New computer model says human emissions can 'render Earth ice free'


From the “department of global roasting” and the UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS, where great ideas like this one are formed at Halloween parties, (yes really, see PR) comes this claim:

UAF model used to estimate Antarctic ice sheet melting

To see how burning up the Earth’s available fossil fuels might affect the Antarctic ice sheet, scientists turned to a computer program developed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute. The ice would disappear, they found, and that conclusion is making headlines across the world.

UAF’s Parallel Ice Sheet Model “was the perfect tool to find out whether human emissions are sufficient to render Earth ice free — and unfortunately it turns out that they are,” said Anders Levermann, a researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Levermann is an author of a paper recently published in the journal Science Advances.

He and the paper’s other authors figured out that burning all available fossil fuels would release about 10,000 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere, which could possibly raise the average temperature of the planet by 20 degrees Fahrenheit. One gigaton is one billion tons. More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere raises temperatures because the greenhouse gas traps infrared radiation from sunlight striking the Earth.

The computer program shows that the increased temperatures would melt the Antarctic ice sheet, which is bigger than the United States, has an average thickness of 6,200 feet and contains more than 50 percent of the world’s fresh water. More than half the melting could occur during the first 1,000 years, although the entire study spans 10,000 years. PISM also shows that the melting would push sea levels up by more than 160 feet. Coastlines would retreat, forcing people in places like New York City, London and Paris to move inland.

“The future evolution of the global sea level is mainly determined by the melting of the big ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica,” Levermann said. “If we want to properly protect our cities, we need to know how these ice sheets evolve. Models like PISM are the only chance we have to understand future sea-level rise.”

Andy Aschwanden, a UAF glaciologist who helped develop PISM, said he uses the computer program to study how climate change could affect Greenland’s ice sheet. He said that more than 50 studies have used PISM, including a soon-to-be-published paper that investigates the future of Alaska’s Juneau Icefield.

“Models are testbeds for all sorts of questions, and PISM is what we call a numerical model.” said Aschwanden. “We take our best understanding of the physical processes of the real world, in this case ice sheets, and frame that in the language of mathematics. Then we teach the computer how to come up with solutions to ‘what if’ questions about the processes that this model represents. We did a lot of work under the hood to make this model work.”

Ed Bueler, a UAF associate professor of mathematics, and GI computer programmer Constantine Khroulev, did much of that work. They built the engine of this model from new mathematical equations. Bueler said PISM is designed to solve what-if scenarios for different-sized ice sheets and glaciers over a time period that extends 100,000 years into the future and the past. It considers such factors as ice thickness and temperature, the weight of the ice and how fast the ice flows as gravity slowly pulls it downhill “like pouring honey onto a pancake.”

“The equations are a way to say precisely how the parts of an ice sheet work and how each of these pieces is connected to all the others,” said Bueler. “Once you have the equations, you can make predictions.”

Most programs that handle such a wide range of scenarios over a large time span rely on mathematics so complex that it may take computers years or decades just to answer one problem. Bueler said PISM is complex enough to be accurate but efficient enough to deliver answers in a timely manner to scientists.

PISM also uses the GI’s high-performance computers to get more accurate answers to the wide variety of scenarios. These computers can outperform an average personal computer in processing calculations.

The PISM team posts the computer program and its updates on the Internet so that scientists can use it freely and provide feedback on the program. Levermann learned about the program after one of his graduate students found it on the Internet and showed it to him in 2008.

“Half a year later, I was flying to Fairbanks to discuss the model with Ed,” said Levermann. “That was my first Halloween party in the U.S. In the two following weeks, my two then-Ph.D.-students, Ricarda Winkelmann and Maria Martin, visited Ed, and he explained the model. That started a wonderful long-term collaboration.”

Winkelmann went on to be the lead author on the recent paper published in Science Advances.


133 thoughts on “New computer model says human emissions can 'render Earth ice free'

  1. Same old same old garbage. If the climate sensitivity is sucha nd such (which it obviusly is not) and if we burn such and such (which we won’) then such and such may happen. They never tire of producing this rubbish.

