Even Gooder News!!! East Antarctic Ice Sheet (the big one) Remained Stable Throughout the Pliocene!

Guest Commentary by David Middleton

This just eliminated 81% of all of the potential catastrophic sea level rise in the Warmunists’ Little Red Book…

June 13, 2018

Largest ice sheet on Earth was stable throughout last warm period

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The largest ice sheet on Earth was stable throughout the last warm period in geologic time, indicating it should hold up as temperatures continue to rise.

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is the world’s largest potential contributor to sea level rise (175 feet, if the whole thing melted). Unlike the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, though, it’s been resistant to melt as conditions warm.

New research published in Nature shows that land-based sectors of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet were mostly stable throughout the Pliocene (5.3 to 2.6 million years ago), when carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere were close to what they are today – around 400 parts per million.

[…]

Purdue University

Pages from pp1386a-2-web-23

Table 3 from USGS Professional Paper 1386-A-2.. 65 out of 80 potential meters of ice-related potential sea-level rise resides in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. The Statue of Liberty has been saved!

You can’t get there from here!

Zachosetal2001_Cenozoic d18O_4

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is stable below and probably a little above the dashed red line. Zachos temperature calculation on the right vertical axis is only for an ice-free ocean. The left vertical axis uses a conversion suitable for the Quaternary; however, the baseline is probably wrong.  SST’s shouldn’t be negative.  However, the relative change should be reasonably accurate.

Here a zoom in on the Pliocene and Quaternary…

Zachosetal2001_Cenozoic d18O_5

Current temperatures are well below the Holocene Climatic Optimum, which is about 3 C cooler than the Pliocene.

On to the Holocene (Andy May)

The study actually found that much of East Antarctica has been solidly frozen for at least the past 8 million years.

Of course, the Warmunists have to conclude with an obligatory speculative non sequitur

“The findings indicate that atmospheric warming during the past eight million years was insufficient to cause widespread and/or long-lasting meltback of the EAIS margin onto land,” the team of scientists write in the new study, titled “Minimal East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat onto land during the past eight million years.”

The findings not only clarify the past impact of rising temperatures on East Antarctic ice, but confirm the accuracy of models scientists are using to assess past and future consequences of a warming planet.

“These findings add to the growing body of evidence that curbing levels of  can still ensure the stability of significant amounts of ice in Antarctica and around the globe,” said Shakun.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-06-east-antarctica-frozen-million-years.html#jCp

Really?  The finding that much warmer temperatures in the past failed to melt the East Antarctic Ice Sheet “confirm the accuracy of models scientists are using to assess past and future consequences of a warming planet.”… It’s not even grammatically possible to confirm the accuracy of models of “future consequences.”

How do these people get away with continuously falsifying their own hypotheses and declaring the confirmation of those hypotheses.  This is like drilling a string of dry holes and calling it a confirmed discovery.

References

Shakun, Jeremy D.,   Lee B. Corbett, Paul R. Bierman, Kristen Underwood, Donna M. Rizzo, Susan R. Zimmerman, Marc W. Caffee, Tim Naish, Nicholas R. Golledge & Carling C. Hay.  Minimal East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat onto land during the past eight million years.  Nature volume 558, pages284–287 (2018).

Williams, R.S., Jr., and Ferrigno, J.G., eds., 2012, State of the Earth’s cryosphere at the beginning of the 21st century–Glaciers, global snow cover, floating ice, and permafrost and periglacial environments: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386–A, 546 p.

Zachos, J. C., Pagani, M., Sloan, L. C., Thomas, E. & Billups, K. Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to present. Science 292, 686–-693 (2001).

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Keep in mind that the Vostok and EPICA Ice cores could not exist if the sheet had ever melted. And each interglacial they recorded was warmer than today!!!

Nylo

There wasn’t necessarily ice at those locations, given that the ice moves downhill. Finding ice 400,000 years old in some place does not mean that the place had ice 400,000 years ago. That ice could have been located elsewhere at that time. A better claim is that some place somewhere uphill had ice 400,000 years ago.

(This is just a technicality irrelevant for your main point, so yes, most likely all previous interglacials were warmer than the current one and this didn’t make Antarctica lose its ice sheet).

MarkW

These are ice domes. Places that ice flows away from.

Allen Duffy

81%? With a little more effort, surely we could make it 97%?

Sweet Old Bob

Was he severely SHAKUN as a baby ?

