Penn State researchers miss obvious visual clues on "glacier melt" – black carbon and sublimation

From Penn State, note there’s no meltwater in this PSU provided photo, but there is evidence of black carbon (which increases solar radiation uptake) and sublimation (which due to a lack of precipitation, causes evaporation of ice directly into the air).

greenland-ice-sublimation

This image shows a portion of the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Credit: Patrick Applegate, Penn State

Greenland Ice: The warmer it gets the faster it melts

Melting of glacial ice will probably raise sea level around the globe, but how fast this melting will happen is uncertain. In the case of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the more temperatures increase, the faster the ice will melt, according to computer model experiments by Penn State geoscientists.

“Although lots of people have thought about sea level rise from the ice sheets, we don’t really know how fast that will happen,” said Patrick Applegate, research associate, Penn State’s Earth and Environmental Systems Institute.

If all the ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet melts, global sea level would rise by about 24 feet. In the last 100 years, sea level in the New York City area has only increased by about one foot. However, storm surges from hurricanes stack on top of this long-term increase, so sea level rise will allow future hurricanes to flood places where people are not ready for or used to flooding. A vivid example occurred during Hurricane Sandy when parts of the New York City subway tunnel system flooded.

Greenland might be especially vulnerable to melting because that area of the Earth sees about 50 percent more warming than the global average. Arctic sea ice, when it exists, reflects the sun’s energy back through the atmosphere, but when the sea ice melts and there is open water, the water absorbs the sun’s energy and reradiates it back into the air as heat. Arctic sea ice coverage has decreased over the last few decades, and that decrease will probably continue in the future, leading to accelerated temperature rise over Greenland. Floating ice does not add to sea level, but the Greenland Ice Sheet rests on bedrock that is above sea level.

Feedbacks in the climate system cause accelerated temperature rise over the Arctic. Other feedbacks in the Greenland Ice Sheet that contribute to melting include height-melting feedback. A warm year in Greenland causes more melt around the edges of the ice sheet, lowering the surface. The atmosphere is warmer at lower altitudes, so the now lower surface experiences even more melting. This process can lead to accelerated ice melt and sea level rise.

Another form of feedback occurs because ice sheets are large masses that want to spread. This spreading can either help preserve the ice sheet by allowing it to adjust to increased temperature or accelerate ice melting by moving ice to lower, warmer, places.

“Many studies of sea level rise don’t take into account feedbacks that could cause rapid sea level rise,” said Applegate. “We wanted to look at the effects of those feedbacks.”

The researchers looked at two models of the Greenland ice sheet that include some of the important feedbacks. The first model is a three-dimensional ice sheet model. The second model looks at a transect across the island and was developed by Byron Parizek, associate professor of geosciences and mathematics, Penn State Dubois. To run both models, Robert Nicholas, research associate, EESI, estimated how much warming might take place over Greenland using results from global climate models.

Both the three-dimensional and transect models showed that the time necessary for ice mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet decreases steeply with increases in temperature. Shorter time scales — faster melting — imply faster sea level rise. The interplay between the height-melting feedback and ice flow causes this acceleration.

“Our analysis suggests that the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in terms of avoided sea level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet, may be greatest if emissions reductions begin before large temperature increases have been realized,” the researchers state in a recent issue of Climate Dynamics.

Currently, about a billion people — 1 percent of the world population — live in areas that would be flooded by a three-foot sea level rise.

“If we are going to do something to mitigate sea-level rise, we need to do it earlier rather than later,” said Applegate. “The longer we wait, the more rapidly the changes will take place and the more difficult it will be to change.”

###

Other researchers working on this project include Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and Klaus Keller, associate professor of geosciences.

The U.S. Department of Energy, NASA and the National Science Foundation’s Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management (scrimhub.org) supported this work.

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97 thoughts on “Penn State researchers miss obvious visual clues on "glacier melt" – black carbon and sublimation

  1. From the article-
    “Currently, about 1 billion people- 1 percent of the world population-live in areas that would be flooded…”
    Um…when did the current world population reach 100 billion people?

      • As soon as I read “according to computer model experiments” I wanted to stop right there but decided to perceiver. Then I read “researchers looked at two models” and “three-dimensional ice sheet model. The second model looks at a transect” and “To run both models, Robert Nicholas, research associate, EESI, estimated how much warming might take place over Greenland using results from global climate models” and finally “Both the three-dimensional and transect models”.

