Claim: melting of glaciers on one side of the globe can trigger disintegration of glaciers on the other side of the globe

From the Alfred Wegener Institute and the “Melting triggers sympathetic melting” department

Scientists show how warm ocean water melted glaciers during the last glacial period – a potential template for processes affecting the modern Antarctic ice sheet

Iceberg in front the antarctic peninsula (Photo: Thomas Ronge)

The melting of glaciers on one side of the globe can trigger disintegration of glaciers on the other side of the globe, as has been presented in a recent paper by a team of AWI scientists, who investigated marine microalgae preserved in glacial deposits and subsequently used their findings to perform climate simulations. The study highlights a process with alarming consequences for modern ice sheets—continuous warming of the ocean can result in a massive loss of polar ice mass, and consequently to rapid sea level rise.

Ocean basins around the world are interconnected by large-scale current systems, and like a global conveyor belt, the currents transport water around the globe at varying depths. The resultant distribution of warm and cold water masses is critical for global climatic conditions. Scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences have now documented how a change in currents in one  basin can trigger massive and unexpected changes in a distant basin, even on the other side of the planet.

The Bremerhaven-based researchers report in the journal Nature that during the last glacial period, a massive inflow of freshwater into the polar North Atlantic set off a chain of events in the ocean and the atmosphere, which resulted intensive glacier melting in the North Pacific, thousands of kilometres away. The source of the freshwater was melting ice sheets, which covered land masses surrounding the North Atlantic during the glacial period. At the end of the chain of events,  penetrated the Pacific coastal area of the North American continent, which was also covered by an . As a result, parts of the sheet disintegrated and were released into the Pacific as large-scale flotilla of icebergs. Considering that the modern ocean is warming continuously as a result of global warming, this finding is alarming for the AWI scientists. Comparable to the process observed in the eastern North Pacific during the last glacial melting, the ongoing ocean warming may disintegrate Antarctic ice, which subsequently would result in a significant .

Together with a team of scientists, AWI geoscientist Edith Maier describes a complex stepwise process. First indications were gathered from sediment sampling during an expedition with the German research ship Sonne 600 kilometres off the coast of Alaska. The recovered glacial sediment layers of up to cobble-sized stones, which originated in the distant continental land. The only feasible explanation: the stones must have been transported while incorporated within icebergs into the open North Pacific Ocean when the North American coast was covered by an ice sheet. Confirmation came from the dating of the layers, which reveals that the stony layers were deposited around 16,000 and 38,500 years ago, during the last . “Accordingly, we assume there were two major melting events in the North Pacific realm,” says Edith Maier.

To test this thesis, the team employed an innovative analytical technique pioneered at the AWI. The method uses diatoms to determine how intensively the salinity of ocean surface waters has declined, e.g., due to meltwater deposition. By performing an oxygen isotope analysis on the remains of the siliceous parts of diatoms preserved in the sediment record, the researchers were able to identify at what times the surface salinity was most intensively affected by melting ice. “In fact, our analyses showed that there were major inflows of freshwater into the area south of Alaska roughly 16,000 and 38,500 years ago,” confirms Edith Maier.

Previous reconstructions of glacial conditions have documented that meltwater inflows have caused major drops in surface salinity in the North Atlantic, a feature that inspired Edith Maier to investigate whether the meltwater events in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific were linked via the global water circulation. Today, warm surface water is transported from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, then flows around the southern tip of Africa towards the Caribbean realm and then spreads into the North Atlantic via the Gulf Stream.

The driver of this global flow is the generation of cold and salty water in the polar North Atlantic. This water, produced during ice formation, is denser than warm water and therefore sinks into the deep ocean. As a result, the surface warm water is pumped to the North. But 16,000 and 38,500 years ago, the global “pumping system” was seriously disrupted by the decreased salinity of the North Atlantic. Consequently, only little warm water flowed out of the Pacific, causing the tropical Pacific to get warmer. In turn, more warm water reached the western coasts of Canada and Alaska. The inflow of warmer water destabilized the ice sheet covering the coastal areas which resulted in a discharge of the continental ice into the ocean and a drop in surface salinity.

To validate this scenario, Edith Maier asked the AWI’s climate modelers, led by Gerrit Lohmann, whether such a complex, global chain of events could be simulated using computer models. The results were unequivocal: If the oxygen isotopes are taken into account, the models clearly show that the phenomenon occurs. The model results also show that meltwater pulses in the Atlantic caused the changes in the Pacific—and not the other way round. “Our findings are also relevant for the future, because they highlight that climate effects on one side of the Earth can significantly impact regions on the opposite side,” says Edith Maier. “The AWI is currently exploring how similar phenomena involving the inflow of warmer  are now affecting the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet. There is increasing evidence suggesting that further ocean warming will jeopardise both the stability and volume of the Antarctic ice.”

