Missing from climate models: Unaccounted for Arctic microbes appear to be speeding up glacier melting

From the SOCIETY FOR GENERAL MICROBIOLOGY and the “department of robusted models” comes this

Today, at the Microbiology Society’s Annual Conference in Liverpool, scientists will reveal how Arctic microbes are increasing the rate at which glaciers melt, in a process not accounted for in current climate change models.

A crevasse created by water drilling a hole tens of meters deep into the glacier ice. A layer of dark cryoconite surrounds it. Langjökull glacier. July 2006. Image: Ville Miettinen from Helsinki, Finland - Crevasse, CC BY 2.0

A crevasse created by water drilling a hole tens of meters deep into the glacier ice. A layer of dark cryoconite surrounds it. Langjökull glacier. July 2006. Image: Ville Miettinen from Helsinki, Finland – Crevasse, CC BY 2.0

The research, led by Dr Arwyn Edwards from Aberystwyth University, focuses on a grainy, soil-like substance found on the surface of Arctic ice known as cryoconite, which is made of dust and industrial soot glued together by photosynthetic bacteria. Working on Greenland’s ice sheet, the team showed that cryoconite darkens the surface of the ice, causing it to melt and make small water-filled holes. The bacterially-made granules self-regulate the depth and shape of these holes to maximise their exposure to sunlight, which in turn further melts the glacier’s surface ice. In summer, cryoconite holes pockmark the surface of the biologically productive region of the Greenland ice sheet, an area ten times the size of Wales (200,000 square kilometres), which is expanding as the climate warms.

Working on an icecap in Svalbard, in the far north of Norway, the team showed that this process is driven by a single species of photosynthetic bacteria, from the genus Phormidesmis.

Arctic ice reflects about 60% of the sunlight that hits it (known as its albedo level). The cryoconite decreases the albedo of the ice to around 20%, transferring more solar energy to the ice and melting it faster. This bacterial-led albedo reduction is greater than that of dust alone. Working on Svalbard, the group showed that the extreme environmental conditions of the glacier had less of an influence on the communities of microbes present than the effect the microbes themselves had on the melting of the ice. The melt holes that this one species of bacteria form provide an environment for other microbes to flourish, leading to the growth of the cryoconite holes.

Dr Edwards said: “If we recognise ice surfaces as a living landscape we can see that the microbes themselves are able to change the glacial surface. It’s only recently that we’ve begun to understand that these cryoconite holes are dynamic, changing in size and shape. Microbes are capable of ecosystem engineering and respond to changes in their environment all the time.

“As the biologically productive areas of glaciers and ice sheets expand due to climate change, these microbial processes can influence their melting more and more. In the long term, this contributes to the loss of glacier habitats, and the unique microbial biodiversity living on them.”

Current models are unable to account effectively for the impacts of microbial growth on glacier and ice melting, so learning more about this Arctic ecosystem and the feedback is an important step to understanding future sea level rises.

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72 thoughts on “Missing from climate models: Unaccounted for Arctic microbes appear to be speeding up glacier melting

  1. Give it a year or two of ‘unprecedented global warming’ it might be possible to grow potatoes on that glacier. (might is <97% consensus)

  2. Gosh! With all of the numerous variables that promote global warming, it is a wonder that each of us hasn’t ‘ broiled in his own juices by now. It is also a wonder that, apparently, there are so few environmental variables that counter global warming.

    • Yes, with all these positive feedbacks one would have expected Arctic sea ic to have reached a “tipping point” long ago.

      Instead, the melting has slowed in the 2007 AMG event and has actually increased in volume notably since 2012 OMOMG minimum, despite the Arctic “warming faster than anywhere on the planet.

      Funny that.

      • Greg – this paper is about glaciers and you are talking about sea ice. Not the same thing, although there may be similar processes at work on the sea ice, this paper doesn’t inform us about it.