      • When asked about how they arrived at the percentage in question, researchers replied, “Why should we explain it to you when you’re just going to try to find something wrong with it?”.

  2. A Computer Model, Ha Ha.
    Currently the Greenland Ice Sheet is gaining Ice, but of course that does not fit the “Scary” narative that generates research grants.

    • Well the photo right mid just above the rocks, looks like the makings of a trickle, or at least where one would flow. I can’t discern actual water there , but it could be.
      But the big surprise news is the discovery that when it is warmer, the ice melts faster.
      Earth to Penn State; When it gets warmer (the air Temperature that is, the “air” dries out, which is to say, that the relative humidity of the air will fall. I know that for a fact because that is what happens to my nostrils, when my wife turns on our forced hot air heating in a cool house.
      Reduced humidity over ice is a good condition for sublimation to occur. It’s the “Snows of Kilimanjaro” effect all over again.
      Ice gone away because of low humidity, not because of high Temperature (relative to the triple point of water).
      Maybe want to ask for grants to study “relative humidity”.
      g

      • In any case, I believe these researchers will find that a very small fraction of the black organic carbon otherwise known as ….. C ….. will end up making it’s way to the oceans. Most of it will just fall on the ground and become “Dirt” . There’s very little chance of it becoming airborne, because if you’ve ever looked at dirty snow melting, you will recall, that the melting / sublimation is faster close to the speck of dirt, which undeniably is likely to be hotter than its surroundings, and it slowly sinks below the surface to get protection from casual winds.
        My car gets black dirt all over it, from the rubber / soot / whatever that nucleates water / dew / whatever droplets on my car overnight. The H2O content evaporates in the morning, specially when my loud pedal provides the “wind” component as I drive to work, sometimes up to 60-65 MPH. Even at that wind speed, with an optically smooth paint finish, the soot prefers the electric stiction that prefers to hold the black organic soot carbon on my car, rather than have it take flight in the air.
        G

      • Barry
        January 21, 2015 at 5:21 pm
        Nice cherry picking, JImbo. What about the 2014-2015 data?

        The 2015 data is yet to come in. Wait until the end of August. As for the current level it’s higher that the mean for 1990 to 2011.

    • “The Greenland Ice Sheet is gaining ice” — you mean because it’s winter there, right?
      Analysis of gravity data from GRACE satellites indicates that the Greenland ice sheet lost approximately 2900 Gt (0.1% of its total mass) between March 2002 and September 2012. The mean mass loss rate for 2008-2012 was 367 Gt/year.

      • Barry wrote, “Analysis of gravity data from GRACE satellites indicates that the Greenland ice sheet lost approximately 2900 Gt (0.1% of its total mass) between March 2002 and September 2012…”
        Barry, in the first place, the GRACE methodology is not the last word when it comes to ice mass measurements. For one thing, it can’t differentiate between ice mass change and tectonic movement. In Antarctica, calculations from GRACE gravity measurements showed a net loss of ice mass, but ICESat measurements found that Antarctica is gaining ice mass (though not much). ICESat measurements of Greenland for the period 2003-2008 found that it is losing ice mass at a rate of only 167 to 268 Gt/yr (Sørensen et al, 2010), though they note that “mass balance studies from satellite altimetry are sensitive to the approach chosen for deriving elevation changes.”
        In the second place, 2900 Gt over a decade isn’t very much. About 362 Gt of ice, melted and added to the oceans, is required to raise sea-level by one millimeter. Sea-level has been rising, on average, between 1 mm and 1.5 mm per year for over eighty years, and in that time the rate has shown no sign of increasing. (An additional ~0.3 mm/yr is estimated by Peltier to be compensated for by post-glacial sinking of the ocean floors.) 2900 Gt over a decade can account for sea-level rise of only about 0.8 mm/yr. A Greenland ice loss rate of 2900 Gt per decade is perfectly consistent with the rate of sea-level rise which the world has seen since the 1930s — a rate which predates the vast majority of anthropogenic GHG contributions to the atmosphere.

      • I just lost 0.1% of my total mass. I’d tell you how that just happened but this site is family friendly.

