Remember when the calving of the Petermann Glacier was a sure sign of ‘global warming’? Never mind.

WUWT readers may recall some articles we did years back debunking the alarm over the Petermann glacier calving off a large iceberg. In case you are unfamiliar, it’s what glaciers do. But, this particular event was seen as a bad omen of the planet, as this 2012 article in The Independent illustrates:

The whole Petermann glacier is the “canary in the coal mine” thing got started back is 2010, when a calving produced an iceberg 4 times the size of Manhattan Island. WUWT reported then:

There was all sorts of media caterwauling related to that. It all got started when activists scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) started making wild claims like The Arctic is screaming, and the “Arctic would be ice free by summer of 2012“. Those are some famously bad (and failed) quotes by NSIDC’s Mark Serreze [and Jay Zwally]. Serreze once famously said:

Serreze: I have yet to lose any sleep over what is talked about in WattsUpWithThat or any other similar blog that insists on arguing from a viewpoint of breathtaking ignorance.

Sure, whatever.

Meanwhile, Nature has been making a fool out of Serreze, because that darned ice just won’t melt, and he’s had to walk back some of his claims:

An article in Wired magazine recounts how sea-ice modellers are sharing data and methods and are learning from each other in the process. It’s not obvious whether the sea-ice community have actually made their data and code open to the world or whether this is just a case of sharing within the community, but it’s a step forwards at least.It’s also nice to see Mark Serreze apologising for his role in stirring up scare stories in 2007:

“In hindsight, probably too much was read into 2007, and I would take some blame for that,” Serreze said. “There were so many of us that were astounded by what happened, and maybe we read too much into it.”

If climatologists are now going to eschew scaremongering then that is certainly welcome.

And, inconveniently, and with little fanfare in the media, this happened at the Petermann glacier:

Growth of Greenland’s Petermann Glacier during the past five years as revealed by NASA/MODIS satellite imagery from a low point in August 2012 (left) to August 2017 (right) Image comparison by Paul Dorian.

Oh, critics will say, it’s only one year-to-year comparison. Alright, how about a trend? Surely if observed calving in 2010 and 2012 defines “global warming” action on the glacier, a few years of comparisons would be even better, right?

Image sequence by Tony Heller

Meteorologist Paul Dorian of Vencore Weather has this to say about it:

While we are celebrating a chilly Thanksgiving Day in the Mid-Atlantic region, Summit Station in Greenland will experience high temperatures around -40°F which continues the very cold and well-below normal trend for the month of November.  Summit Station (also known as Summit Camp) is a high-altitude (10,551 feet) year-round research station in central Greenland and its exact coordinates actually can change since the ice sheet underneath is often on the move.  In addition to the bitter cold, snow and ice accumulation throughout Greenland has been running at the high-end of normal since the fall of 2016  – at times at or near record levels – and NASA/MODIS satellite imagery reveals significant growth in the Petermann Glacier from a low point reached five years ago.  One of the important reasons for closely monitoring the snow and ice buildup on Greenland is that this region can be an important cold air source for the central and eastern US during the upcoming winter season.

The accumulated surface mass balance from September 1st to now (blue line, Gt) and the season 2011-12 (red) which had very high summer melt in Greenland. For comparison, the mean curve from the period 1981-2010 is shown (dark grey). Courtesy Danish Meteorological Institute

The accumulated surface mass balance from September 1st to now (blue line, Gt) and the season 2011-12 (red) which had very high summer melt in Greenland. For comparison, the mean curve from the period 1981-2010 is shown (dark grey). Courtesy Danish Meteorological Institute

Greenland is a massive island country that lies between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans and is full of dozens of glaciers.  The Petermann Glacier is a large one located in the far northwestern part of the country that connects the Greenland ice sheet to the Arctic Ocean near 81 degrees north latitude.

Significant additional snow is expected over Greenland during the next ten days; forecast map courtesy NOAA/EMC/06Z GFS

Significant additional snow is expected over Greenland during the next ten days; forecast map courtesy NOAA/EMC/06Z GFS

Given the buildup of snow and ice in the past year or so on Greenland, it may not be too surprising to see an expansion of the Petermann Glacier .  As snow accumulates on a glacier, the glacier is pushed by its own weight outward or downward, towards the sea. In fact, this particular glacier has grown by several kilometers during the past five years as revealed by MODIS satellite imagery from its low point in August of 2012 to this past August.

Read his entire analysis here

Note: about 30 minutes after publication, the article was updated to reference NSIDC scientist Jay Zwally’s quote along with Mark Serreze.

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November 22, 2017 10:06 am

More inconvenient truth, how news from the past becomes fake news.

Bryan A
Reply to  dayhay
November 22, 2017 12:13 pm

Perhaps Mr Serreze was simply in the grips of the 12-21-2012 hysteria at the time

Reply to  Bryan A
November 23, 2017 5:50 am

So,the co-ordinates of summit ice station can change due to ice movement in central Greenland because the ice sheet is on the move ! So the ice not ‘ glued’ to the land inspite of the low temperatures (below freezing )There must be a layer of water to lubricate & allow movement ..this could only (presumably) come from geo-thermal sources ?

