The piece of the most recent big fuss Wilkins break-off; has a nearby thinner piece that clearly broke up around 50 years ago; and is still recovering its former thickness.

  125. P Gosselin (02:06:55) ,

    Very interesting. I assume AW will be covering this soon as well.

    I think this is more evidence of Miskolczi’s hypothesis. We know additional CO2 should trap more heat. Since the radiation is constant than either,

    1) Our measurements of CO2 are in error, or
    2) Something else is trapping less radiation.

    Number 2) is essentially what Miskolczi’s been saying for years with his constant optical depth value.

    It turns out I was thinking about plants the other day and wondering why they require less H2O when they have access to more CO2. Then it hit me. This is exactly what would happen with Miskolczi’s claim. I believe Nature is telling us something important. Could it be the reason plants evolved the capability to
    utilize less H2O is because it’s not available at higher levels of CO2?

  126. “So I wonder what Svend Hendriksen (A Nobel Peace Prize Winning Glaciologist, who lives in Greenland) thinks about this research. ”

    The Nobel Prize for 1988 was awarded to “UN Peacekeepers.” I sincerely hope Mr. Hendriksen does not puff himself up in the manner being done on his behalf here.

    Speaking as a winner of Time’s “Person of the Year” (2006), I think that calling Mr. Hendriksen “Nobel Peace Prize Winning” is extremely silly, even if it’s technically true.

  127. George E. Smith (13:27:39) :
    “Svend is a very nice chap;…”

    Mr. Smith
    I have no doubt, as I would like to think, is anyone interested in the fine art. I just found his art sideline personally very interesting (I often hang around art galleries). Searching for articles on the matter of glaciers by Mr. Hendriksen (after reading your post, being myself interested in the ‘polar effects’) I came across this website
    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/Greenland_ice_cap.html
    showing some fascinating photos of Greenland and glaciers (reminding me of time when I was for a short period in possession of a minor painting from a North Pole expedition).
    Came across a website of comic posters but no articles. Any ideas?

  128. kim (05:09:33) :

    I once told a distinguished engineering professor who was an expert at Greenland icecap radar imaging that the icecap sits in a bowl and can’t slide precipitously into the sea, and he had the gall to try to tell me that the topography of Greenland’s land surface was poorly known. He’d just finished pooh-poohing the 800 year lag of CO2 to temperature in the ice core record, too. This was for an audience being challenged about the hysteria by you know who.
    =============================

    The ice is also heavy enough to make its own topology – which is probably more important over larger areas.

    It’s a bit like lying in bed. If you notice, everything is uphill from where you’re lying. Even if you move.

    Spooky…

  129. michel (00:02:17) :

    Robert is correct about melting ice and albedo. Its very simple, ice reflects IR radiation, darker sea absorbs it. Sun shining on ice is reflected and does not heat it much. Sun shining on dark sea is absorbed and heats it more.

    So far we are at ‘just physics’. If ice retreats, warming due to IR absorption will occur. This isn’t sophistry, whatever is meant by that, but simple physics.

    The implications of this however are, as usual, not simple physics. The question is whether the increased warming by radiation absorption at those latitudes is a significant contributor either to ice melt or to the warmth of the planet. And the answer is probably no.

    Agreed.

    The obvious and most likely hypothesis is, however, that the loss of sea ice is a strongly negative feedback as the warmer (it has to be – it’s not frozen) sea can radiate heat that would otherwise be trapped by the ice. Ice is a good insulator – ask any igloo-dweller.

    The angle of incidence at polar latitudes also makes the sunlight absorption argument a bit weak, I feel.

    I’m not sure how that goes on land ice. Does a darker body radiate more? Beyond my area of dabbling.

  130. Cadae (02:01:38) :

    O/T – Neuralgate ?

    The IPCC are using neural networks to prove Al Gore warming? priceless!

    (I did my degree project on those little babies – a waste of time for future benefit, but I really did think they were going somewhere)

  131. “The question is whether the increased warming by radiation absorption at those latitudes is a significant contributor either to ice melt or to the warmth of the planet. And the answer is probably no.”

    Actually, the hypothetical I was responding to was: what if currents are delivering warmth to the ice, melting it. Doesn’t that by definition mean it is colder somewhere else, and hence the net impact is zero?

    And my response, in part, was: not necessarily (of course, it might net to zero if ice is growing elsewhere), because the ice melting contributes to warming.

  132. “”” Robert (14:17:13) :

    “So I wonder what Svend Hendriksen (A Nobel Peace Prize Winning Glaciologist, who lives in Greenland) thinks about this research. ”

    The Nobel Prize for 1988 was awarded to “UN Peacekeepers.” I sincerely hope Mr. Hendriksen does not puff himself up in the manner being done on his behalf here.

    Speaking as a winner of Time’s “Person of the Year” (2006), I think that calling Mr. Hendriksen “Nobel Peace Prize Winning” is extremely silly, even if it’s technically true. “””

    Wow ! who would ever have imagined that; fancy the Nobel Peace Prize committee actually awarding that prize to “UN Peacekeepers”.