      • If the Grace cannot differentiate between ice and tectonic movement then if ice was accumulating then the gravity readings would decrease due to crustal sinking which they interpret as ice loss.
        We still do not know from this.

  3. As I understand it, 474 Gt of ice loss occurred in Greenland in 2012/2013. In 2013/2014 “only” 6 Gt of loss occurred. Seemingly, more black carbon from the higher loss would have been exposed but so far I’ve been unable so find a theory as to the reason for that “improvement”. Thoughts?

      • Exactly: snow.
        More open water leads to more:
        1. convective and evaporative heat loss, cooling the water — a negative (stabilizing) feedback; and
        2. more evaporation, causing more lake-effect/ocean-effect snowfall, some of which falls on the Greenland ice-sheet, increasing ice accumulation — another negative (stabilizing) feedback.
        That’s a big deal. The magnitude of ice accretion from snowfall was illustrated by the team which salvaged Glacier Girl from under 268 feet of accumulated ice, 50 years after she landed on the Greenland ice sheet.

      • Rud & Dave,
        Thank you for that. Self healing?
        Sounds like it would follow that even with the extent of ice loss leading up to and just prior to the Younger Dryas this might occur? Would that make sense? (Still a-learnin’). Appreciate your sharing.
        So warming was maintained in that 2 year time frame (2012/14) after a 17 year pause. Then the next question would be why the trend of 367 Gt “average” loss during that pause and what might trigger this snow based self healing in this particular time window? Some sort of “tipping point” or trigger?

  4. black carbon is a trace element. no way it can have an effect.
    plus black carbon is produced by humans. we are too tiny to influence things.
    plus no ones done a controlled experiment and measured the contribution of black carbon perfectly
    therefore we know nothing. Sure you can do small scale experiments, but they don’t show you what happens when other things are not held constant.
    save the black carbon.
    sarc off

  5. Even if you use 7 billion as the world population that only works out 14%, and change, of the population living in a coastal area…that strikes me as low.

  6. Arctic sea ice coverage has decreased over the last few decades, and that decrease will probably continue in the future,
    From the article which is also wrong as well as their theory on albedo lessening due to lesser amounts of Sea Ice. .

    • The entire satellite era of measuring polar ice (both) was mostly done during the positive phase of the PDO (~1977 to ~2001). Once we have another 20 years of data we will see the whole range of effect for the full ~60 year PDO cycle.
      It may melt, it may grow at one or both poles. So far antarctic is growing outside 2 standard deviations and the arctic is below the 30 year average but inside 2 standard deviations.

  7. To run both models, Robert Nicholas, research associate, EESI, estimated how much warming might take place over Greenland using results from global climate models.

    Talk about building castles in the air. It’s models all the way down.

    • the silence is deafening: not 1 of the informatic crowd raises a word.
      what we know:
      – models CAN represent a very sharp defined, time restrictet fraction of reality.
      – models are couplings of mathematical algorhythms, including formulas based on nature sciences.
      _____
      As long as there are, in climatologie:
      – no open source codes
      – no industrial / scientific standards
      – no standards of procedures
      everythings allowed: nothing is reliable.
      And no interchangebility at all.
      Regards – Hans

    • Here’s the quote:
      Arctic sea ice, when it exists, reflects the sun’s energy back through the atmosphere, but when the sea ice melts and there is open water, the water absorbs the sun’s energy and reradiates it back into the air as heat. Arctic sea ice coverage has decreased over the last few decades, and that decrease will probably continue in the future, leading to accelerated temperature rise over Greenland.
      The lie occurs when they say, that a decrease in ice coverage will lead to accelerated temperature rise.
      So yes, and thank for that table. After a short search I found the link where that comes from:
      http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/149954/
      You could figure it out, but this link
      http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/fourseasons.htm
      tells us the Arctic Circle zenith angle is 43° on the summer solstice. Of course it’s greater the closer to the pole you get.
      I will have add this tidbit to my list of slight of hand, B.S., misdirection, exaggeration and other out-right lies that emanate from our friends on the left.

