Claim: Greenland Ice Melt "worse than previously thought"

Guest essay by JohnA

Yes, it’s been a while because frankly, it’s difficult for me to keep following eco-Armageddon when I keep falling asleep or doing other stuff like living and working.

But then this popped up:

View post on

This leads to the original paper with the catchy title “Geodetic measurements reveal similarities between post–Last Glacial Maximum and present-day mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet” by Khan et al

The abstract goes (stay awake at the back!) like this

Accurate quantification of the millennial-scale mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to global sea-level rise remain challenging because of sparse in situ observations in key regions. Glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is the ongoing response of the solid Earth to ice and ocean load changes occurring since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ~21 thousand years ago) and may be used to constrain the GrIS deglaciation history. We use data from the Greenland Global Positioning System network to directly measure GIA and estimate basin-wide mass changes since the LGM. Unpredicted, large GIA uplift rates of +12 mm/year are found in southeast Greenland. These rates are due to low upper mantle viscosity in the region, from when Greenland passed over the Iceland hot spot about 40 million years ago. This region of concentrated soft rheology has a profound influence on reconstructing the deglaciation history of Greenland. We reevaluate the evolution of the GrIS since LGM and obtain a loss of 1.5-m sea-level equivalent from the northwest and southeast. These same sectors are dominating modern mass loss. We suggest that the present destabilization of these marine-based sectors may increase sea level for centuries to come. Our new deglaciation history and GIA uplift estimates suggest that studies that use the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellite mission to infer present-day changes in the GrIS may have erroneously corrected for GIA and underestimated the mass loss by about 20 gigatons/year.

Now the paper is quite detailed as to how they take the measurements of an ice sheet that is three times the area of Texas and contains good stuff about isostatic rebound due to ice mass loss and how they calibrate the gravity measurements taken by the GRACE satellites to measurements taken all around Greenland.

Actually in the middle of this, they make an admission that nobody notices (because no-one reads these things)

The onset of increasing flow of the northeast Greenland ice stream (the largest flow feature of the ice sheet), for example, has been linked to a geothermal hot spot (14, 31)

Say what? That a large amount of increased flow comes from natural tectonic processes? What exactly can we do about that? Tax it?

And bad news for climate models

We demonstrate the importance of correctly accounting for GIA when using Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data, because a proportion of the mass gain in central Greenland reported in several recent studies [for example, Sutterley et al. (32)] using GRACE and predicted by models in a warming climate (33) could be an artifact of an erroneous GIA correction in the interior.

So it’s worse because the apparent ice gain in the center may be due to how quickly Greenland rebounds to lessening ice thickness. Oh, and the models are therefore incorrectly calibrated and wrong.

But here’s the money quote that found its way into distinguished scientific journals such as the New York Post (shown as a percentage)

As a consequence, studies will underestimate ice mass loss inferred from GRACE observations by 19 Gt/year when using ICE-5G as a GIA correction.

But 19 Gigatonnes per year more than what?

From the New York Post we get this:

The already unstable ice sheet in Greenland is melting faster than previous research has showed, according to a new report.

The new study, published in Science Advances, discovered that the island is losing 550 trillion pounds of ice a year — 40 trillion, and about 7.6 percent, more than scientists previously thought.

The number is equivalent to losing the weight of 50,000 Empire State Buildings, according to the Associated Press.

At last, Real numbers! 550 trillion pounds per year is lost from Greenland, an increase of 40 trillion from previous estimates! 50,000 Empire State buildings! That must be a lot of water, mustn’t it?

But it’s in pounds not kilograms so let’s convert to sensible units

550 trillion pounds is 5.5 x 10^14 * 0.453592 = 2.49 x 10^14 kg

So approximately 250 gigatons (1 GT =10^12 kg) per year

That mass of ice turns into water in the Earth’s oceans and occupies a volume of

2.49 x 10^14/1000 = 2.49 x 10^11 cubic meters of water are added to global sea levels from Greenland.

How much would that raise sea levels?

The surface area of the world’s oceans is 361.9 million square kilometers. So making our units consistent that’s 361.9 x 10^6 x 10^6 = 3.619 x 10^14 square meters.

That means that the volume of water from Greenland every year would add an extra

2.49 x 10^11/(3.619 x 10^14) = 0.0006893 meters

which is 0.689 millimeters or 0.0271 inches to global sea levels every year.

That additional 40 trillion pounds actually added 0.045 mm/yr to global sea levels.

According to one co-author it’s scary

“It is pretty scary,” Michael Bevis, a professor at Ohio State University and co-author of the study, told the AP. “If you look at the last 15 years since we’ve been having these measurements, it’s clearly getting worse.”

Yes, it’s scary if you’re as easily scared as they clearly are at OSU.