    • So lemme see if I got this correct.
      They say; well their x-box says, that we can burn enough carbon to raise the temperature by 20 deg. F
      That’s approximately 10 deg C; close enough compared to their x-box model.
      So they are saying the Antarctic highlands will warm up to only -84 deg. C, instead of -94 deg. C, and that will melt the ice there.
      I hope the results of this study are not currently incorporated in anything that is on its way to Mars or some other important place; might not get there.

    • I guess they used the methods IPCC endorse – the methods real scientists laugh at:
      “When initialized with states close to the observations, models ‘drift’ towards their imperfect climatology (an estimate of the mean climate), leading to biases in the simulations that depend on the forecast time. The time scale of the drift in the atmosphere and upper ocean is, in most cases, a few years. Biases can be largely removed using empirical techniques a posteriori. The bias correction or adjustment linearly corrects for model drift.”
      (Ref: Contribution from Working Group I to the fifth assessment report by IPCC; 11.2.3 Prediction Quality; Decadal Prediction Experiments )

      • “Biases can be largely removed using empirical techniques a posteriori.”
        “a posteriori” is where their numbers came from.

      • “Biases can be largely removed using empirical techniques a posteriori. The bias correction or adjustment linearly corrects for model drift.”
        In plain English:
        “Our number crunching supercomputers give results so bad and unrealistic (thanks to GIGO principle) we have to fix these with arbitrary feel-good corrections. (Although the end result could be obtained by simply pulling numbers straight from our rear end without all the model programming and supercomputers, and such simplified process would be both cheaper, faster, and lead to huge energy savings, we feel that doing so would lower our credibility.)”
        For the sake of the planet, unplug the supercomputers!

      • More like science fiction.
        After the world’s population stabilises (some say 2050, UN says 2100), what next? We don’t know, BUT the world will have an aging population and possible decline! Plunging fertility rates around the world have been observed since the 1960s.

        Overall, Sanyal paints a very different picture from the UN, with world population peaking around 2050 at 8.7 billion and declining to about 8 billion by the end of the century. That’s about a billion higher than it is now, but well short of the UN’s 11 billion.
        Both Sanyal and the UN start with the same data – national censuses from 2010. The difference arises because they make different assumptions about fertility, mortality and migration.
        “I took into account two or three things which I think are inadequately reflected in the UN [report],” Sanyal explains……..
        The UN predictions also assume, according to Sanyal, that all fertility rates will eventually converge towards the replacement rate – an “odd assumption” in his view.
        “We have not seen any country where fertility rates have declined very dramatically [only] to have seen them drift back up to the replacement rate,” he says.
        And the UN has underestimated the impact of urbanisation on reducing fertility rates, he argues. Up to now, as he puts it, urbanisation has been “a very powerful contraceptive” in all countries……

      • What this has to do with is more scary “scientific horror stories” to ensure more funding for future studies…
        “The future evolution of the global sea level is mainly determined by the melting of the big ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica,” Levermann said. “If we want to properly protect our cities, we need to know how these ice sheets evolve. Models like PISM are the only chance we have to understand future sea-level rise.”
        “These models are the “ONLY CHANCE WE HAVE!!!…..”
        All of these A holes need to be prosecuted for the money they’ve sucked from our blood, sweat and tears taxes we’ve paid, as well as the idiots who funded and approved
        studies like these. On and on and on it goes…

    • What melting ice? Reported 20 °C raised temperature and Amundsen-Scott station at the South Pole temp daily max °C is – 25.9. Russian Vostok station is Average daily temperature °C – 32.1.
      Does ice melt below 0 °C in the computer models?

  2. Do they assume an infinite amount of IR light for the CO2 to absorb? One would reasonably expect that once the max absorbable IR has been absorbed that a max has been reached.

    • No doubt they assume that if the current doubling would result in 2C warming. (Not true, but it’s what a lot of them assume.) Then if we add the same amount more CO2, we will get another 2C, and so on until we run out of CO2, or the teacher tells us it’s time for our mothers to pick us up.