Reply to  Bryan A
November 23, 2017 8:59 am

Cold-based glacier ice (frozen to the ground) does move, though only by internal deformation, so it is slower than warm-based. Greenland ice ice partly warm-based and partly cold based:

Richard G.
Reply to  Bryan A
November 23, 2017 1:05 pm

So the increase in Greenland glacier ice isn’t really ‘Ice’ ice, to use a Whoopie-ism.

Reply to  Bryan A
November 24, 2017 4:30 am

Kendo2016 said

“So the ice not ‘ glued’ to the land inspite of the low temperatures (below freezing )There must be a layer of water to lubricate & allow movement ..this could only (presumably) come from geo-thermal sources ? ”

No geothermal heat required to produce a layer of water, just the pressure of overlying ice,,,,,

“The melting point of water decreases under pressure, meaning that water melts at a lower temperature under thicker glaciers.[4] This acts as a “double whammy”, because thicker glaciers have a lower heat conductance, meaning that the basal temperature is also likely to be higher. “

irritable Bill
Reply to  dayhay
November 22, 2017 2:39 pm

A good article would be to show a list of climate alarm fails and another list of things they predicted correctly…I’m tipping that second list wont be very long. I actually cant think of a single thing they have gotten right.
Should someone do this, don’t forget the lamentable David Suzuki’s hysterical blatherings re the Mount Pinatubo eruption. I would headline with those “comments.” Or do an article just on that as he still has the unmitigated nerve to continue with his ludicrous claptrap.
For those not across Suzuki’s insane prognostications at that time…look them up, and then write him a letter like I did asking him how he feels about his shrill warnings now…given that after Pinatubo the only effects we observed were a couple of years of slight cooling and pretty sunsets. I received no answer…I write polite well constructed short letters to these people asking them questions they cannot answer…and that’s just what they do. If millions of letters like this showed up regularly…our problems would soon begin to dwindle away.
Begin by sending a million hand written physical letters a week to Trump demanding an investigation into the Clinton Foundations activities…it can actually be that simple. I’m assuming Trump supporters would like to see this happen as a starter and its only a small percentage of his voters…one letter each a week will do it. You can have your democracy back.

Reply to  irritable Bill
November 22, 2017 3:42 pm

Bill, there are several aspects to the goreBULLwarming nonsense. One is the so called science, and then there is the so called science reporters, but one of the biggest problems are the “believers”, and they tend to elect incompetents like Obama into office. Means test for voter and a scaled vote is the best solution to this problem:-))

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  irritable Bill
November 22, 2017 8:58 pm

Letters? You are years, many years, out of date.
Letters to elected and other well known people are screened at a facility far from the address you put on the envelope. Letter bombs* and those with white powder** in them don’t get through. Put a large $$$ contribution in your letter and you might eventually get a Thank You note from the re-election committee.

Reply to  irritable Bill
November 23, 2017 9:43 am

They actually measure how much the ice has moved at the South Pole on Jan 1 each year. They have a celebration where they unveil that year’s marker. The ice moves nearly 10 meter a year and in another 140000 years the South Pole will be in the Weddell Sea, 1,400 km away.

Reply to  dayhay
November 22, 2017 3:15 pm

Tony Heller developed these image comparisons of the Petermann Glacier August 2012 vs August 2017 and has used them repeatedly to document the failure of alarmist projections of Arctic ice

richard verney
Reply to  GeologyJim
November 22, 2017 4:36 pm


He does not get enough recognition.

He has some very good videos around 4 to 6 mins in length which are rather punchy but make many good points.

Reply to  GeologyJim
November 23, 2017 4:05 am

Glad someone has credited Tony. He deserves FAR more recognition than he’s got so far.

Reply to  GeologyJim
November 23, 2017 4:58 am

The reason Tony is not recognized here is due to a Fatwa imposed by Anthony Watts for some long past disagreement. I really hope this can end to allow more of Tony’s posts to be recognized here. He’s a one man wrecking crew making great strides, but it does not help that Anthony has imposed this blackout. Realclimatescience website is not even listed in the WUWT skeptical views listing. We need more collaboration on the skeptic side to fight the relentless BS issued on a daily basis by drama greens, rent seekers and useful idiot politicians.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  GeologyJim
November 23, 2017 12:15 pm

I agree, and it was Heller who caught NASA sneakily adjusting the hell out of data too

So Heller made a decision that was wrong, he doubled down on something.

Nobody is pristine white here.

And no, it’s not about a disagreement, Anthony imo continues to distance himself from Heller because of rep.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  GeologyJim
November 23, 2017 12:17 pm

Meanwhile Mosh continues to talk of Code, Tony Heller offered him code and data and Mosh wet himself and ran away rather than taking up the challenge.

Art of war, avoid battles you cant win.

Not that Mosh can code anyway, it’s a buzzword for him

Keith J
November 22, 2017 10:08 am

Ice is strongest in compression. which means glaicers are pushed, not pulled. Ice uis also weak in shear which is how icebergs calve. it is bouyant force as most glaciers have a considerable morraine at their terminus, all obscured by water. Yes, there are spectacular ice falls but these are tiny icebergs.

Reply to  Keith J
November 22, 2017 6:23 pm

As significant snow falls inland at the glacier head and forms more ice, it must flow downhill and outward. That’s what glaciers do. And significant show has been falling inland in West Antarctica for some time. There has been much less snow on top the higher Eastern Antarctica ice-cap.