      • If you live somewhere where it rains enough to form puddles, you can easily verify your hypothesis. Simply walk toward a puddle and observe how close you have to get to the puddle before objects below the surface — pebbles, sidewalk cracks, whatever — start to appear through the reflected image of whatever is in front of you and beyond the puddle. Works with lakes, ponds, streams also as long as the surface isn’t too rough.
        But note that if there are swells or whitecaps, the situation becomes more complex and much harder to analyze.

    • Notice that “old snow” has exactly the same albedo as “light and dry soil”. Old can mean as little as 72 hours old (if there was normal daylight during daytime).
      g
      And as for water having a reflectance (albedo) of 1.00 at ” large zenith angles ” by which presumably they mean “angles of incidence”, please note that at large zenith angles of 1.00 reflectance, the surface irradiance happens to be zero so you get 1.00 x 0.00 which is still zero contribution to albedo.
      [A large zenith angle (angle from vertical down to the light ray) = small angle of elevation (up from the horizon) .mod]

      • Note also that at high zenith angles, any incident solar beam is passing through an air mass, much greater than 1.0 It’s 2.0 at 60 deg ZA and 2.5 on the arctic circle at the equinoxes. This further reduce the solar irradiance at the surface which gets operated on by the 1.0 reflectance.

  8. They mention that the feedback from the ice spreading can either increase or decrease the melt rate. But then Applegate says they need to study the feedbacks that can cause rapid sea level rise.
    Don’t they need to study ALL feedbacks? Is ignoring the feedbacks that can slow sea level rise anti-science?

  9. ..Penn State researchers miss obvious visual clues on “glacier melt” – black carbon and sublimation….
    “Penn State researchers IGNORE obvious visual clues on “glacier melt” – black carbon and sublimation…”
    There. Fixed that for you..

  10. All models are wrong
    If you feed failed climate models as inputs to your new models you just get nonsense.
    End of story.

    • I recently went on an architecture cruise of Manhattan. If you have the time, it is a thoroughly educational experience, not to mention very beautiful.
      Anyway, one of the key points was just how much of Manhattan is reclaimed, especially from the excavation for the subway and from huge buildings (I think a lot of Battery Park is reclaimed using material from the Twin Towers; might be wrong on that though).
      Anyway, my point is this: how on earth can we be comparing 100 year old records when much of the Manhattan coastline is only 50 (or so) years old?
      And assuming that accurate measurements were made at the time, do we know for certain that the reclaimed land hasn’t subsided a bit in the interim?

  11. Couple of questions; Is this a peer reviewed paper? If so, who published it?
    Next; “. . . avoided sea level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet, may be greatest if emissions reductions begin before large temperature increases have been realized.” I thought we have had a large temperature increase. Unprecedented, in fact. Wasn’t 2014 the “Warmest Year Evah!”. /sarc off
    And then there is this gem; “Arctic sea ice, when it exists, reflects the sun’s energy back through the atmosphere, but when the sea ice melts and there is open water, the water absorbs the sun’s energy and reradiates it back into the air as heat. Arctic sea ice coverage has decreased over the last few decades, and that decrease will probably continue in the future, leading to accelerated temperature rise over Greenland.” Check me on this, but isn’t the sun usually very near the horizon by the time the arctic sea ice goes into steep decline? What I mean to say is, arctic sea ice extent is generally still around 10 million square kilometers at the end of June. (You know, when the most sunlight shines the most directly on the arctic.) Arctic sea ice extent is generally over 6 million square miles at the beginning of August, when the sun is getting near the arctic horizon. By the time sea ice ‘bottoms out’ for the year, usually mid-September the sun is very low in the sky. In fact, during the first week of September, the sun sinks below the horizon for the first time in almost six months and doesn’t rise high enough beyond ‘nautical twilight’ again for another six months. At such a low angle of incidence, how much heat is being absorbed by virtue of the lowered albedo? There certainly isn’t a great deal of it available in the September – October time frame.
    And finally; “A vivid example occurred during Hurricane Sandy when parts of the New York City subway tunnel system flooded.” First, Sandy was not a hurricane when she made landfall. Next; the fact that the storm surge was just short of 14′ caused the flooding. The 1938 hurricane, for sake of comparison, caused only a 6′ surge. Did the one foot rise in sea level caused the 14′ storm surge? Is this some new math or physics of which I am unaware?
    If this is a peer reviewed paper, it ought not have seen the light of day. If it is just another ill-researched press release, I guess that’s what we’ve come to expect from the house of Nittany.
    Speaking of Nittany Lions, has anyone seen any current information in regard to the ongoing litigation between Mann and Steyn? Just curious.