      • They’re probably assuming what you would consider high sensitivity but due to polar amplification. Probably something like 6C per doubling at the poles but less elsewhere. Even so, that would require ALL the fossil fuels assumed to exist…and probably work out to a concentration of about 2500+ PPM.

      • Don’t forget the water vapor part of the theory that supposedly increases the capacity of the atmosphere to absorb and re-emit LWIR, negating the logarithmic absorption pattern of just CO2. This is the only way models can demonstrate such catastrophic results.
        The tipping point runaway fudge factor warming is still alive and well in the models. Damn the observations.

      • They completely deny the Beer-Lambert Law such that Co2’s effect is 90% spent already and more CO2 will have marginal effects. I love the way they have to deny the heat engine of the water cycle, ignore cosmic rays and cloud cover, and ignore Beer’s Law. How convenient that known scientific principles simply disappears when they want it to.

      • “The tipping point runaway fudge factor warming is still alive and well in the models. Damn the observations.”
        The most damning observation is that the biosphere exists, thus there is no chance that a tipping point, runaway effect, or anything like it exists.
        Because many times in Earth history the globe has warmed for one reason or another, and experienced all manner of cataclysms, from bolide impacts to flood basalts and orogeny, and giant super volcanoes.
        What has happened in every single case is that the Earth immediately set about restoring balance, and mitigating the damage, and healing.
        Not descending into feedback loops of catastrophe.

      • “How convenient that known scientific principles simply disappears when they want it to.”
        There is a quote (or paraphrase) of a French Green senator that is circulating. He was talking about the segregation of “green” electric energy in the electric grid. Here it is from memory:
        ingénieur: On ne peut pas faire ça, parce que ça violerait la loi des nœuds.
        sénateur: Alors on abrogera cette loi!
        Engineer: We can’t do that, it would break Kirchhoff’s law.
        Senator: so we will repeal this law!
        Although I couldn’t find the original quote, I think it is not unrealistic given the Green mentality.

    • “One would reasonably expect that once the max absorbable IR has been absorbed that a max has been reached.”
      Your logic here appears to be airtight.

    • Did they also add in the law of diminishing returns for increases in CO2 as the effects fall off after an initial fast rise?
      Probably not as that is not what they want from these models.
      Can’t have facts getting in the way of a good headline can we!
      James Bull

  3. There are not enough fossil fuels to melt the EAIS even in 10,000 years.
    It has existed for around 34 million years, and formed when the earth was about six degrees C warmer than now.

      • We should hope for this. For every hundred square miles of coastal city requiring being moved, there would be thousands of square miles opened up on Antarctica and Greenland for colonization.
        Not to mention the wonderful abundance of fresh water.

  4. Their model must not take into account that clouds respond to temperature changes, so there is no way they could have modeled the changing feedback correctly.

  5. This model proves Arrhenius was right, that by burning fossil fuels we can forestall the onset of the next glaciation as the Holocene comes to a close…
    That is, provided they used correct formulae and input realistic values in the model runs. They probably didn’t, probably used the highest “equilibrium sensitivity” that includes all positive feedbacks and no negative feedbacks, and assumes the feedbacks amplify and multiply warming rates virtually without limit. But, if they took the glass-is-half-full approach they could actually project the realization of Arrhenius’ dream, to cause global warming on purpose so we don’t all freeze to death.

    • Max Planck proved Arrhenius wrong in 1906. Arrhenius admitted his experiment was flawed and his conclusions unfounded. Then Arrhenius went back to his university and continued to preach on the benefits of industrial CO2 caused Global warming…pg

      • I was not able to find anything supporting your statement “Max Planck proved Arrhenius wrong in 1906” – you wouldn’t happen to have an online reference to support that?

      • It is almost certainly the case that a warmer world would be a much better place, so I can understand Arrhenius preaching the benefits of that. It is difficult to understand why anyone would a fear a world some to 2 to 4 degrees warmer, and the oceans would take a very long time to significantly increase in temperature..