November 22, 2017 10:08 am

Everything in the AGW world is a catastrophe. Until it isn’t. Then it’s not talked about because there’s a new catastrophe worse than the last failed one to worry about. Still the MSM isn’t taking the scare mongering to task and moves on like nothing happened. Which it didn’t but that’s the point.

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  markl
November 22, 2017 3:12 pm

Well, at least the alarmists are very good at recycling catastrophes. They pop up, fail, and return after a little while.

November 22, 2017 10:10 am

It happend in 1962..and grew back
it happend in 2012…and grew back

…what needs to happen is that it does just a little each year..then no one would notice

Tom Halla
November 22, 2017 10:17 am

Or another probability is that the glacier calved because it was advancing.

Reply to  Tom Halla
November 23, 2017 5:59 am

I think that’s a bullseye Tom, I think also ,the glacier’s end gets stressed on reaching the sea &wave &tide movements can flex stress the ice too .

Andy Pattullo
November 22, 2017 10:17 am

Statistics are boring, but they tell the truth. Anecdotes are exciting but almost never reflect reality. Why then do people who call themselves scientists resort time and time again to anecdotes to convince others that they dreaded prognostications are coming true? Perhaps there is some alternative agenda related to income, prestige, control over others and desire for fame (a sample of the usual undesirable human vices).

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
November 22, 2017 10:33 am

To stray from the narrative means blacklisting and shame.

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
November 22, 2017 3:20 pm

“Why then do people who call themselves scientists resort time and time again to anecdotes”


Because their trade is writing fairy tales. Filled with well-known characters; good fairy (Oreskes), evil sorceres (Koch brothers), spotless hero (Mann), the only thing they dont have is the happy ending. But a happy ending in such climate tales could mean an unhappy ending for the fairy tale writers, at least concerning their fees. So, perforce, the world must go under.

Reply to  Henning Nielsen
November 26, 2017 8:23 am

What is your idiotic mouth spewing?

November 22, 2017 10:22 am

In dealing with the news media from the second day on the job forty years ago until literally the last week before I retired I determined that in the modern world there are two groups of people that seldom if ever admit they made a mistake, the modern news media and government scientists. In fact both will try to spin the latest and greatest contradiction to what they previously said to somehow defend their previous pontifications of doom and gloom.

Alan Tomlin
Reply to  Edwin
November 23, 2017 8:51 am

Having worked as a scientist for over 40 years in both government and academic labs, I wouldn’t limit the lack of admission of mistakes in the scientist category to only government scientists…..academic scientists were just as prone to the same arrogance in my experience.

November 22, 2017 10:22 am

Why would anyone think that a chunk of ice 4x the size of Manhattan cantilevered from land and over water where it flexes with tides and storms wouldn’t eventually fracture? I certainly wouldn’t want anyone who thought this designing a bridge, deck or any other structure subject to stresses.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 22, 2017 11:08 am

The possession of a PhD in science does not qualify anyone to design anything where public safety is at issue. That’s engineering territory. Engineers deal in certainty. Scientists deal in speculation.

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. Mark Twain

Reply to  commieBob
November 22, 2017 3:55 pm

“Scientists deal in speculation.”
Only the soft sciences like climatology and phrenology

Reply to  commieBob
November 22, 2017 8:11 pm

Matthew W November 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm

… Only the soft sciences like climatology and phrenology

The whole point of science is to form and test hypotheses. Forming an hypothesis is almost the dictionary definition of speculation. It’s a good thing. It’s the only way we will discover new things.

It’s also not a problem that science has to go up ten thousand blind alleys before finding anything worthwhile.

The problem comes when folks like Dr. Michael Mann mistake the limits of their expertise and claim to have godlike powers.

Reply to  commieBob
November 22, 2017 8:25 pm


A key part of the scientific method is indeed “speculation”, ie making guesses, ie forming hypotheses. But the speculation can’t be idle. It must make testable predictions capable of being shown false by experiment or observation of nature.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 22, 2017 8:23 pm

Excellent point, if there are significan daily tidal changes or significant waves anyone with common sense would realize that the intersection between land and sea will sooner or later crack off from land ice.
Ice has little ductility like glass and the stress and strain can be too much.
I suppose they know that but hope the liberal politicians and folks like Al Gore are too ignorant to understand this and it suits their agenda.

November 22, 2017 10:24 am

The “sea-ice community?” Seriously? Are we talking about the Snorks and Aquaman?

Reply to  F. Leghorn
November 22, 2017 2:27 pm

And Happy Feet, I guess.

Well, it is Christmas. Cards with wintry scenes – poley bears and seals; even Pingwings with hats and scarves.

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  Auto
November 22, 2017 3:25 pm

And the happy image of the lion lying down with the lamb, in this case, the polar bear with the seal. Or on top of it, that would do for a nice x-mas dinner.

donald penman
November 22, 2017 10:33 am

This is not a statistic it is an observation it is a photograph of the extent of a glacier and how it has increased over time .We perhaps don’t need statistics then to make sense of the earth.

Reply to  donald penman
November 22, 2017 10:34 am

Geologists rarely use numbers. We point to stuff and say: “use your eyes!”

