Ross Ice Shelf Freezing, Not Melting: “It blew our minds.”

Guest post by David Middleton

 Deep Bore Into Antarctica Finds Freezing Ice, Not Melting as Expected

Scientists will leave sensors in the hole to better understand the long-term changes in the ice, which may have big implications for global sea level.

By Douglas Fox


Scientists have peered into one of the least-explored swaths of ocean on Earth, a vast region located off the coast of West Antarctica.



The surprises began almost as soon as a camera was lowered into the first borehole, around December 1. The undersides of ice shelves are usually smooth due to gradual melting. But as the camera passed through the bottom of the hole, it showed the underside of the ice adorned with a glittering layer of flat ice crystals—like a jumble of snowflakes—evidence that in this particular place, sea water is actually freezing onto the base of the ice instead of melting it.

“It blew our minds,” says Christina Hulbe, a glaciologist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, who co-led the expedition. The Ross Ice Shelf is considered more stable, at present, than many of West Antarctica’s other floating shelves—and this observation could help explain that: if a few inches of sea water periodically freezes onto the bottom of its ice, this could buffer it from thinning more rapidly.



“It blew our minds”… Of course it blew their minds.  It always blows their minds when it’s not worse than previously expected.  The climate science community probably has more blown minds per capita than UC Berkeley did in 1969.



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Don Bennett

Of course it blows their minds when things don’t go according to the “global warming, climate change, etc.” script. Pathetic.


CAGW dogma has afflicted legions of true believers with mental obtundity — they have surpassed the dream-like state of mental lethargy.

James Beaver

Fantastic word: ob·tun·di·ty [ob túndətee]
dulled or blunted consciousness
Never saw that one before. Thanks!!


It blew their minds – because they were surprised to be suddenly confronted by their stark ignorance about the reasons for climate change. They were convinced they knew it all – but, Oops, they didn’t. Good lesson for a young scientist – hope they heed it.


I think the scientific report on these surprising findings is to exclaim “Eureka!”.

Crispin in Waterloo

Are you really just saying that sea level is not going to rise 1.2 metres in the next 200 years and we should no longer worry about scariness? What is climate change without scariness? I guess it is like climate change alarm with truthiness.
One man’s truthiness is another man’s scariness.
One man’s freezing ice shelf is another man’s catastrophic drop in sea level draining the mangrove swamps and killing the exposed Great Barrier Reef.
it is interesting how sea level drop-iness and death-iness are the same as ris-iness and death-iness. Is it time to introduce the term “climate changiness”?
Coming soon to the English Oxford Dictionary:
Climate Changiness: Noun, informal; the quality of seeming or being felt to be climate change, even if not necessarily true.


It’s interesting what the Nat Geo article didn’t say…this from another source:

Early indications suggest there is no extensive melting of the shelf from below, with trapped stones and grit suggesting melting at the base has been minimal, remaining trapped since the ice flowed down from the Antarctic continent 400 years ago.t


You gave me an idea, Crispin. Climate Change alone doesn’t carry sufficient impact. From now on, I’m going to call it:
Scary Climate Change


Yep, excessive Group Think is very pervasive. Nice to see reality pull someone up with jerk.
C’mon Nature: let’s see more of this! (blown klimate scientist minds, that is, not ice! )


indeed. the following passage is a great example of why a good education does not necessarily mean someone is clever.
“and this observation could help explain that: if a few inches of sea water periodically freezes onto the bottom of its ice, this could buffer it from thinning more rapidly.”
no shit sherlock. if the ice is freezing it is not melting, therefore getting thicker, not “thinning less rapidly”. i wonder if the thickness of the ice will ever match that of some climate “scientists”.

Brent Hargreaves

Hang on a minute. If the science is settled why are these people still in employment?

Patrick MJD

“KRM February 25, 2018 at 10:01 am”
I wonder how long that article will stay up at Stuff? I recall in about 2000 an article on Stuff stating that temperatures of NZ were no warmer than they were 40 years before. The article didn’t stay up on Stuff for long.

oebele bruinsma

If something blows your mind, or when you are shocked by what you experience, you do know or understand what is going on; so far for scientists.

Hot under the collar

It probably also blew their support from the ‘climate change’ religion!
Next we’ll see some sort of backtracking/excuse; a “hide the freezing” campaign followed by science journal editors denigrated and sacked if they don’t follow the alarmist mantra.

“It blew our funds!”

Barbara Skolaut

“It probably also blew their support from the ‘climate change’ religion!”
Naaahhhh. Never happen.

Mike In Au

The new findings will most likely be shelved.


it blew our minds right out our fundaments – gaia is a denihilist!


Actually it was probably something more like a tiny soap bubble popping.

Komrade Kuma

We had the Ship of Fools a while back, now we have the Ship of Imbeciles.
‘It blew our minds’ ! LOL, that is not really saying much frankly having seen what we have all seen from the CAGWarmistas over the years. Not a big budget to blow there frankly.


‘It blew our minds’ – speaks volumes, eh :0)


All that is needed are listeners, open minded listeners.
Good luck with that.

Kristi Silber

This article gives no context for the “blew our minds” quote, it stood alone. She could have been referring to the beauty of the ice crystals.
‘“It blew our minds”… Of course it blew their minds. It always blows their minds when it’s not worse than previously expected. The climate science community probably has more blown minds per capita than UC Berkeley did in 1969.’
This is prejudicial commentary. It not only tells you what to think, it tells you to believe someone else thinks a certain way. This is an example of the ways to create propagate and nurture animosity, misunderstanding and division. That seems to be the only point of the publication. Oh, and to imply that the freezing on the bottom blows warmist theories to bits, and that’s disappointing – a very strange idea indeed!
Just sayin’ is all.


Troll funds appear to be drying up. As a result there are fewer trolls available to cover the major science sites.
The result is that they no longer have time to actually read the articles they are trolling.

So: Kristi. If you object to ‘prejudicial commentary’ – there must be many hundreds of thousands of your objections to commentary that attributes to ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ events and findings which could have any other reason. This is, after all the norm with ‘warmista’ articles, and research. I searched and failed to find a single objection from you. Did I miss them (and if so, links)? or are you being prejudiced in your objections? It’s only prejudicial if one side does it?


being part of the herd can’t protect you- you are what protects the herd. you are the slow and weak one sacrificed while they escape the tyrannical reality that can’t be denied without victims just like you
if you ever get some first hand experience of nature in the raw, your mind will be confronted with contradictions to all the second hand stories you’ve placed your faith in and to which you cling so desperately in order to disguise your incapacity.


Kristi, maybe someday your mind will blow and you will see the light. This is called a damascene experience. Look it up and become enlightened.


“a few inches of sea water periodically freezes onto the bottom of its ice” on the bottom of hundreds of metres of ice…
Meantime at the other end something really weird is happening.


Daily mean temperature and climate north of the 80th northern parallel, as a function of the day of year.

