More Glacial Junk Science Journalism

[Note: this post (and a few others) was lost in WordPress, and I had no notification of its existence. While a bit dated, it is still valid – note to guest authors with WUWT WordPress privileges – when you submit something, be sure to notify me via email too – Anthony]

Guest post by David Middleton

From Live Science…

Records Melt Away on Greenland Ice Sheet

By Brett Israel, OurAmazingPlanet Staff Writer posted: 21 January 2011

The disappearing Greenland Ice Sheet set several records during an unusually long melt last year, according to a new study.

Running from April to mid-September, the melt season of 2010 was about a month longer than usual, said study team member Jason Box, a geographer and climatologist at Ohio State University.

[…]

Live Science

“The disappearing Greenland Ice Sheet”… Where in the heck did the author get the idea that the Greenland Ice Sheet was disappearing?

Greenland Ice Sheet Isopach Map (Wikipedia)

A recent publication by a team from TU Delft & JPL found that the Greenland ice sheet was melting at half the rate previously thought. They estimate that the Greenland ice sheet is losing ~230 gigatonnes (Gt) of ice per year. One Gt of water has a volume of 1 cubic km (km^3). 1 Gt of ice has a larger volume than 1 Gt of water… But, for the purpose of this exercise, we’ll assume 1 Gt of ice has a volume of 1 km^3.

If 1 Gt of ice has a volume of 1 km^3 and the current volume of the Greenland ice sheet is ~5 million km^3 and Greenland continues to melt at a rate of 230 km^3/yr over the next 90 years… The Greenland ice sheet will lose a bit more than 0.4% of its ice volume.~230 gigatonnes (Gt) of ice per year equates to about 0.005% of ice mass loss per year. At the current rate, it would take 1,000 years for the Greenland Ice Sheet to lose 5% of its volume.

The Earth’s climate was at least 2°C warmer during the Holocene Climatic Optimum and the Greenland Ice Sheet did not melt, disappear or destabilize…

Holocene Climate

The Earth’s climate was at least 2°C warmer and the Arctic was about 5°C warmer than it currently is during the Sangamonian (Eemian) interglacial. and the Greenland Ice Sheet did not melt, disappear or destabilize.

Greenland’s glaciation began during the Miocene, when the Earth’s climate was at least 5°C warmer than it currently is. It advanced rapidly after the Mid-Pliocene Warm Period.

Earth’s climate would have to warm back up to where it was in the mid-Miocene (~15 MYA) in order to destabilize the Greenland ice sheet…

Cenozoic Climate H/T Bill Illis

There is no scientific evidence to back up the assertion of a “disappearing Grrenland Ice Sheet. For a detailed explanation as to why the Greenland ice sheet cannot collapse under any AGW scenario, see Ollier & Pain, 2009.

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R. de Haan

“There is no scientific evidence to back up the assertion of a “disappearing Grrenland Ice Sheet.”
And the same goes for all the other scare based propaganda that we’re recycling at this blog.
There is no scientific evidence, Period

David Larsen

Please someone help me. Was the snow green during the medieval warming period when the Vikings named it gruenelande? Dumme verschlachtekopffe!

tommoriarty

One gigaton of water raises the oceans about 2.78 microns. 230 gigatons of water spilling off of Greenland per year raises the oceans about 0.64 millimeters per year or about 2.5 inches per century. Pretty scary.
See…
http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/conversion-factors-for-ice-and-water-mass-and-volume/

Doug Jones

“It is an edged cliché that the world is most pleasant in the years of a Waning Sun. It is true that the weather is not so driven, that everywhere there is a sense of slowing down, and most places experience a few years where the summers do not burn and the winters are not yet overly fierce. It is the classic time of romance. It’s a time that seductively beckons higher creatures to relax, postpone. It’s the last chance to prepare for the end of the world.”
Vernor Vinge, _A Deepness in the Sky_ Ch. 4, 1999

Jenn Oates

There you go again, promulgating pesky facts as if they were…well, facts.

Yes, yes, but…what about the children?!?

