Taking down the latest Washington Post Antarctic scare story on 6x increased ice melt

Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds
An alarming study shows massive East Antarctic ice sheet already is a significant contributor to sea-level rise

Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis

January 14 at 3:00 PM (Washington Post)

Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water — a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades.

The Antarctic lost 40 billion tons of melting ice to the ocean each year from 1979 to 1989. That figure rose to 252 billion tons lost per year beginning in 2009, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That means the region is losing six times as much ice as it was four decades ago, an unprecedented pace in the era of modern measurements. (It takes about 360 billion tons of ice to produce one millimeter of global sea-level rise.)

“I don’t want to be alarmist,” said Eric Rignot, an Earth-systems scientist for the University of California at Irvine and NASA who led the work. But he said the weaknesses that researchers have detected in East Antarctica — home to the largest ice sheet on the planet — deserve deeper study.

“The places undergoing changes in Antarctica are not limited to just a couple places,” Rignot said. “They seem to be more extensive than what we thought. That, to me, seems to be reason for concern.”

The findings are the latest sign that the world could face catastrophic consequences if climate change continues unabated. In addition to more-frequent droughts, heat waves, severe storms and other extreme weather that could come with a continually warming Earth, scientists already have predicted that seas could rise nearly three feet globally by 2100 if the world does not sharply decrease its carbon output. But in recent years, there has been growing concern that the Antarctic could push that even higher.

That kind of sea-level rise would result in the inundation of island communities around the globe, devastating wildlife habitats and threatening drinking-water supplies. Global sea levels have already risen seven to eight inches since 1900.

The full drivel here


Why do I call it “drivel”? Three reasons:

1. Anything Chris Mooney writes about climate is automatically in that category, because he can’t separate his fear of doom from his writing.

2. The math doesn’t work in the context of the subheadline. Alarming? Read on.

3. Data back to 1972…where?

First, let’s get some data. Wikipedia, while biased towards alarmism in this reference, at least has the basic data.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_ice_sheet

It covers an area of almost 14 million square kilometres (5.4 million square miles) and contains 26.5 million cubic kilometres (6,400,000 cubic miles) of ice.[2]A cubic kilometer of ice weighs approximately one metric gigaton, meaning that the ice sheet weighs 26,500,000 gigatons.

Now for the math.  

So, if the Antarctic ice sheet weighs 26,500,000 gigatonnes or 26500000000000000 tonnes

252 billion tonnes is 252 gigatonnes

Really simple math says:  252gt/26,500,000gt x 100 = 9.509433962264151e-4 or 0.00095% change per year

But this is such a tiny loss in comparison to the total mass of the ice sheet, it’s microscopic…statistically insignificant.

In the email thread that preceded this story (h/t to Marc Morano) I asked people to check my work. Willis Eschenbach responded, corrected an extra zero, and pointed this out:

Thanks, Anthony. One small issue. You’ve got an extra zero in your percentage, should be 0.00095% per year loss.

Which means that the last ice will melt in the year 3079 …

I would also note that 250 billion tonnes of ice is 250 billion cubic meters. Spread out over the ocean, that adds about 0.7 mm/year to the sea level … that’s about 3 inches (7 cm) per century.

As you said … microscopic.

w.

Paul Homewood noted in the email thread:

Ice losses from Antarctica have tripled since 2012, increasing global sea levels by 0.12 inch (3 millimeters) in that timeframe alone, according to a major new international climate assessment funded by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).

https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2749/ramp-up-in-antarctic-ice-loss-speeds-sea-level-rise/

0.5mm per year.

Not a lot to worry about.

“They attribute the threefold increase in ice loss from the continent since 2012 to a combination of increased rates of ice melt in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula, and reduced growth of the East Antarctic ice sheet.”

Translation: The volcano riddled West/Peninsula is melting bit more and the Eastern Sheet is growing a little less than usual.

Antarctic ice gain/loss by region. Source: NASA/IMBIE Note the starting date.

Paul Homewood adds on his website:

Firstly, according to NASA’s own press release, the study only looks at data since 1992. The Mail’s headline (Taken from the Washington Post – Anthony) that “Antarctica is losing SIX TIMES more ice a year than it was in the 1970s “ is totally fake, as there is no data for the 1970s. Any estimates of ice loss in the 1970s and 80s are pure guesswork, and have never been part of this NASA IMBIE study, or previous ones.

image

Secondly, the period since 1992 is a ridiculously short period on which to base any meaningful conclusions at all. Changes over the period may well be due to natural, short term fluctuations, for instance ocean cycles. We know, as the NASA study states, that ice loss in West Antarctica is mainly due to the inflow of warmer seas.