The study: E. Maier et al, North Pacific freshwater events linked to changes in glacial ocean circulation, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0276-y


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July 13, 2018 8:20 am

“alarming consequences”…and of course it’s a new innovated technique

…sick of these people

Reply to  Latitude
July 13, 2018 11:45 am

But their research must be good because they ran climate simulations to demonstrate how bad things could get! 😄

steven mosher
Reply to  Stringplayer55
July 14, 2018 5:31 am

no, they ran simulations to see if the thesis they derived from the data made sense in the model.
the data drives the interpretation. the modelling merely reinforces what the data say.

this is referred to as consilience of evidence.

like if you had a thermometer reading of -4c
and then also found that ice had formed.

supporting evidence from a different approach.

standard stuff

Reply to  steven mosher
July 15, 2018 4:05 am

But if thermometer is in the South Pole and ice in the North Pole perhaps not. Here the thermometer seems to be in the northern Pavific and ice in the North Pole. Hewing to your science by analogy. Yes standard stuf in the social science of climatology

Reply to  Stringplayer55
July 14, 2018 4:56 pm

Too bad I can’t run simulations on my retirement accounts and then have the simulations declared to be reality.

Reply to  Latitude
July 14, 2018 2:29 am

innovative ( aka non validated ) techniques.

The most obvious problem is why would one expect the last glacial period to be a “template” for the current inter-glacial.? These two climate states are very different.

BTW what is the woolly word “template” supposed to imply in scientific terms? Is templatology a new branch of statistics ?

It seems that this is a word game, where it suffices to say the magic word template and this obviates the need to show that there is an established relationship which can be used
to infer a behavioural link,

This probable needs to be put in a box with synchronised menstruation.

Reply to  Greg
July 14, 2018 4:36 am


steven mosher
Reply to  Greg
July 14, 2018 5:35 am

untested? technique has been around for 5 years. read up on it.

Curious George
July 13, 2018 8:35 am

“If the oxygen isotopes are taken into account, the models clearly show that the phenomenon occurs.”
Yes, and the model used by the Old Testament, clearly shows that the Earth is not quite 5,000 years old.

Reply to  Curious George
July 13, 2018 8:47 am

Are those dog years, or people years, or God years?

Reply to  commieBob
July 13, 2018 9:58 am

None of the above. They’re the product of the fevered imagination of an Irish Anglican Archbishop named Ussher, who added up the begats (along with other chronological jiggery-pokery) and came up with a Creation date and time of around 6 pm on 22 October, 4004 BC. Others had done similar calculations, but for some reason, his estimate has stuck.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
July 13, 2018 10:36 am

The date is not surprising. What takes the biscuit is the 6 PM.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
July 13, 2018 11:48 am

It was done just in time for god to put her feet up, listen to the 6 o’clock news… & have a biscuit, some beers & a splif.

Reply to  saveenergy
July 14, 2018 3:08 am

” in time for god to put her feet up”

OMG , even the Lord has gone transgender these days. Clearly the destruction of Saddam and Gomorrah was not enough to repress his latent tendencies. This time God will have to destroy the whole of creation.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
July 13, 2018 12:45 pm

I always understood it was 4pm. GMT? BST? CET? EST? We should really be told.

Reply to  Newminster
July 14, 2018 3:05 am

Universal time , of course. That’s what used to be called GMT, since Greenwich is the centre of God’s universe.

( Greenwich, London , not village people Greenwich )

John Harmsworth
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
July 13, 2018 12:57 pm

For starters, 6 p.m. is almost dark at that time of year and the first thing he did was create light. There might be another thing or two I could question about the whole yarn as well.
Like, what was the temperature? Did he have to create a hockey stick right away to get things up to operating temperature? Did he use the same magic math as Michael Mann for that? Apparently Adam and Eve were running around naked so I assume it was warmer in the Garden of Eden and yet there was no drought or severe storms or aberrant weather such as out of season blizzards.
They must have really made God mad. He infested us with Eco-Socialist loonies.

Reply to  John Harmsworth
July 13, 2018 7:32 pm

God gave us all free will, even the eco-socialist loonies, who’ve given their will away to the MSM.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  commieBob
July 13, 2018 12:51 pm

God’s Dog years.

Reply to  commieBob
July 13, 2018 8:51 pm

Must be canary years.