KR

See http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20110308.html
“…for each year over the 18-year study, the Greenland ice sheet lost mass faster than it did the year before, by an average of 21.9 gigatonnes a year. In Antarctica, the year-over-year speedup in ice mass lost averaged 14.5 gigatonnes.”
230GT from Greenland – and accelerating at about 10%/year? You might want to run your numbers again; that adds up to ~2.1% of Greenland ice melting in the next 90 years, not 0.4%. Also keep in mind that Greenland doesn’t have to completely melt to cause trouble.

KR

Running some more numbers, 1.3mm/year sea level rise from the current 475GT melt (Greenland plus Antarctic ice loss), accelerating at 36.3GT/year:
That adds up to 0.515 meters of sea level rise in the next 90 years, plus thermal expansion. One meter of sea level rise by 2100 is entirely possible…

eric1skeptic

KR: “Accelerating” at 10% since maybe 1985 at best. Gaining ice before that. Not significant.

Matt

IIRC, potholer had graced this issue with a video, saying that it isn’t so much the melt rate, but rather the lubricating effect of melt water underneath, which makes it basically slide a lot faster. I hope I am not mis-quoting him though; maybe someone has heard this before?

Bill Yarber

KR
Over the past 18 years, the Antarctic ice sheet has increased in volume, not decreased as postulated in this paper. Only the Western pennisula has lost ice during the past two decades. Perhaps their estimates for Greenland are also inaccurate!
Bill

jorgekafkazar

KR: How does that compare to daily high tide/low tide differential? Or to a tsunami?

KR says:
April 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm

“…keep in mind that Greenland doesn’t have to completely melt to cause trouble.”

Okay, the suspense bothers me. I’ll bite. How much of Greenland (I assume you mean Greenland’s ice sheet) will have to melt before anyone will notice that trouble is being caused, how will anyone notice, and for how many million years will we have to wait before someone will notice?

David Larsen says:
April 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm
Please someone help me. Was the snow green during the medieval warming period when the Vikings named it gruenelande? Dumme verschlachtekopffe!
Or New England as Vinland (Vine Land due to all the grapes they found there)

KR says:
April 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Running some more numbers, 1.3mm/year sea level rise from the current 475GT melt (Greenland plus Antarctic ice loss), accelerating at 36.3GT/year:
That adds up to 0.515 meters of sea level rise in the next 90 years, plus thermal expansion. One meter of sea level rise by 2100 is entirely possible…

Sorry for being so hasty. I did not realize that you had posted your estimate. Let’s assume that your estimate of sea-level rise is more accurate than those by others. You could be right, and all of the others could be wrong. As you say, “One meter of sea level rise by 2100 is entirely possible…”, but then it is also entirely possible that if the warming is that pronounced that a lot of the extra melt water will evaporate, turn into clouds, increase the albedo and cause the start of the next ice age…
I don’t see your estimate taking that into account, but there is no doubt in my mind that you must do so.

KR

eric1skeptic, Bill Yarber – references?
jorgekafkazar – Varies with location. But keep in mind that any tide or tsunami differences will be differentials from the base sea level. So take any existing differential and add the sea level rise on top of it.
Walter H. Schneider – Melt contribution of half a meter, plus thermal expansion (currently running about equal in scale), leading to perhaps ~1 meter of sea level rise by 2100. Looking at some maps (http://flood.firetree.net/), that means most of the islands in the Chesapeake Bay, goodly chunks of the Florida Keys and Cape Hatteras, say goodbye to New Orleans, certainly parts of Bangladesh and other low-lying countries… I would consider that noticeable. Wouldn’t you?