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  Mike Bromley the Kurd
November 22, 2017 3:29 pm

“Use your eyes!” Oh yeah? The short-sighted would raise the alarm of growing glaciers and a new ice age, the long-sighted of receding glaciers and global warming. Concerning climate, there’s no such thing as 20-20 eyesight.

richard verney
Reply to  Mike Bromley the Kurd
November 22, 2017 4:46 pm

In general, the studies of Arctic glaciers show that glacier most of the retreat happened between the end of the LIA and 1940, and the rate of retreat post 1940 is very much reduced.

In the case of glaciers in Iceland The Fernandez Fernandez 2017 paper showed that about 80% of the retreat occurred in the period up to 1940, and post 1940 only about 20% of the retreat has occurred.

It is well worth looking at the Fernandez Fernandez paper

From the abstract:

The abrupt climatic transition of the early 20th century and the 25-year warm period 1925–1950 triggered the main retreat and volume loss of these glaciers since the end of the ‘Little Ice Age’. Meanwhile, cooling during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s altered the trend, with advances of the glacier snouts.

richard verney
Reply to  Mike Bromley the Kurd
November 22, 2017 5:50 pm

the long-sighted of receding glaciers and global warming.

The long sighted would be saying that the globe is cooling, as it has done from the Holocene Optimum.

Greenland ice cores suggest:
comment image

And from the other side of the world, Antartica has also been cooling
comment image

Reply to  Mike Bromley the Kurd
November 22, 2017 6:48 pm

Henning Nielsen November 22, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Concerning climate, there’s no such thing as 20-20 eyesight.

Concerning climate, there’s no such thing as 20-20 hindsight.

There, fixed.

Reply to  donald penman
November 22, 2017 10:37 am

The calving of a glacier is climate (it implies warming, in the minds of the faithful). The growth of a glacier has nothing to do with climate; it is merely weather.

Reply to  Curious George
November 22, 2017 10:49 am

Naah, the growth means increased ice flow speed due to warming. Global warming includes global cooling and glacier growth, because it is a paradigm. Can’t disprove a paradigm.

Nice to hear though Serreze pulled some words back, even if grudginly.

Reply to  Curious George
November 22, 2017 11:02 am

Trough-feeding bureaucrats like Serreze, and rent-seeking academics like Mann wet themselves over record Arctic sea ice lows in 2007 and 2012 as harbingers of climate doom, when in fact both years were simply weather events, ie Arctic summer cyclones piling up and spreading out floes. Two cyclones in the case of 2012. Then another one hit in 2016, so that it tied 2007 for second lowest extent.

But five years have passed now, and alarmism is not warranted. Arctic sea ice is growing again, which is not good news, since less ice is better, unless you’re a crazed CACA prophet of doom.

Same thing happened with the freak weather event which caused brief surface ice melting on Greenland in 2012. Same as in 1889.

Reply to  donald penman
November 22, 2017 10:45 am

You do need dodgy statistics and methods to plug AGW

Doubtless the AGW community won’t believe their eyes. Blind faith is a powerful thing.

Coeur de Lion
November 22, 2017 10:52 am

Brrrr Break out the woolies

November 22, 2017 10:54 am

The crooks of the climate industry and their faithful “me too” followers are always wrong, but there’s too much money and power involved to ever stop. Vapid apology’s and small 1 step back tricks don’t cut it with me. These clowns of climate have done so much damage to the worlds economy, they will continue without pause!

“In hindsight, probably too much was read into 2007, and I would take some blame for that,” Serreze said. “There were so many of us that were astounded by what happened, and maybe we read too much into it.”

Reply to  TG
November 22, 2017 8:48 pm

I suspect Serreze realizes there is a new sheriff in town and he does not have to make up cr@# anymore to keep his job. I hope he returns to being an objective scientist or he will loose his job.

November 22, 2017 10:55 am

I didn’t realize that the DMI graph of Greenland ice was the output of a model. I thought we weren’t supposed to trust the output of a model? How come their model doesn’t match the measuremenst of GRACE? comment image

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 11:05 am

For starters, because your GRACE graphs end in 2009.

And because GRACE has a lot of problems. Even so, it shows the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, repository of most of the freshwater on earth, gaining mass, as indeed it is. The Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets aren’t pimples on the posterior of the EAIS.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 11:08 am

Because gravity based systems are useless over active volcanic magma sacks.

Grace once found a mountain in Indonesia that doesn’t exist.

Unreliable and with many issues from launch, none of which were ever fixed.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 11:45 am

When you find an up-to-date graph, Robbie, please do post it here as proof of your point.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 9:03 pm

I thought . . .

There you go again! Stop that.

November 22, 2017 11:01 am

“In hindsight, probably too much was read into 2007, and I would take some blame for that,” Serreze said. “There were so many of us that were astounded by what happened, and maybe we read too much into it.”

Points for a sort of an apology. Hopefully Serreze learns from this one, and doesn’t follow the herd over the cliff on the rest of the CAGW narrative. Oh…what about an apology to all of us here at WUWT, who he did name specifically?

Reply to  Earthling2
November 22, 2017 11:48 am

But he has the temerity to accuse others of “breathtaking ignorance.”

My conclusion that fits the observations:
Serreze is just a bureaucratic political hack disguised as a scientist – a climate scare-monger feeding at the alarmist trough. Yeah, he runs a government science center, but he and NSIDC are infected with politicized science through and through, along with much of its science staff.