July 13, 2018 8:39 am

The model results also show that meltwater pulses in the Atlantic caused the changes in the Pacific—and not the other way round.

OMG! Facepalm.

Just exactly how were these models validated? There’s always a requirement:

Compare the model input-output transformations to corresponding input-output transformations for the real system. link

I don’t see how they could possibly have done that.

Reply to  commieBob
July 13, 2018 8:59 am

They have ignored the AMO ….at their peril

Reply to  Latitude
July 14, 2018 3:13 am

Did the AMO even exist in the last glaciation. If it did it would have been very different from today.

This is why this whole exercise is total BS. The world cliamte is in a totally different state during glaciation. How the hell do they manage to justify what happened then as being a “template ” for the current inter-glacial.

Jan E Christoffersen
Reply to  commieBob
July 13, 2018 9:49 am

Commie Bob,

Yes. I thought the big melt-water outflows into the North Atlantic occurred around 14,000 years ago (or later), hence, significantly after the younger Pacific event 16,000 years ago.

Roy Martin
Reply to  commieBob
July 13, 2018 1:48 pm

In post-normal science, you simply reverse the process!
“To validate this scenario, Edith Maier asked the AWI’s climate modelers, led by Gerrit Lohmann, whether such a complex, global chain of events could be simulated using computer models.”

steven mosher
Reply to  commieBob
July 14, 2018 5:38 am

its not about model validation.
you really need to read harder.

Reply to  steven mosher
July 14, 2018 4:55 pm

An unvalidated model is pure speculation at best but probably better described by the technical term garbage.

July 13, 2018 8:40 am

I can shorten that to “Super El Nino” for both poles, but then that does not get counted as a publ.

July 13, 2018 8:42 am

Of course it has to be one pole effecting the other…not!
It couldn’t possibly be happening at both ends simultaneously. Seeing as the sun is the ONLY external source of energy for this planet (lets neglect starlight) unless there is some massive solar activity which acted within one year’s span, both poles would be effected equally. That being said, given the same amount of energy they wouldn’t necessarily have the same immediate result. The thermal mass of each will determine how that heat is absorbed and or transported throughout.
The argument put forth in the article is akin to saying because the river broke free of ice sooner than the forest next to it, the river caused the subsequent thaw of the forest.

Conformal Bias
July 13, 2018 8:50 am

Melting triggers melting Scientists? Oh, I see a missing period… lol…

Reply to  Conformal Bias
July 13, 2018 10:55 am

For Michael Mann, it’s always the wrong time of the month…

Reply to  Leo Smith
July 14, 2018 3:15 am

If Mann said it was the wrong time of the month , he’s probably lying. Assume it is the right tome of the month.

July 13, 2018 9:01 am

Yeah, right. Can I sell you London Bridge? You can prove whatever you want with a climate model, as long as you can pay the grant money to the modelling priests up front.

Only problem is the reality doesn’t match the prophesy if you make it easy to check in the lifetimes of those affected- so don’t do that.

Just add the terms you want, dismiss those you don’t as insignificant, and adjust “sensitivities” until you get some conformance with the answer you are asked to give. Theoretical consensus science is SO much easier than deterministic, no proof required or sought by your sponsors, only the answer they expect and can promote as “scientific” for easy profit.

July 13, 2018 9:08 am

Convince me that transitioning out of the last glacial (18kya) is exactly like the lingering end of the present inter-glacial so I can accept the scary conclusions.

July 13, 2018 9:08 am

The abstract does not seem to say how long this process took which is surely what we need to know if we are to panic properly.

Reply to  Susan
July 13, 2018 11:37 am

I don’t know how relevant this is but for a talk that I gave to a local community history group on the recent archaeology work in Greenland in relation to climate change the N Atlantic currents came into the presentation . I quoted a report that said that if you dropped a bottle in the (warm) Irminger current off Iceland today you would have to wait 1000 years for it to pop up again after its global passage through the ocean conveyor system.

July 13, 2018 9:09 am

I just love it when some group discovers that the oceans might just be important to climate.

Microorganism, bacteria, diatoms, forams, tend to evolve and adapt faster than most other life on earth. The authors assume diatom physiology has not changed in past 16 to 30+ thousand years.

Ocean bottom water, a significant part of the so called conveyer, is estimated to be between 700-1000 years old since it last saw the surface. Get this, models estimated the age to be twice as old.

It is bad enough when they model the future without any chance of verification during the lifetime of the modelers but to model complex ocean current conditions tens of thousands of years ago———well so much horse hockey.