Crispin in Johannesburg, not Waterloo at the moment

@KR
Welcome back. Always glad to see you are taking notice how the CAGW campaign crashes and burns faster than an Ontario barn on a Halloween night.
Please let me explain something for you:
There can be no doubt that the melt rate of the Greenland ice sheet is variable. I for one hope it disappears completely because that will mean the Arctic will be habitable again, the trade routes will open fully across the Arctic Ocean, the forests will be re-established at once again across the endless stretches of Northern Canada where they once stood before the big freeze came and killed them all. The trees are already there, stunted to a couple of feet by the ghastly freezing winds belting across the tundra. Farming will return to the fertile plains of Greenland. The vast Mackenzie Valley and well-watered Delta will turn into a breadbasket with day-long sunshine and a temperate climate. The absorption of CO2 will be massive, gigantic, similar to the creation of a second Amazon forest.
Will this melting be brought about by human emissions of CO2? Not a chance! For two reasons: first, there is not enough accessible carbon on the planet to make such a significant difference, so weak is carbon dioxide’s effect as a GHG, as numerous peer reviewed scientific publications indicate, should you care to look.
Second, and more relevant to today’s topic: because all that melting ice has nearly no CO2 in it. Sea water contains about 0.03% CO2. That means the melt water from Greenland alone – 5 million cubic kilometers will absorb 1.56 x 10^12 tons of CO2 just to bring it in balance with the present CO2 level in the ocean – not including any Antarctic melting, if the present ice mass growth reverses.
It is simple facts like this which the public is not told about: 1,560,000,000,000 tons of CO2 would be absorbed by the water just from a melted Greenland ice sheet. That is equal to the total emissions from burning 410,000,000,000 tons of carbon or roughly 500 billion tons of good quality dry coal. Were that much coal to be found, and were it to be burned over a period any number of years, the CO2 level in the atmosphere would remain exactly where it is and the ocean pH would not budge at all, so great is the absorbing power of sea water. The faster it melts, the faster the CO2 would be extracted from the atmosphere. If an equal amount of melting took place from Antarctica, the absorption would be doubled to 3.12 trillion tons of CO2 with no change in atmospheric concentration.
Consider that all the rest of the ocean might also absorb a little more as well. The ocean’s capacity to absorb CO2 is huge and the pH buffering capacity is massive almost beyond the counting of it. Thus the possibility of the humble human race doubling the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is approximately zero, even in a thousand or five thousand years.
The fact that the melting rate does not match the present emission rate of the oceans and mankind is not very important because it will catch up. As there is no clear relationship between the CO2 level and the temperature (which is the Big Fear) one cannot say with any certainty the world will heat up at all, let alone ‘catastrophically’. All indications are we are now headed into a long period of cooling which is a threat to food and comfort that will peak just as the human population does in 2050. The future just ain’t what it used to be.
You’re welcome.

Rob R

KR
The is no validity in taking one or two years of data, then extrapolating a fabricated melt rate trend 90 years into the future. You have no reliable data that enables you to make a credible claim that a 1 m sea level rise is even possible in that time frame. Nor does anybody else.

Crispin in Johannesburg, not Waterloo at the moment

For those who want to know how the calculation above relates to the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere, see http://micpohling.wordpress.com/2007/03/30/math-how-much-co2-by-weight-in-the-atmosphere/
The answer is 3 x 10^12 tons. If the melt water from the whole of Greenland and a similar amount were to melt from Antarctica, it would mean we would have to emit the equivalent of 2 times the present CO2 load in the atmosphere to keep the current 392 ppm constant because the meltwater would start absorbing CO2 like mad.

More Soylent Green!

If the Greenland ice sheet were really melting, wouldn’t Greenland be as the weight of the glaciers decrease?

MrX

“The Greenland ice sheet will lose a bit more than 0.4% of its ice volume.” That’s in total over the entire 90 years. The 0.005% is per year, right?
And KR, your math is all wrong.
If we add in 10% of the melt per year, then it’s just 10% more at 0.44% for the entire 90 years.
Without the 10%, it’s 5.75 cm rise in oceans, not half a meter. That’s nothing. With 10%, its 6.3 cm. oh noes.

Crispin in Johannesburg, not Waterloo at the moment

Oops! It is late at night here in Gotham South.
” …it would mean we would have to emit the equivalent of 2 times the present CO2 load in the atmosphere… ”
Correction: “…we would have to emit the equivalent of the present CO2 load in the atmosphere….”
The study by the brilliant South African Willem Nel into how much we might be able to increase the CO2 concentration with known and estimated carbon-rich sources shows that we are unlikely to be able to drive up the atmospheric concentration an additional 150 ppm, and he did not consider the absorption of CO2 by new sea water.