Deceased author-scientist-futurist Michael Crichton had hacks like Serreze figured-out in early 2000’s when Crichton wrote this about politicized scientists parading their belief in global warming (what became perniciously re-termed as Climate Change around the time of his death):

“Once again, groups with other agendas are hiding behind a movement that appears high-minded. Once again, claims of moral superiority are used to justify extreme actions.

“Under the circumstances, any scientist who doubts understands clearly that they will be wise to mute their expression.”
Source: Michael Crichton’s essay, as an Appendix to his 2004 novel, “State of Fear.”

November 22, 2017 11:03 am

When glaciers in the Arctic advance that’s Global Warming.
When glaciers in temperate zones retreat…well that’s Global Warming too.

George Tetley
November 22, 2017 11:05 am

Off topic
Just opened today’s post (Germany )
New Electric tariff
1Kwh 0.67 euro ($0.85 US )

Reply to  George Tetley
November 22, 2017 12:05 pm

Stay warm. You’re paying for Merkel’s folly on EnergieWende.

Reply to  joelobryan
November 22, 2017 2:31 pm

Shall I send a blanket – or will you become a climate/cost refugee?


Warren Blair
Reply to  George Tetley
November 22, 2017 3:53 pm

Ha . . . it couldn’t be happening to a nicer bunch of German fools!
We’re headed same way down under as most Australians are also clueless ideological fools.
At my house we pay (latest bill) AU 35 c/kWh and our business pays AU 26 c/kWh.
Our competitor in China pays US 4.8 c/kWh.
No one can see a problem on any side of politics.
They just want to spend more on defence to counter China’s rising power.
Well hello you’re handing your country to China a platter because of your green energy policy.

Reply to  George Tetley
November 22, 2017 9:00 pm

I lived in Germany circa 1970 for about 7 months and it was a cold winter and I had to spend a lot of time outdoors checking out equipment before commissioning a new plant.. The people were a pleasure to work with, I feel for those who have to bear that extravagant cost for electricity because the elites are pushing their CAGW agenda. I complain about the 16 cents per Kwh in NJ which is only going to get worse with our new Governor and shutting down our NUKE and coal fired plants .

Gregg Eshelman
Reply to  George Tetley
November 23, 2017 2:50 am

Holy crap! Here in the USA, in Idaho, electricity is only 0.06 USD per kilowatt-hour.

Reply to  George Tetley
November 24, 2017 12:01 am

Mr. Tetley, this may be the price of electricity in the future. Today it is still around 30c/kwh.

Reply to  George Tetley
November 26, 2017 11:54 am

Here in Germany I have a service charge of 90€ a year and 0.24€ per kWh

November 22, 2017 11:09 am

Looking at Heller’s gif satellite images of the fjord’s ice extent from 2012 to 2017, the 2017 frame shows a LOT of loose ice clogging the fjord.

November 22, 2017 11:12 am

Robert. A model that was fed with dense, well distributed and confirmed data…(unlike Global Temperature ‘models’ where much of the data was ‘made up’.
As for GRACE now let me see…who would I trust on the issue of Greenland’s Ice Mass; the DMI (it’s their country) or NASA? (a corrupted and discredited organisation that has been caught manipulating/adjusting data on multiple occasions)….gee that’s a tough one.

November 22, 2017 11:28 am

“”The Arctic is screaming,” said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government’s snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colo.”

Breathtaking ignorance doesn’t get much more breathtaking than Mark Serreze’s. But he hires folks who share in his ignorance, like David Gallaher. This guy was the one caterwauling about the loss of the DMSP satellite program and having his TDS kick-in to blame Trump.
“This is like throwing away the medical records of a sick patient,” said David Gallaher of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. “Our world is ailing and we have apparently decided to undermine, quite deliberately, the effectiveness of the records on which its recovery might be based. It is criminal.”

Note: this Guardian article was a WUWT topic a few weeks ago. The Guardian has now updated the story after they got called out for lying, probably due to their own editorial TDS kicking in.

The amended Guardian article now has this updated lie at the bottom:
“The heading, standfirst and first paragraph of this article were amended on 8 November 2017 after an editing intervention erroneously accused President Donald Trump of obstructing satellite research into climate change. The Trump administration had nothing do with this as the decision was made by Congress in September, 2016.”
(So now they just blame Republicans for DMSP shut-down, when it was really an Obama Admin decision via the DoD and the USAF.)

TDS is alive and well at the NSIDC. Serrezze continues to have TDS flares ups, like a recurring Malarial fever. It is going to be a long 8 years for him.

Roy Jones
November 22, 2017 11:29 am

I’ve come to the conclusion that if climate scientist were real scientists they’d be calling themselves atmospheric physicists.

Reply to  Roy Jones
November 22, 2017 12:03 pm

2012 was quite likely the inflection point year in Arctic sea ice loss and Greenland ice mass loss. It will take at least a decade in observations though to confirm or refute. It’s an approx 65 year cycle, natural variability. Yes the arctic got warmer, the effect was ice loss. But the warming, and now likely cooling is natural cycling of the climate. But there is much money and fame to be had trying to blame CO2 and thus man’s fossil fuel burning, rather than nature which has no Climate Aid Fund to skim a piece of the action from.