By the way, your fingernails grow at around 3.5mm per month = 3.5 x 12 = 42 mm/year so your fingernails grow 42/0.693 = 60 times faster than the rise in sea-levels due to Greenland melting.

Will snails be in trouble?

Snails can travel up to 25 meters/day which is 25*365.24 = 8765 meters per year. which is 12 million times faster than the rise in sea level due to Greenland ice melt. Phew!

I would suggest running for the hills before you drown, but that would be cynical, wouldn’t it?

Back to sleep.



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Moose from the EU
September 26, 2016 6:14 am

Hilarious! Thanks for putting it into perspective!

george e. smith
Reply to  Moose from the EU
September 26, 2016 10:07 am

550 trillion pounds per year ?
How many milligrams per year is that ??
Wouldn’t you think it is about time to come up with some larger units for mass, so we don’t have to use such large numbers.
I mean, these days, a trillion dollar here and a trillion dollars there is just chump change.
Gotta come up with some names with more zeros !

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  george e. smith
September 26, 2016 12:26 pm

550 trillion pounds per year ?
That’s 8800 trillion ounces per year

Bryan A
Reply to  george e. smith
September 26, 2016 12:49 pm

That’s 2,494,575,600,000,000,000,000,000 milligrams
2 septillion, 494 sextillion, 575 quintillion, 600 quadrillion milligrams but what’s in a word

Reply to  george e. smith
September 26, 2016 1:37 pm

“Wouldn’t you think it is about time to come up with some larger units for mass, so we don’t have to use such large numbers.”
They did; ESBs . . “The number is equivalent to losing the weight of 50,000 Empire State Buildings” . . You dozed off, didn’t you?

Reply to  george e. smith
September 26, 2016 2:43 pm

New weight loss program, Follow Kahn et al and you’ll lose the equivalent of a million milligrams per year. (Oh and George correct my math, thanks)

September 26, 2016 6:17 am

Sorry I haven’t got time to comment……I’m building an Ark …still got 97% to build !!

Reply to  1saveenergy
September 26, 2016 7:12 am


george e. smith
Reply to  1saveenergy
September 26, 2016 10:09 am

You know that there are 57 species of wood that are known to be good for building Arks; one for every State of the USA.
How many are you using on your project ?
I guessed you were using at least 97% of them.

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
September 26, 2016 10:10 am

Also the same as the number of gender choices; plus hermaphrodite of course.

Reply to  george e. smith
September 26, 2016 12:53 pm

There is but one divinely sanctioned Ark wood, ie gopher.
Good luck finding enough of that for two to seven of every species. Or any.

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
September 26, 2016 1:18 pm

Well Gabro, Noah got away with two to a set, but today you need 57 to cover all bases; except for hermaphrodite where you only need one.
So build that Ark big; excuse me; that’s build it damn big !

Reply to  george e. smith
September 26, 2016 4:00 pm

Good luck with finding gopher wood…….
And don’t forget you’ll need to take a lot of animals, including all birds, by 7s not 2s if you follow original instructions…

September 26, 2016 6:17 am

Wait a minute.. how do we know what this paper is postulating is correct? Oh, wait a minute “may have erroneously corrected for GIA “. I see the word MAY is in there. Never mind.

September 26, 2016 6:20 am

It’s been a while since we’ve had a scary ‘it’s worse than previously thought’ moment. Well overdue!

Tom Halla
September 26, 2016 6:27 am

A bit snarky, but .7 mm is almost all of the low estimate of total sea level rise of .8mm (at the low end of the NOAA estimates). An interesting argument that Greenland is melting much more but indetectably because of geostatic rebound.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 26, 2016 8:08 am

… and because the part that is melting the most is over a geothermal hot spot. So it is NOT 100 % man made.

Berndt koch
Reply to  urederra
September 26, 2016 12:25 pm

Not true.. since Al Gore raised the internal temperature of the earth to millions of degrees this must be having an effect on ice melting… hopefully sarc tag not required

Reply to  urederra
September 26, 2016 2:45 pm

@ Berndt, nope, but you did give me a chuckle!

September 26, 2016 6:28 am

“But it’s in pounds not kilograms so let’s convert to sensible units”
I understood pounds and inches just fine. Why did you have to confuse me with them fancy French units? 🙂

Mark T
Reply to  SMC
September 26, 2016 8:07 am

No kidding. Somehow kilograms (which is a joke, the standard is 1000x the smaller unit for which it is named?) and millimeters (really, a bar under glass is a more sensible standard?) are “more sensible” than inches and pound. Equally arbitrary, equally “sensible.”

Reply to  Mark T
September 26, 2016 8:55 am

IMO measurements based upon human body parts are more sensible than on parts of the earth. And powers of ten might be handy, so to speak, but units of 12 and three or two, four and eight are more easily divisible. Although I’ll grant that 5280 ft per mile or 128 oz per gallon are a bit unwieldy.