We act like we know all about the ocean current system. We don’t; we are still just learning how the system functions today, much less about how it function in the distant past. I would suggest we are not even close to understanding; we are still in kindergarten. As an oceanographer friend told me. “When I was in graduate school (circa 1960s) we all believed we knew all there was to know about the Gulf Stream. No one even thought about doing additional research of the Gulf Stream. Then we put a satellite up to look back. We discovered we knew damn little and what we thought we knew was mostly wrong. For example eddies are very common not extremely rare events as we had been taught.”

Joel O'Bryan
July 13, 2018 9:34 am

“But 16,000 and 38,500 years ago, the global “pumping system” was seriously disrupted by the decreased salinity of the North Atlantic.

38,500 – 16,000 = 22,500 years.
Precession period.
Axial precession meets apsidal precession.

“Axial precession is the trend in the direction of the Earth’s axis of rotation relative to the fixed stars, with a period of 25,771.5 years. Currently, perihelion occurs during the southern hemisphere’s summer. In about 13,000 years, the north pole will be tilted toward the Sun when the Earth is at perihelion.

In addition, the Earth’s orbital ellipse itself precesses in space, in an irregular fashion, completing a full cycle every 112,000 years relative to the fixed stars. Apsidal precession occurs in the plane of the ecliptic and alters the orientation of the Earth’s orbit relative to the ecliptic. This happens primarily as a result of interactions with Jupiter and Saturn.
Apsidal precession combines with the 25,771.5-year cycle of axial precession (see above) to vary the position in the year that the Earth reaches perihelion. Apsidal precession shortens this period to 23,000 years on average (varying between 20,800 and 29,000 years)”.
See Wikipedia and references therein.:

These guys likely found a precession signal.

July 13, 2018 9:47 am

Fee-fi, niddle noddle,
I smell the stench
of a climate model.

Joel Snider
July 13, 2018 9:51 am

Hmmm. Wouldn’t melting glaciers put COLD water into the system?
Ever stood in glacier melt?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Joel Snider
July 13, 2018 10:12 am

The theory is melt water (fresh water, low salinity, more buoyant) shuts down warmer, high salinity current flow and overturning circulation (sinking). Thus the tropical oceans warm because their primary cooling that is the “pumping system” is gummed-up until the fresh water pulse disperses.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 13, 2018 10:35 am

So the cold glacier melt stays at the surface? Keeping the less-buoyant, high-salinity water down deeper – where it ought to be colder anyway? It seems either way, you’d get a net cooling effect. Is the idea that this process somehow retards the tide flow across the entire ocean?
Seriously, not trying to be sarcastic or anything, but doesn’t this seem to be working backwards from a premise?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Joel Snider
July 13, 2018 1:33 pm
Steve O
July 13, 2018 10:01 am

I never knew that icebergs were known to carry cobblestones with them. To support their theory, they should demonstrate that stones are still found in icebergs today. But if the cobblestone deposits show a relatively even distribution, or if there are more stones than can be accounted for then you know the theory is bunk.

Anyway, it’s not exactly true that this is the only explanation. Immanuel Velikovsky would have an easy explanation, but they REALLY wouldn’t like it.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Steve O
July 13, 2018 10:18 am

Ice-rafted debris (rocks, stones, sand, silts from the bottoms of the glaciers) is a well-studied phenomenon. Of course, the beautiful blue color of glacier fed rivers is due to the finely ground silts preferentially refracting the blue light. But the stones and gravel are there too, falling to the ocean floor as the icebergs ablate as they get carried to warmer waters.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 13, 2018 11:34 am

I love the blue color of the glacier, and the diamond clarity of the ice chunks, but the river melt is almost white with glacier flour. I have never seen our glacier river ‘blue’. As it enters the bay, that milk spreads for miles until it reaches some point and the line of sea water and glacier water is quite distinct. It is fascinating to observe. The milk does hide some things just below the surface, so we travel slowly as we enter the river.

Reply to  Haverwilde
July 13, 2018 12:33 pm

It is (old) glacier ice that is blue. Glacial meltwater rivers and lakes on top of glacier sometimes look blue too, but the color comes mostly from the ice:

comment image

Glacial meltwater is brown to milky depending on the amount and type of glacial debris. But once it reaches a lake and the coarser fraction sediments out the lake turns into a beautiful bluegreen color:

comment image

steve case
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 13, 2018 11:52 am

… the beautiful blue color of glacier fed rivers …

The glacier fed rivers in Alaska are muddy, gray with no fish in them.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 13, 2018 4:16 pm

I thought it was something about low oxygen content in the ice?

July 13, 2018 10:18 am

Freezing and melting freezing and melting. I’m sick of this so make up your mind Gaia or we’ll make it for you.