During Atlasgate http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/science/earth/25atlas.html?_r=1
Dr Curry invited a Glaciologist to discuss with us some of the claims.
I had the opportunity to ask about this.
“WWII plane recovered in Greenland
A World War II US fighter plane once entombed under 100 metres of snow and ice in Greenland is back in the skies to complete a mission it began nearly 65 years ago.
Dubbed “Glacier Girl” after being recovered, the P-38 fighter left Teterboro Airport in the United States for another leg of a journey to Duxford, England, where it is scheduled to land on June 29.”
http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/WWII-plane-recovered-in-Greenland/2007/06/23/1182019412243.html
My question is / was doesn’t this mean during the 1940’s there was a lot less ice on Greenland?
It [ my q ]still goes unanswered.

Fred from Canuckistan

C’mon guys, we should go easy on Mr. Israel . . . he’s a “journalist” so arithmetic is very, very difficult.
The only thing disappearing in this instance is his credibility.

Eric in CO

Can someone answer this simple validation test (required for all models in science). If CO2 is increasing and atmospheric water is decreasing, isn’t the model in accurate and therefore CO2 is not driving increasing temps? My understanding is CO2 causes some warming, that causes more atmosphere H20 which forces the majority of warming.

David Larsen

Cwoop, Sie habten lande gefunden; finde lande, found land, new found land. There were sites there excavated in the 1960’s that showed viking habitation in old National Geographics. Southern europe must think finde is vines for grapes but the vikings finded lande, found land.

Dreadnought

There’s some very interesting commentary here – it’s defo got me scratching my head!
Also, it’s great to see KR being soundly PWNED with a solid argument.
Nice work, Crispin In Jo’Burg – I reckon matey’s suckin his teeth and huggin his knees.
As well he should.
}:o(

tommoriarty

KR says…

See http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20110308.html
“…for each year over the 18-year study, the Greenland ice sheet lost mass faster than it did the year before, by an average of 21.9 gigatonnes a year. In Antarctica, the year-over-year speedup in ice mass lost averaged 14.5 gigatonnes.”
230GT from Greenland – and accelerating at about 10%/year? You might want to run your numbers again; that adds up to ~2.1% of Greenland ice melting in the next 90 years, not 0.4%. Also keep in mind that Greenland doesn’t have to completely melt to cause trouble.

and…

Running some more numbers, 1.3mm/year sea level rise from the current 475GT melt (Greenland plus Antarctic ice loss), accelerating at 36.3GT/year:

Lets consider at 36.3 GT/year/year acceleration. That means at the end of the 18 year period there were 653 GT/year more melting than at the beginning of the 18 year period. (18 years X 36.3 GT/year/year).
So, the portion of the sea level rise rate due to addition water (as opposed to steric effects) at the end of that 18 year period should have been 1.8 mm/year greater than at the beginning of that period (653 GT/year X 2.78e-3 mm/GT).
Can you see that 1.8 mm/year increase here…
http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2012_rel1/sl_ns_global.png
or in some other global mean sea level data? I can’t.
Also, please consider viewing movie of PSMSL sea level data here…
http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/

tommoriarty

Correction…
Please consider viewing teh movie of PSMSL sea level data here…
http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/updated-psmsl-sea-level-video/

Brian H

KR;
New Orleans: inland hole in the ground protected by dykes. Will flood again if they break.
Bangladesh: river delta that grows and shrinks with silt deposit variations. Warming will increase them. Currently gaining area. In no danger of vanishing.

Our “little” planet is huge !!!
Numbers like this boggle my mind and should really but things into perspective for everyone:
“If 1 Gt of ice has a volume of 1 km^3 and the current volume of the Greenland ice sheet is ~5 million km^3 and Greenland continues to melt at a rate of 230 km^3/yr over the next 90 years… The Greenland ice sheet will lose a bit more than 0.4% of its ice volume.~230 gigatonnes (Gt) of ice per year equates to about 0.005% of ice mass loss per year. At the current rate, it would take 1,000 years for the Greenland Ice Sheet to lose 5% of its volume.”
Excellent post Mr. Middleton !!