@zazove…here is the reason for that big spike in arctic temps. This wind moving up the Atlantic is the first strong pulse of surface winds to punch into the Arctic since last September. You can see the obvious consequences of the surface wind. This started 8 days ago, …,87.48,672/loc=19.845,82.335
Also of interest, look at what happened to the Greenland smb gain over the last 8 days as a result of the surface wind shift.


Go and look through the last few years goldminor.
You warm wind has been blowing for years now.

Philip Mulholland

Nothing weird at all. This is the typical North Atlantic meridional gyre weather pattern associated with long term global cooling.
As goldminor shows- we have a meandering jet stream (time stamped 26Feb2018 1200Z) with a classic gyre elongated north-south sending snow onto the coast of east Greenland and warm air over the Arctic Ocean.


According to the troll, the only reason why daily readings would EVER be different from the 30 year average, is CO2.
No other explanation is allowed.

Kristi Silber

David, of course I read the post. I also read the article. Surely you are familiar with the journalistic tactic of throwing in a quote that in its context could have a different meaning than its given?
But my point is that you used the “blow our minds” to suggest that scientists don’t like to find out the truth. That is commentary that is not warranted by the article, it is yours, and it tells people how to see the article. Do you see what I mean? It’s your choice, of course, but it seems that people ought to become more aware of the way that they are influenced. I believe this is just as important on the left – I despise CNN and others like it, for example.
I want people to be able to talk, and that means getting rid of some of the baggage we’ve been conditioned to believe, such as the Other is the enemy. I believe what I do based on my own exploration of the topic. If I wanted groupthink I wouldn’t hang out here. I recognize I’m biased, though, just like everyone else.
Even those who insult me I try not to see as enemies. I think if we met face-to-face some of us might get along.

Kristi Silber

Gnomish: “if you ever get some first hand experience of nature in the raw,”
Um, like living in a tent for 3 summers a 45 min boat ride from anyone, hiking kilometers in old growth forest every day to collect data for a model of forest dynamics? Or doing years of PhD research in tropical rainforest? Backpacking the Sierras? My love of nature and science are major forces in my life.
Dave Freer: “If you object to ‘prejudicial commentary’ – there must be many hundreds of thousands of your objections to commentary that attributes to ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ events and findings which could have any other reason.”
You missed the point. It’s about characterizing scientists as people who are looking for affirmation instead of the truth. There is nothing in the article to indicate this, it’s wholly in the commentary.


yes, kristi. something like that.
but look with your own eyes and see what’s there instead of what you were told.
have you noticed the color of the sun, for instance? it’s been there your whole life.


Kristi, the journalist didn’t say that, it was the GLACIOLOGIST who was QUOTED as saying,
“It blew our minds,” says Christina Hulbe


well, the cold is what we know we should expect from global warming
and we might miss the acidity cuz of the alkaline pH
and we know the sea is rising but it’s masked by oceans sinking
and we might just miss the thinning cuz of the silly stuff got thick
oh, suzanna

Dodgy Geezer

It’s WORSE that we thought!!!!
Not sure why, but surely someone will think of a reason…

I don’t even accept science, but even I can develop a proof that it’s worse than we thought:
1. The unanticipated freezing means we know less than we thought.
2. So our SLR predictions just became less certain than we thought.
3. But by Lewandowsky’s Uncertainty Principle, the more uncertain the future, the worse it is guaranteed to be. (Or to quote the children’s version of the Principle: Uncertainty is not Your Friend.)
3b. Ergo this mindblowing finding is not our friend.
4. QED

Kristi Silber

The alternative is, “Cool! Maybe this explains something! This is excellent data to have, and an interesting thing to compare with other data. How fascinating! Can’t wait to get back to the lab and see what’s in the sediment sample.”


Heisenberg certainly wasn’t Einstein’s ‘friend.’

Not sure why, but surely someone will think of a reason…

Cus there is more ice to melt causing sea level to rise even further!

Chuck Wiese

Zazove: No. Nothing is going on that is unusual. The arctic anomaly happens whenever there is a persistent blocking pattern around the northern hemisphere that sets up due to an amply cold arctic which there was this winter. This causes exchange of warmer air from southerly latitude to affect the arctic, while the severe cold that built up there was exported to southerly latitudes. This is exactly why December and January were so bitterly cold in the central plains and east coast with many low temperature records broken and some snowfall records. This year is similar to the anomalous year of 1976, where atmospheric blocking due to early arctic cold led to the same anomaly. See attached for that year.
Chuck Wiese


“amply cold arctic which there was this winter” Really?
Take a look at the last few years Chuck,
That’s a long term anomaly spiking to a weird place. Very little similarity to 1976 which spent some time below the long term average.

Ed Zuiderwijk

The (few) weather stations are on the coast of north Greenland. If the wind there is from the south east, which happens when for instance there is a blocking high over Scandinavia causing a cold spell in Europe, then the air has a few thousand miles over the Atlantic to go and warm up. The coastal stations will see a relatively warm wind coming in. Inland, on the ice shelf things are as cold as they always are. It’s the combination of wind and location that does it.


The last few years have been El Nino years, which always pump warm water up to the Arctic.
The last 30 years have been the warm side of the AMO/PDO cycle.
Of course if you are one of those trolls who actually believe that history began 5 years ago, then there is no help for you anyway.

Kristi Silber

MarkW – You might be interested in this site.
There’s a nice graphic of the PDO.
I thought it intriguing what was said about modeling:
“Causes for the PDO are not currently known. Likewise, the potential predictability for this climate oscillation are not known. Some climate simulation models produce PDO-like oscillations, although often for different reasons. The mechanisms giving rise to PDO will determine whether skillful decades-long PDO climate predictions are possible. For example, if PDO arises from air-sea interactions that require 10 year ocean adjustment times, then aspects of the phenomenon will (in theory) be predictable at lead times of up to 10 years. Even in the absence of a theoretical understanding, PDO climate information improves season-to-season and year-to-year climate forecasts for North America because of its strong tendency for multi-season and multi-year persistence. From a societal impacts perspective, recognition of PDO is important because it shows that “normal” climate conditions can vary over time periods comparable to the length of a human’s lifetime “.

Chuck Wiese

Zazove: Your assumption is incorrect. If you read how these temperatures are produced, they are from a re-analysis done of the initialized ECMWF weather forecast model. Statistical inference is used to estimate temperature from pressures, atmospheric thickness and some observational data when evaluated as relevant to the rest of the collected data. The available data and methods are not the same for either year, but 2018 to date would be considered more accurate because data assimilation has been much improved allowing further refinement of the technique used. There is also a bias towards temperature reflected in the northern most part of the arctic due to grid points being assigned a temperature in constant .5 degree grids.
This just means you are not comparing apples to apples for either year, so the temperature estimates are not absolute in the sense that you think they are. I looked at the hemispheric patterns for both years and they are very similar from November thru mid February with pronounced high amplitude atmospheric blocking in the eastern Pacific and Atlantic which drives warmer air into the arctic from those regions and exports colder air into Europe and North America. It’s why record cold was felt with freezing temperatures all the way into Florida this winter just like in the 1976 anomalous year. The constant pressure contours are also identical for both years indicating the high latitude atmosphere was just as cold this winter as back then with the lower contour values displaced from the arctic like they have to be when a lot of cold air is exported southward from the amplified long waves.
There is nothing unusual about this and those that claim there is are spreading climate hysteria and nonsense.
Chuck Wiese

Kristi Silber

I can think for myself just as well as you can, I betcha. If you want to underestimate me, I don’t wish to converse.
The sun is a variety of colors. It was purple and blue at total eclipse – I got a photos of it.


you were never conversing, of course. i’ll just watch you struggle with a prolapsed narrative.
it’s the only relationship that can be had with a lolcow.