    Much better of course that they award such a prize to the Commander in Chief of US military forces; who held up acting on the request from his Commanders in the field to send reinforcements to Afghanistan in the ongoing WAR there; until the Norwegian Committee had made their well reasoned selection; a candidate who in fact hasn’t raised a finger to assist those innocent victims of a cruel war in Africa; the very people I believe that in 1988 those Nobel Peace prize winning “UN Peacekeepers” were sent to aid. How many US troops perished while the CIC was awaiting his annointment; after serving a whole month in his new job ?

    And yes Svend was one of those.

    Of course, once the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner had gathered up his Norwegian booty; he then chose to finally order those much needed US “peacekeepers” into battle in Afghanistan.

    No Svend is quite circumspect about his role; but I find your comment to be sillier than his award.

    Perhaps the similar award to a pompous goofball like Al Gore is more deserved and less silly than awarding that prize to actual “peacekeepers.”

  133. “”” vukcevic (15:19:29) :

    George E. Smith (13:27:39) :
    “Svend is a very nice chap;…”

    Mr. Smith
    I have no doubt, as I would like to think, is anyone interested in the fine art. I just found his art sideline personally very interesting (I often hang around art galleries). Searching for articles on the matter of glaciers by Mr. Hendriksen (after reading your post, being myself interested in the ‘polar effects’) I came across this website
    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/Greenland_ice_cap.html
    showing some fascinating photos of Greenland and glaciers (reminding me of time when I was for a short period in possession of a minor painting from a North Pole expedition).
    Came across a website of comic posters but no articles. Any ideas? “””

    Well I’m familiar with that particular site; and I am also familiar with some contacts between those CO2 enthusiasts and Dr Hendriksen. Doesn’t mean he endorse their views.

    He actually works for A Danish Climate/Weather research agency; sorry I don’t keep its official title in my head.

    if I can retrieve one of his personal e-mails to me, i will see if I can contact him.

    So far as I know he isn’t employed in academia; so I suspect he is busy getting data, rather than publishing papers for publicity.

    It is really fascinating to watch here the process of ad hominum attack on someone; who has yet to say word one about the subject of this thread.

    I conclude that the trolls have a real fear of hearing from someone who really knows what is going on.

    But those are some interesting ice photos.

    Maybe, you can reach Svend yourself through DMI, so you can discuss art with him.

  134. According to NSIDC in the case of the iconic Jakobshavn glacier (Greenland); (fastest retreating glacier in the world); there is extremely poor correlation between NH average temperatures and retreat rate. Most notably, retreat was at the slowest between 1964 and 2001, that being 37 years of rapid warming according to HADCRUT:

  135. IF this has been mentioned before-I’m too tired to check I just came back from
    a 300mi round-trip in my old van in need of attention..
    Ok what about the AMDO and the apparent cooling of the Gulf stream is that
    happening as some in Europe have been speculating, and if so, that would change this warming scenario..

  136. JER0ME (15:49:51) :

    Cadae (02:01:38) :

    O/T – Neuralgate ?

    The IPCC are using neural networks to prove Al Gore warming? priceless! (I did my degree project on those little babies – a waste of time for future benefit, but I really did think they were going somewhere)

    I read a study back in the early 1980’s about the a US military attempt to train a neural network to discriminate between NATO and Warsaw Pact tanks.  They used photographs.  When the system was tried in the field it failed.  After some analysis, the researchers concluded that, because the pictures of NATO tanks were almost always taken in bright sunshine while the soviet tanks photos were almost always taken in cloudy weather, the neural net was distinguishing between tanks with shadows vs. tanks w/o shadows.

    The project was abandoned.

    Mike Ramsey

  137. Savethesharks writes a common misconception, “when the temperature rises above freezing, ice melts”, that isn’t exactly the case, and it’s very important to know about this one.

    Quoting from “How could we melt enough ice for a 20ft rise in sea levels?” (http://pathstoknowledge.net/2009/02/22/how-could-we-melt-enough-ice-for-a-20ft-rise-in-sea-levels).

    “When ice melts, it absorbs as much heat energy (the heat of fusion) as it would take to heat an equivalent mass of water by 80 °C, while its temperature remains a constant 0 °C.”

    WOW! That’s a serious amount of energy required and a big speed bump in the simplistic statement that “when the temperature rises above freezing, ice melts”.

    “When you heat a material, you are adding kinetic energy to its molecules and usually raising its temperature. The only exception is when the material reaches its melting or boiling points. At those two temperatures, the heat energy goes into changing the state of the material. After the state has changed, the temperature will rise again with added heat. The rate temperature changes is the specific heat of the material. The amount of heat required to melt the material is called the latent heat of melting.”

    It takes a lot of energy to melt ice. Melting the antarctic [or Greenland] will take a huge amount of [heat] energy. It has to come from somewhere.