        In the same vein, this study was done in Svalbard, and does not necessarily reflect the situation in Greenland. It’s my impression that the Greenland ice cap is still accumulating fresh ice from snowfall (at about the same rate that it’s losing ice at the sea edge) and one might hypothesize that any soot that falls there (and the bacteria too) is going to be buried under fresh snow, without staying on top long enough to affect the albedo. Just an idea, but it’s not only unwise to extrapolate from glaciers to sea ice, it’s also unwise to extrapolate from a melting glacier in Svalbard to a stable ice cap in Greenland.

        And haven’t I read that the Antarctic ice cap is growing?

      • Article-“Working on Greenland’s ice sheet the team showed that cryoconite darkens the surface of the ice, causing it to melt and make small water-filled holes.”

        “Working on an icecap in Svalbard in the far north of Norway, the team showed that this process is…”

        Not glaciers…ice sheets and ice caps. In Greenland AND in Svalbard. In the ARCTIC.

        Smart Rock-“It’s my impression that the Greenland ice cap is still accumulating fresh ice from snowfall (at about the same rate that it’s losing ice at the sea edge) and one might hypothesize that any soot that falls there (and the bacteria too) is going to be buried under fresh snow, without staying on top long enough to affect the albedo.”

        Guess you haven’t heard of the surface melt that goes on every year, every summer…

        Article-” In summer,cryoconite holes pockmark the surface of the biologically productive region of the Greenland ice sheet, an area ten times the size of Wales (200,000 square kilometres), which is expanding as the climate warms.”

        (is 200,000 square miles a lot of “albedo” loss to you?)

        “it’s also unwise to extrapolate from a melting glacier in Svalbard to a stable ice cap in Greenland.”

        YOU extrapolated to a melting glacier from an ice cap in Svalbard…maybe because the article was accompanied by a photo of a glacier….in FINLAND! Still unwise.

    • Or maybe we can gather them all up and ship them to the Martian ice caps to start melting them !!

    • Well, if the bacteria are melting the glaciers on which they live (thus destroying this planet), they’re ultimately killing themselves. I wonder how they’ve held on so long…

      • Why don’t we train polar bears to devour these bacteria? Send out a polie swat team or two – problem solved!

    • https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/03/03/through-the-ice-darkly/
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/03/03/another-alarmist-pillar-collapses-greenland-melting-due-to-old-soot-feedback-loops-and-albedo-change-not-agw/

      cryoconite??

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/03/greenland-ground-zero-for-global-soot-warming/

      Look pretty straightforward to me.

      The ice sheet is going to melt for a variety of reasons. Increased warmth and changes to the surface properties.

      Lets quote WUWT

      “So yes, it does look like man made melting in Greenland, but not from CO2, but rather from soot. Since the USA has tough laws against particulate emissions, I’m wondering if we shouldn’t be pointing the finger at China and asking them to adopt clean air standard rather than worrying about California’s idiotic Prop AB 32 “global warming law”:”

      So. in 2010 you see WUWT pointing at cryoconite. Six years later after some science the process is better understood.. science marches on..

      Its not that hard. BUT

      “So yes, it does look like man made melting in Greenland, but not from CO2, but rather from soot. ”

      Do you see the logical fallacies.

      Its not “either or” Its not Co2 or Soot.. It’s both.

      Put it this way. If you took ice into the lab and put some soot on it, and then raised the temperature of the
      room to 80F, you would not argue that it melted “not from heat, but rather from soot” You’d point out that both can contribute. If you put soot on ice and lower the temp to 1K and watched as it didnt melt
      you would not argue that soot could NOT cause ice to melt.

      the planet is getting warmer. C02 plays a role in that. The ice is getting dirtier. dust, soot, and batericia play a role in that.

      • …Prove, scientifically, that CO2 causes warming ! Much easier to prove that warming causes more CO2 !

      • So what this study may show one of the reasons why models have consistently under calculated Arctic sea ice reduction since 1979 when we have broad enough coverage to monitor it.

        But there’s now more soot , more CO2 and ….. err, less melting.

        So apart from the soot and the CO2 , there must be some other major factor, either a negative feedback, or an as yet unidentified driver of Arctic sea ice.

        Since models under-estimated the melting and totally fait to predict the recovery since 2012 ( like an increase of over 40% in ice volume in a single year ) we do not need to be fiddling around adding a little +ve feedback to the models. They need to find the elephant on the ice that has been totally missed up until now.