Sweet Old Bob

Reality rears its’ head ?
And to them ….it is looking “ugly” more and more often ….

Bob Burban

Huxley’s Syndrome: The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.

All well and good for pre-Anthropocene, pre-postnormal science. But now that scientists have invented immortal hypotheses, the question becomes: how ugly does a fact have to be to slay a zombie?

John Bell

I always get a kick out of how much fossil fuel they burn to go on their ice expeditions, I read the NATGEO article, they used a twin otter aircraft to get there, and all the heat needed to bore the hole, etc.

R. Shearer

Trying to get out there by dog team and drill the hole manually would probably use more energy. For sure, it would be way more expensive and dangerous.
1 – ‘They’ are against fossil fuels.
2 – ‘They’ realize the economics involved because ‘they’ aren’t crazy enough to try doing field work by dog team.
‘They’ don’t seem to see the disconnect between #1 and #2.

Alan Tomalty

Maybe we should all go back to living in caves. We wouldnt put any CO2 in the air that way. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I forgot I remember now. I saw a movie once where it was about Man “inventing” fire. oh i guess after that we were all doomed anyway. We just should have accepted freezing to death periodically. Well at least that way we wouldnt have to put up with the greenie religion

Tom in Florida

A mind is a terrible thing to be blown.

Carbon Bigfoot

As comedian Bob Nelson said at Dangerfield’s….” that a mind is a terrible thing and must be stopped in our lifetime.”



Tom in Florida

No way could you do that routine today.
I did see Bob as he opened for Rodney in New Haven CT many, many years ago. After both of them I had laughed so hard my face hurt for days and days. But I tell ya, he’s alright, ya know.


At risk of being pedantic …
+1^10 = 1
Perhaps what you meant was:

Bryan A

Perhaps it’s just another way of stating

Gunga Din

I saw that routine (a TV version of it) decades ago and still remember it. I never saw it again till now. Thanks!
PS It’s obvious that none you equation people ever played football. 😎

Barbara Skolaut

A mind is a terrible thing to be blown”
Presumes facts not in evidence.

Tom in Florida

Don’t want to get into an equation battle so let’s just say 10 thumbs up for that one!

Gunga Din

Tom in Florida,
You have 10 thumbs!
Perhaps you’ve imbibed one too many carbonated beverages?
(I can see the commercial now: “If you or a loved one has 10 thumbs and has consumed a CO2 laced beverage, call the law firm of….8-)

Tom in Florida

Not 10 thumbs, 10 thumbs up. That is one thumb pumped up and down 10 times…..oh oh, that one is going to get me so flak.
BTW I just got back from the beach, lovely day, water getting warmer, plenty of sun, temps in the mid 80’s F….

AGW is not Science

When a “climate scientist’s” mind is blown, what they’re really talking about is when the pressure inside the void between their ears exceeds their skull’s capacity to contain it.

Alan Tomalty

The scientists havent explained that even if the Ross shelf melted as it has done thousands of times in the earths history the sea level would not rise because it is already floating on the sea. However if it melted it might affect the ice that is Antarctica land based which if melted would affect sea levels. I would like an explanation as to how melting of the Ross shelf would affect the land based Antarctic ice.


I’ve never heard a compelling explanation. They claim that hydrostatic force on the ice shelf holds back the ice sheet. Sounds like BS to me because a floating ice shelf really isn’t offering much resistance. Move your open palm through some water fast and there is a lot of resistance. But move it slowly and there is virtually none. Water doesn’t offer much resistance to a slowly moving buoyant object. It just moves out of the way. Buoyancy and currents could actually be working to pull the ice shelf from the ice sheet.
Then there’s the issue of the ice sheet catastrophically collapsing once the ice shelf melts back to the grounding line. But that doesn’t make sense either because a collapsed ice cliff will form a pile of ice that buttresses the standing cliff and keeps it from collapsing further.


My understanding is that though the ice shelf is mostly floating, parts of the ice can be “grounded” on the bottom of the ocean, thus offering resistance to the movement of the land-based glacier. Elifino, but to me that sounds like a reasonable supposition.


The grounding line is beneath the ocean surface. It’s the point where the ice sheet becomes the ice shelf


The resistance of the mass of the ungrounded ice shelf is substantial.
That said, it is still small in relation to the mass of the glaciers that form the shelf.
The alarmists are arm waving (as usual).


The implication is the grounding line is possibly advancing, not retreating, or at least not retreating if the water is so cold that no melting is occurring. If the grounding line is advancing, then more of the shelf is grounded and the ice mass on the non-floating top side can accumulate and the balance can go up…. thus slowing SLR.
That’s why they were surprised. It means the grounded portion of the shelf may be growing in mass. Opposite their fake models predictions that rely on warming scenarios that are also fake.

Mike McMillan

The Wilkins ice shelf breakup was due to ocean currents pulling the bergs out to sea after a series of large sea level swings broke it up, not due to warming.
The glacial ice continues to move supported by the sea bed until the water gets deep enough to float it. That’s the grounding line. During expansion periods, the ice bulldozes the sea bed ahead of itself, pushing up a ridge. Then during retreats, it leaves these bulldozed ridges behind, so we can see what it’s been doing in the past.
doi: 10.1144/SP381.5

Clyde Spencer

The floating ice does have inertia. However, if it is an extension of the grounded ice, then it has the momentum imparted by the moving ice on land. Thus. it takes a force acting on it to keep it from moving into the ocean. The whole ‘buttressing’ effect is poorly supported (please pardon the pun). I’ve often seen the claim made, but never seen any calculations offered to justify the claim.

Clyde Spencer

You said, “The resistance of the mass of the ungrounded ice shelf is substantial.” On what do you base that claim?

Kristi Silber

What about the buoyancy itself being the force? The ice sheet is moving at an angle down the slope, pushing the shelf into the water, and THEN you might also have hydrostatic pressure pushing down on the edge while the buoyancy is pushing up and holding the sheet back.
Or if you think of it as a semicircle overlapping land on the straight part, you can imagine that any one direction away from land is held by the ice at the sides.
I don’t know a thing about it, but those I my two best guesses.
Apparently there’s one area that lurches 45 cm twice a day, rather than flowing smoothly. They figure the tide is lifting it enough to counteract friction.

Steve Keohane

if a few inches of sea water periodically freezes onto the bottom of its ice, this could buffer it from thinning more rapidly. In common speak, ‘If its getting thicker, it’s not getting thinner.’