Reply to  Mark T
September 26, 2016 9:25 am

Chimp, I’ve got 12″ but I don’t use it as a rule

Reply to  Mark T
September 26, 2016 10:09 am

What a waste!

Reply to  Mark T
September 26, 2016 12:12 pm

Your “12 inches” is probably one of the reasons the ladies have such trouble with spatial concepts. I suggest you just bite the bullet and stop trying to convince them 3″ is really 12″. 😄

Monna Manhas
Reply to  SMC
September 26, 2016 8:54 am

Given that an Imperial liquid ounce is a different volume than an American liquid ounce, an Imperial liquid cup pint, quart and gallon are different in volume than an American liquid cup, pint, quart and gallon, and both measurement systems have different volumes for a dry and a liquid cup (etc.) – yes, the metric system does make more sense.

george e. smith
Reply to  Monna Manhas
September 26, 2016 10:16 am

” A pint’s a pound, the world around. ”
Except out side the USA; where it is said:
” A pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter. ”

John A
Reply to  Monna Manhas
September 26, 2016 10:17 am

Thank you
At least there is one sensible reader on this site

Tom O
Reply to  Monna Manhas
September 26, 2016 12:35 pm

What you grow up with ALWAYS makes more sense then what you didn’t. Since computers use base8, base16, and probably base32 or 64, there is no actual thing as the right set of units, or bases for numbers. What ever works, works. I chose not to think in terms of the metric system simply because I was raised in the American English system using, by the way, American English, not that strange way of speaking from across the pond. For you, everything being neatly tied together is nice, to me it is boring. I like the weird relationships as it helps keep from getting Alzheimer’s converting from your boring system to my weird one. And yes, this is intended, for the most part to be sort of humorous.

Reply to  Monna Manhas
September 26, 2016 4:17 pm

Some of us cheerfully mix metric and imperial. I used to (intentionally) confuse students with “3 metres of 4 by 2” etc, as a way of introducing the variety of measures that they were sure to come up against in the real world. Acres, hectares rods poles perches … “No … the ’80’ on this official plan is survey links, not metres !!! Multiply by 0.201168. Use a scientific calculator or the polygon won’t close. It probably won’t close anyway, because those dimensions were set with optical, not digital equipment … Even early GPS stuff is a bit out …”.
Architect Le Corbusier once opined that imperial was better. I guess the Academie Francaise did not go after him because he was Swiss ?

Reply to  Monna Manhas
September 26, 2016 11:08 pm

When Australia went from Imperial to metric, students were deprived of the joys of doing problems like this:
“If Mr Wally, for his woodyard, buys 4 tons, 5 hundredweight and 3 quarters of wood costing two pounds seven shillings and threepence ha’penny per ton, how much must he pay ? If he resells it at two pounds fifteen shillings and sixpence per ton, what percentage profit will he make ?”
We wasted many hours (day ? weeks ?) in primary school doing stuff like that, and worse.

Reply to  Monna Manhas
September 27, 2016 1:56 am

George, I think you will find that a pint is 20 fluid ounces (1.25 pounds) everywhere except the us, where it is 16 fluid ounces (a pound). This is why us gallons are smaller than uk gallons (both having 8 ‘local sized’ pints)

Reply to  Monna Manhas
September 27, 2016 11:20 am

TomO, computers always use base 2. 8/16/32/64 is merely the word length. Newer computers are going to 128 and a few mainframes are even using 256.

george e. smith
Reply to  Monna Manhas
September 27, 2016 12:15 pm

September 27, 2016 at 1:56 am
George, I think you will find that a pint is 20 fluid ounces (1.25 pounds) everywhere except the us, where it is 16 fluid ounces (a pound). …..”””””
Now why didn’t I think of that ??

Paul Westhaver
September 26, 2016 6:38 am

When did the last ice end?
Hasn’t the Greenland ice been melting ever since? Give or take maunder minimums etc.
I was unaware that NIST possessed a standard ice melting rate for Greenland and Greenland is no longer abiding by that standard. Oh my.

Ron Clutz
September 26, 2016 6:42 am

Hidden in that story is the fact that every year Greenland ice sheet has gains and losses, and the net is what matters. And the net is quite small (no disrespect to Empire State building) compared to the ice sheet mass.

September 26, 2016 6:45 am

“clearly getting worse” is all that matters to the Alarmists,
even though it is clearly not certain that the “getting worse” is due to something humans can control.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  JohnWho
September 27, 2016 6:20 am

It is clearly getting better. Greenland used to be completely buried under ice and one day it will be completely ice free again and it’s climate become temperate.
When that happens the sea level will be higher and we will enjoy sailing around the lagoon in central Greenland.