        It seems that modellers serious fail to grasp the effects of more open water, unless there is a major celestial driver that has gone unnoticed due the obsession with CO2.

      • “…Prove, scientifically, that CO2 causes warming ! Much easier to prove that warming causes more CO2 !”

        if you look it up then you’ll find it my friend.
        It’s been known of for ~150 yrs and is empirical science.
        There’s a utility called “Google” and an even better one called “Google scholar”

        But to save you a millisecond – here you go ….

        https://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

      • “The ice sheet is going to melt for a variety of reasons. Increased warmth and changes to the surface properties.”

        “Its not “either or” Its not Co2 or Soot.. It’s both.”

        1-CO2 doesn’t make ice melt. CO2 isn’t warm. Liquid CO2 freezes stuff. CO2 needs a warming agent to warm it.
        2-the study shows that lowered albedo, caused by “dust and soot glued together by bacteria, causes less sunlight to get reflected away, thus melting the ice faster

        So it’s increased amounts of sunlight (warmth) and changes to surface properties (microbes, wind, dust, soot) according to this article. But reflected short wave sunlight isn’t absorbed by CO2 in the first place…it escapes to space. So, pure white ice melts more slowly than pocked, darkened ice with or without increased CO2 in the atmosphere. AND, more short wave energy absorbed by the surface of the dirty ice, means increased re-radiated long wave radiation that is capable of being absorbed by atmospheric CO2, even if there’s no increase in that atmospheric CO2.

        Marcus likes to joke around. WUWT isn’t disagreeing with the article’s contention about the cryoconite. WUWT is saying-“Today, at the Microbiology Society’s Annual Conference in Liverpool, scientists will reveal how b>Arctic microbes are increasing the rate at which glaciers melt, in a process not accounted for in current climate change models. Seems like the science is validating something WUWT covered years ago. AND added in bacteria as a whole new agent that destroys ice.

        “Put it this way. If you took ice into the lab and put some soot on it, and then raised the temperature of the
        room to 80F, you would not argue that it melted “not from heat, but rather from soot” You’d point out that both can contribute. If you put soot on ice and lower the temp to 1K and watched as it didnt melt
        you would not argue that soot could NOT cause ice to melt.”

        Weird…your example has zero to do with the atmospheric content of the CO2 in the room. Why? :)

        And your example doesn’t use increased reflected energy vs non reflected energy to melt the ice. Does soot, on ice in a lab, with only the latent heat of the room as the heat source cause the ice to melt faster than ice in the same situation without soot on it? If not, then “both did not contribute” to the melting.

      • Toneb

        Nothing in your link states or proves that CO2 causes warming. CO2 absorbs specific bands of infrared radiation, then discharges it. It doesn’t hold on to it. It doesn’t trap it. It passes it on to whatever type of molecule it’s next to, or bumps in to. And then THAT molecule does the same thing.

        CO2 is not warm. It is not a heat source. It does not generate heat on it’s own. Think of boiling some room temperature water in a pan on the stove. Does the pan cause the warming? The lid? The water? No. The HEAT SOURCE causes warming. The burner. Heat is channeled into the water by the pan sitting on the burner. Eventually the water boils. Now, if I put a lid on that pan, that “traps” the heat inside of it, but I turn the burner off, will the water in that pan continue to get hotter, remain at the boiling temperature forever or begin to cool? It will begin to cool. It will cool off more SLOWLY than it would have if the lid had remained off, but it will immediately begin dropping in temperature the moment the heat source is removed.

        The sun is the burner. Co2 isn’t concentrated enough in our atmosphere to represent a lid even. Alone it would look something like a very thin, very fine net with good sized gaps in it. But combined with water vapor, and the other elements of our atmosphere, it forms a rather permeable lid of sorts. That lid slows down the escape of warmth and radiation from Earth back to space, but it does NOT trap it, or prevent it from escaping indefinitely. It all escapes eventually. How long do you suppose Earth would stay warm enough to survive if the sun stopped shining?

        So no. CO2 does not cause warming. The Sun does. CO2 simply slows down the cooling process.