The Original Mike M

[Deleted as requested. The same comment is posted further down. – mod]

The Original Mike M

[Mod – please delete my comment above which wasn’t intended as a reply, thanks]


That line intimates it is thinning and this is just another bump in the road to disaster.

Bloke down the pub

Nobody doing research should ever “be surprised” at the results, unless they have preconceived ideas about the outcome.


I would disagree. Based on my reading of the history of science it seems far more important discoveries have been made when the unexpected is revealed rather than what was expected or actually being looked for was found. Far more “now that’s funny” moments than “Eureka” moments have presaged great discoveries in the labs and field.

Tom in Florida

I think the “eureka” moment is when you find the answer you have been searching for. When you find something you hoped wouldn’t be there is an “oh shit” moment.


Otherwise known as discrepant events.

But notice the preconceived assumption that the water below the shelf is getting warmer and thus the puzzle of why is the shelf not getting thinner.
Ah ha! :

if a few inches of sea water periodically freezes onto the bottom of its ice, this could buffer it from thinning more rapidly

…..or maybe it is not constantly getting warmer?

Crispin in Waterloo

If the salinity of the water under the ice us lowered for any reason (fresh water from land) then one can expect it to freeze to the underside of the ice. This would continue until there is a balance between the remaining water and the ice temperature, (which ice is always cooling from above).
I do not find anything surprising about the ice growing on the bottom. Sea ice always grows on the bottom unless it is an iceberg from land.

Richard M

The obvious conclusion is the places where the water is getting warmer is due to geothermal causes. If it was general warming of the oceans then it should be warmer everywhere.

Pretty hard to skate on ice that is on the bottom of the lake. I am pretty sure ice always adds thickness to the underside.

It’d be both futile and pointless to attempt to clear your mind of what Bayesians call “priors” and you call “preconceived ideas.”
But science has a so-called Principle of Surprise, which basically states:
surprise = learning
And needless to say, learning is the whole point of the exercise (in science).


I don’t think that’s right, but anybody doing research should be willing to rethink their hypothesis if they get a surprising result.


Amazing what one can find when they actually go and get a first hand look instead of relying on the claims of others or sitting looking at satellite imagery and constructing models that reflect their bias . So give them credit for actually doing some real science and apparently honestly reporting what they found!


Fully agree: these guys are for real!

Jeff Mitchell

Let’s watch these guys and see what happens to their careers.

John Harmsworth

There appears to be nearly zero advancement in climate “science” due to the obsession with proving the false hypothesis of AGW. They are like blind soothsayers . So much money is being spent on idiots and liars. I keep waing for other branches of science to weigh in against this insidious political corruption.

There appears to be nearly zero advancement in climate “science”

So a small, negative amount then?
How much money will we have to throw at them before they reach zero?
ClimateNuremberg once appealed to the public for examples of all the stuff we’ve learned thanks to climate science in the last 25 years.
Before you click the link, try to predict how many answers there were.

And that sometimes means the orthodoxy will be attacked. People new to the field want to make their mark, but just conforming what is already “known” won’t do that. so in the end good old ambition and ego shifts even the most blocked science.

Kjell O. Foss

A Danish pollen analyst found that there had been a cooling period of 50 yrs+ in an area in North Denmark. I asked him later how his research was progressing. He answered: «I stopped this research because I was bypassed when I should have been promoted, and my grant was cancelled.»
There is no need to tell any scientist to stop publishing the truth. Just kill his career and stop the flow of money.

Which is par for the course, and not just in climate science.
If you find something that contradicts the paradigm and threatens the flow of money into your department or even the department itself, do not expect thanks. You are maybe supposed to be a scientist dedicated to improving the lot of humanity but such dedication comes a very poor second to your Head of Department’s continued employment.


CAGW is not a victimless crime.

” CAGW is not a victimless crime.”
Well, no—in so far as, in order to be a victimless crime, you need to *exist.*
But then CAGW isn’t a victim-ful crime either.
It’s imaginary.
Perhaps you meant the belief in CAGW? That’s called CAGWism, not CAGW.

R. Shearer

And then they shut off the cameras, or at least wanted to.


It blew our minds”

That’s what happens when you get off your butts and do actual investigative science rather than just sit at your desks playing with computers.

but it’s cooooold 🙁

Alan Tomalty

I assume that it is impossible for the land based ice to melt before the sea based ice melts. Then the next assumption is that they have to melt at the same time. If that isnt the case then the sea based ice melts 1st. If any of the last 2 assumptions are correct then we dont have to worry about the Antarctica melting until the Ross ice shelf begins to melt. If it is freezing as the researchers have found out then we dont havetoworry about Antarctica melting. So that leaves us with either Greenland melting or all the glaciers in the world melting. If all the galciers melted the sea level would only rise 40 cm. Not much to worry about. So that leaves only Greenland to worry about. Because if Greenland melted the the worlds sea level would rise 7 metres. So that would be a disaster for some. Therefore scientists need to do the same experiment on the Greenland ice to see if it is melting at the bottom.however the ice mass loss in Greenland has been discovered to be because of a geothermal hot spot as reported on WUWT in 2016/09/26 . Even that melting is only 0.045 mm/year added to world sea levels. Snails can travel 12 million times faster than the speed of sea level rise because of business is.this melting. So plenty of time for snails to get to higher ground. What a croc of shit this global warming business is.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gary Meyers

Most of Greenland’s ice is not over water, it is land based.

Alan Tomalty

yes we all know that. what is your point?


Blew their minds, huh? SURPRISE! ICE IS THICKENING!
Well, it’s good to know that something can do that to them.
I was beginning to wonder if such a thing was possible, that they could be proven incorrect in their assumptions.

Thickening. Abtholutely thickening. I feel thick. I think I’m gonna be thick.

TImo Soren

Wait: I can’t believe that they didn’t say: “This doesn’t mean that it’s actually freezing, it might have been melting for the last 100 years, we were just lucky to drill our borehole on the single day it was freezing.”

From my file of smart remarks and tag lines:

If the Climate Change headline says,
“Worse than previously thought”
Historical data is being re-written.

I’m just wondering how their going to re-write the data on this one. Maybe they will drill another hole and claim it’s melting over there. Indeed rereading Dave Middleton’s post it says:

… evidence that in this particular place, sea water is actually freezing onto the base of the ice instead of melting it.

This whole thing about the warm water sneaking under the ice to melt the edge of the glacier or sea ice is is just plain BS. Who believes this stuff? Well obviously Christina Hulbe, a New Zealand “glaciologist” does. However, most people understand how sea ice and lake ice for that matter forms.
Well anyway I’m sure they’re busy drilling news holes looking for one that fits the narrative.


Give them credit for publishing the mind blowing findings that were not as expected. And leaving the sensors in place.

Daniel Mannix

There is a colony of seals trapped at the head of the Ross Shelf–near land, and 60 miles from open water–that have been maintaining their breathing holes for time unknown. The ice shelf grew around them, and they must maintain their holes or die–they can’t swim from their predicament, because they can’t swim that far without breathing. It appears the shelf has been growing for many thousands of years, leaving them stranded till the Ice shrinks.