September 26, 2016 6:58 am

Empire State Buildings? Everyone knows that igloos are the correct measurement unit. In igloos, the ice loss is in the quintillions.

Reply to  yam
September 26, 2016 9:45 am

No, no, no… The proper unit of measure is Manhattan’s… geez. :))

Reply to  SMC
September 26, 2016 10:06 am

the cocktail?

Reply to  SMC
September 26, 2016 10:23 am

I’ll let you know after I’ve drunk a Manhattan of Manhattans.

Reply to  SMC
September 26, 2016 12:25 pm

No, the island.
Thas alotta Manhattans…

Reply to  SMC
September 26, 2016 1:17 pm

I’d better get cracking.

Reply to  SMC
September 26, 2016 2:05 pm

*offers to help*

September 26, 2016 7:02 am

The already unstable ice sheet in Greenland is melting faster than previous research has showed, according to a new report.

Does that report really say that the GIS is “unstable” or is that the journalist adding his own spin because he once heard some talk of WAIS was “unstable” and undergoing “catastrophic” collapse?
Greenland is hollow so I don’t see any reason the report would have called its ice sheet “unstable”.

Reply to  Greg
September 26, 2016 8:10 am

Yep, it sits in a bowl.
I once caught a Greenland Ice sheet researcher trying to conceal that fact in a public forum.

Reply to  Greg
September 26, 2016 10:19 am

Confirmed. There does not seem to be any occurance of the word “unstable” in the paper. That is just extra alarmist bullshit added by NY Post.

george e. smith
Reply to  Greg
September 26, 2016 10:26 am

That far north gravity is less, so ice runs uphill faster than it does on the equator.
I think Greenland is just a ring of islands entrapping ice that gets stuck in the rocks as it sails by.

View from the Solent
September 26, 2016 7:08 am

Empire State buildings is a parochial measurement. Perhaps Olympic swimming pools would be better?
(The Imperial Unit equivalent would be London buses.)

Reply to  View from the Solent
September 26, 2016 8:37 am

What about a cubic Wadhams?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Paul Homewood
September 26, 2016 9:22 am

No – The correct metric is hiroshimas; as in how many hiroshimas would be required to melt that anount of ice.
Proper perspective is important.

Reply to  Paul Homewood
September 26, 2016 9:36 am

Mannegos. There’d be only a few units required.

Reply to  Paul Homewood
September 26, 2016 10:37 am

Hansom words, watch those curbs.

September 26, 2016 7:14 am

I don’t suppose they specify an error. How well do they really know the uplifts for all locations in Greenland?

Reply to  commieBob
September 26, 2016 7:36 am

The error is +/- 2,800 Empire State buildings.

Reply to  H.R.
September 26, 2016 2:49 pm

H.R. , now that IS funny!

Patrick Hrushowy
September 26, 2016 7:30 am

Must be grant application time.

September 26, 2016 7:32 am

They’ll never stop the stupidity. It should be deemed an actual mental illness.

September 26, 2016 7:39 am

Just to keep everything in perspective, how much would the great holy grail carbon tax bring in, and measured in Empire State Building units.

September 26, 2016 7:41 am

Thanks good read!!
BTW, once the AMO warm phase ends(Signals in last few years the cool phase is about to start) Climate scamming Alarmist will done like barbecue chicken.👅

Bill Parsons
September 26, 2016 7:42 am

Going back to sleep may SEEM like an option…
But the coffee I drink to stay awake now costs too much because, “Climate change is threatening coffee crops in virtually every major coffee producing region of the world.”
The milk I use to sweeten it is too costly because all dairy is going up, up, up! Climate change is causing that, too.
Sugar? Sugar cane and maple trees have been hard-hit.
Might as well skip breakfast entirely… toast will soon be a thing of the past… there won’t be any wheat for the flour… and I sure don’t want to go outside to go shopping because the Guardian newspaper says, ” Climate change has cut into the global food supply and is fuelling wars and natural disasters, but governments are unprepared to protect those most at risk, according to a report from the UN’s climate science panel.”
In fact, Googling (any noun) + “Climate Change” I can see exactly what I’m going to be up against. I’m going to pull the covers up over my head, but unlike you, I’m not going to sleep… climate change has permanently screwed up my circadian rhythms.
Things supposedly caused by Climate Change:

Phil R
Reply to  Bill Parsons
September 26, 2016 11:00 am

Bill Parsons,
Climate change is also being blamed for the disappearance of the rusty-patched bumble bee.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service made the recommendation after the Portland, Oregon-based Xerces Society petitioned the agency on behalf of the bee in 2013 and presented studies showing it was struggling due to a combination of disease, habitat loss, climate change and overuse of pesticides on commercial crops.