      • Boy, this is complicated and the complexity that is inherent is such systems doesn’t seem to be reported fully. In NZ dark colours found commonly in alpine species of animals, plants and micro-organisms is held to be protection against UV damage. The dark colour normally has a green component in alpine plants so that they look more green-brown than black. But in the situation reported in this study of ice caps/glaciers/whatever the dark colour seems not due to melanin-type compounds but to soot!
        The underlying ice would be melted by a layer of soot, but this has nothing to do with CO2. And the micro-organisms can’t be too active otherwise the layer would have a green component rather than just black.
        It would be interesting to know if there were any differences between soot alone and soot plus bugs. I suspect that the presence of the plants would diminish the heating effects, not increase it. The expiration of CO2 by the plants and the re-radiation of green light and infra red from their bodies would lower the rate of thermal transfer of heat to the underlying snow/ice/ rocks.
        Another point is how the micro-organism controls its environment as claimed. This is very close to teleology. And what came first? The soot or the bugs?
        But I haven’t read the paper (and won’t as it isn’t my speciality) but it appears that they had a chance to do experiments, using complex equipment such as radiometers (invented 1810?), thermometers (invented 17th to 18th Century), and respirometers or equivalent (invented 19th Century). I hate it when supposed scientists do not test their hypotheses. They should do well-designed and conducted experiments and they should measure, measure, measure. After all, careful and appropriate measurement is key to science. Speculation is only the first step. Careful semantic analysis of their text would reveal what parts of the text were speculative and what wasn’t. And modelling is only of any value once good data has been collected and the system being modelled is sufficiently understood. Neither speculation nor modelling can replace the standard scientific method, they can only supplement.
        If they did do a full energy pathway analyses and did measure the actual temperatures and melting rates in sooty ice and non-sooty ice then I take back my criticism.

      • Aphan, just to be clear, do you believe the greenhouse effect does not exist? That CO2 cannot cause warming?

      • CO2 doesn’t make ice melt. CO2 isn’t warm. Liquid CO2 freezes stuff. CO2 needs a warming agent to warm it.

        I really tried to find a polite way of saying this is dumb, but I failed. This is dumb. Even if you are of opinion GHE is a h0ax, you must find a better way to say it.

        CO2 warms, how much it affects on Greenland has yet to be seen.

      • Steven Mosher writes:

        the planet is getting warmer. C02 plays a role in that.

        OK, I’ll accept that conjecture. The follow-up question is: how much warming does CO2 cause at current (≈400 ppm) concentrations?

        Answer: Certainly not enough warming to quantify with verifiable, testable measurements.

        Over the past century+, atmospheric CO2 has risen by only one part in 10,000. If the claim is that Greenland is melting due to that minuscule rise, please provide credible evidence. eg: measurements.

        Otherwise, the default position must be the Null Hypothesis: there has been no measurable change, therefore the rise in (harmless, beneficial) CO2 does not matter. At all.

      • “Put it this way. If you took ice into the lab and put some soot on it, and then raised the temperature of the
        room to 80F, you would not argue that it melted “not from heat, but rather from soot” ”

        If you insulate ice with soot or anything else in the lab it will (relatively) melt slower, and if you don’t try to take into account all significant variables you will likely end up with measured results that will be interpreted incorrectly … but maybe that is what you want. To date, your analogies suck; you need to put more effort into them..

      • Hugs,

        “CO2 really tried to find a polite way of saying this is dumb, but I failed. This is dumb. Even if you are of opinion GHE is a h0ax, you must find a better way to say it.

        CO2 warms, how much it affects on Greenland has yet to be seen.”

        1. Sorry you don’t approve. But too bad
        2. C02 can “get” warm for microseconds, then it cools. It is not a heat source, it does not produce heat on it’s own. But if you’re to dumb to understand that, by all means, please tell me HOW CO2 “warms” Be scientific and provide links.