Andrew Kerber

Anthony – we really dont need to be concerned about this claim of West Antarctic ice disappearing. It disagrees directly with many other studies that stated the opposite. The real question is, were the other studies mentioned in the peer review process, or was there simply no peer review process?

Jeff Alberts

Andrew, the article is about the East ice sheet…

Great news — exciting to read tomorrow’s above the fold headline today at WUWT!!!

Gary Pearse

West Antarctica sheet~3 million km^3, ocean ~350million km^3. All melt=8.6m SLR.

tty

No, 3.3 meters. Most of the WAIS is below sea-level, so a lot of the meltwater is needed to fill up the hole it made by melting. And seawater is about 10% denser than ice.

Alan Tomalty

Totaling up the world’s ice we get a total volume of approximately 3.3*10^16 m^3.

It takes around 3.33 * 10^5 Joules to melt one kilogram of ice.
The density of ice is around 916.7 kg/m^3.
The heat of fusion for ice is L(f)=3.33 * 10^5 Joules/kg, so the total amount of energy to melt one kg of ice is Q=3.33*10^5 Joules.
Finally, we need to heat up the now-melted water so that it stays as a liquid. I’ll define that as T=5*C.

So, we need to do the specific heat formula Q=mcT, where “c” is the specific heat of LIQUID water. That’s around c=4,186 Joules/kg*C. That means that the amount of energy required is Q=20,930 Joules.

Add up all the energies required to find the total energy required to change the temperature of water from -50*C to 5*C. And we get Q=4.59*10^5 Joules. Multiply by total amount of ice

We get a total energy of around Q=1.38 * 10^25 Joules of energy needed to melt all of world’s ice.

There was energy consumption was 5.67 × 10 20 joules, … of World Energy June 2017;

That means it would take 24338 years to melt all of the world’s ice at present rate of energy use. If all the world’s ice melted the sea level would rise 66 meters. So 1% of that is 0.66 meters or 26 inches. That means we would have to apply all of the world’s energy use into blowtorches directly melting the ice and assuming if we had enough blow torches and the means to supply them with all of the world’s energy.Are you scared when 10% of that ice melts? okay wait for 2434 years. Are you scared if 1% of that ice melts? okay wait for 243 years.

But the alarmist argue that the energy use will increase every year. Okay
Per capita energy consumption is basically flat except for China but everyone expects that will level off long before 2100. The World Bank estimates that world population will peak at around 11.2 billion with 0 rate of growth in the year 2100 based on present rates of growth which is 1.15% and has been declining for the last 60 years. So if we assume that the world will maximize its energy use in 2100, that is only 82 years away and is only 1/3 of the way to the unrealistic and impossible scenario of trying to melt at least 1% of all the ice in the world with blowtorches. Then for the last 160 years of those total of 243 years needed to melt 1% of the ice, there would be no increase of energy use. So since the world needs some energy to operate other than to blowtorch all the ice we will give the extra energy use back to the world for that last 161 years in order to survive. They would need some of the energy in the 1st 82 years as well so we couldnt run as many blowtorches as we wanted to but for the alarmist sake we will give them the benefit of the doubt.

So if the sea level would rise 26 inches for the 1% scenario (See above) that means 0.1 inch per year. But the sea level already is rising about 0.1 inch per year and is showing no signs of accelerating. Don’t forget that you have to transport all of the worlds blowtorches to all of the ice and use all of the worlds energy for the 1st 82 years to do this for 243 years just to make the sea level rise to double its piddly amount of rise per year that has happened for each year of the last 14000 years. So what in the hell are we worried about?

Twobob

Electric blanket would be more efficient.
A blow torch is what it name means.
Just saying…

Gary Pearse

And most of the ice is at altitudes that stay frozen even in the temperate zones.

M.W.Plia.

Yes, things are stable. Kind of obvious, don’t ya think?

The relative constancy of Earth’s temperatures over eons is the direct product of the relative constancy of solar irradiance and the orbital parameters. There’s a closely fixed amount power being supplied to warm the different components in the passive system and nothing can severely change that.