It is cruel, but this is nature, just like the 200.000 penguins trapped in the same region last year. I simply trust nature will fix it, although it will take some time.

Daniel Mannix

They survive there and don’t know any different–what it proves is that the Ice Shelf has grown over the last 5000 years–even during “global warming”

Alan Tomalty

What do they eat?


If you have enough chimpanzees with keyboards, there will eventually be a computer model that will make this problem melt away.

Robert in Busan

Be careful now! Someone will submit a grant application to fund the chimps for a study of the Mannix / Marcos seal / penguin colonies vis-a-vis CAGW. 😉


If this keeps up, we may soon know about 10% of the Earth’s climate, and how it works, give or take 9%. Thanks to the Precautionary Principle, we don’t have to deal with the rest that we don’t know in order to inflict our will on the rest of humanity. (sarc)

Gary Pearse

This alternative type of logic is what has to be challenged every time. They notice new ice freezing on to the bottom of of the ice shelf, but cling to the bias. The data says the ice shelf is thickening from the bottom. They conclude this phenomenon will slow down the thinning! They do this with every confounding factor discovered – they don’t let go of their computer model world. All of the science is to track down evidence of our sins, not to inquire into causes – they have this already solved.
Here is a New Jersey high school class that knows about supercooled water and are therefore stand above the the knowledge set possessed by PhD linear thinking radiologists.

Gary Pearse

Mods something screwed up my name – please correct it.
(Fixed) MOD

Gary Pearse

glaciologists – illiterate Samsung Grrr I’m always having to reinstate perfectly good words!

Mike Wryley

Once learned wrong, learned wrong forever , impossible to delete, and first in line to foul you up for the umpteenth time


I’m waiting on the day they push the hypothesis that CO2 is changing the melting point of H2O.
Just a matter of time now.

Paul Sarmiento

“I’m waiting on the day they push the hypothesis that CO2 is changing the melting point of H2O.” Yes it does. Just like salt, CO2 does affect the melting and freezing point of water. Anything that dissolves in water affects its melting, freezing or boiling point.

At the height of this Antarctic summer, I spent some time checking temperatures at Antarctic stations. It was nearly impossible to find any above freezing. If it actually ever got warm enough to affect some melting, then the meltwater would have to stay unfrozen long enough to reach the ocean. A near impossible situation. It is a good thing that precipitation is low over the continent or ice would accumulate so fast as to unbalance the earth and our seas would disappear.


Summer melting is fairly widespread on the Antarctic Peninsula. And there is some local melting even in areas where the air temperature rarely or never goes above freezing, google e. g. “Onyx river” or “Lake Vanda” for details.
In inland Antarctica sublimation is essentially the only “melting” going on. I e snow changes directly to water vapour without ever becoming liquid. This is a very slow process though.


Yes, the peninsula was the only area where above freezing temperatures can be found. I suspect it may also be the area of highest precipitation in the winter. I can’t see it having any significant sea level effect. I see a lot of concern with the greater increase in warmth in these areas or is it mostly a decrease in winter cold that does not melt ice. That appears to be the arctic situation where winters are warmer but summers may be cooler. Funny how temperatures have to be a few degrees above freezing for significant melting unless you apply dark matter or the tracks of scientists and tourists.


Or ice breakers busting up the ice in a lot of the north that is melting the fastest. Once the ice is broken up, it melts a lot quicker because there is more surface area of ice is able to make contact with water which may be above freezing, especially in the daylight seasons. They don’t call spring in the north break-up for nothing.


Onyx River is situated right over a tight cluster of volcanoes and a high geothermal heat flux. I suspect that has something to do with it.

Vanda lake is not fresh, it is essentially brine with a subsequent lower freeze point.


The science was settled within a limited frame of reference, then Nature evolved leaving the consensus behind.

Leo Smith

“Now it’s all designed to blow our minds
But our minds won’t really be blown
Like the blow that’ll gitcha when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone…”

From the days when being a ‘sleb’ was an object of derision…


Whoa! They also did some listen-worthy songs such as “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman”, “A Little Bit More”, and “Sharing the Night Together” and, the tear-jerking “Sylvia’s Mother”.

The Original Mike M

“Those floating shelves provide a buttress; they “are holding back a very big amount of ice,” says Craig Stevens”
No they are not Craig. Much beyond the point of where the glacial ice enters the water and is driven a little deeper to provide some upward buoyant force (a very tiny amount of which would actually act against the direction of the glacial movement) before it bends back and levels off in the ocean – that statement is just absurdly wrong in the extreme.
Just the fact that pieces of an ice shelf can break off and float away proves they were NOT supplying any force to “buttress” the glacier. If they were then they would just stay there continuing to buttress the glacier. (I don’t understand why anyone keeps persisting with this ridiculous claim that makes zero mechanical sense?)


Actually the shelf ice might be getting thicker even without ice freezing onto the bottom. The shelf is about 200 meters thick of which a bit more than half is ice, the rest is compacted snow. Snow falls on top of the shelf and the increasing pressure turns snow to ice at a depth of about 90-100 meters. The snow accumulation on the Ross shelf is fairly substantial (on the order of 10-20 cm ice-equivalent per year):
And by the way these “climate scientists” could easily avoid a lot of mental explosions if they took the trouble of studying a little glaciology before rushing off in search of unprecedented worse-than-we-thoughtness.
I cite Griggs & Bamber (2011): Antarctic ice-shelf thickness from satellite radar altimetry. Journal of Glaciology 47:485-498:
“Marine ice is widespread beneath the ice shelves and is formed when water at the surface freezing point melts the underside of the ice shelf. The resulting meltwater sets up a thermohaline circulation where cold, buoyant water comes into contact with the ice-shelf bottom and freezes onto it to form porous marine ice with trapped interstitial sea water. Marine ice can be formed in stripes aligned with fast flow from outlet glaciers and has been shown to extend from close to the grounding line right to the ice front on the Larsen C ice shelf (Holland and others, 2009). The transition from meteoric ice to denser marine ice can often form the last return recorded by RES, so care must be taken to ensure that airborne ice thickness measurements capture the full ice thickness and not just the meteoric layer.”

The Original Mike M

Sounds very plausible. More snow on ice shelves and in all other cold places would explain why SLR is just refusing to show any sign of a faster rate in a time of “highest global temperature ever recorded”.

“And by the way these “climate scientists” could easily avoid a lot of mental explosions if they took the trouble of studying a little glaciology”
They are in fact glaciologists, not climate scientists.

Alan Tomalty

Nick I sure wished you were on our side cause you are a stickler for facts. So i am so confused as to why you still believe in AGW?


Remarkably ignorant glaciologists then.


Once again skeptics are proven right and alarmists shown to be wrong.


Where do they expect the heat for melting ice shelf comes from? gulf stream? An ocean of water at close to freezing temperature?


“It blew our minds” — I’m filing this under Great Moments In Settled Science.


Did I miss the part where Al Gore is quoting Michael Mann stating this is EXACTLY what we should expect with fossil-fuel caused climate change?