Note that disease, habitat loss, and overuse of pesticides is not sufficient to cause the decline of the bee. Climate change had to be thrown in for good measure.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Phil R
September 26, 2016 10:30 pm

Send money!

David S
September 26, 2016 7:42 am

It’s a pity that MSM doesn’t actually check the rubbish that they promote. You actually explain very well how dishonest the information is presented and how ludicrous the comments are. Checking the figures as done above is not rocket science and it’s a pity that the public isn’t made aware of these blatant attempts to mislead them.

Reply to  David S
September 26, 2016 8:23 am

They went into journalism because they couldn’t do math or science.

Reply to  MarkW
September 26, 2016 9:26 am

“He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense”
— John McCarthy, 1995

george e. smith
Reply to  MarkW
September 26, 2016 1:28 pm

Well if you can’t do Algebra you can’t solve any problem.
So I do an experiment and I get the following (arithmetical) results :
100 ; 50 ; 750
So I am looking for the other two numbers that are calculated from these three using Algebra.
But you are not allowed to use Algebra; so what are those other two numbers ??
Then tell me that students don’t need to learn Algebra.

george e. smith
Reply to  MarkW
September 26, 2016 1:32 pm

Well the numbers I gave you are for a different experiment, so the problem I meant to give you gave 100, 50, 375 for measured values.
Well so why not do both problems.

Reply to  MarkW
September 26, 2016 10:56 pm

The quote doesn’t refer to solving problems.
You don’t need algebra to do the arithmetic done by the author of the main article.
Many people struggle with simple calculations, despite years of “education”.
Greenies, and warmists in particular, can’t (or won’t) do simple calculations about basic physics, engineering or economics, and thus spout nonsense about renewables, battery storage, ice melt, sea level rise etc.

george e. smith
Reply to  MarkW
September 27, 2016 12:24 pm

September 26, 2016 at 10:56 pm
The quote doesn’t refer to solving problems. …..”””””
Gee I thought they wanted to solve the problem of how much ice is being lost.
Seems to me that takes some Algebra.
So then Stefan, why don’t you give me the arithmetic answers to the two arithmetic calculations I posed, and without using any Algebra ??

Reply to  MarkW
September 27, 2016 1:56 pm

“So then Stefan, why don’t you give me the arithmetic answers to the two arithmetic calculations I posed, and without using any Algebra ??”
I might if I could understand what exactly you want to calculate.
Are you perhaps confusing the statement of a formula for doing arithmetical calculations (e.g. A=pi*r*r) with doing algebra ?
The ancient Greeks did lots of mathematics without algebra — they expressed their formulas in words.
Algebra involves the _manipulation_ of symbols to solve equations (=problems), not just the concise expression of formulas.

Kevin Kilty
September 26, 2016 7:50 am

The erroneous corrections are those that go against our narrative. True corrections always show the problem to be worse than we originally thought. Uh-huh.

Bill Illis
September 26, 2016 8:09 am

I also do not buy this migrating mantle plume theory that 40 million years ago, the plume was under Greenland.
This migrating mantle plume idea has been proposed before but the simpliest explanation for the Iceland Hotspot, is that it has been there since Greenland and the UK split apart 55 million years ago in the continued unzipping of Pangea forming the Atlantic Ocean. There is simply ZERO evidence for the migrating plume.
Even the dating of the rocks indicate that Iceland is just one spot where volcanic activity on the mid-Atlantic ridge is particularly strong and has been for tens of millions of years or even the entire 55 to 60 million years that the north Atlantic has been around.
This migrating mantle plume idea should NOT be used in a GIA model and then used to say Greenland is losing more ice than previously calculated/modelled/made-up/exaggerated.

Reply to  Bill Illis
September 26, 2016 8:34 am

There is up to 3000m deep abyss between the Reykjanes ridge and the south of Greenland as shown here
It appears that the formation of Iceland is independent to that of Greenland, and if the plume has drifted, it is more likely that it was originally further south-east under Faroe-Rockall Plateau

September 26, 2016 8:09 am

Let’s just say for the sake of argument that the authors are correct. What do they expect glaciers to do during an interglacial period?

Reply to  Kamikazedave
September 26, 2016 8:18 am

We need to worry when sea level stops rising.

Reply to  kim
September 26, 2016 8:19 am

Of course, by then, reglaciation will be obvious elsewhere.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  kim
September 26, 2016 8:54 am


Reply to  kim
September 26, 2016 10:14 am

Truly, if sea level rise even slows down, we are already too far gone to do anything about the coming glaciation.
Interestingly, given enough social stability, I sometimes think we might be able to stop re-glaciation, or to slow it enough to allow for adaptation rather than cataclysm.
Don’t know how to do it, though. For the meantimes, though, anthropogenic CO2 is the least regrets, most reversible option.
Keep calm, and carry on.