This CO2 scary hobgoblin is getting so boring….and yet and yet.

ngard2016

Just one problem with this new study. The Royal Society graph of ALL their Modelling studies show that Antarctic will be negative for SLR over the next 300 years and Greenland will be positive,
Of course Lomborg included this RS graph in his book over 10 years ago. Some how we are now told that this will change to a net positive for SLR, so they now must concede that their numerous past studies are incorrect. David, anyone?
Certainly I don’t think we should panic about a 0.01% change since 1992. What a joke. Here’s the RS graph for SLR until 2300.

http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roypta/364/1844/1709/F4.large.jpg

Bruce Cobb

Honestly, Warmists are such Debbie Downers, they can take the best news and find the poopy lining.

MarkW

Even if they have to make it up.

Tom Abbott

From the article: “The largest ice sheet on Earth was stable throughout the last warm period in geologic time, indicating it should hold up as temperatures continue to rise.”

That should be: “If” temperatures continue to rise.

MarkW

The Greenland glaciers have been melting?
Not as much as the alarmists have been claiming.

GeoNC

I’ll start to get concerned about the Antarctic ice sheet when the Drake Passage closes and does away with the circum-Antarctic current. Until then, not so much

Javier

In my humble opinion there is nothing really surprising or new in the latest Shakun paper. It is very well known that ice ages are defined by the presence of extensive continental ice sheets. Even Wikipedia knows that “The Current Ice Age began 34 million years ago, its latest phase being the Quaternary glaciation, in progress since 2.58 million years ago.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_glaciation

So 8 million years ago the planet had already been in an ice age for 26 million years, meaning extensive build up of the EAIS. The crepuscular Antarctica continent froze so solidly that the only survivors were the penguins. The great penguins, Aptenodytes, are a basal group that split around 40 million years ago when Antarctica must have been on a decidedly cooling path towards the ice age. They are superbly adapted to cold conditions. The rest of Antarctica biota, an entire continent full of animals and plants, got slaughtered by the cold. Not a mass extinction but a great extinction bigger than anything humans have ever seen, although probably a very slow one.

The last glacial maximum, just a mere 20,000 years ago was probably the coldest the planet has been in about 300 million years. And that was with Upper Paleolithic humans around. So unless it gets even colder, we are pretty much at the bottom of the Current Ice Age and it will take the planet tens of millions of years to get out of it.

zazove

“glacial maximum, just a mere 20,000 years ago was probably the coldest the planet has been in about 300 million years”

Coinciding with humans taking over the planet, wow. 300 million years, just wow.
Humans must reallly thrive on it… the colder the better. The iceage, like the party, is over.

Smart Rock

Well, zaz, that’s a good point. And a certain amount of thought experiment (aided and guided by observed archaeology) would suggest that severe environmental stress during the last glaciation accelerated the development of homo sapiens as a species, by allowing the most sapient mutations to survive long enough to pass their genes on to successive generations. Developing sapience allowed things like the use of caves as shelters from the weather and predators; the use of fire as a source of heat and light; the use of weapons to kill herbivores as a source of food because there were no fruits left; the use of the skins of herbivores as clothing against the cold; the use of language to coordinate group hunting to kill herbivores that were much larger and stronger than an individual homo sapiens. In short, to survive in a time when survival was wildly improbable.

It’s a very reasonable and plausible contention that we, as a species, are the product of the Wisconsin glaciation. Doesn’t mean that we need, or want a continued ice age. And anyway, who says the ice age is over? Realistically, the best that our descendants can hope for is that the next glacial period won’t be as severe as the last one. Maybe the CO2 that gives you nightmares might even help that hope to be realised. If in fact it has a measurable net warming effect.

Felix

As always, you couldn’t possibly be more wrong.

Humans took over the planet when it warmed and we developed agriculture and animal husbandry in the Holocene.

Don’t you ever get tired of being not just wrong, but laughably wrong?

Javier

Actually humans used the deep glacial period with its low sea levels to expand to Australia and America, so the glaciation helped an earlier global dispersal.

MarkW

If memory serves, sea levels were some 400 feet lower during the peak of the last ice age. A 400 ft drop in elevation should increase temperatures by about 2F. Any tribes that followed the oceans edge downward would have partially compensated for any overall decrease in the planets temperature.