Caligula Jones
November 22, 2017 11:41 am

Ah, the cycle continues:

1) Science
2) News release that downplays any uncertainty
3) Headline that totally ignores any uncertainty
4) “News story”, i.e., #2 re-written (barely) by an unpaid intern, or a barely paid “senior science” writer, 25
5) Post at WUWT from someone who actually read the science parts of #2 and shows uncertainty
6) ….interlude of days/weeks/months/years
7) Admission that 1 is a bit off (like the Titanic was a bit vulnerable to icebergs)
8) Repeat as needed for grants and clicks

Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 23, 2017 9:15 am

“like the Titanic was a bit vulnerable to icebergs”

Just a bit though. I made a similar remark to a friend who worked with safety at sea. This is what he answered:

“Here you have a ship that is driven at 23 knots straight through a known iceberg area, where they haven’t even bothered to give the look-out a pair of binoculars, and when the look-out does discover the iceberg the ship is maneuvered so as to maximize the collision damage. And still the ship floats on an even keel with power on and all system working for three hours, giving plenty of time to call for help and evacuate, that is what I call a safe ship.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  tty
November 23, 2017 11:12 am

Thanks for the clarification. I was going to use the 2016 predictions for US president, and thought that that was a bit more complicated for an analogy. Or the line from “Major League: Jusssssst a bit outside”, as the pitch sails into the stands (but some might not get it).

I read a book on astronomy back in the 80s, and it had a chapter on the rotation of Venus. Now, all of the predictions (forecasts?) were based on the science of the time, so we can forgive the inaccuracy, but they were continually refining the estimates by a few minutes here and there.

The line was something like: the predictions had zero accuracy, and it turns out the refinement of zero is…zero.

Damn my memory.

November 22, 2017 12:10 pm

Of course, the premier stupidity in all this is that anyone would point to a calving as ecidence of global warmins. Hey, folks – if you want to know if the Earth is warming, or what its temperature
is, how about looking at a thermometer? Instead of finding some event that can’t possibly tell you whether warming of the planet is occurring., much less how much, which is the question that should be addressed.

Reply to  arthur4563
November 22, 2017 12:19 pm

Besides a thermometer you can look at sea levels. If sea levels are rising, it’s because 1) ice is melting or 2) thermal expansion of ocean water.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 12:26 pm

3) Shore subsidence.

4) Submarine mountain building.

5) Lower air pressure.

6) Wind.

7) Tectonics.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 12:40 pm

7) Tetonics involves both suduction and mountain building. They don’t balance?
6) More wind means more evaporation…….nope
5) You mean over the last 100 years atmospheric pressure has been dropping? Nah….it’s been more or less 30 inches of mercury for ages
4) See number 7 above
3) You forgot to mention shorline rising.
However, I’m surprised you didn’t mention that the Klingons were dumping their waste water from their warp drive engines.

Seriously we all know that when the glaciers were a mile thick over NYC, that sea levels were really a lot lower.

John M
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 12:54 pm
Gunga Din
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 1:07 pm

Please show us when CO2 kicked in.

When the first man took his first breath?
(All the other critters’ breathes were “natural”.)

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 1:09 pm

Still waiting for that up-to-date GRACE graph, Robbie.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 1:16 pm

No acceleration in sea level rise in over a century.

There is NO CO2 or other human signature in sea level rise.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 1:18 pm


(Beating up on someone who didn’t post a comment here,is inappropriate) MOD

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 1:33 pm

“7) Tetonics involves both suduction and mountain building. They don’t balance?”

Do they balance? ZERO data, Roobie. !! Only a complete moron would assume they were in total balance all the time.

Earth’s surface is always moving, maybe a small temperature rise component out of the COLDEST period in 10,000 years ..

Highly beneficial warming its been , too.

More likely a continual very slight bulging of sub-ocean mantle.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 1:35 pm

“4) Submarine mountain building.”

You mean like that island that suddenly appeared…. can’t remember where.

Shows just how little we know of Earth processes.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 1:39 pm

It would also be interesting to see how much build-up of sediment, dead ocean life etc there was on the ocean floor, a value of 2-3mm per year is totally within reason.

I’ve seen much more dust build up overnight out bush in a dust storm.

Nigel S
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 2:41 pm

AndyG55 ‘ that island that suddenly appeared’

Surtse perhaps in 1963 near Iceland?

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 2:58 pm

8) Aquifer discharges

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 3:01 pm

I think that there was one much more recently, Nigel.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 3:12 pm

Sunsettommy November 22, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Knew I was forgetting something.


No, tectonics don’t balance. Not even close. Which is why there are marine regressions and transgressions in the geologic record. When the continents are actively moving apart, as during the Cretaceous, there is more seafloor spreading, hence more submarine mountain building. This partially accounts for the many epicontinental seas during that period, like the seaway across the the middle of North America, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean.

Sinking shorelines happen when interior land rebounds from the weight of lost ice sheets, as along the North American Atlantic shore.

Wind piles up water, such that it sloshes around ocean basins. It doesn’t just cause evaporation.

Air pressure changes over time for a variety of reasons, as does sea level.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 3:15 pm


Here are two recent surprise islands:

These are on continental shelves, however, not volcanic islands arising from oceanic depths, such as the one building up at the trailing edge of the Hawaiian hotspot, off the Big Island.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 3:29 pm

“No, tectonics don’t balance”…..So, mountain building is not balanced by subduction?…….Are you trying to tell me that because of “tectonics” the surface of the earth is/has been constantly expanding? Is the diameter of the earth going to be greater than 9000 miles a couple of hundred million years from now?