  6. I’m in Vermont – we pour maple syrup on our pancakes, not honey.
    That must be why we can’t see 100,000 years into the future … try as we might.

  7. I have an idea – let’s test this “greenhouse effect”, I propose that we double the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and then measure the resultant rise in global temp. If there is no increase in global atmospheric temperature for, say 18 years, we can conclude that there is no GHE.

    • You can do that experiment controlled, in a laboratory. To eliminate out other factors that might be responsible for the change. Unfortunately for the pseudo scientists, physics shows clearly: a doubling of CO2 in atmospheric composition results in a minute change in heat conductivity for a column of gas. So minute, that it’s probably not possible to measure with current technology.

  8. I continue to struggle with the idea that sometime in our dark past, there was an optimum climate..evidently for the entire planet. Until we define that climate, we don’t have a goal..and if we don’t have a goal, how will we know when we have reached it?
    “What can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof”…Christopher Hitchens

  9. I always get a good laugh when I hear these “scientists” talking about their latest infallible computer model. I’m a retired computer systems architect and I worked on many computer models in my career. When someone asked what our models could do we always said “whatever you want. All you have to do is be willing to pay for it.” When they asked can you do XXXXX ? The answer was always “yes”. You want a model that “proves” it’s going to rain marshmallows tomorrow? No problem, coming right up. And they’ll be the best marshmallows you ever tasted. Be very careful what you believe from a computer model.

    • and Doonesbury used to run a comic in which you could write in whatever you believed in and the site would create the facts to support your belief

  10. Their second sentence begins
    “Although Antarctica has already begun to lose ice (3)”
    Reference (3) was published in 2011. Now Antarctica is setting new records for ice volume.
    I stopped reading at that point.

  11. Man will never do anything to make the Earth ice free.
    (But if some man wants to volunteer to keep my driveway ice free this winter…..)

  12. “The ice would disappear, they found”
    So, if all the ice melted, we would lose some land, but we would have new coastlines, not all clogged up with rich people houses.
    And we would have a lot of artificial reefs and prime habitat for fish in man of the newly submerged areas.
    And presumably, there would be vast areas of Arctic land open up for habitation and agriculture, or new habitat formation. Plus Greenland, and all of Antarctica.
    Also, presumably winters the world over would become far shorter and less severe, extending growing seasons and perhaps adding vast areas with two full growing seasons…like we have here in Florida (August and late February are the planting times.)
    Large numbers of coral atoll islands kept up with rising seas in the past, and would likely do so again. If they had not, there would perhaps not be so much life on them.
    Someone needs to calculate the net gain in usable land area if we had all the new places once the ice is gone. And the other benefits that would accrue from not having huge swaths of our planet and whole continents frozen, barren, and God forsaken wastelands.

  13. Maybe if we stopped burning oil and coal and instead used to make a BIG plastic ball to cover the Earth (thereby making the Earth a real greenhouse) this fantasy might come true.

  14. People using a similar approach back in 1715 would have probably concluded that at the rate at which we were felling trees and burning them for heating and cooking – humans could have rendered the Earth tree free by 1850. Of course, that didn’t happen.
    What happened was that new technologies developed. People shifted energy use to coal and then oil and gas. The forests of Europe were saved.
    Why are we busy predicting what would happen if technology did not change between now and far into the future. We are making two massive assumptions:
    1. That climate sensitivity is high.
    2. That fossil fuels will remain the cheapest and most preferable technology well into the future.
    Neither of these assumption appears to be justified by current evidence.
    Recently I have started buying LED lighting. Not to save the planet. But because, in my situation it is now preferable and now works out cheaper over time than the alternatives.
    Technologies change over time.
    These far-off frightening scenarios are foolish predictions. And action taken upon them is far more foolish.
    Just as it would have been foolish for the people of 1715 to set about banning fires and stoves, in the desperate hope of saving the great European forests from certain annihilation.
    Because in the process, they may well have also banned the recently invented, “…new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion to all sorts of mill work by the impellent force of fire, which will be of great use and advantage for drayning mines, serveing townes with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have not the benefitt of water nor constant windes.”
    And then where would we now be?!!