Walter Sobchak
July 13, 2018 10:22 am

“To validate this scenario, Edith Maier asked the AWI’s climate modelers, led by Gerrit Lohmann, whether such a complex, global chain of events could be simulated using computer models.”

Mathematical onanism. It cause blindness and insanity, like this article.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 13, 2018 10:33 am

There is nothing wrong with making computer simulations and running various scenarios to find the ones that best match the data. The problem is degeneracy, that is multiple scenarios can replicate (explain) the data, especially when your data is of low temporal resolution. Low temporal resolution data frequently leads to seeming causality paradoxes where effect only seems to precede causation.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 13, 2018 11:06 am

“To validate this scenario, Edith Maier asked the AWI’s climate modelers, led by Gerrit Lohmann, whether such a complex, global chain of events could be simulated using computer models. The results were unequivocal: If the oxygen isotopes are taken into account, the models clearly show that the phenomenon occurs. The model results also show that meltwater pulses in the Atlantic caused the changes in the Pacific—and not the other way round. ”

Anything can be simulated using computer models. Sooooooooooooooo what does that prove?

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 13, 2018 1:16 pm

In no way whatsoever, is that a meaningful validation.

Ed Zuiderwijk
July 13, 2018 10:33 am

It gives a whole new meaning to the concept of entanglement. If I understand it correctly I should not be surprised if there is, somewhere in the southern hemisphere, another me typing furiously on a tablet. Let’s get in touch!

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
July 13, 2018 1:19 pm

If you get a mirror you can see this individual. Symmetry demands that this person, even though he looks exactly like you, will be opposite-handed!
Or else that what he types causes you to type the same thing on the other side of the world. Either way, it melts glaciers!

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  John Harmsworth
July 13, 2018 1:28 pm

I just checked. You are right: he needs a shave!

Peta of Newark
July 13, 2018 10:36 am

…..currents transport water around the globe at varying depths. The resultant distribution of warm and cold water masses is critical for global climatic conditions…
But doesn’t variations in carbonoxide make for critical climate conditions?

global climatic conditio…
Wouldn’t that mean that if ice melted in one place, it would melt somewhere else, assuming we all actually are on The Same Planet?

climate effects on one side of the Earth can significantly impact regions on the opposite side,
As I write, 17:34 GMT on 13 July, the sun is moving across the surface of this earth at just shy of 431 metres per second.
As far as Sol (the driver of everything) is concerned, there are no ‘opposite’ sides and even if there were, they are closing in at 965 miles per hour

All we have is is the news that “Ice melts”

John M. Ware
July 13, 2018 10:49 am

There is a phenomenon concerning head injuries. If someone is struck a heavy blow on the skull, there will be detectable signs inside the skull, on both the side struck and on the opposite side, as the brain is suddenly propelled from one side of the skull cavity to the opposite. I can’t remember the term for this phenomenon, but it comes up in criminal trials. (The effect is not observed when the skull is held stationary, for example, by lying on the floor; there is no bounce effect in that circumstance.)

This article’s hypothesis, that glacier melt on one side of the globe stimulates similar melt on the opposite side, struck me as quite similar. So now, inquiring minds want to know: What sort of blow was struck where the first glacier melted, and who struck that blow?

Reply to  John M. Ware
July 14, 2018 6:21 am

John M Ware : “BEWARE ! ” It was THAW with his Hammer !!!

July 13, 2018 10:55 am

It is amazing what you can surmise when your head is stuck in a computer.

I wonder what the continents looked like back in those ice ages. Just a thought when considering ocean currents.

Reply to  Alasdair
July 13, 2018 4:43 pm

I blame their parents for not restricting mobile phone use at the developmental stage.

Thomas Englert
Reply to  Alasdair
July 14, 2018 9:34 am

I guess the continents looked bigger during the glaciations.

John Harmsworth
July 13, 2018 12:49 pm

Younger Dryas cold spell was caused by melting glacial ice but melting ice causes other melting ice so even cold weather causes the ice to melt! I’ve pulled out all my old physics textbooks and I’m redacting all the things refuted by AGW. There really isn’t much left there to read and I’ve used up all my felt markers. Do they cause AGW, too?

Man Bearpig
July 13, 2018 12:56 pm
Reply to  Man Bearpig
July 13, 2018 4:26 pm

Yikes! That could drop the biggest load of old cobblers on baby whales so what’s the IPCC doing about it?