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 3:32 pm

” such that it sloshes around ocean basins.”

Do this experiment.

Fill a glass half full of water.

Shake it so that is “sloshes around” for 15 minutes.

Now, tell me, has the level of the water in the glass changed?

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 3:44 pm

So, Gabro, in addition to your pointing out several new “islands” can you also tell us where recently there have been large earthquakes caused by plate slippage in a subduction zone? You realize this is the direct opposite of “mountain/island building as far as tectonics goes.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 22, 2017 5:10 pm


I live in two of the most earthquake-prone regions on earth, including that with the most powerful ones on record.

For the ratio of oceanic to continental crust to change, earth doesn’t need to expand. But geological processes constantly alter the relationship among thick and thin crust and mantle.

The fact is that since tectonics began, lubricated by water, continental crust has slowly gained on oceanic. It’s never in “balance”. The seas come in and the seas go out. Sometimes more new crust is produced and at others less. Besides which, the planet is slowly cooling. Mantle plumes move around. All is change, all the time, on earth as in the universe.

Please look at maps of the earth in the past. You’ll rapidly see that tectonics aren’t in balance. Subducted crust does get recycled, but it’s not a perfectly efficient process.

The oldest “supercontinents” hypothesized are so small that they’re often called “supercratons”. The Ur and Vaalbara supercraton reconstructions appear incompatible. The upper limit for Vaalbara is 3.6 Ga. In the Ur scenario, this craton combo eventually joined the continents Nena and Atlantica to form the first genuine supercontinent, Rodinia, about 1.30 to 1.07 Ga,

There is essentially no oceanic crust older than the beginning of the breakup of Pangaea, ie ~200 Ma.

Subduction zones recycle oceanic crust into continental crust and magmas through dehydration reactions:

Earth is probably slowly dehydrating as a result, even without the sun going red giant. This conclusion is somewhat controversial however, as some of the “lost” water gets resurrected via volcanoes.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 23, 2017 9:29 am

7) Tetonics involves both suduction and mountain building. They don’t balance?

Globally yes, locally no. And there is no law requiring that they must balance at the mean sea-level. Large sea-level changes over long periods probably mostly depend on tectonics.

6) More wind means more evaporation…….nope

Evaporation has nothing to do with it. Changes in average wind strength and direction very strongly affect sea-level. This is one of the main reasons tidal gauge measurement over short intervals (say less than 50 years) are extremely noisy

5) You mean over the last 100 years atmospheric pressure has been dropping? Nah….it’s been more or less 30 inches of mercury for ages

Once again: globally yes, locally, not necessarily. Average pressure will change with changin weather patterns.

4) See number 7 aboveoc


Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 23, 2017 10:39 am


Glad you so many other knowledgeable geologists comment here.

George Tetley
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 25, 2017 7:55 am

A lot of useless information here!
Simple explanation,
2/3 of or planet is covered by water,
storms here tornado there, Tsunamis in the Pacific every 2-3 months earthquakes , 1,5000,000 a year
the moon has a headache,
tides are not always the same
BUT !!!!
we have some” divine genius” calculating a rise of ocean sea levels 1.5mm a year ???????

Gunga Din
November 22, 2017 1:03 pm

I know, I’ve said this before.
“When glaciers calve, alarmist have a cow.
That explains all the bellowing!”

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Gunga Din
November 22, 2017 3:57 pm

That’s udderly amoosing.

November 22, 2017 1:06 pm

The beauty of the self-sealing argument is that when the prediction turns out to be false, that’s definite proof that the prediction was true. Beautiful!

November 22, 2017 1:32 pm

If you realy want to be scared read Eric Holthaus’ article on the future of glaciers in Antarctica. The title is “Ice Apocalypse” so that will give you a good idea where his alarmist head is at. If that’s not enough the first line of the article has this line… “two glaciers hold human civilization hostage.” Eric pulls no punches in warning that the end is near. He is “all in” on man-made catastrophic global warming.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  daveandrews723
November 22, 2017 3:38 pm

I kept waiting for him to mention the magma plume beneath Thwaites glacier that just might have something to do with it melting, but I guess climate fear porn writers don’t like to talk about geology. He was saying a while back that the fear porn isn’t working, and another way needs to be found to turn deniers into believers. Now he’s back at it.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
November 23, 2017 2:26 am

WordPress has a bad habit of not displaying posts, then displaying them hours later, like this one (above), after I assumed it was gone forever and re-posted another (below). Very irritating.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  daveandrews723
November 22, 2017 3:59 pm

The guy’s an embarrassment. He conveniently didn’t mention that a magma plume lies beneath Thwaites.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  daveandrews723
November 22, 2017 4:32 pm

Notice the volcanoes and area of high heat flux near Thwaites Glacier (left side of map).
comment image

Steve Case
November 22, 2017 2:01 pm

Significant additional snow is expected over Greenland during the next ten days…

All they ever talk about is the glaciers. Doesn’t the snow offset the loss of ice due to the stupid glaciers calving ice bergs?

Isn’t Greenland well below freezing nearly everywhere nearly all the time? So how is it melting?