Air pressure is determined by the distance between the top of your head and the top of the atmosphere. (Please allow me to ignore density changes due to changes in average air temperature.) If we assume that ice and water have the same volume, then converting water into ice will have no impact on the height of TOA. Since ice is slightly less dense than water, turning water into ice would actually increase TOA by a small amount.

philsalmon

Felix
Since Mike Mann declared that no palaeo data can be trusted prior to 30-40 kya (in the recent debate with Curry et al) then it’s hardly surprising that you should be wilfully and spectacularly ignorant of human origins. Humans started leaving Africa almost a million years ago; the exodus that was ancestral to all modern humans today (as confirmed by genetics e.g. mitochondrial haplotype L3, Y chromosome data etc) took place about 60,000 years ago. By 30,000 years ago the moderns has spread throughout Eurasia, Europe, Indonesia-Philippines and Australia and had driven to extinction all remaining archaic humans (Neanderthals, Denisovans, Floresiensis etc.).

Yes the warming Holocene saw the agricultural and industrial revolutions and recent human history. But “took over the planet” happened long before that.

tty

“Humans started leaving Africa almost a million years ago”

Earlier than that. The oldest securely dated humans outside Africa is at Dmanisi in Georgia, c. 1.8 million years ago.

Javier

The Ice Age isn’t over until the continental ice sheets are gone, and it is very likely that it will take millions of years for that to happen. There simple isn’t enough fossil fuels in the planet to even make a dent to the EAIS. And since you don’t seem to know much, the greenhouse effect appears to work in reverse over Antarctica, as the surface is generally colder than the air above, so more CO₂ might actually cool Antarctica. If this wasn’t enough we still have 10,000 more years of decreasing obliquity, that should reduce insolation at both poles. The climate of Antarctica is a fascinating subject. It is so strange as if it was in a different planet. It was a great loss for the biosphere to lose an entire continent to the ice.

And no, humans do not thrive on cold, they have just culturally adapted to all type of environments. We are a tropical species that evolved very close to the Equator. The loss of hair coat and the overabundance of sweat glands indicate we are adapted to efficient cooling, suggesting we probably evolved as endurance running hunters of overheating preys. Without our cultural adaptations the next glaciation would send us back to the tropics.

zazove

So just a ridiculously strong correlation, not a cause?

Javier

What correlation?

MarkW

One of the truisms of science is that correlation is not causation.
It helps you know where to look, but it isn’t in and of itself, proof.
Even a pathetic troll should know that much.

Ask any biologist, humans are a tropical species, ill adapted to surviving in non-tropical climates. We must use technology that we invent to do so.

John Miller

Not according to this Nature article from November 2008:

[quote]Climate in the early Pleistocene varied with a period of 41 kyr and was related to variations in Earth’s obliquity. About 900 kyr ago, variability increased and oscillated primarily at a period of approximately 100 kyr, suggesting that the link was then with the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit. This transition has often been attributed to a nonlinear response to small changes in external boundary conditions. Here we propose that [b]increasing variability within the past million years may indicate that the climate system was approaching a second climate bifurcation point, after which it would transition again to a new stable state characterized by permanent mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere glaciation.[/b] From this perspective the past million years can be viewed as a transient interval in the evolution of Earth’s climate. We support our hypothesis using a coupled energy-balance/ice-sheet model, which furthermore predicts that the future transition would involve a large expansion of the Eurasian ice sheet. The process responsible for the abrupt change seems to be the albedo discontinuity at the snow-ice edge. The best-fit model run, which explains almost 60% of the variance in global ice volume during the past 400 kyr, predicts a rapid transition in the geologically near future to the proposed glacial state. [b]Should it be attained, this state would be more ‘symmetric’ than the present climate, with comparable areas of ice/sea-ice cover in each hemisphere, and would represent the culmination of 50 million years of evolution from bipolar nonglacial climates to bipolar glacial climates.[/b][/quote]

Transient nature of late Pleistocene climate variability. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23469978_Transient_nature_of_late_Pleistocene_climate_variability [accessed Jun 17 2018].

commieBob

The global average temperature in the mid-Pliocene (3.3 Ma–3 Ma) was 2–3 °C higher than today,[1] global sea level 25m higher [2] and the northern hemisphere ice sheet was ephemeral before the onset of extensive glaciation over Greenland that occurred in the late Pliocene around 3 Ma link

So … Greenland was ice free and the oceans were 25m higher.