    • I did boot it anyway, since had sufficient info on hand. See new post just downthread. Only took an hour to double check everything, and write it readable. Started out more sarcastic than it ended.

  12. “Currently, about a billion people — 1 percent of the world population — live in areas that would be flooded by a three-foot sea level rise.”
    This is nonsense at so many levels.
    And even if we did experience a 3ft rise in sea level, it’s way less than the surges that occur anytime there’s a storm.
    When are we gonna stop funding this constant stream of rubbish and go back to funding a few smart folks to perform real scientific research, sans models?

  13. Paywalled. So checked the SI. For +3C the suspect ‘new’ PSU models (neither new nor from PSU based on prior Applegate publications about them) say Greenland would completely melt in 5000-10000 years, instead of the ~17000 inferrable from annual estmated recent ice loss and estimated total ice mass. (Details in fn 8 to essay Tipping Points in ebook Blowing Smoke.) That modelled 10000 year ‘much faster’ rate calculates about 6.4mm SLR/year, up from about 3 now. Even if true, that rate would still not threaten a billion people in the next century. Preposterous warmunism.
    There is, however, one little observational problem with these new model results. Most of the Greenland ice sheet did not melt during the last interglacial, the Eemian. The NEEM ice core shows that during the first (~6 millennia) and second (~4 millennia) Eemian warm peaks (there was an interlude of several millennia colder than present) temperatures were about 8+/-4C higher than at present. So the modeled melting simply did not happen in reality when Mother Nature ran the experiment twice. At the NEEM site, the extent of maximum Eemian melting was about 400 meters (and averaged just 130 meters over the whole event including ice formation during the cold interlude). This left about 2137 meters of ice at the worst of the melt. See Nature 493: 489-494 (2013)-abstract suffices here. There are also many excellent unpaywalled NEEM reports.
    PSU is blowing smoke. Would have made a fun addition to the book.

  14. If all the ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet melts, global sea level would rise by about 24 feet…..Floating ice does not add to sea level, but the Greenland Ice Sheet rests on bedrock that is above sea level.

    The ice sits in a bowl. They need giant flame throwers to melt that baby. Here is what happened during the early, warmer Eemian interglacial when “peaked at 8 ± 4 degrees Celsius above the mean of the past millennium”.
    [Nature – 2012] “…a modest ice-sheet response to the strong warming in the early Eemian…”

    Feedbacks in the climate system cause accelerated temperature rise over the Arctic. Other feedbacks in the Greenland Ice Sheet that contribute to melting include height-melting feedback. A warm year in Greenland causes more melt around the edges of the ice sheet, lowering the surface. The atmosphere is warmer at lower altitudes, so the now lower surface experiences even more melting. This process can lead to accelerated ice melt and sea level rise.

    It happened before in the early 20th century and at a faster rate than now (see the link).

  15. Feedbacks in the climate system cause accelerated temperature rise over the Arctic. Other feedbacks in the Greenland Ice Sheet that contribute to melting include height-melting feedback. A warm year in Greenland causes more melt around the edges of the ice sheet, lowering the surface. The atmosphere is warmer at lower altitudes, so the now lower surface experiences even more melting. This process can lead to accelerated ice melt and sea level rise.

    I have not run the numbers, but this statement struck me as very questionable. In the warmest year you could imagine in Greenland, would it melt as much a 1 meter of ice? Assuming you melted 1 meter of ice over the entire island, that would bring the ice surface lower by 1 meter, which means the surface is now exposed to air which, using the dry adiabatic lapse rate of 0.0098 °K per meter, is less than 1/100th of a degree (C) warmer. This figure somehow fails to conjure in me much fear of accelerated melting.
    A very quick and not at all thorough search suggests the greatest annual ice loss recorded for Greenland is roughly 500 gigatons in 2010 or 2011 — effectively 500 cubic kilometers. The area of Greenland is 2.166 million square kilometers. 500 divided by 2.166E6 is 0.230 (meters) or 23 centimeters — the thickness of the ice layer distributed over Greenland lost by melting 500 gigatons of ice. This is less than a fourth of the rough estimate above. Adjust the increased air temperature and faster melting rate accordingly.
    This will give me nightmares — NOT!

