Another modeling claim where measurements are really needed: ‘Researchers discover “fate” of melting glacial ice in Greenland’

From the UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, I’m thinking about how climate models have become the new perception of certainty

Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It’s certainty. – Stephen Colbert

Researchers discover fate of melting glacial ice in Greenland

Athens, Ga. – Over the past several decades, scientists have observed a significant increase in the melting of glacial land ice on the island of Greenland, spurring concerns about global sea level rise and the long-term effects of atmospheric warming. What has been less clear, however, is what happens to this meltwater once it enters the ocean.

Now, a team of researchers led by faculty at the University of Georgia has discovered the fate of much of the freshwater that pours into the surrounding oceans as the Greenland ice sheet melts every summer. They published their findings today in the journal Nature Geoscience.

“Understanding the fate of meltwater is important, because research has shown that it can carry a variety of nutrients, which may impact biological production in the ocean,” said study co-author Renato Castelao, an associate professor of marine sciences in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “There is also evidence that large freshwater inputs could alter ocean currents and affect the normal formation of sea ice.”

The researchers created a simulation that tracks meltwater runoff under a variety of atmospheric conditions, and they were surprised to discover that most of the meltwater found off the west coast of Greenland actually originated from ice on the east coast.

“Meltwater from Greenland is directed by the surrounding ocean currents, but its fate depends on when and where the runoff occurs and the wind fields driving ocean currents,” said study co-author Thomas Mote, Distinguished Research Professor of Geography at UGA.

According to the model, wind and ocean currents often transport meltwater around the southern tip of Greenland on a westward journey that can take upward of 60 days. After rounding the tip, the meltwater is largely deposited into the Labrador Sea, an arm of the Atlantic between Canada’s Labrador Peninsula and the east coast of Greenland.

Meltwater originating from the west coast of Greenland, on the other hand, is often kept pinned to the coastline by strong winds, which push it northward toward Baffin Bay.

This isn’t always how meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet disperses, as shifts in the prevailing winds can produce very different effects. But scientists must be aware of these shifts in order to fully understand how meltwater will affect the environment, Castelao said.

“The meltwater that comes from the east coast could have different qualities from the meltwater on the west coast, including different nutrient compositions,” he said. “We need to take the origins of this meltwater into account when we study the effects of ice sheet melt, as it could impact the oceans differently depending on where it comes from.”

And this is a problem that is only going to get worse, said Castelao, citing scientific models that suggest the amount of meltwater runoff from Greenland could more than double before the end of this century.

“We need to pay careful attention to where melt and runoff is occurring and how it interacts with surrounding ocean currents, in addition to measuring the total amount of melt,” said Mote.

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Other researchers working on this project include Hao Luo and Patricia Yager from UGA’s department of marine sciences; Asa Rennermalm, Rutgers University; Marco Tedesco, Columbia University; and Annalisa Bracco, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Their study, “Oceanic transport of surface meltwater from the southern Greenland ice sheet,” is available at http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2708.html.

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50 thoughts on “Another modeling claim where measurements are really needed: ‘Researchers discover “fate” of melting glacial ice in Greenland’

  1. And of course, melting of glaciers in the early twentieth century lead to the destruction of all life on Earth, so we should be especially worried this time around.

      • Yes, but as a physicist I can tell you that before I went making a grand claim about the “end of the world as we know it” I would look up the VERY ACCESSIBLE marine current charts to see if I was all wet before publishing.

      • “It seems to me they are oceanographers (dept of Marine Sciences).”

        In that case the aren’t just ignorant, but instead deliberate frauds. Because that the East Greenland Current comes down the East Coast, rounds Cape Farwell and continues up the west coast has quite literally been known for a thousand years (it is mentioned in early medieval Icelandic sources)

      • Perhaps “frauds” is the proper definition because climate science is an inter-disciplinary field. Since computer models have supplanted empirical data, the only true “climate scientists” are the modelers, and all their careful uses of “may”, “could”, “might”, and abuse of statistical “confidence” in their prophesies proves they are mostly frauds, and likely a minority of well-meaning fools.

    • Bill, to discover the Laborador Current you have to either (a) get on a boat and go to Greenland or (b) look up navigational stuff around Greenland, which is what the boats use when going there, or (c) google a ocean currents chart for the area from Framm Strait to Labrador Sea.