The Original Mike M

Shouldn’t Mann be the one quoting Gore given that, between the two of them, Gore was actually handed a Nobel prize with his name on it?comment image


Let’s be clear… a Nobel Peace Prize. Which is a political award, i.e. the recipient needs to be politically correct with the Leftist crowd on the Oslo Norway award committee. (A very different committee from the other committees in Stockholm, which award real Nobel’s.).
Whic is why even if Donald Trump solved the Palestinian State issues and brought peace to the region, and brought an end to Korean peninsula nuclear problem… the Leftists in Norway would never allow Trump to get the medal.

Russell Johnson

You are viewing two of the most despicable, corrupt liars ever to walk on earth.


Oh dear. This is what happens when people who have no idea about the environment study it. As a child I have watched how the sea turns into a thick soup during winter and over several days it can freeze solid. And after a few weeks you can travel for miles on the ice (hundreds of miles in some parts of the winter though I never went more than a Km or two from shore). These scientists obviously think ice forms from snow on land and that it only ever melts in the sea….big face palm moment!

Tom Judd

She blew my nose and then she blew my mind.

Jeff Norman

“This machine generated a powerful jet of hot water, which they used to melt two narrow holes, each a few inches across, more than 1,100 feet down to the bottom of the ice. They then lowered cameras and other instruments through the holes, into the waters below. In doing so, they hoped to answer a question of worldwide importance: just how secure is the ice of West Antarctica?”
Yikes! Imagine the enthalpy required to melt these holes! Imagine this ice melt not corrupting the results of this experiment.
Imagine what powered this machine. Was it nuclear powered? Wind powered? I know, it must have been solar powered! That twin engine ski plan must have been plenty busy.

Bruce Cobb

“It blew our minds”. Yeah, cognitive dissonance will do that, when ideology bumps up against cold, hard reality. They might want to prepare for a lot of that.

Yes, the “mind-blowing” stuff is, well, empty-headed. But the result is surprising. It doesn’t have anything to do with AGW. The only way that ice could be freezing at the bottom is if latent heat is being removed and taken somewhere else. But where and how? It can’t be advected with the water as sensible heat, because the water is above freezing. It could be conducted through the ice above, but if the ice is deep (1100 feet was mentioned) that is a very resistive pathway. If there is an upflux of heat, it would reflect conditions thousands of years ago. Maybe from glacial times.

John Harmsworth

The sea water is probably colder than 0C . There is some heat loss to the ice but the main reason the water freezes is because the ice surface provides a bonding point which allows the H2O to separate from its salt component.


Yes, the Sea-water in Antarctica is almost always 1-2 degrees below zero. Which means that changes in salinity (e. g. from melted ice) can induce freezing.
By the way I once saw something rather amazing (though not exactly mind-blowing) in the Antarctic. It was a dead calm (very unusual there) and it was snowing lightly. The snow collected on the sea-surface without melting! The sea-water was below freezing and the snow floated on the surface. Of course the moment there was a little wind ruffling the surface the snow disappeared abruptly.

The Original Mike M

Sea ice can create concentrated brine as it freezes then find a crack to leak down into the sea water creating its own tunnel called a brinicle on its way down. It then can freeze everything it touches as it spreads out on the bottom.

“Which means that changes in salinity (e. g. from melted ice) can induce freezing.”
It could. But there is still the problem of removing the latent heat. To induce freezing, the salinity would have to drop. But freezing then increases salinity, so that can’t go far.


This is common. When the sea starts to freeze it gets really thick like a slushie. It freezes from the surface downwards as 4 degC water is heaviest. The waves no longer make it to shore when this happens and apart from a small heave the surface becomes quiet and eventually freezes solid. So snow can land on the surface of this thick slush. Once it freezes solid the process works its way downwards and the ice becomes thicker. Anyone who has lived in regions where the sea freezes over solid in winter will have observed this process multiple times. Only researchers with no hands-on knowledge of the areas they study would not know these basic facts of life in hash northern or southern climates.


Sea ice forms by first making a floating layer of Frazil Ice, which is a collection of loose, randomly oriented needle-shaped ice crystals in water. It resembles a soupy slush and has the appearance of being slightly oily when seen on the surface of water. It sporadically forms in open, turbulent, supercooled water, which means that it usually forms in rivers, lakes and oceans, on clear nights when the weather is colder, and air temperature reaches −6 °C (21 °F) or lower. Frazil ice is the first stage in the formation of sea ice. As it forms to solid ice it rids itself of most salinity through brine dropping out the bottom, and any new snow or melt that happens on top is fresh water/ice.
Maybe a lesson here in making fresh cold water out of ocean water, just using the cold of winter. Actually, some localities use cold lake water, or could be melting ice water, to air condition large buildings in large cities. Ingenuity at its best.


Nick writes

It could. But there is still the problem of removing the latent heat.

I’m not sure why you see this as a problem, Nick? If the ocean currents can bring energy to melt, then they can equally take it away too. Oh wait, I can see the problem now. That means something is cooling and that’s not in the memo.
I bet I know what the models would have “projected”.

“If the ocean currents can bring energy to melt, then they can equally take it away too.”
No, they can’t. By 2LoT the only way latent heat can be removed is by being transferred to somewhere colder. That cannot be ocean water, which must be above freezing.


“It freezes from the surface downwards as 4 degC water is heaviest.”
I don’t know how many times this has been said before: THIS ONLY APPLIES TO FRESH WATER. SALT WATER BECOMES DENSER UNTIL IT FREEZES.


“No, they can’t.”
Yes they can and they do. The freezing point is pressure dependent. When the freshened (from basal melting) water moves seawards it also rises (since the thickness of the shelf decreases seawards). It then becomes supercooled and crystallizes into frazil ice, which being less dense than water rises and attaches to the bottom of the shelf ice. This marine ice can in some case become as much as a few hundred meters thick.
This is a well understood and well-studied process, so it is remarkable that glaciologists should find it “mind-blowing”.
A few references:
Bombosch, A. and A. Jenkins. 1995. Modeling the formation and deposition of frazil ice beneath Filchner–Ronne Ice Shelf. J. Geophys. Res., 100(C4), 6983–6992.
Engelhardt, H. and J. Determann. 1987. Borehole evidence for a thick layer of basal ice in the central Ronne Ice Shelf. Nature, 327(6120), 318–319.
Fricker, H.A., S. Popov, I. Allison and N. Young. 2001. Distribution of marine ice under the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28(11), 2241–2244
Holland, P.R., H.F.J. Corr, D.G. Vaughan, A. Jenkins and P. Skvarca. 2009. Marine ice in Larsen Ice Shelf. Geophys. Res. Lett.,36(11), L11604. (10.1029/2009GL038162.)
Oerter, H. et al. 1992. Evidence for basal marine ice in the Filchner–Ronne Ice Shelf. Nature, 358(6385), 399–401.

“from basal melting”
But the heading here says it is freezing, not melting.
What you are describing here is a local redistribution process under the ice. The LH from freezing is not transported away (from the undersea environment), it just is balanced by the melting of an equivalent amount of ice elsewhere.