    • indefatigablefrog
      September 24, 2015 at 4:06 pm
      Yeah, I have been replacing burned out high use lights with LED colour corrected lights too. Trouble is, the lifetime of good incandescents is about the same as the LED’s. In my kitchen, I have only replaced three flood light bulbs in the last 13 years. I tried the original LED’s and hated the colour, changed the ONE bulb that is used the most to colour corrected and it is good.
      I tried the curly cue mercury vapour bulbs years ago but they were awful. They affected the electronics in my house, useless outdoors at 20 below as they never came on, the colour was awful, the flicker was annoying. I took them all out so I have a card board box full of them in the basement. I should give them away, but I am hesitant to foist them on the unsuspecting. I offered them to some neighbours but they had the same experience and didn’t want them.
      The LED’s are good, but based on the “burn out” rate of the incandescents I will likely be dead before they are all replaced.

      • I replaced a ton of my lights even though they are still good. I have boxes of old incandescents. Maybe they will make a good museum piece someday. I decided not the wait until the old wasteful ones burned out…too many of them, and they guy i bought my house from apparently did not like compact fluorescents either…not a one in the whole house.
        Amazing how many bulbs are in a house…hundreds and hundreds…and my house is rather modest.
        I have spent thousands on LEDs and CFLs.
        But, today I bought a box from Costco…ten 60 watt equivalent Feit brand LEDs for about $24!
        The ones I love best are the outdoor floods, which had been 150 watts, and to keep the exterior illuminated at night required a few dozen. Now, with LEDs, they each burn a tenth that wattage, and are brighter.
        I also decided I would rather get used to unpleasant color temps than wait for R&D to catch up with my needs. But that is just me.

    • A real crisis (at the time), unlike the global warming crisis which is imaginary: The Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894. Obviously, the ‘forecasts’ were very wrong.

      • Yeah, well they got that wrong.
        They predicted that by now we would be up to our necks in horse shit.
        But, what actually happened was,,,
        OMG…they were absolutely right!!!

  15. New computer model says human emissions can ‘render Earth ice free’
    … inside the Virtual Reality of the computer model.

  16. The program begs the question. Increasing CO2 causing warming is hard coded in. The results are totally useless. The reality is that there is no real evidence that CO2 affects climate. There is no such evidence in the paleoclimate record. If CO2 really affected climate then the increase over the past 30 years should have caused an increase in the natural lapse rate in the troposphere but that has not happened. The climate sensitivity of CO2 should be related to how changes in CO2 cause the natural lapse rate in the troposphere to change. So in accordance with what has happened over the past 30 years, the climate sensitivity is equal to zero. Hence CO2 has no affect on climate and the program needs to be corrected to show just that.

    • I’d love to see them run the model BACKWARDS in time to see how accurate it is !! Would give some hilarious results I’m sure…

    • I may be incorrect here, but if the models predicted a tropospheric hot spot (which of course did not materialize) and thus warmed the upper levels more than the surface, this lowers the lapse rate, no?
      Less difference between surface and upper atmosphere = lower lapse rate.
      That is my understanding of lapse rate any ways.
      From what I understand, the failure of the upper levels to warm falsifies the models…as they demand that this occur.
      But you will not here anything about this on the six o’clock news, or from any warmistas, neither.
      Maybe they are indeed, as was pointed out elsewhere, too busy looking up the definition of Sandinista.

  17. . .I just created a video game on my trusty old Timex T1000 computer that PROVES beyond a doubt…that if every liberal eco-terrorist in the world stopped lying at the same time for a duration of at least 1 year…the world would be a very happy place indeed .. well, for one year anyways !! !!!!

  18. This is prime example why models should be banned in future predictions. Using models to predict absolutely any stupid idea passes because it’s a model, it’s almost like making things up with no mechanism, no evidence, no scientific method and even no hypothesis. It is avoiding any science and even not showing how they come to these stupid conclusions. Models are good for projections over are a few days or for things not involving the future. This goes down as one of the most ridiculous conclusions from a garbage model ever.
    How the hell can Antarctica warm at least 30 c for just summer temperatures to reach around zero at the center. Temperatures even then around a large central area would be more like the north pole now. Even then it would not melt all the ice during the summer. Do they really think people are this stupid? Something like this should never pass for science ever.