Reply to  kim
September 26, 2016 11:33 am

Giant, fusion-powered blow driers to melt any snow in Canada left in September. Same for Scotland, Scandinavia, Siberia and Tibet.

Reply to  kim
September 26, 2016 12:28 pm

Heh, solar wind blowers, a twofer.

Reply to  kim
September 26, 2016 12:45 pm

Yeah, with solar and wind-powered blowers, we could also get rid of all those pesky high latitude birds and bats that environmentalists apparently hate so much, too, so it’s a fourfer.
OK, as there are no Arctic bats, maybe only a threefer. There are three Canadian bat species indigenous to the NT and two in the Yukon, however.

george e. smith
Reply to  kim
September 26, 2016 1:43 pm

The Arctic bats evolved directly into polar bears, without going through the usual penguin phase, where they forget how to fly and start getting eaten by seals, until they complete the morphistication and become fully bears that eat the seals.

September 26, 2016 8:18 am

It’s going to melt in 9,999 years instead of 10,000 as we thought last year.

Kevin Kilty
September 26, 2016 9:00 am

There are fairly long chains of correction and inference in this study, and to fully vet what the authors have done would take months of volunteer effort on the part of people who have no stake in doing so. No one tries seriously to replicate studies like these–there are no resources to do so, but it seems to me the value of doing so would equal the value of fully vetting and replicating pharmaceutical trials.
Just to take a couple of quick examples: the mantle hot-spot/plume models have become a dominant paradigm of tectonics over the past four decades, but are they correct or, supposing so, are they even capable of rendering support to very high resolution geodesy? Glacial rebound values have a long history in geodesy, but they usually supply support for processes having taken thousands of years–I don’t know that there is evidence that they equivalently support processes taking place over a decade or two.
Studies that require very complex modeling or many corrections leave me cold, because without a lot of digging I can’t be certain this work is free of bias. I wish for more clarity.

September 26, 2016 9:02 am

The “worst case” scenario is actually not very scary. In the worst case, the southern dome of the GIS melts entirely. This is highly unlikely however unless the Holocene lasts longer than the Eemian, which was warmer and endured about 5000 years longer than has the Holocene to date. During the long, hot Eemian, the southern dome lost maybe about 25% more than it has so far in the Holocene.
The northern dome didn’t melt away during the Eemian or even longer and warmer interglacials. And of course the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, depository of most of the fresh water on earth, is also not going to melt even in the overheated imaginations of the most alarmist alarmists, except maybe the pervervid Jim Hansen’s. The West AIS might melt a bit more, but it and the southern dome of the GIS would have negligible effect on sea level.

Reply to  Chimp
September 26, 2016 10:09 am

Hear, hear.

Tom in Florida
September 26, 2016 9:22 am

Yeah but in 1,000 years that will be 27 inches. Think about how that will affect our children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s children.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
September 26, 2016 9:53 am

You missed a few generations unless you think people will put off breeding ’til they are 50 years old. 🙂

Reply to  commieBob
September 26, 2016 10:22 am

Nope just missed a few ‘…..’s’ at the end of the sentence.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  commieBob
September 26, 2016 10:34 am

I was wondering if anyone would count. I should have known, after all this is WUWT.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
September 26, 2016 12:47 pm

That reminds me of a bad joke:
16 sodium atoms walk into a bar, followed by… Batman!

Reply to  SMC
September 27, 2016 12:27 pm

Nah, you’re wrong, IMO that’s not a bad joke, but perhaps I’m ill-humored. That reminds me of my chemistry teacher at an all-male boarding school who used sex to keep the class attentive. For example, the lovely Oxygen is lounging on the beach, when here comes Hydrogen with his one electron hanging out. She takes him on, but he’s not enough of a man for her so she takes on his brother too, thus H2O. IIRC, it was Fluorine with purple hair on her chest, and chlorine with green…

September 26, 2016 9:28 am

Fascinating details like ice melts “particularly where it contacts the ocean” kept me enthralled. A lawyer and public radio host like Brian Kahn obviously has contacts with higher ups with insider information, such as ex Goldman Sachs Tim Grandia who directs the Program on Sea Level Rise section of the Surging Seas research program at Climate Central.
The calved berg in the Rita Willaert photo taken 16 years ago off north eastern Greenland, is probably not there now. Truly far worse than we thought.

September 26, 2016 9:56 am

GIA. Also known as “fat lady in a girdle.” Its gotta pop out somewhere.

September 26, 2016 10:14 am

Can’t you picture stone age man postulating: “Just imagine how much the oceans will rise when the ice age ends and these continental glaciers melt.”

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Taphonomic
September 26, 2016 12:18 pm

ROFL! You owe me a keyboard.