Nick writes

No, they can’t. By 2LoT the only way latent heat can be removed is by being transferred to somewhere colder.

Or simply somewhere else. If a cold current is flowing past, then some of the water that is on the edge of freezing freezes and the water that is no longer “on the edge” continues to flow away.

“the water that is no longer “on the edge” continues to flow away”
But it can’t carry the heat, because it is warmer. The heat can’t transfer from the freezing site to it. It can only go into the ice.


Nick writes

But it can’t carry the heat, because it is warmer.

But that’s the point. It can carry the latent heat away because its…moving. And more cold water comes in behind it to continue the freezing.
Put it this way, what do you think is happening when ice crystals are seen to be forming on the underside of the ice?

“Put it this way, what do you think is happening when ice crystals are seen to be forming on the underside of the ice?”
The only way that can happen is if the LH released on freezing diffuses down a temperature gradient (to colder). And that can’t be into the liquid, which is warmer. It has to diffuse into the ice, and ultimately to the air above. That is why I raised the point about the long path and time constant – 3100 years. Only a very small flux can pass that way. And if the diffusion of heat from the warmer circulating liquid to the cold freezing zone is higher, it can’t freeze.
That is why I said above that there is a limit on how thick ice over water can get, and it is usually small. The only way you can get net heat flow away from the freezing front is to have a very small diffusion in from the liquid, and higher diffusion into the ice. That means (with thick ice) the liquid has a very small temp gradient, which means a large region at very close to freezing temperature. That means very little motion, else heat will be brought in by advection.


Nick you are a remarkable person. You have a good grasp of basic physics but when required by your faith you can be utterly obtuse. A classical Orwellian “doublethinker”.
What is happening is exactly the same as when wet air rises. The enthalpy is converted into energy of position. The main difference is that in this case the “snow” is less dense than the surrounding medium, so it “falls” upwards.

“The main difference is that in this case the “snow” is less dense than the surrounding medium, so it “falls” upwards.”
No. Snow forms when the air is below freezing, so the air is the sink for LH. There is no corresponding sink in liquid water. Freezing can only occur at the ice surface.


The only way that can happen is if the LH released on freezing diffuses down a temperature gradient (to colder).

Remind me again why it cant be absorbed by the colder water flowing past it?
Remind me again why the ice is colder than the (sea) water?


“Freezing can only occur at the ice surface.”
I see that you have never encountered frazil ice. It forms throughout a supercooled water body.

“I see that you have never encountered frazil ice.”
We rarely encounter any kind of ice here. But wiki tells me that
” It sporadically forms in open, turbulent, supercooled water, which means that it usually forms in rivers, lakes and oceans, on clear nights when the weather is colder, and air temperature reaches −6 °C (21 °F) or lower”
Cold air is the heat sink for LH; supercooled water forms temporarily and turbulence allows the actual condensation to occur at depth. Under the Ross shelf, there is no exposure to cold air, and no turbulence.
“:Remind me again why the ice is colder than the (sea) water?”
Because if the water was colder, it would be ice.


Because if the water was colder, it would be ice.
It is becoming ice. Its obviously very close to being ice. Some of it can be ice. If it were true the primary path for the latent heat to escape was through the layer of ice above, then you’d expect that ice to thicken so as to maximize energy flow upwards but instead the ice that’s forming is described as forming crystals which tells me they’re forming while maximizing their exposure to the cold water.


Nick, in this case the water supercools by rising. Ever hear of energy of position? Lapse rate?
Though I don’t know why I try explaining physics to you, it seems a hopeless task.
Marine ice freezing to the bottom of shelf ice is a well-known phenomenon, and has now been shown to occur under the Ross shelf as well as the Larsen, Filchner, Ronne and Amery shelf. But Nick Stokes knows that it just can’t happen.


” If there is an upflux of heat, ”
Not IF. There is an upflux of heat.
In this place the air is colder than the sea, and has been for millennia, even before the ice shelf grew. The gradient is there
and there will be upflux of heat until the whole thin turns to ice right to the bottom. The only thing that can, and will, contradict this growing downward movement of the ice is the buoyancy force.
“resistive path”. Heat, just like electricity, just fellow the least resistive pathway. Conductivity add up, resistivity don’t. Ice shelves are not pure homogenous flat heat armor. Lots of cracks

“The only thing that can, and will, contradict this growing downward movement of the ice is the buoyancy force.”
The main contradiction is the thermal resistance. Heat is brought in by seawater advection below, and leaves by conduction through the ice. At some ice thickness, these balance. That’s why Arctic sea ice, even where it is frozen all year, only grows to a few metres thick, and why the thickest is in shallow water near Greenland, where the circulation of sea water is more limited.


“Heat is brought in by seawater advection below”, for sure, but also by formation of ice.
Obviously, the fact that the ice shelf exist all year round means that seawater is not able to provide heat to melt it. No surprise: it is already at close to freezing temperature, so it just cannot melt ice. Only in summer can the water absorb sun heat and turn it to ice to melt it. This need the wind to break the ice and expose the sea, and enough sun to heat it and keep it from freezing under the wind cooling effect. Won’t happen underwater.
“and leaves by conduction through the ice.”
You think it is an insulator? Well, easy to check , and … surprise!
Actually, ice conduct heat 3x more than water.
This make me think of the way water drop will grow or not, depending on the size. Big one will grow while in the very same condition small will vanish into vapor.
Same for ice. Small chunks will be destroyed, surrounded by water heated by the sun bringing more heat that they can evacuate in air. At the very same time, in the very same condition, big chunks will grow.

“ice conduct heat 3x more than water”
Yes, but water is mobile. The thermal diffusivity of ice is 1.57e-6 m^2/s at -40°C, and over a 400 m path (seems about the depth of ice) that gives a time constant of 3100 years. Inhomogeneity might reduce that.
“surrounded by water heated by the sun bringing more heat”
Doesn’t sound like the environment under the Ross ice shelf. That’s why I say this has nothing to do with AGW. The freezing location is a long way from the atmosphere by any route.


Thermal diffusivity is a measure of thermal inertia, the way the material will soak a thermal shock with its heat capacity. Irrelevant for the bottom of Ross Ice Shelf. May be of some relevance for the top, exposed to varying temperature of the air.
(besides, water still has lower thermal diffusivity, and while its mobility would allow for warmer water to go up and convect heat, it won’t work at the bottom. )

“Irrelevant for the bottom of Ross Ice Shelf”
The relevance is to the time it takes for a change at the top to have an effect at the bottom, as indicated by the characteristic time of 3100 years. It is a measure of the insulating effect of the ice on the dynamics of change.
It shows that this bottom freezing has nothing to do with AGW, either way. It is separated by hundreds of metres of insulating ice from the air, and hundreds of km of stagnant sub-ice seawater from the open sea. Only very slow external processes can affect it, with much delay.