Andy Pattullo
July 13, 2018 1:01 pm

I suppose modeling has a role in developing hypotheses and testing sensitivity to various inputs however, it remains ridiculous that supposed scientists can make their career on what amounts to pure astrological speculation without doing any real science. If the public and the modelers were sexual partners there would be a hell of a lot of faking going on.

July 13, 2018 1:13 pm

Thankfully, ice sheets are expanding.

Richard M
July 13, 2018 1:28 pm

Changes in the MOC (deep ocean currents) driving global temperature is essentially the theory put forth by Dr. William Gray a decade ago. I believe his view is this caused the recent warming from the depths of the LIA.

These changes can also be driven by changes in rainfall patterns depositing the less dense fresh water. See Thirumalai et al 2018.

Glad to see climate science is catching up to Dr. Gray’s ideas.

Jim Clarke
Reply to  Richard M
July 13, 2018 5:46 pm

I believe Dr. Gray was talking about this 25-30 years ago. Of course he suffered a lot of ridicule and alienation from the scientific community for not towing the AGW line and doing some actual science. May he rest in peace!

James Clarke
July 13, 2018 1:37 pm

I have long suspected that the late 20th Century warming was entirely due to the energy released when Frodo destroyed the one ring in Middle Earth. I didn’t have much evidence until I discovered a rather impressive food stain on page 302 of my first edition copy of The Return of the King.

Analysis of the diatoms in the food stain showed them to be aligned with the hypothetical location of Mount Doom. Carbon dating the ketchup revealed, through a brand new process I devised, that late 20th Century warming began when Mount Doom erupted.

While this evidence is nearly irrefutably, I was not satisfied. In order to be absolutely certain about reality, I asked some computer geeks if they could create a working model of my theory. There model worked perfectly, confirming my theory!

The real surprising result happened when they let the model run one year into the future. Basically, if I am not made King of New Zealand by December, the Nine will ride again!

R. Shearer
Reply to  James Clarke
July 13, 2018 4:41 pm

There is always sniffing glue if that doesn’t work out.

Jim Clarke
Reply to  R. Shearer
July 13, 2018 5:34 pm

My original idea for responding to this nonsense from the Alfred Wegener Institute, was to drag out the tried and true Mark Twain Quote: ““There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” While the quote is perfectly applicable, it lacked the bite and sarcasm this article deserved. I thought it might be fun to try some creative writing, while using the same logic and reasoning as the esteemed members of the AWI. Only the subjects and pronouns were changed to highlight the absurdity of their argument.

It was difficult to create something even more absurd than the original argument. Afterall, it actually says: “To validate this scenario, Edith Maier asked the AWI’s climate modelers, led by Gerrit Lohmann, whether such a complex, global chain of events could be simulated using computer models. ” This notion that ‘if a computer model can model my theory, than my theory is valid’ is not only nonsense, it is extremely dangerous! Such notions will inevitably lead to disastrous practices and policies. In fact, it already has!

Computer models are fictional stories that try to adhere to the known laws of physics (just like great science fiction writers like Larry Niven and Arthur C. Clarke). Still much of the story is unknown, and filled in with assumptions. In climate change, there are the assumptions that climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 is large and that there is a positive water vapor feedback to this sensitivity. These two assumptions make up about 80% of the theory, and remain ‘non-factual’ to this day. The ever-growing evidence is indicating that both of these assumptions are quite wrong, and that the AGW theory is a bunch of crap, yet computer models with these assumptions, if appropriately tortured with even more assumptions, can project results that seem to fit, roughly, what has been observed. As John Von Neumann is credited with saying 65 years ago: “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” Basically, you can make a computer model do almost anything you want it to. It proves nothing!

My “One-Ring” explanation for recent warming is clearly ridiculous, but my logic and reasoning is not much worse than what is coming out of the Alfred Wegener Institute these days.

Reply to  James Clarke
July 13, 2018 4:55 pm

Clearly the most reasonable explanation put forward yet. Having verified the facts with sound analytical measurements makes these facts irrefutable.
Outstanding, and well done.
Good luck with that ruling New Zealand thing.
Keep a sharp lookout for the Entwives. Word has it that they were headed for southern lands before they got separated from the Ents and became lost. The Ents would be most grateful.

John Chism
July 13, 2018 5:49 pm

I have tried every way I know to post a link to graphs and the graphs themselves. All to make a point that it overlooked by apparently everybody. So the best I can do is give a disscription of them for you to find them.