September 26, 2016 10:15 am

I quote: “Bad news keeps flowing for icy landscapes of the world. Rising temperatures are melting and sending it to the ocean, a process that is pushing sea levels higher and altering the landscape at both poles.” Quite true that sea level is rising because we are still coming out of the Little Ice Age. But not at the rate Al Gore imagines. His Nobel Prize winning movie had the sea rising at twenty feet per century when actual sea level rise tor that is just ten inches. But you can’t argue with a Nobelist and corrections I sent in to both Science and Nature were rejected without even bothering with peer review.
Not both poles are involved, just the North Pole is. With the exception of the Antarctic peninsula, the Antarctic continent itself is doing just fine, thank you. But the Arctic is melting now faster than ever thanks to the fact that a rearrangement of North Atlantic current system took place at the turn of the twentieth century. As I showed in 2011 this is due to the redirection of the Gulf Stream water into a pre northerly flow. Prior to that there was nothing in the Arctic except for two thousand years of slow cooling. The present flow pattern did not stabilize until 1970 when the ice melt we observe now first became obvious. Spielhagen et al. have measured the temperature of water that enters the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic and found that it exceeded anything reaching the Arctic for the last 2000 years. Because of this warm Gulf Stream water the Arctic is nowwarming faster than the Antarctic is. Take that away and both poles will be equally cold.

Reply to  Arno Arrak (@ArnoArrak)
September 26, 2016 2:58 pm

Have you a source for the rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system at the turn of the 20th century? I ask because I am looking for an explanation for what I believe was a substantial change in the “continentality” of European and perhaps Russian climates that took place close to 1895 or 1900. I have never seen anything about this in “the literature”.

September 26, 2016 10:24 am

What about all the water we us for irrigation and for drinking. All this water eventually gets to the oceans. I mean we are draining some massive aquifers all over the world.

Reply to  David
September 26, 2016 10:44 am

Probably so, and speculatively, given no increase in rate of sea level rise as per gauges not ajudicated(heh) satellite, then a lack of that temporary, artificial, anthropogenic, input from aquifers would mean that the natural rate of sea level rise has already slowed down. Trouble ahead, less trouble behind.
Hmmm. Look so far to East Africa.

Reply to  kim
September 26, 2016 10:45 am

Well, not yet, there, nor to windy Kilimanjaro; I meant East Antarctica.

george e. smith
Reply to  David
September 26, 2016 1:47 pm

Well there is that atmosphere up there for the water to come and go from / to.

September 26, 2016 10:29 am

CAGW units of measure:
“Hiroshima Bombs” for energy instead of Joules.
“Empire State Buildings” for mass instead of gigatons.
SCARY stuff!!
I’m sure there are others.

Reply to  RobRoy
September 26, 2016 11:53 am

Al Gore sightings

Reply to  Resourceguy
September 26, 2016 1:15 pm

There is “The Gore Effect”
Blizzards at climate alarmist get-togethers and such.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Resourceguy
September 26, 2016 4:19 pm

Those would be negative feedbacks.

Reply to  RobRoy
September 26, 2016 12:54 pm

Don’t forget.. sea ice area.
1 million km² = 1 Wadham.

Reply to  AndyG55
September 26, 2016 1:12 pm

Boop boop dittum datum Wadham choo!
And they swam and they swam all over the ice?

September 26, 2016 11:21 am

Seems to me that it Greenland were adding over a half mm ever year we’d notice an acceleration in sea rise.
Maybe there’s an increase in snow fall that negates it.

September 26, 2016 12:01 pm

OMG! Freshwater ice melts when it comes in contact with sea water? The horror! Why did nobody know about this before?!?
Seriously, there’s this massive layer of dirt up on most of the Glacier now. For $48 million dollars plus shipping and handling we could line up Zamboni 446’s a kilometer wide and clear 30 square kilometers of melt-causing dust per day!

Reply to  prjindigo
September 26, 2016 12:02 pm

on second thought, spraying tub and tile cleaner by aircraft would probably be much more economical

September 26, 2016 12:13 pm

As I understand the outcomes of that paper, the changes that GIA has caused have already occurred. Similarly, the ice loss that the paper identifies must have also already occurred.
It appears to be another example of now having highly precise data where only estimates existed before. It suggests to me that the historical record for Greenland’s total ice volume may need to be adjusted, which is why the paper refers to millenial scale and uses as its baseline the LGM of 21000 years ago.
Since SLR has been in the order of 130m since then, I assume this paper is suggesting that the additional historical melting of Greenland’s ice sheets have already contributed 1.5m to that SLR. It also means that the additional 19Gt of ice melt per year from Greenland already contributes to the 1.7mm steady increase in SLR that we have been experiencing for the last 8000 years or so.
As far as I could work out, the paper provided no evidence that Greenland’s ice loss is recent or driven by CAGW. Which makes the title of the lead article, and its first few sentences, nonsensical. But then, why should people expect a “Senior Science Writer” at an “independent organization of leading scientists and journalists” such as Climate Central to actually understand science?