“The relevance is to the time it takes for a change at the top to have an effect at the bottom”
Oh, if you meant this way, that is, it would take ~3000 y for a thermal shock in air temperature to propagate down, then I have to agree (however, if there is warming, then the ice will just melt from the top and buoyancy will move it upward faster than it would take heat to do the trick. Ice can melt several mm a day. Just need 334 kJ per kg (~1.1 mm of ice over 1m²). The equivalent of 10 W for 10 hours, )
“It shows that this bottom freezing has nothing to do with AGW, either way […] Only very slow external processes can affect it, with much delay.”
I agree (except the “insulating ice” part. Ice is not insulator). Linking ice shelf melting from below (if any) with climate change is just silly in the first place. It is still an interesting piece of science

Gary Pearse

supercooled water:
Gary Pearse on February 25, 2018 at 7:41 am

Alan Tomalty

Nick the latent heat is trapped within the ice because if the ice then melts the latent heat then gets trapped in the water and if the water then vapourizes the latent heat gets trapped in the H2O molecules in the air. The real controversy in AGW is where does this latent heat go when the clouds drop the rain back to the surface. I contend that it goes into the water again which then starts the latent heat cycle all over again. what a lot of meteorologists get wrong is that when the oceans evaporate they forget that the atmosphere as well as the ocean water itself gets cooler. The atmosphere gets a little cooler because of the heat needed to force the H2O molecules into the atmosphere. It takes energy to do this. There is no free ride in physics. Thus evaporation is a cooling process all the way around. Dont forget until the energy leaves for outer space it doesnt just disappear. Thus when the atmosphere cools a little from evaporation, that would overwhelm any radiation of heat caused by greenhouse gases. Thereason why the atmosphere doesnt start freezing is that evaporation will only happen when the temperature is warm enough. So in essense it is like a massive HVAC setup where the power is provided by the sunlight. Because only half of the earth gets sunlight at any one time the different evaporation regimes cause pressure differentials which cause winds to blow and thus air circulation and heat differentials around the globe. AGW got it wrong when they thought that CO2 IR trapping was causing an increase in temperature and that the clouds of H2O would make it worse for trapping heat because H2) molecules trap 10 times as much heat as CO2 molecules. This is proven by examining the IR absorption bands of the 2 molecules. The reason why the H2O molecules dont trap the IR heat to any major extent is because the large amount of latent heat they are already carrying. so in effect vapourization of water from the oceans act as a cooling effect not as a warming effect. Even Battisti recognized this in one of his studies a couple of years ago when he studied the LIA and the last 1000 years of climate. Now Battisti is trying to say that AGW is caused by incoming solar radiation which is increased (he says) by a decreasing albedo effect. He says that the decreased albedo effect is caused by the increased moistening of the atmosphere (more clouds) and by the reduction of snow and ice because of temporary global warming. His use of the words temporary actually means decades. He says that eventually the increased CO2 causes the warming but then the earth settles down into a new equilbrium and the effects of IR absorption are then vastly outweighed by the decreased albedo. Of course this is all bullshit as you cant have clouds warming and cooling at the same time. They either warm the atmosphere or they cool it or they do nothing. Noone says they do nothing therefore Battisti is trying to have it both ways.


When evidence is found that refutes one’s fervently held Faith, minds are blown.

The Original Mike M

Did anyone think to try some ice fishing after they were done taking photos?


An interesting observation. The article says that this research was conducted near the middle of the Ross ice shelf. There are no volcanoes in that area, but there is a large cluster of them and a large heat flux at the extreme southeastern edge of it. They really should fly over there and repeat the procedure to see if they get the same results.


The volcanoes are right beneath the areas of McMurdo and Scott Base.


Another area that could be worthwhile researching is west of where this research was conducted (assuming they were in the middle of the ice shelf). There is a large geothermal heat flux beneath the heads of the glaciers feeding the Ross ice shelf, but it looks like the topography in that area drains southwest of Siple Dome. That would possibly channel sub-glacial melt water to the west of Roosevelt Island. Where this research was conducted is well east of there. The glaciers northeast of Siple Dome may not be subject to the same geothermal effect. So another good point to do this research might be between Roosevelt Island and the mainland.comment image


Ice thickening? On Antartica, in December? That can’t be right! Noooooooooooooo.
It is Summertime overthere!

Terry Gednalske

From the NatGeo article:
“The Ross Ice Shelf “has come and gone probably many times in the last million years,” says Scherer. It likely collapsed during a warm period 400,000 years ago. But he believes it could also have collapsed as recently as 120,000 years ago, the last time that temperatures were about as warm as they are today.”
When it happened then, it was a natural event. We are lead to believe that when it happens again, it will be a human-caused disaster! The simpler explanation is that the same natural forces that caused it in the past are still at work, and will be responsible for the next occurrence? I say the science is settled. Nothing is happening now, that can’t be fully explained by natural phenomena.


That is Fake News. The AND-1B drill-core shows that the last time the Ross shelf-edge was south of McMurdo Sound was during the MIS-31 interglacial for just over 1 million years ago.


Can you post a link to this?


And it was a lot warmer than now in the Ross Sea area 120,000 years ago. About 8.5 degrees warmer than now as a matter of fact:
Steig, E. J. et al. Wisconsinan and Holocene climate history from an ice core at Taylor Dome, western Ross Embayment, Antarctica. Geogr. Ann. A Phys. Geogr. 82, 213–235 (2000).

Kristi Silber

A simpler explanation doesn’t mean it’s right, it’s just simple.


First time I’ve heard an alarmist admit this fact.

Extreme Hiatus

Nice the way CAGW propaganda almost always says “collapsed” instead of receded or melted.
Sounds scarier.

Serge Wright

Their minds were probably blown in a different sense, well before they completed their studies at university.

J Mac

Cognitive Dissonance – Example Follows:
“Scientists discovered hard evidence of Ross ice shelf thickening from bottom freezing. It clearly refutes their beliefs that the ice shelf must be thinning. It ‘blows their minds’……”

John G.

Man I bet that made a pop.

Gunga Din

“It blew our minds”… Of course it blew their minds. It always blows their minds when it’s not worse than previously expected. The climate science community probably has more blown minds per capita than UC Berkeley did in 1969.

Is that the BEST you can do? 😎

If memory serves what happens next is the alarmist community go dead quiet on this issue for a time while feverishly working in the background to assimilate the newly discovered natural phenomenon into the church of carbon dioxide. It will inevitably be shown by some grotesquely contorted, hideously mangled festival of abject and risible pseudoscience to be a direct result of anthro co2 and of course much, much worse than anyone had previously anticipated. I say this with a blend of absolute certainty and terminal ennui.

James Griffin

Given that we have been in the process of moving from Sun Cycle 24 to 25 the Solar Physicists have been expecting a move to a colder climate.
Looks like this ice issue may be the first evidence.


Something about blowing your mind and a jumble of snowflakes. The usual from the climate community…zzzzzzz

Karl Baumgarten

The lack of current global warming is increasing the frequency of mind blown alarmists. These flaky data shifters should be removed from any government post they currently squat in. Their office should then be cleaned thoroughly before being occupied by a real human.