The first graph has at the bottom Eath’s global temperature history showing the Global Glacial Periods and Interglacial Periods. Below the graph is the timeline by my a. To the left border of the graph is the CO2 level in ppm. In the graph are color coded Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic with the corresponding Precambrian on the left to the Tertiary bars on the right. And on the right of the colored graph in the bottom right corner is the Average Global Temperature that at the bottom is 12 C and the top is 22 C with the Average Mean of 17 C. Many sites have used this graph to talk about how CO2 doesn’t follow temperature. So it shouldn’t be hard to find.

The key point is the Average Global Temperature of 17 C (63 F) And that 12 C (54 F) low and the high of 22 C (72 F). So keep that in mind…

The next graph is also very common. It has the Global Temperatures from about 11,700 years ago into the “Last Ice Age” – those quotation marks are intentional – as all graphs going back to that time they have 15 C (56.7 – 57 F) as the Global Mean and the graph has the temperature changes from the Holocene Climate Optimum, Roman Climate Optimum, Medieval Warming and Little Ice Age followed by the Modern Warm Period. The temperature scale on the left has the Last Ice Age about 10.5 C and the hottest is 17 C (63 F).

This is actually saying that since the “End of the Last Ice Age” Earth only warmed to a high of about 16.2 C and the cold average is 13 C. BUT, in this time frame Earth has not even reached the Global Mean of 17 C during the hottest time 6,300 years ago. With this period 15 C average we are still in an Ice Age and it never ended. Earth would have to warm another 6 degrees F just to reach the 63 F Mean of the past nearly 5 billion years. And it would have to warm another 5 C to reach a true Interglacial Period.

We are currently in a stalled 10,000 years transition from 12 C to 22 C that is just +/- 1 C variations from a cold 15 C that’s closer to the 12 C average of Global Glacial Periods.

Nick Schroeder, BSME,
July 13, 2018 6:18 pm

“Table Al summarizes the compiled information on glacierized surface areas of the world. The large ice sheets of Antarctica (85.7%) and Greenland (10.9%) together represent 96.6% of the total area. Within 2 the remaining 3.4% (roughly 550,000 km ), slightly less than two thirds (about 2.1%) concern smaller ice caps at higher latitudes and only about 1.3% mountain glaciers (Shumskii et al. 1964). Such mountain glaciers, however, are those features of perennial surface ice most closely related to human activities at lower latitudes. Excluding the large ice sheets, 50.3% of the surface area of smaller ice caps and mountain glaciers are found in North America [mainly Canada (36.6%) and USA/Alaska (13.7%)], 43.6% in Eurasia [mainly USSR (14.1%), China (10.3%), Pakistan/India (7.3%) and Svalbard (6.7%) ], 4.7% in South America [mainly Tierra del Fuego/Patagonian Icefields (3.9%)], 1.4% in New Zealand/Subantarctic Islands and 0.002% in Africa.”

“…only about 1.3% mountain glaciers…”

Seems to 1.3% don’t have the Hp to do squat.

“The glacierized surface area of all the land ice outside the large ice sheets is in the same order of magnitude as the error in estimating the surface area of Antarctica.”

“Glaciers, ice caps and continental ice sheets cover some ten per cent of the earth’s land surface at the present time, whereas during the ice ages, they covered about three times this amount (Paterson 1994, Benn and Evans 1998). The present ice cover corresponds to about three-quarter of the world’s total freshwater resources (Reinwarth and Stäblein 1972). If all land ice melted away, the sea level would rise by almost 65 m, with the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland contributing about 57 and 7 metres, respectively,

and all other glaciers and ice caps roughly half a metre to this rise (IPCC 2007).”

Wow, an ENTIRE half meter!!!!

Dr. Strangelove
July 13, 2018 8:32 pm

“Edith Maier asked the AWI’s climate modelers whether such a complex, global chain of events could be simulated using computer models. The results were unequivocal… the models clearly show that the phenomenon occurs.”

Sure… but this is more mathematically elegant: Von Neumann’s elephant with 5 complex parameters. His trunk really wiggles!

comment image

July 13, 2018 8:50 pm

“The results were unequivocal:”

Mixed with new models and innovative techniques = GIGO; i.e. Garbage in, Garbage out. Mixing garbage with models does not fix their problems.

howard dewhirst
July 14, 2018 12:42 am

Looking at the Ventusky maps of world weather, one that tells something of the story of the Antarctic is at It contours;-63;1&l=freezing
It contours the height above sea level that freezing occurs in the atmosphere, it is an almost vertical wall running through Southern Argentina and Chile and very close to S Africa and Australia, going from sea level to 16,000 feet over a very short distance. Obviously it is winter there now and it will be interesting to see what it looks like in summer.

old construction worker
July 14, 2018 2:29 am

“Considering that the modern ocean is warming continuously as a result of global warming,…” Is that data from ARGO?