      None of those will get you a research grant to play computer model ‘games’ while staying in Georgia, then publish a paper about the computer game’s results. That is what proper climate ‘science’ does.

      • In defense of those lying for Federal dollars: Only idiots would leave Georgia for Greenland, or, from September through April, for Newfoundland.
        I was born and raised in Southern Illinois. I now live in Rockford. Guess I’m not SMART enough to get Federal research dollars. Rockford has an excellent climate of Winter and the Fourth of July. Really, the average temp in January is 19F. Not the average low, the average temp. Proves I’m greedy as a came here for work.
        Hope this isn’t to disconnected but if “Global Warming” is most effective at night during Winter folks here will demand coal burning FOR the warming.

      • ristvan on April 25, 2016 at 1:30 pm
        Bill, to discover the Laborador Current you have to either (a) get on a boat and go to Greenland or (b) look up navigational stuff around Greenland, which is what the boats use when going there, or (c) google a ocean currents chart for the area from Framm Strait to Labrador Sea.

        None of those will get you a research grant to play computer model ‘games’ while staying in Georgia,
        ___________________________

        ristvan, staying in Georgia they needed drones – but most equipment costs go into that supercomputers.

    • One way to “discover” the Labrador Current is to be on a vessel on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland. When the wind is from the south from the warm Gulf Stream, and hits the ice cold water of the Labrador Current, it produces fog that you can cut with a knife.,

    • I remember August days on the north shore of Mass. in the 60s with the sand almost too hot to walk on. Lots of amethyst in the sand making it dark. But after ten minutes in the water, one would come out blue from the cold, a crazy contrast. We knew about the Labrador current back then.

    • Wow! The things you can use a grant for. I remember just a couple of years ago they discovered atmospheric rivers of moisture. What will they discover next?… (sarc)

  2. This is why those of us from the North Avenue Trade School refer to it as the University (sic) of Georgia.

  3. Is it just me, or has “science” suddenly been able to “solve” every mystery as of late with modeling? They solved the mystery of black holes with models, the mysteries of how ancient civilizations built monumental structures with models, what happened to the ice on Greenland 2000 years ago with models – okay, maybe not that, but you get the point.

    There is no aspect of “science” that hasn’t yielded all its secrets through models and proxies it would seem. About the only thing that hasn’t been “solved” with “models” is the creation of the Universe, and I am sure someone will do that shortly.

    Of course, the truth is, you can’t “model” what you don’t know, so if you solve something with a model, you are only showing what you previously had chosen to believe. It is difficult for me to understand how these so called intelligent people can use words like solve when they have no idea what all the processes are that are involved in anything. You can simulate something that you don’t fully understand, but you cannot model it, and your simulation will not PROVE anything but that something similar MIGHT be the case..

      • Jon Jewett..Stay away from redheads…they are dangerous to your soul….I know, they get me every time !! (Would that be considered an addiction ?)

      • Jon & Marcus,
        Years ago my grandaddy warned me. He said: “Joe, there are two things in this world to stay away from, that’s sweet liquor and red headed women. They’ll both get you in trouble.” Some time later, I wound up spending 6 years on a sail boat in the Caribbean with a red headed galley-slave & anchor wench and drinking rum every time the sun crossed the yard. Ya know? Grandaddy was right.

        [Those type of yardarm rules make tacking upwind fun. .mod]

    • Speaking of models, I saw this posted somewhere, but I can’t remember just where: ” 97% of all global climate models agree that the facts are wrong.”

  4. If Einstein had trouble with parts of quantum physics, he would really be discouraged by climate science.

  5. “The meltwater that comes from the east coast could have different qualities from the meltwater on the west coast, including different nutrient compositions,” he said. “We need to take the origins of this meltwater into account when we study the effects of ice sheet melt, as it could impact the oceans differently depending on where it comes from.”
    And this is a problem that is only going to get worse, said Castelao, citing scientific models that suggest the amount of meltwater runoff from Greenland could more than double before the end of this century.

    They manufactured a problem and now will require additional funding to study and solve it. Meanwhile,it is of course all our fault… LOL

    • This map showing the geology of Greenland demonstrates how this new study straw man

      “We need to take the origins of this meltwater into account when we study the effects of ice sheet melt, as it could impact the oceans differently depending on where it comes from.”

      makes no sense since apart from the Caledonian NE coast aged rocks, geological belts are the same on the East and the West coasts.