Reply to  Steve Case
November 22, 2017 3:30 pm

Shhhhh!!!!! The climate concerned are hunting wabbits!

michael hart
Reply to  Steve Case
November 22, 2017 4:41 pm

Melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets is mostly quite trivial, except at the edges in high summer. They remain rivers of ice, flowing to the oceans under the force of gravity. They melt after reaching the oceans. This will continue to be the case, but the alarmists are happy to allow most people to be misled by the media into thinking that they are at risk of premature melting everywhere, even though many projections are actually for net mass gain due to higher snowfall in a warmer more humid atmosphere.

When challenged about this, the next alarmist line of defense is that the ice sheets will start flowing more rapidly. This scenario has the ice sheets rapidly falling of the continents, a bit like Kim Kardashian’s a$$ will fall off when she hits the middle age “wall”. There is no good reason to believe this (about the ice sheets that is, not a supermodel’s derriere). The flow rates are in any case normally stop-start in a heinously unpredictable manner. The models are probably no better than those about cloud formation and their effects. The hardly measurable temperatures and pressures at the rock-ice interface may well affect flow rates, but the surface ice still always only melts at zero degrees Celsius, whatever temperature the atmosphere is. Thus any water flowing to lubricate the base cannot credibly be changed in temperature by atmospheric melting from above.

Steve Case
Reply to  michael hart
November 23, 2017 9:24 am

As long as you’ve been so kind to expound upon this issue, don’t the glaciers flow to the sea all year round? And doesn’t the air temperature Summer vs Winter have nothing to do with it? In other words doesn’t the flow of the glaciers to the sea have everything to do with the amount of snow that fell decades or centuries ago and not much else?

Reply to  michael hart
November 23, 2017 9:39 am

The flow is normally rather faster in summer, at least for warm-based glacier where melt-water decreases the friction. Some glaciers move extremely unpredictably “surging glaciers”, for reasons that are not well understood.
And I do think that glaciological models are somewhat better than climate models, though they too suffer from a number of simplifying assumptions and insufficient data for startup conditions.

Reply to  Steve Case
November 23, 2017 9:33 am

Greenland does have a considarable melt zone in summer (up to about 5000 feet above sea-level in the south). It is really more of a temperate than an arctic glacier.

In Antarctica there is very little surface melting. The loss is almost exclusively through calving.

November 22, 2017 2:05 pm

Every time I see one of these kind of articles it generates a mental image of hordes of the climate faithful gathered in a boreal deciduous forest glade in October, exclaiming in chorused dismay as each and every brown leaf detaches and flutters to the ground.

I sometimes wonder how these people manage to muster sufficient neurological function to draw their next breath. I also sometimes idly wish they wouldn’t.

November 22, 2017 2:37 pm

This is a clear case of Russian interference and Vladimir Putin is clearly behind this. We had better get the US Intelligence services on the case!

Reply to  HR
November 22, 2017 3:26 pm

They are, with their usual abundance of caution.

November 22, 2017 3:27 pm

So once again skeptics are proven to be correct, and experts hyping the climate apocalypse gave demonstrated both ignorance and bad faith.

Bill Illis
November 22, 2017 3:48 pm

It is important to post these type of images because some day soon, the glacier will calve again and it will be …

… OMG, the size of Manhattan …

We can always go back to this article next time and point out how unscientific the alarmists are. Start using this word, “unscientific” when the alarmists get going.

Steve Oregon
November 22, 2017 4:41 pm

“…… too much was read into 2007………I would take some blame … Serreze said. “There were so many of us that were astounded by what happened, and maybe we read too much into it.”

..”read too much into it”?
What an innocent phrase to use, “read into”.

Translation: “Serreze and “so many” deceitful people seized the opportunity to deliberately and purposefully pump fallacious assertions into it.”
They knew what they were doing.
And academia is full of these people who feel their mission justifies any behavior.

Reply to  Steve Oregon
November 23, 2017 2:29 am

gets the grant money in so why not ?

November 22, 2017 6:36 pm

Explanation: The LENGTH of the glacier has increased but the DEPTH has decreased.

November 22, 2017 11:11 pm

Incompetent scientists. First class liars.

November 23, 2017 3:26 am

When a word gets over used ,like, catastrophic.
Then it will end up like bugger. LOL.

November 23, 2017 5:41 am

But .. the colour of the water has changed from green in 2015 to blue in 2017. All the plankton has died!!! Quick – tell David Attenborough while there’s still time to include it in Blue Planet 2!

Reply to  ptolemy2
November 23, 2017 9:45 am

It is more likely to depend on the amount of whitish moraine material (rock flour) in the water. Those famous green lakes in the Canadian Rockies are due to glacier runoff.

November 23, 2017 9:43 am

So here we gave a major outlet glacier with a floating glacier tongue. This grows until tides and currents break it off, and then a new tounge builds up as the glacier keeps flowing.

Big surprise. And about as frightening as watching paint dry for those not belonging to the CAGW religion. .

November 23, 2017 9:57 am

“its exact coordinates actually can change since the ice sheet underneath is often on the move.”

Not often, always. A glacier is defined as:

“a slowly moving mass or river of ice formed by the accumulation and compaction of snow on mountains or near the poles”.

A glacier that stops moving is known as dead ice.

November 23, 2017 11:00 am

How many Manhattans has Petermann glacier grown?
And how many kitten sneezes of energy has been locked in it?

Note to myself: soap-water is insufficient for cleansing CACA metaphor soil fingers.

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