    • Since one of the scarier scenarios from the melting is the increased rate of flooding , and since Barry , above , has kindly given us the data on Greenland ice sheet melt from 2002 – 2012: 2900Gigatonnes , or 2.9 x 10^15 Kg , it might be useful to see what sea level rise that corresponds to.
      Volume of melt (at 0Celsius ) = 2.9 x 10^15 / 10^3 m^3 ( mass/ density)
      Surface area of oceans = 3.6 x 10^14 m^2
      Increased in sea level , if averaged out , and not corrected for change in temp from 0 to , say , 18 Celsius = 2.9 X 10^12 / 3.6 x 10^14 m
      = < 10^-2 m , or < 1 cm , bit higher if you allow for expansion due to raising temperature of melt water to mean surface temperature , but still less than 1 cm .
      That is for a 10 year period , although the data via Barry does suggest an increase in the level of melt in the last 4 years of the survey .
      However New Yorkers need not fear using their subways just yet – well not for fear of drowning anyway.

  16. Great posting. To pick a nit, in 1st para, the term “evaporation” shouldn’t be used to explain the process of sublimation. Better to say “outgassing of water vapor directly from the solid state(ice)” or some such.

      • Well at atmospheric P&T it does.
        But depending on the Pressure, and Temperature, dry ice can turn into liquid CO2.
        Check the phase diagram.

    • Well liquid water can only exist at a vapor pressure (of H2O) that is higher than the triple point pressure, which is something like 0.006 atmospheres (of H2O). Most phase diagrams of water say the freezing point is lowered at higher pressure than the triple point pressure.
      So the triple point is 0.01 deg. C and 4.58 mm Hg pressure, while freezing point is 0.00 deg. C and 760 mm Hg pressure.

  17. “Currently, about a billion people — 1 percent of the world population”
    I guess all of us missed the news about the population explosion…
    I’ve been beating the black carbon (soot) deposition drum for about 10 years now. Even James Hansen studied it back in 2003, before focusing exclusively on his agenda. To leave it out of any serious climactic study of ice of any sort is more than a little absurd. Sad, really, if that is indeed what has transpired, here.

    • “I guess all of us missed the news about the population explosion” Or the computer model got lost in a reentrant population subroutine that only breaks out for an integer overflow error.

  18. Why do we need models at all when there has got to be real data from somewhere to show how high sea level was 1000 years ago when Greenland was much warmer during the MWP?

  19. In the case of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the more temperatures increase, the faster the ice will melt, according to computer model experiments by Penn State geoscientists.

    Are they saying it took a computer model to figure out that ice melts faster at higher temperatures? If so, how did the guy who programmed the computer know to program that behavior into the model? It’s a chicken and egg conundrum. Which came first? Did our knowledge of the laws of physics come from models, or did the models come from our knowledge of the laws of physics?
    Once that question is resolved, I have another one to ask: If a researcher programs his pet theory into a model, is the output of the model sufficient to prove his theory? If the answer is “no,” then I’m confused. Every climate scientist who rings the climate-change alarm bells acts as if their models prove their case, and anyone who disagrees is anti-science and a heretic. That just doesn’t add up.

  20. Greenland might be especially vulnerable to melting because that area of the Earth sees about 50 percent more warming than the global average.

    What happened to Cowtan and Way’s claim that “Arctic temperature anomalies are changing approximately 8 times faster than temperatures over the planet as a whole”? Did they retract their claim? There’s a big difference between 50% and 800% more warming, isn’t there?

    • Loius

      Greenland might be especially vulnerable to melting because that area of the Earth sees about 50 percent more warming than the global average.

      What happened to Cowtan and Way’s claim that “Arctic temperature anomalies are changing approximately 8 times faster than temperatures over the planet as a whole”? Did they retract their claim?