KR

David Middleton“Neither SST nor MSL have been rising, much less accelerating in their rise, over the last few years. Therefore, ice melt can’t be accelerating.”
Over the last few years? If you’re only looking at short term data, yes. But if you look at longer terms for sea level rise, long enough for statistically significant trends, as in Church 2006 (http://naturescapebroward.com/NaturalResources/ClimateChange/Documents/GRL_Church_White_2006_024826.pdf – Fig. 2, also shown at http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch5s5-5-2.html), there is a considerable acceleration in sea level rise – the best fit for the last 140 years is quadratic upwards. Looking at only “the last few years” for sea level rise rates is looking at only noise.
As to ice melt rates, see http://www.ccrc.unsw.edu.au/Copenhagen/Copenhagen_Diagnosis_LOW.pdf – Figure 8 for Greenland, Figure 10 for Antarctica, showing multiple studies of mass balance, using different methods, and the accelerating trends seen.
Quite frankly, the general approach of the comments here, arguing that melt isn’t going to be that bad, is in my opinion just wishful thinking.

John Blake

Eventually, as the Pleistocene Era ends some 12 – 14+ million years from now, Greenland will likely have segued southwest to more temperate zones. End of glaciers, not due to shifts in atmospheric or oceanic currents –most certainly not to any doofus CO2 effect– but solely to plate tectonics re-positioning landmasses over time.
Not climatology but geophysics is the discipline applicable here. For all its seeming rigor, which in fact is no more “scientific” than Blondlot’s N-rays, CAGW is on par with Aristotle’s “impetus” and Ptolemaic epicycles. Faugh.

Birdieshooter

KR- The study by Houston and Dean did not find an acceleration in sea level rise per this link: http://www.jcronline.org/doi/pdf/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00157.1

Birdieshooter,
Interesting paper, thanks for linking. From the Conclusions:

CONCLUSIONS
Our analyses do not indicate acceleration in sea level in U.S. tide gauge records during the 20th century. Instead, for each time period we consider, the records show small decelerations that are consistent with a number of earlier studies of worldwide-gauge records. The decelerations that we obtain are opposite in sign and one to two orders of magnitude less than the +0.07 to +0.28 mm/y2 accelerations that are required to reach sea levels predicted for 2100 by Vermeer and Rahmsdorf (2009), Jevrejeva, Moore, and Grinsted (2010), and Grinsted, Moore, and Jevrejeva (2010). Bindoff et al. (2007) note an increase in worldwide temperature from 1906 to 2005 of 0.74uC. It is essential that investigations continue to address why this worldwide-temperature increase has not produced acceleration of global sea level over the past 100 years, and indeed why global sea level has possibly decelerated for at least the last 80 years.

gallopingcamel

In addition to the ~5,000,000 Giga-tonnes of ice on Greenland there is another 30,000,000 Giga-tonnes in Antarctica. At the present global average rate of melting (<280 Giga-tonnes/year) it is going to take 100,000 years to melt it all.
http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/more-unwelcome-light/

Luther Wu

R. de Haan says:
April 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm
“There is no scientific evidence to back up the assertion of a “disappearing Grrenland Ice Sheet.”
And the same goes for all the other scare based propaganda that we’re recycling at this blog.
There is no scientific evidence, Period

______________________________
Pssst. keep that under your hat…
the solvency of our “sacred” institutions of higher learning is at stake!

KR

Houston and Dean 2011 is a notable study – notable for the use of a subset of tide gauge data, a subset of the time span, and results that are not supported (http://tinyurl.com/5sxbskd) by the full data.
Their claims of deceleration are inconsistent with the any review of the full set of data available – sea level rise rates have accelerated over the last 140 years. If you look at all the data, their paper is really an exercise in disinformation.

KR

David Middleton – You are aware, I hope, of the fact that ENSO effects the rate of sea level rise? That La Nina events increase precipitation, resulting in movement of water from the oceans onto the land? These variations add noise to the sea level rise rates, making it very important to look at longer terms to extract trends. Short term trend estimates are not statistically significant, and are in fact cherry-picking – in the presence of noise I could take an insignificantly short period and extract almost any rate I liked; but that would be meaningless.
See http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/nasa-satellites-detect-pothole-road-higher-seas and http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFM.G33B1247H for some details on ENSO effects.
Regarding Antarctic ice mass, http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/mar/HQ_06085_arctic_ice.html has data through 2005, and your own Velicogna 2009 reference (http://ess.uci.edu/researchgrp/velicogna/files/increasing_rates_of_ice_mass_loss_from_the_greenland__and_antarctic_ice_sheets_revealed_by_grace.pdf) indicates increasing rates of Antarctic mass loss. As I pointed to in a previous post (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/05/more-glacial-junk-science-journalism/#comment-946634) multiple studies using different methods all agree on increasing Antarctic mass loss rates.
You have not supported your points.