        Seaice1,
        I believe in the greenhouse effect, but our atmosphere does not work like a greenhouse does. I believe our atmosphere slows down the release of the Sun’s energy back to space, I have yet to see proof that our atmosphere generates heat on it’s own. I believe that CO2 absorbs a certain type of infrared, long wave radiation and ‘re-emits it. In a lab, in a sealed container, without any ventilation, CO2 causes temperatures inside the container to rise, BUT only with a much, much higher concentration than is currently in our atmosphere. Our atmosphere is completely unlike a sealed container without ventilation in a lab.

        Do you believe those two things are alike?

      • C02 can “get” warm for milliseconds, then it cools. It is not a heat source, it does not produce heat on it’s own. But if you’re to dumb to understand that, by all means, please tell me HOW CO2 “warms” Be scientific and provide links

        I think you need to do your homework yourself; I’m not gonna provide you links you are not going to use. Study the theory you refute, don’t make a strawman. But anyway, we agree CO2 is not a “heat source”, no-one except you and maybe infamous d-0-u-g c-*-t-t-*-n thinks I claim that.

        Warming can happen in two ways: by moving heat from an energy source (like the Sun does to us), or by decreasing heat loss (as you well know). So I talk about the latter as you well know.

      • “Warming can happen in two ways: by moving heat from an energy source (like the Sun does to us), or by decreasing heat loss (as you well know). ”

        Surely if you read what you just wrote, you’d realize there’s no polite way to express how illogical (and false) that is!

        Warming only happens ONE way…when heat, or heat producing energy is transferred from a hotter object to a cooler one. Period. “Decreasing heat loss” means that something was COOLING, and you merely slowed down that process. Slowing down the rate that something is cooling, is NOT the same thing as warming that object! And if you don’t “well know that”, you’re the one that needs to do some homework.

        And, you just said: “…we agree CO2 is not a “heat source”. Well, neither is the Earth! The Earth only WARMs from short wave radiation from the Sun. Only short wave radiation is powerful enough to penetrate land and water and increase their temperatures. The energy absorbed and re-emitted by CO2 is long wave radiation. And long wave radiation is too weak to penetrate water or land, so it cannot increase their temperatures!

        The Sun warms the Earth. Our atmosphere BLOCKS too much radiation from cooking us, and slows down the rate at which the planet cools so we don’t freeze to death.

    • No, no, no! You’re doing it wrong.

      We obviously have to find out a way to TAX the microbes out of existence. There is now a desperate need, which can only be filled with unlimited tax dollars, to study ways that arctic microbes are related to SUV use.

      • R-i-i-i-ght. Think of the cost in penicillin to inoculate all the glaciers around the world. That’s what Carbon Taxes are for.

  3. But… I learned about microbes on glaciers from a glaciologist when visiting a glacier as a teenager in the seventies.

    • Unless it was a female glaciologist, I’m afraid we’ll have to dismiss that knowledge as being much too patriarchal.

    • Yeah, we already sprayed it with DDT.
      And that seems to be effectively keeping the insects away.
      And finally we need to spray it with something to keep out the climate alarmists.
      Or maybe just scent their clothing with the smell of seal and leave the rest to the polar bears!!

  4. Re: “a process not accounted for in climate models”
    Not another. Along with whatever drove all the massive climate shifts of the last few million years.
    Can climate model sit there and replicate/simulate something as familiar as the pulsing of ENSO?
    Not by being programmed to do an impression of ENSO – but by taking on an initial climate state and then just running the pure physics/dynamics.
    Can a climate model do that? Not that I am aware of.
    So, they can’t replicate the known past and they can’t replicate the known present.
    Well, at least we can be confident that they can predict the future…

    • True that.

      But also missing is understanding of physics and thermodynamics. Besides that, also missing is the courage to say, “we don’t understand” how the planet’s weather machine really works. (how can you “figure something out” if you start with a bias and all you do is try to confirm it???)

  5. So, what we have here is an illustration that life* can survive, adapt its environment and expand in all manner of extreme cases…

    *Except humans, and cuddly animals like polar bears. They cannot tolerate even a projected slight change in temperature from their ideal point of whatever it was in the 1880s and are in constant danger of extinction**

    ** Except when they are overpopulating the planet…

  6. Again, someone has claimed to have found a previously unaccounted for positive feedback.

    If incorporated into the models this will, like the plant respiration from a few days ago, make the model output even less accurate with respect to reality.