Martin Moffit
September 26, 2016 12:30 pm

I can just imagine our cave-man ancestors loosing their minds at the retreat of the glaciers. Can you picture the doom-sayers of today as cave-men, running about and hooting wildly at the retreat of the ice sheets. Without immediate action, Britain and Ireland would become islands! The land bridge or the North Pacific would be forever lost beneath the waves and travel would be cut between two continents! How would cave-humanity survive! Cave paintings everywhere will illustrate how the killing of Mammoths and the use of fire are the direct cause of the calamity. As such, there should be a moratorium on hunting, limitations placed on gathering, and outright bans on firemaking. Only then do they stand a chance of restoring the glaciers to their resplendent glory and prevent the destruction of the world (and cave-man kind). Speaking of cave-man kind, should the aforementioned measures fail to have the desired effect, quotas will be placed on cave-person reproduction.
I, for one, am glad our cave-ancestors didn’t take this route of action.

September 26, 2016 1:00 pm

Vukevic et al re hotspot. It sits under Iceland now but 55 Ma years ago or so, when Greenland and the UK were juxtaposed, it was under both the Greenland and the UK rifting margins. It is likely part of the reason the rift separated Greenland and UK where it did.

September 26, 2016 1:36 pm

Oh, and the models are therefore incorrectly calibrated and wrong.

Drat. Climate scientists are wrong again. When will this end? How much longer do we need to pay these idiots?

September 26, 2016 2:40 pm

1. Is there a more-or-less established/accepted estimate of the total mass, in gigatons, of the Greenland ice sheet? This would put the 250 gigatons lost-ice-per-year estimate in context.
2. Also: how far back do the estimates of loss-rate go? In other words, have scientists estimated how many gigatons of ice were being lost/gained per year back to 1950? 1900? 1850? How does 250 gigatons compare to historical loss rates?

September 26, 2016 3:33 pm

Greenland melt is the part of the AMOC salinity – downwelling feedback loop that comes just before AMOC shutdown.
Here is an example of a paper describing AMOC bistability:

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
September 26, 2016 3:39 pm

Is Greenland ice is melting due to global warming?
If it is due to global warming then why it is not melting ice in the Antarctic zone?
Is greenland ice melting in summer and recovering in winter a part of a natural cycle with seasonal variability?
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

September 26, 2016 6:15 pm

Great news! I may be able to afford that seaside apartment after all.

Pop Piasa
September 26, 2016 6:15 pm

Wouldn’t it be a shame if some ancient cemeteries ware exposed again to sunlight and springlike temperatures… of course, it’s fall now- so if there is a continued melt, the sky may indeed fall. But I suspect the falling AMO cycle will not let us farm in Greenland again yet.

James Fosser
September 26, 2016 8:07 pm

Slightly off topic. NASA says that plumes of water were sighted 125 miles high erupting from Jupiter’s Moon Europa yet from what I can gather, Europa’s surface temperature at the equator never rises above minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit! If I spit out at minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit I am fairly confident that the expectorant will hit the pavement as a lump of ice! Could someone put me straight?

September 26, 2016 8:45 pm

Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
How the “climate change” activist movement works:
A scientific paper “proving” global warming is found and exploited in the mass media.
The ‘masses’ believe every word.
How we “deniers” work:
Closely look at claimed catastrophic ice loss and sea-level increases.
Find evidence of exaggerated, incorrect, unscientific attempts to invalidate the claims.
The truth is distributed throughout the already-aware section of the public and critically viewed and discussed.
The mass media, devoid of investigative powers due to hierarchy controls, continue to publish “scientific” garbage,
The masses remain unaware and continue to support the scientifically unsupportable, political agenda that is deliberately crippling our economies and independence.
All is far from well in our society!

Ian MacCulloch
September 26, 2016 11:03 pm

I think all of you are barking up the wrong tree. Ice accumulation on Greenland commenced 432,000 years BP. The accumulation has been more or less linear. There are no breaks in the physical ice record to coincide with sea level changes. Ice accumulation has been more or less constant regardless of the changes in CO2 and other ‘greenhouse’ gases measured in the ice cores. On the guest author, John A, of the essay his calculations confirm how little alleged ice melting could have contributed to sea level changes. Rather I take the view that it is necessary to invoke the little understood expanding and contracting earth theory as the mechanism to allow for the sea level changes. Sure there have been glacial advances and retreats caused by ‘temporary ice’ areal changes. However, the amount of water tied up in these temporary events is relative miniscule as the calculations show. Of themselves, the ‘temporary’ glaciers cannot hold enough water to account for such changes.

September 27, 2016 1:01 am

Great article, thanks for doing the numbers.

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