      Unless the geology of Greenland changes dramatically with CAGW /sarc, the problem is unlikely to get worse at all.

  6. ‘According to the model, wind and ocean currents often transport meltwater around the southern tip … on a westward journey. After rounding the tip, the meltwater is largely deposited … between Canada’s Labrador Peninsula and the east coast of Greenland.

    ‘Meltwater originating from the west coast of Greenland, on the other hand, …

    ‘“The meltwater that comes from the east coast could have different qualities from the meltwater on the west coast, including different nutrient compositions,” he said. “We need to take the origins of this meltwater into account …”

    Ok, so how does he know the meltwater from the east coast travels around the southern tip and out from the west coast if he doesn’t really know the difference between meltwater from the east coast and west coast?

  7. Just using Google earth, you could create a topographical map of all of Greenland. Not sure where they get their ice elevations above sea level. (maybe someone could explain that). A topographical map of Greenland ice elevations over time would be helpful to keep track of ice loss/gain of the whole area.
    I just have a hunch that Greenland ice volume is pretty stable; if not growing. This is just from what I’ve seen.
    Glaciers calving is not Greenland land ice melting, it is just what glaciers do.

  8. “The researchers created a simulation that tracks meltwater runoff”

    How do you “track” something with a simulation? Doesn’t tracking require going out and looking?

  9. What if games:

    can be fun,
    can be educational,
    But are never actual or reality.

    Actual and/or reality takes year round hard work and meticulous measurements.

    Odd that. The alleged research scientists are so quick to trumpet imaginary scenarios but do not seem to ever spend years collecting measurements and observations.

    Bad science begets bad science.

  10. this is the same marine science dept that tried to become famous by discovering a new coral disease….
    published and everything

    …only to be told that fire worms eat the tips of acroporas every year..and the bacteria they “discovered” is opportunistic

    paper is still out there….

  11. The make work effort is limitless. These special people dance in the imaginary world of modeling to produce endless reasons for more dancing.

  12. The researchers created a simulation that tracks meltwater runoff under a variety of atmospheric conditions,

    and they were surprised to discover

    that most of the meltwater found off the west coast of Greenland actually originated from ice on the east coast.

    According to the model, wind and ocean currents often transport meltwater around the southern tip of Greenland on a westward journey that can take upward of 60 days.
    _______________________

    Nature does as models say!

  13. Back to the ocean current collapse scam. The climate obsessed return to their failed doomsday prophecies like a dog to its vomit.

  14. Anthony,

    Thanks for the heads up.

    “One to two million years ago, when climates were warmer, trees such as larch, black spruce, birch, yew, and thuja grew in the northernmost Peary Land.”————-“is free of Greenland’s inland ice cap. Being mostly north of the 82°N parallel, it contains the most northerly ice-free region of the world, mostly in Southern Peary Land (such as Melville Land just north of the Independence Fjord).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peary_Land

    Welcome to the seventh largest settlement in Greenland.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasiilaq

  15. “We need to take the origins of this meltwater into account when we study the effects of ice sheet melt, as it could impact the oceans differently depending on where it comes from.”
    And this is a problem that is only going to get worse, said Castelao,”

    A problem? Can only get worse? Who says and how has it been established? In that case we need to check all the rivers that run into the sea as well, such as the Amazon; Nile; Mississippi; Mekong; Ganges, Rhine, Yukon etc. etc. etc. because there must be a huge problem that’s been going on for years with the enormous volumes of waters that flood off the land into the oceans unchecked. And then there is the rain!

  16. ‘The flow of heat from Earth’s interior to the surface is estimated at 47 terawatts (TW) and comes from two main sources in roughly equal amounts: the radiogenic heat produced by the radioactive decay of isotopes in the mantle and crust, and the primordial heat left over from the formation of the Earth.’

    This heat melts the glaciers from *underneath* – constantly.
    It is a significant and constant source of heat that acts to melt glaciers, which can only exist because snow and ice can accumulate faster than this heat, *combined* with solar heat and warm air, can melt glaciers.
    Not all glacial melting can be accounted for by ‘climate change’, and climate change is also responsible for ALL glacial FORMATION.

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