    If they really want to get more grant money and “prove” CAGW they need to offer the premise of some non-specific significant negative feedback that will go away as the CO2 concentration increases, rather than offering positive feedbacks that don’t correlate with reality.

  7. So essentially they know very little about the effect of microbes on net ice levels.
    They say this uncertain concept “can” cause “guessed outcome”
    This rubbish passes for science.

    There are microbes in nuclear reactors and in sulfuric vents 100s of degrees. Somehow there is amazement at finding thriving microbes cutting a life for themselves in Greenland.

    What’s next, a reconstruction of how these microbes have worked away in the last 1000 years and how CO2 has increased their impact from about 1980 onward. Microbe Hockey schtick on the way folks.

    The uncertainty of any claims from this study re long term ice variability is nothing but speculation, so when they arrive at absolute statements on the back of this I have to cringe tbh

    “As the biologically productive areas of glaciers and ice sheets expand due to climate change, these microbial processes [B]can[/B] influence their melting more and more. [B]In the long term, this contributes to the loss of glacier habitats, and the unique microbial biodiversity living on them.” [/B]

    Pure speculation used to support a following absolute statement

  8. “Current models are unable to account effectively for the impacts of microbial growth on glacier and ice melting, so learning more about this Arctic ecosystem and the feedback is an important step to understanding future sea level rises.”

    Having suffered financially from “the science is settled” meme, look for more of these “the science is not settled (so keep the $$ coming)” pronouncements from scientists going forward.

    • What s funny is the only place worthy of mention when talking melting and sea levels is Antarctica.

      In the late 1800s and early 1900s the lanes were open and the recession of ice immense, so we should have drastic sea level drops post 1920 as the arctic recovered ice, and again as it melted in the 30s and to be honest sea levels should be jumping up and down if they are driven by arctic melting.

      Antarctica is key, and they are purposefully ignoring it as it is subtracting from sea levels, so it seems the place with nearly all the ice on the planet is irrelevant because it is not following CAGW mantra

      • Floating sea ice (i.e. arctic ice cap) cannot increase the sea level as it melts. Its displacement (the volume of water equal to its weight) is already contributing to the current sea level. Only ice sheets support by land and not buoyed by the ocean can contribute to seal level changes.
        Therefore arctic sea ice which is mostly floating cannot be a contributor to seal level rise if it were to melt, but antarctic ice sheets can.

      • Exactly, even more reason why the Arctic is irrelevant when talking catastrophic sea level rises, but shhhh, don’t look at the Antarctic, whatever you do!

        Since it reduces sea levels, albeit marginally, it is not important :D

      • rocketscientist-
        “Therefore arctic sea ice which is mostly floating”

        “Sea ice is frozen ocean water. It forms, grows, and melts in the ocean.” (NSIDC)
        By definition then, ALL sea ice is floating. Not just mostly floating. Ice shelves, glaciers, and icebergs all have names indicating that they are NOT “sea ice”…by definition. :)

      • Aphan the point is displacement. Already floating ice of any name won’t cause sea rise headaches

      • Dont mind me Aphan I like to point out the obvious, but dont blame me, blame alarmists, the obvious is lost on them

  9. I live in Helsinki and often travel north.

    The only reason you can see the dark surface is because it is July, it only appears during the melt, and from experience I can tell you that black stuff is nowhere to be seen for most of the year. The microbes NEED the melt, they don’t drive it.

    It is a cause of melt, not a driver. Yes I am sure there is an effect, but it certainly has not been quantified in the study and yet they are making some nonsense statements off the back of what is pure guesswork

    Basically this is more tail wagging the dog science

  10. This isn’t news, and it isn’t limited to the Arctic. We see it here in Washington state’s glaciers. It is seen world wide in glaciers. Soot isn’t necessary but it doesn’t help. These critters were well evolved long before people were capable of contributing anything to the world. http://icestories.exploratorium.edu/dispatches/mintaure-ecosystems-on-the-ice/

    Trying to blame people for something nature creates is a vapid exercise. No surprise Mosher is engaging in it.