July 14, 2018 6:57 am

The results from chaotically-confused climate models — as in “using computer models. The results were unequivocal:”. Nothing from climate models, or any other numerical model that includes non-linear equations run iteratively, is “unequivocal”. Initial conditions used in each run produce massively different results — see the 40 Earths paper:
“40 Earths: NCAR’s Large Ensemble reveals staggering climate variability” @

or my essay on it “Lorenz Validated” @

John Chism
July 14, 2018 11:51 am

Oh yea of little mind’s.

“Riddle me this Batman.”

Nearly 5 Billion year’s of Earths existence and scientists have studied different thing’s in less than a few hundred years, to show Earth has had Glacial Periods of averaging 12 degrees C of which there have been 5 of them. They also found that Interglacial Periods that average 22 degrees C. Of which there were 4 of those between those the 5 Glacial Periods. Each of those events lasted millions of years. But because they happened so long ago, modern science cannot accurately give fluctuations of degrees occurring during those long periods of low or high temperatures. Nor can they determine temperature fluctuations that occurred during the transitioning between those cold to Hot or those hot to Cold periods that also took about a million years, But to put them in a graph form look like strait up or down lines.

The Mean (averaged) temperature between those Glacial 12 degrees (54 degrees F) and Interglacial 22 degrees C (72 degrees F) Periods is 17 degrees C (63 degrees F) Today our Average Mean Temperature is just 15 degrees C (57 degrees F).

With all this talking about Global Warming and Climate Change. Earth has not been Warming since it stalled from Warming some 10 thousand years ago at 15 degrees C (57 degrees F) +/- only 1 degrees C (1.8 degree F). That Earths Global Temperature has only fluctuated +/- 1 degree C over a 10,000 year period, that is only 5 degrees C warmer than the peak Cold of 12 degrees C of “The Last Ice Age” and that 15 degrees Mean for those 10,000 years has still not reached Earths 17 degrees Mean. Earth is still technically part of the “Last Ice Age” and would have to get hotter by another 1.2 degree C from our current Global Temperature to even touch the 17 degrees Mean.

So here we are arguing about Global Warming and we are still in an Ice Age that has in reality stalled from Warming. People are verbally killing each other over less than 1 degree C. When we haven’t even reached the 17 degrees C Mean of Earths Temperature fluctuations. Actual Global Warming doesn’t even begin until that 17 degrees Celsius is surpassed and climbs towards 22 degrees Celsius.

The questions we should all be asking is… Why has Earths Global Temperature Stalled for the last 10,000 year’s? Why are we still in an Ice Age? What would Earth look like if it really got hotter above 17 degrees Celsius? And What would Earth look like if the Global Temperature dropped back to the 12 degrees Celsius Mean?

Scientists have screwed up with this ideology that Earth is Warming or Cooling by +/- 1 degrees Celsius, because it has Stalled for 10,000 years. Science is living in a fraction of a time frame. They only look at what’s inside this pixal and not the bigger picture. We see the Sun as it Warms and Cools with the cycles we observe. Thinking that it can’t get any hotter or colder. We worry over semantics we know so little about. All because this or that scientists find a new shinny thing to talk about, that’s killing some species somewhere because of Climate Change. While throughout the history of Earth mass extinctions have happened and then new species are thriving. Every field of science is Politicised. As the population swings from one side to another when their side is in power. Creating new swings in the debates of science that effect our Climate. But not addressing the facts that actually matter.

If this 10,000 year Stall of Global Temperatures plunged to another “Little Ice Age” or further to a colder climate. All of life on Earth will be effected. Just as if the Global Temperature increased above the 17 degrees Celsius it would cause a massive effect on all life as we know it.

But what are we doing about it? Bickering about a few fractions of a degrees Fahrenheit. That will cause all of Earths Glaciers to flood some 20% of all coastal landmass of countries globally. Area’s that had evidence of being under water in the last Interglacial Period. But the ignorance of the population and their governments allowed building in those lowland places for thousands of years. Not thinking that some day it could happen again. And the other side of that is the “Last Ice Age” – we’re still in – could just as easily reclaim those Northern areas with Glaciers that the population and Governments allowed building in those areas. Governments only see this Global Warming side as massive landmass losses and economic desasters – that effect their profits – from those heavily populated and highly profitable areas. So they make their policies to make people think they can stop Global Warming and Climate Change. And the ignorance of the population think they can control it by reducing their Carbon Footprints. Because their Government said it will. Indoctrination is how Governments control thei populations. That for over 30 year’s of indoctrination, the population thinks it can stop Earth from changing…

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