    • 10^9 tons of CO2 will not get any where near 10 doublings of CO2 for the 10 c rise. (based on general 1 c per doubling)
      800ppm (1c)
      1600ppm (2c)
      3200ppm (3c)
      6400ppm (4c)
      12800ppm (5c)
      Not worth going further than 5 doubling as it’s obvious to anybody 12800 ppm in the atmosphere needs a lot more than 10^9 tons.
      Only like a little more than doubling human CO2 emissions since the 19th century, we would only increase CO2 levels in the atmosphere roughly half the time we have done so far.
      The model is used to just hide basic scientific ideas like these.

      • Try ECS = 3°C with polar amplification in the model.
        Now, I regard this stuff some kind of catastrophe porn, but who am I to tell their model sucks. I’m just a layman telling continents can’t move.

  19. The average temperature in Antarctica is MINUS 52 degrees F….So it would take 100 degrees of warming to even start the melting process !!! ( give or take 5 degrees )….

  20. “UAF’s Parallel Ice Sheet Model”
    It’s not a model. The behavior of the system is not known, ipso facto, it can’t be modeled. Most “climate models” are not models at all. Some behaviors are known, some are guessed, and then adjustments/parameters are fiddled with to produce some results that somewhat resemble observations. That is not a model, it is a kluge.
    When you see GCM, think Global Circulation Kluges.

  21. UAF has class, as well as science.
    We may see more research published by departments of global roasting disguised as atmospheric science and physical geography and climatology in the near future following Obama’s recent EO describing his plan to spend millions hiring professional pathological liars; researchers in John Cook’s and Stephen Lewandowsky’s and Dan Kahan’s field of study; Fooling All of the People All of the Time, known colloquially as brainwashing:
    “Adopting the insights of behavioral science will help bring our government into the 21st century in a wide range of ways – from delivering services more efficiently and effectively; to accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy…

  22. I have developed a sophisticated and robust computer model that projects that there will be free beer tomorrow at a nearby reputable drinking establishment. Anyone here gonna’ dispute that? I used all the buzz words and the parameters were guaranteed accurate by the Alf, the bartender, along with 97% of the waitstaff.
    But to the topic… I’m not sure we can burn what’s left of the coal and oil deposits fast enough to affect climate at 1-point-something per doubling. Currently, CO2 has continued its monotonic rise while the satellite temperatures aren’t showing any trend. I’m not encouraged that we can burn enough stuff to stave of the next glaciation, but I do love a challenge!
    (Nice little Black tip shark yesterday; just under 3 feet. Fun tussle. Got him back in the water very quickly. Swam off at a nice clip. I do not like to stress fish that are going back into the drink. However, the shark was not as considerate of the rotator cuff in my shoulder… it’s pretty torn up. Ouch, mommy!)

  23. Setting aside for a moment the general failure of these sorts of models, I would think that impacts on CO2 / temperature would be highly consumption rate dependent. If the guzzintas don’t exceed the guzzoutas then CO2 won’t move upward.

  24. They are missing one HUGE CRITICAL POINT. The CO2 released into the atmosphere will partition 50 to one into the oceans, maybe a little less with warmer oceans, but huge amounts will dissolve. There is not enough available carbon for us to burn and, with ocean absorption there is only enough CO2 to raise the atmospheric CO2 by 20%. Sorry, Charle, it’s a non-starter and your still fails to make a decent cup of coffee.

  25. Consensus science from 1965 was that even at levels below the current trajectory of CO2 emissions, temperatures would increase 7 degrees and sea levels would rise 10 feet by the year 2000.
    Yes, this was the top end of the range they offered, but when they extrapolated further out into the future, they claimed that both Antarctica and Greenland would melt down by 2200, raising sea level by 200 feet. That clearly averages out to 1 foot per year over the span. They offered no range for this estimate, suggesting it was their best guess.
    So now this “scary” model has given us a 10,000 year reprieve. And as a bonus, they won’t have to worry about their kids looking back 30-50 years from now and knowing their parent was a world-class laughingstock, swept up in the climate scam, because they could just say wait another 1,000 years.