Greenland probably iced up because the Panama Seaway closed toward the end of the Pliocene. link

If I had to guess, I would say that the Greenland ice sheet is also safe from melting.

krm

“How do these people get away with continuously falsifying their own hypotheses and declaring the confirmation of those hypotheses. This is like drilling a string of dry holes and calling it a confirmed discovery.”
Quite right. In the minerals industry it is the equivalent of salting a mine and selling it to an unwitting dupe. There are now stringent guidelines (eg the JORC code) around the presentation of mineral data and if you stray from them not only will you be out of a job, you’re likely to end up in jail for fraud. Seems to be a somewhat different process in the climate industry.

zazove

“The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is stable below and probably a little above the dashed red line.”

And thats all ya got? Sigh.

What’s the actual motive for publishing this?

Marcus

“What’s the actual motive for publishing this?”???

Umm…how about REALITY !!

zazove

So reality is a dashed red line? Uh, huh.

Take a look at http://andymaypetrophysicist.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/060917_1702_aholocenete7.png

Notice anything missing?

MarkW

No, the dashed line is the temperature of the Earth during the Pliocene, during which time the Antarctic ice sheets did not melt.

The point is that the dashed line is significantly warmer than the Earth is today, and probably warmer than CO2 is capable of making the Earth regardless of how much we succeed in putting out.

zazove

comment image

Jeff Alberts

Z, you DO realize that graph shows we’re still in one of the coldest periods of the entire holocene, don’t you? Why on Earth are you alarmed about modest warming??

MarkW

What I see is that the Earth has been cooling for the last 6000 years or so, which is a bad thing for people.

donb

Motive???
Actual DATA of ice thickness older then 800,000 years. What other data are there?

Jeff Alberts

Z, what have YOU got, based on observations, that an un-adaptable catastrophe is occurring?

MarkW

Proof that the Antarctic ice sheets are not in danger of melting is a big nothing to you?

Are you really that adept at not seeing what you don’t want to see?

Komrade Kuma

These alarmist gallots take a snapshot of the planet through a drinking straw and if they see an ant the headline is “PLANET DOOMED BY MONSTERS FROM MARS!!!” and that drives the narrative of the next round of funding applications.

Percy Jackson

David,
Given your statement ““How do these people get away with continuously falsifying their own hypotheses and declaring the confirmation of those hypotheses. ” I would like to know exactly
who “these people” are and what hypotheses they are making and how this study falsifies them?
The abstract of the paper says explicitly that this experiment is “in agreement with the latest models”! Hence it appears that rather this is a case of the modellers making an accurate model of the antarctic ice sheet and how it responds to a rise in temperature which is then verified by subsequent experiments.

As for the blue graph going from 10,000 BC to sometime in the 2nd half of the 20th Century: It shows the peak spike of the MWP going about .22 degree C warmer than the “WWII bump”, which is a little spike not having a label in that graph. The “WWII bump” is for real, but it gets exaggerated in the sea surface datasets used in some global temperature datasets by a shift in SST biases due to shifts in nationality/kind of ships crossing oceans as WWII was approaching, occurred, and ended. A SST dataset that corrects for this better than most others is HadSST3. One that does not is the “pausebuster” ERSSTv4 favored by Thomas Karl, which appears to help show (recent versions of GISS) global temperature increasing unnaturally steadily (and more than any version of HadCRUT so far ever did) since 1950 .

There is the matter that there is HadCRUT3, which used methodology that was developed before “The Pause” made itself obvious. And it did not fully correct for the ship nationality/kind shifts around WWII contributing to the “WWII bump”. HadCRUT3 was about .35 degree C warmer during The Pause than it was in the “WWII bump”. So, global temperature during The Pause was warmer than the peak shown spike of the MWP, and even at least matching the top of the peak spike of the Roman Warm Period the way this graph looks.

tty

To some extent this is once again “me too” science. It is already well established that there was no extensive Pliocene ice-retreat in the Ross sea area. As a matter of fact the glaciers advanced beyond their present extent:

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.429.6089&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Still it is useful to confirm information by a completely different method.

philsalmon

David
Michael Mann has announced that no palaeo data can be trusted prior to 40 kya. So the Eemian and anything earlier no longer exist. Sorry about that! The discipline of geology has just disappeared.

Jeff Alberts

Mann likes to think that ANY paleo data can be trusted. The data he used certainly can’t be, that’s why he had to use a “novel” statistical method, and grossly overweight his Bristlecone Pine series in order to obtain his Hokey Stick. He still won’t admit it, neither will any alarmist, even though it’s been amply demonstrated.

MarkW

Data that supports his theory is trust worthy, all else isn’t.