KR says @April 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm [ … ].
Linking to Tamina’s Closed Mind exposes your alarmist belief system. This unrefuted peer reviewed paper debunks the T-bagger.
After this, please stick to credible sources. Thanx.

KR

Smokey – Dismissing clearly explained statistical analysis for cherry-picked start dates and subsets of tide gauge data exposes your confirmation bias.
As to “”unrefuted”, I suggest looking at Rahmstorf 2011 (http://www.jcronline.org/doi/pdf/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-11-00082.1), published as a reply in the same journal. Houston and Dean 2011 is a horrible paper.

>>>kim2ooo says:
April 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm
Dubbed “Glacier Girl” after being recovered
My question is / was doesn’t this mean during the 1940′s there was a lot less ice on Greenland?
——————————
Kim2ooo – in a book I read about the recovery of Glacier Girl. One of the pictures showed a tractor that was left on the ice in 1990. The picture was taken in 1992, and the tractor was in a 15-20 ft hole. About 15 ft of new glacier has formed over the tractor in two years. I guess it’s melting from the bottom. About 200 ft of ice had accumulated on Glacier Girl since it crashed in about 1944.

woodNfish

“The Earth’s climate was at least 2°C warmer during the Holocene Climatic Optimum and the Greenland Ice Sheet did not melt, disappear or destabilize…”
Yes, but the lies sound so much more dramatic when they say it will.

redc1c4

regarding the recovery of “Glacier Girl” as proof that the ice is melting:
the ice melted to get her out all right… they had to melt down through 268′ of ice to reach her, and first located the wreck with ground penetrating radar… all of which tends to disprove your claim that global warming had anything to do with getting the plane back.
nice try though!
details here: http://p38assn.org/glacier-girl-recovery.htm

noaaprogrammer

Matt said: “… potholer had graced this issue with a video, saying that it isn’t so much the melt rate, but rather the lubricating effect of melt water underneath, which makes it basically slide a lot faster…”
Slide up hill? I understood that the weight of Greenland’s ice sheet has depressed the center of that large Island in some places to below sea level. Which, if true, then the rise in the sea level due to the melting of all of its ice would be offset by the rebound of Greenland’s land mass.

KR,
Anyone who believes Rahmsdorf is anything but a grant-trolling climate alarmist is engaging in psychological projection when talking about confirmation bias. Rahmsdorf would be a certified nobody if it were not for his having both front feet in the taxpayer trough. Rahmsdorf is as incredible as Mann. Find someone credible, then I’ll listen.

Daveo

Crispin in Johannesburg, not Waterloo at the moment says:
April 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm
It is simple facts like this which the public is not told about: 1,560,000,000,000 tons of CO2 would be absorbed by the water just from a melted Greenland ice sheet. That is equal to the total emissions from burning 410,000,000,000 tons of carbon or roughly 500 billion tons of good quality dry coal.
Impressive use of large numbers! Let me try.
2010 global coal comsumption, 7.237 billion tons. (Hard and Brown coal)
<a href=http://www.worldcoal.org/resources/frequently-asked-questions/<World Coal Association
Without including the increase in coal use ( as we keep hearing china is putting online 1 coal plant per week) thats 723.7 billion tons in 100 years. According to your figures, thats almost 45% more than will be absorbed by the melt water or 702,000,000,000 tons of CO2 still going into the atmosphere. As brown coal produces more CO2, this figure would be higher.
Have we got enough coal? You betcha!
from the same link above
The reserves to production (R/P) ratio provides an indicator of how long proved coal reserves will last at the current rate of extraction. BP calculated this to be 118 years for coal at the end of 2010.
So to wrap up it IF the Greenland ice sheet melted (your thoughts not mine), it would only absorb 70 years of coal use at 2010 consumption rates.
No, Crispin, Your Welcome!