    • I think what it has done is add another made up scare story to the s**t heap of made up scare stories that already included the idiotic one from 1965…which, BTW, was made when global temps were dropping, glaciers were advancing, and Arctic sea ice was thickening rapidly.

  26. “burning all available fossil fuels would release about 10,000 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere, which could possibly raise the average temperature of the planet by 20 degrees Fahrenheit.”
    That’s the worst case scenario, and even with 20 degrees of warming, it will take 1000 years to melt just half of the Antarctic ice sheet. But we’ll never get that far because we have to reach 2 degrees of warming before we can get to 20, and alarmists assure us we are doomed with only 2 degrees of warming. So does the model confirm our doom at the magical limit of 2 degrees of warming? It would seem like an important question to have answered, unless most scientists don’t really take what alarmists say seriously.

    • Most of Antarctica is well below 0.0 F even in Summer. Ice does not melt if air gets warmer…only if air gets above the melting point.

  27. If this is such a risk, why aren’t the authors endorsing advanced nuclear power and nuclear research–at least as a backup in case “renewable” energy isn’t up to the job?

    • “If this is such a risk, why aren’t the authors endorsing advanced nuclear power and nuclear research–at least as a backup in case “renewable” energy isn’t up to the job?”
      Because, their job is to alarm and obfuscate, not to offer sensible solutions that would help everyone, create a cleaner world, and make us all more prosperous.

  28. I’m just waiting to see any of them show how to calculate the mean temperature of the earth within 1% before listening to their “complex mathematical” models explaining 4th decimal place squiggles ..

  29. So – “PISM also uses the GI’s high-performance computers to get more accurate answers to the wide variety of scenarios. These computers can outperform an average personal computer in processing calculations.”
    What the hell does than mean.
    Have they confused accuracy with precision. Getting the wrong answer repeatedly to x decimal places isn’t worth a lot. Are they able to predict 5 years and then check that prediction???

  30. More than half the melting could occur during the first 1,000 years, although the entire study spans 10,000 years. PISM also shows that the melting would push sea levels up by more than 160 feet.

    Yep. 80 feet in 1000 years, which is 10 inches per century, 2.5 mm/annum. Mathes rate of sea level rise for the past century pretty well. So. It is but a mindless extrapolation of the current trend, nothing more. One does not need a supercomputer to do that.

    Models like PISM are the only chance we have to understand future sea-level rise.

    In that case we have no chance at all. Happens sometimes.

    • Berényi Péter
      September 24, 2015 at 11:10 pm
      80 feet in 1000 years = 960 inches in 1000 years = ~1 inch per year, ie 10 times the current rate.

      • You are absolutely right, I have miscalculated. However, it makes even more curious, that no acceleration of sea level rise is detected in more than 22 years, since satellite measurements were started at the end of 1992. In fact, there is a slight deceleration (-83 mm/century squared). And measured rate of sea level rise is 2.98 mm/annum (9.76 feet in 1000 years). Please note GIA correction is subtracted from CU estimate, because it is not actual sea level rise, but increase of ocean basin volume, which is a completely different matter.

  31. Surprisingly, things we don’t really know combine with other things we don’t really know to tell us what we wanted to hear!

  32. I get the feeling that most of us commenting here could say with Victor Meldrew

    James Bull

  33. “UAF’s Parallel Universe Model … ” there, fixed that for ya. No really, UAF and Potsdam working together? Credibility rating – minus several million.