    Ok, what about the full melt? Could we melt all the ice on Earth, well at least as much to raise the ocean levels by Al Gore’s and Jim Hansen’s favorite ~20 feet doomsday scenario? Could we actually create Hansen’s Gorey doomsday if we wanted to?

    Read the linked article (http://wp.me/ps3dI-J) to find out.

    pwl
    http://PathsToKnowledge.net

  138. Finally. Field research. And with seals, which is way, way, cool. Funny that. How come we didn’t get the whole meal deal with this expedition? I wanted to see their heart rate, when they peed, and all that. I wanted to see the day to day treacherous trek to the land of ice! I wanted daily updates by the insurance company! I’ve been robbed. Where’s the PR man?!?!?!?

  139. It’s not the first time it has happened in the Arctic and this one may still be influential:

    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF17/1754

    “It’s as if the planet became warmer in a single day,” Polyakov said. Interested in the pulse of warm water, Polyakov contacted oceanographers from around the world to backtrack the water on its path to the high Arctic. Norwegian scientists have moored stations in the Norwegian Sea, and German scientists monitor stations in Fram Strait, between Greenland and Svalbard.

    Using information from those stations and others, Polyakov and his co-workers found that the warm water passed Norway in 1998 and took about six years to reach the mooring station north of the Laptev Sea. That warmer water now resides in the Arctic Ocean, where it will remain for years caught up in currents that swirl counterclockwise in several giant basins north of the world’s landmasses.

  140. DennisA (07:40:17)

    WOW – hadn’t seen that before. Another excerpt:

    The warming of the Arctic Ocean has happened before, in a pattern that scientists call multidecadal variability. Since Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen first recorded Arctic Ocean temperatures in the late 1800s, the temperature of the Arctic Ocean has been higher than average during two periods: from the 1920s to about the 1950s, and from the early 1980s to the present.

  141. R. Gates (07:33:01) :

    Re: Roger Knights (03:24:26):

    Air Temperatures were not part of the study, had nothing to do with the study, were not considered, and should not have been put in the title. The title as worded implies an “discovered exclusion from cause”, of air temperature and that is not at all, in any way what the Woods Hole team was investigating or found. It’s a misleading headline, period.

    If this were a neutral, just-the-facts news-delivery site, it would be improper to draw an inference from the finding of a paper. Or at least the inference would be couched in such a way as to plainly distinguish it from the finding of the paper itself.

    OTOH, this is not a site whose motto is, “we report, you decide.” This, like other sites on both sides of this issue (and middle-of-the-roaders) treats its readers as sophisticated enough to recognize that what makes many papers on this topic newsworthy is what they imply, even if they don’t plainly state it. For instance, if a paper came out finding (for instance) that a software bug had substantially misstated CO2 levels or global temperature levels in an alarmist direction, it would not be improper for a site devoted to this topic to include the plain implication of the finding at the end of its headline, thus: “Levels miscalculated; case for warmism weakened.”

    The title as worded implies an “discovered exclusion from cause”, of air temperature and that is not at all, in any way what the Woods Hole team was investigating or found. It’s a misleading headline, period.

    Well, in the current political environment, the Woods Hole team isn’t going to rub the noses of warmists in the implications of their finding by explicitly saying, “You can’t blame global warming, nyah, nyah.” They’ll let their finding that the cause of the “accelerated” melting — which is what was being attributed to global (air temperature) warming — was instead due to water-warming “speak for itself.”

    So the headline here was not misleading “period,” or misleading at all. It was accurate as regards “accelerated” melting. Your attempt to implicitly reframe the matter as any melting is a diversion. Here are the first two sentences of the press release.

    Waters from warmer latitudes — or subtropical waters — are reaching Greenland’s glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss, reports a team …. “This is the first time we’ve seen waters this warm in any of the fjords in Greenland,” says Straneo.

    This obviously implicitly excludes warming air temperatures as a cause.

    R. Gates (07:33:01) : And while I recognize that WUWT is not necessarily friendly to ‘warmists’ like me, I would hope that hyping of headlines beyond the actual content of a study would cross the line. But apparently not.

    Read what I’ve said above. And read this:

    Steve Keohane (08:02:03) :

    R. Gates (23:32:58) : Regarding your contention that “It is misleading to have added “not air temperature”“; it appears the air and water temperatures are similar, ie. slightly above freezing, and the air is so only seasonally. Considering the difference in mass between air and water, the effect of air is insignificant, making the statement “not air temperature” true.

    …………………

    R. Gates (07:33:01) : Finally, as we January 2010 saw record warmth in the troposphere which is consistent with AGW models, I have yet to be offered one shred of evidence that warming is not occurring. The slowing of the rise in global temps over the past few years is exactly what would be expected during a solar minimum and extended La Nina, and now that we’re headed toward a new Solar Max, the march upward in temps is continuing exactly as AGW models would posit. If the world is not warming, why the new record high temps?

    I urge you to visit https://www.Intrade.com and put some money on the line about the future global temperature trend.

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