      The Arctic Ocean has 14 Mkm^2 of the earth’s surface, 2.8% of the world’s surface. And has 0.0 of its thermometers.
      (That’s from the pole to 70.9 north latitude.)
      The high Arctic (between 70.9 latitude and the Arctic Circle) has 7.1 Mkm^2, 1.4 % of the earth’s surface.
      And less than 0.01% of its thermometers.
      Antarctica (and its surrounding sea ice) has 14.0 Mkm^2 of land ice + 1.5 Mkm^2 of shelf ice + 16 Mkm^2 of sea ice extents.
      That 31.5 Mkm^2 is 6.2% of the earth’s surface – More than Africa or North America or South America or Europe or Australia.
      And it only has a few isolated thermometers – but at least they kept in working order!
      And those Antarctica thermometers show a consistent and gradual cooling since records began.
      Does make you wonder, doesn’t it.

  21. “the more temperatures increase, the faster the ice will melt, according to computer model experiments by Penn State geoscientists.”
    Good. Some settled science at last.

  22. It’s NOT all ‘black carbon’! Can anyone find research that shows the composition of the black stuff?
    Here are some pictures from Southern Greenland:
    http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/?p=1240
    Scroll down the page to the second picture; note the caption:
    boots on the ice offer a close look (and to sample) impurities concentrating at the surface. The fact is, much of this dark material is from cyanobacteria and blue-green algae. Photo J. Box.
    and they don’t come more alarmist than Jason Box.
    Some of it may well be carbon black (since when did carbon black, the product of incomplete combustion, become ‘black carbon’?) from nearby wildfires:
    http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/?p=1466

    • Billy Liar,
      I’m pleased to see you raise an eyebrow at the claim that the pristine visage of the glacier is defiled principally or exclusively by carbon.
      Both of my eyebrows are as elevated as they can be and my jaw is hanging, too.
      I have stomped around on a number of different glaciers in BC, The Yukon and Alaska, and I have been struck always by how much debris tumbles from the lateral moraines onto the surface of the ice.
      The Kokanee glacier, is underlain by granitic rock and that’s what comprises the till that is intercalated in the glacial mass. This material ranges from boulders to fine dust that is easily spread by the wind over the entire breadth. None of this is carbon. Silicon, aluminum, potassium, iron, magnesium.
      Chugach Mountains are basalt; no carbon there!
      I’m not buying it.

  23. During the Hypsithermal interval about 5,000 years or so ago, sea level rose 2 meters.
    So, 3 meters is doable by about the year 2200..
    According to the orthodox view of climate science, there is no way to change this apart from closing down our industrial civilization.
    Forget it. That is not going to happen. No nation anywhere will vote for a government that promises the kind of future that would be in store for a traditional economy not based on industrialization.

  24. While we are challenging the trutherisms of “black carbon”, I’d like to query something else used in the title and common in posts here: sublimation of water. Decades ago, in my early chem courses, I was taught that water does not sublimate, i.e., change phase directly from a solid to a gas. That, in fact, it passes through a brief transitory melting phase before being dispersed as vapour.
    I’ve never pursued the question beyond the initial training, but for advanced chemists here, has this perspective changed since my early alchemy courses?

  25. Why do I get the feeling climate science modelers are frustrated video game designers? Come to think of it, a climate science video game — I’m thinking Steyn vs. Mann, etc. — might be kind of fun.

  26. “If all the ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet melts, global sea level would rise by about 24 feet. ”
    The papers writen on this subject always mention that.
    If all the ice on Greenland melts it means we have no more seasons, which means we have been hit by something big that changed the worlds axis to 90 degrees with the north pole facing the sun at all times. My guess is that Global Warming will look meaningless in the shadow of that calamity. But then, there will be no one around to prove that AWG didn’t cause the ice sheets to melt.

  27. Call me a close minded man, but the title containing the words “Penn State researchers” made me automatically stop reading and label the article BS. I have read the comments, however, and found them entertaining as well as supportive of my close minded conclusion.

    • “the words “Penn State researchers” made me automatically stop reading and label the article BS.”
      Do you prefer uneducated laymen doing this work?

  28. I spread my pellet stove’s soot over our southern walkway instead of shoveling it. That works very well in ridding it of snow.- even when the temps are below freezing. The northern walkway doesn’t see any winter sun…

  29. “Currently, about a billion people — 1 percent of the world population — live in areas that would be flooded by a three-foot sea level rise.”
    Whoah — Earth has 100 billion people? At any rate, I expect those billion people will have to move 3 feet higher. I move 30 feet higher every day.

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