  34. “The equations are a way to say precisely how the parts of an ice sheet work and how each of these pieces is connected to all the others,” said Bueler. “Once you have the equations, you can make predictions.”
    These models only have value if confirmed by real world observations. Unfortunately for the models in the real world the Antarctic is gaining ice and temperatures are NOT rising as predicted.
    I expect the usual responses like the ocean ate my heat or the Koch brothers bribed the continental ice sheet. The reality is of course their basic assumption is deeply flawed. They act as if all CO2 released by burning fuel remains in the atmosphere instead of entering the carbon cycle with the rest of the CO2 in the atmosphere. An odd assumption given that human emitted CO2 is a small percentage of total emissions.

  35. ‘Science Advances’? There’s an oxymoron if I ever saw one. Or is it irony where the publication founders know that what they publish will be the opposite?

  36. It is intuativly obvious to all but the most ill informed that ice from the deep antarctic will never melt without some masive shift in climate regimes. No amount of manmade CO2 can cause that.

  37. Further to my previous comment; the highest temperature ever recorded at the south pole is -12°C. That ice will never melt as long as the antarctic continent stays were it is.

  38. By extending the model out to 10,000 years, they are now playing in the procession of the poles game. All sorts of things could change as the poles move around. However, I believe that as the procission progresses, the Northern hemosphere will become less hospitable (hotter summers, colder winters), and the South Pole will get even colder in the summer, never approching -12°C. The ice down there is there for good!

    • Only if the computer objects.
      (If it does object, please unplug it before we have a VIKKI, Sky Net or The Matrix!)

  39. “New computer model says human emissions can ‘render Earth ice free’”
    I have an old computer model that says I am a Level 10 Wizard…

  40. Well great. It seems that man has the power to end this 3-million year Ice Age. Wow! I had no idea how powerful we were.

      • And when Antarctica was being iced over, that was around the same time that South America split from Antarctica, thus surrounding it with water. The power of plate movements and the resulting effects seems to be overlooked by today’s crop of climate scientists. All they can see is CO2.

      • See Zhang15 and their graph on temperature / carbon dioxide.
        According to that, CO2 is now as high as it has been during the last 20-25 Ma. But the great descent in temps started about 15 Ma ago and accelerated 4 Ma ago, while CO2 dropped from 800 to 400 ppm 25-30 Ma ago. Try to find this data in Wikipedia 🙂
        Shortly put. Temperatures in geological scale don’t follow CO2 concentrations. As said, “the correlations between CO2 and T are neither strong nor stable.” (Zhao&Feng15)
        It doesn’t mean CO2 does not have any effect – I believe is has a complex effect. I don’t say CO2 couldn’t postpone glaciation. I find it improbable that human CO2 remained long enough to melt all continental ice. No, the word is ‘implausible’. Prove me wrong, don’t use models 🙂

  41. Anybody know what the going price is for a couple of acres on top of Mount Everest? I think I want to get in on the ground floor.

      • If I could buy some Antarctica, I’d do it. It would be funny. Children could say grandpa bought a seaside estate and thought it’d be valuable some day. And then they could show a picture from a snowfield telling the property is 700 m down under ice. For humanity, melting Greenland and Antarctica provided more options than leaving it under ice, but in any case, it would take thousands of years.Think about what was 12 ka ago, 6 ka ago or will be 2 ka from now? We can’t know if humans exist, or what they think is important then.
        Human in year 4000 probably won’t give a damn if the planet is say, 4C warmer than now. Looking out of the window, it is +15C there and +8C would be very very optimal. The question of most importance to humans has always been ‘where’s my next lunch’.

  42. If the increase in CO2 since the 1950s has because of DWLWIR caused the warming seen since the 1950s, where is the data regarding its impact on IR telescopes, which have been in operation since the 1950s.
    Surely this backradiation is to an IR telescope the equivalent to light pollution in the visible light range to an optical telescope. If there has been an increase in DWLWIR over the years, surely this will have had some impact (may be very small depending upon the precise wavelengths being monitored) upon the efficiency of IR telescopes and may require some adjustment to lessen the impact.
    Is anyone aware of such data?

  43. Regarding sea ice … It’s been fascinating to see how the various remote sensing and data crunching operations around the world have been handling the “necklace” of sea ice up north of Alaska between 140 and 160 W. All over the map (pun intended). Not a great vote of confidence.

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