    • And to prevent such a thing would require stopping clouds from forming, literally.

      Also, you can only find this sort of thing in areas that do not melt entirely, otherwise there would be nothing to write about for these loons. They are worrying about something that only exists because there is always ice!!

      • If they ever successfully land a rover on Mars’ polar ice they just may find these same microbes thriving there. It would explain the odd streaks in polar ice and frozen craters at lower latitudes.

  11. Actually, both Warren and Svensson showed that fresh Arctic ice and snow had an albedo of about 0.9, reflecting 90% of incident insolation (depending on grain size). While another research group showed that high albedo levels were maintained until near to midday, because the impurities were slightly recessed into the snow.

    In addition, correct me if I am wrong, but these bacteria will only breed in the presence of minerology. So in the chicken and egg departments, surely the mineral dust must come first. So increased bacterial contamination, is actually evidence of increased dust deposition – principally from China and India.

    But this does rather indicate that ice sheets are albedo regulated, rather than Co2 regulated.

    • And given that at the core of every flake is something that nucleated the water vapor in the first place.

      So primarily it would all be from dust soot pollution and a million other particles of different types. This would be what allow the microbes to make a habitat during melt.

      As I said earlier, more tail wagging dog science.

      Dogma, laughably :D

  12. What we appear to have at the moment is a world wide attribution scam in some form or another.

    CAGW or AGW is assumed beyond question, now everyone searches for what can be made worse by CAGW. It seems the warm funded scientific community globally has turned into the IPCC WG2.

    Almost makes one want to cry in frustration, Relativity has done the same thing to astrophysics.

  13. It for me is funny though, there is much talk of black carbon here in Finland, and yet Finland burns scary amounts of trash as energy waste, paper plastics and so on.

    Sometimes I think I am insane and the world is not, but then I come here and see I am not crazy after all.:D

  14. “Missing from climate models:”

    Is there a list somewhere of all the known climate drivers that are missing from the climate models?

    • Might be slightly easier counting up the uncertainty of all the individual components from proxies to analysis of the current process, so we can have an actual uncertainty %.

      I’ve read somewhere that each single proxy has uncertainties that are not transferred to the reconstruction, it just disappears, like the uncertainty when removing other factors from tree rings to leave you with the climate influenced growth, that uncertainty just vanishes.

      I mean there are papers that have high confidence based on previous papers with assumptions.

      What really irks me is that the majority of climate science as well as other sciences, use models and apply physical real world properties to the outcome, which are artifacts. The Hockeystick was an artifact, that is to say it was shaped by an individual, it is not the real world, a lot of climate science is exactly that, as is NOAA and GISS datasets.

      Besides, climate drivers are what the green circle jerk decide are from the “peer reviewed literature”.

  15. Presumably these creatures also flourished when the Vikings farmed in Greenland, and the world didn’t end then either.

    What interests me more is how they redistribute and ‘seed’ themselves on the surface of virgin snow which falls every winter (and spring and fall). I can see that black carbon and other stuff might fall out of the air throughout the year, but these little guys have a pretty short melt season to colonise the surface and do their thang. That must be pretty hard when you’re buried under a snow drift.

    • Michael,
      They are cyanobacteria. They live everywhere on earth almost, but mostly in marine water. Which evaporates, and then falls as rain and snow on the surface….a little “seed” cycle in you will.

  16. Most of this stuff most likely comes from nearby Icelandic volcanoes

    “Large dirt cone next to crevasse on margin of Sléttjökull. The dirt cone consists mainly of clean glacier ice with a cover of reworked volcanic ash (tephra) only a few cm thick. The dirt cone stands about 3 m (10 feet) high”. Photos © by J.S. Aber.


  17. “ephra (volcanic ash) bed melting out from northern margin of Mýrdalsjökull ice cap, southern Iceland. Such volcanic deposits are very common within glaciers of Iceland”. Photos © by J.S. Aber.

  18. Doing real science like this takes much longer and is a lot slower than pressing the buttons on a computer and printing out the fabricated results from it, all in accordance with CAGW theory and political demands.

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