The eruption of Pinatubo in 1991 is another factor. Global temperatures fell during the next five years, and may well have slowed down ice melt.

Either way, Pinkstone’s claim that the ice loss is due to global warming is fake. It is a change in ocean current that is responsible, and nothing to do with global warming.

Then there is his pathetic claim that “Antarctica is shedding ice at a staggering rate”. Alarmist scientists, and gullible reporters, love to quote impressive sounding numbers, like 252 gigatons a year. In fact, as NASA point out, the effect on sea level rise since 1992 is a mere 7.6mm, equivalent to 30mm/century.

Given that global sea levels have risen no faster since 1992 than they did in the mid 20thC, there is no evidence that Antarctica is losing ice any faster than then. To call it staggering is infantile.

NASA also reckon that ice losses from Antarctica between 2012 and 2017 increased sea levels by 3mm, equivalent to 60mm/century. Again hardly a scary figure. But again we must be very careful about drawing conclusions from such a short period of time. Since 2012, we have had a record 2-year long El Nino. What effect has this had?

But back to that previous NASA study, carried out by Jay Zwally in 2015, which found:

A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses 

Far from losing ice, as the new study thinks, Zwally’s 2015 analysis found the opposite, that the ice sheet was growing.

OK, Zwally’s data only went up to 2008, but there are still huge differences. Whereas Zwally estimates ice gain of between 82 and 112 billion tonnes a year between 1992 and 2008, the new effort guesses at a loss of 83 billion tonnes a year.

It is worth pointing out that Zwally’s comment about the IPCC 2013 report refers to the 2012 IMBIE report, which was the forerunner to the new study, the 2018 IMBIE.

Quite simply, nobody has the faintest idea whether the ice cap is growing or shrinking, never mind by how much, as the error margins and uncertainties are so huge.

The best guide to such matters comes from tide gauges around the world. And these continue to show that sea levels are rising no faster then mid 20thC, and at a rate of around 8 inches per century.

Advertisements

125 thoughts on “Taking down the latest Washington Post Antarctic scare story on 6x increased ice melt

  1. I wanna see Antarctic Climate Researchers visit the White Continent during the Southern Winter.

    Stay there for three-four months without daylight and then get back to us about how Global Warming is threatening the ice in Antarctica.

      • The mail on line is a soft p0rn site, not a newspaper. But it is generally right-biased end of UK politics, not a “liberal” outlet likely to echo WaPo.

        What is a little concerning is that having published some properly skeptical articles by David Rose they now seem to have been convinced to “get with the program”.

        • They had a change of editor recently which has shifted the position of the paper on things like Trump and climate change.

        • I wonder if at some point advocates and activists will realize that false alarms do very little to further their cause, and are probably counterproductive. False alarms may solidify the views of those who are already convinced on the alarmist side, but they also make skeptics more comfortable in their skepticism.

          Those in the middle may be made more fearful, but what happens when find out they’ve been fed false a pile of hooey?

  2. For twenty years ago there was hardly any ice loss, so just a small increase could be calculated to many times more than nothing.

      • projection based on meaningless extrapolation WAY outside the period of data.

        As is typical of all this climate pseudo-science, they have a very limited period of data , fit a linear model of average “trend” for no valid scientific reason then project this model off into the future for a period many times larger than the sample period.

        That degree of extrapolation is totally unscientific and is a key reason why this can be dismissed as pseudo-science without more sophisticated arguments.

    • … but it pays better.
      … but it’s required to work here.
      OR
      … but it’s in my DNA
      … but I can’t help it
      OR
      … but all my friends are alarmist
      … but it’s the trendy thing to be
      OR
      … but I’m not qualified to do anything else
      … but it’s an addiction and withdrawal is too hard

    • Be fair and read what he said after that instead of kneejerk dismissal.

      But he said the weaknesses that researchers have detected in East Antarctica — home to the largest ice sheet on the planet — deserve deeper study.

      As our host points out, the data is weak and the uncertainties large. That … — deserve deeper study.

      “The places undergoing changes in Antarctica are not limited to just a couple places,” Rignot said. “They seem to be more extensive than what we thought. That, to me, seems to be reason for concern.”

      I think we will have much more pressing and important issued to deal with before 2100 but “reason for concern” is not alarmist.

      • Greg:

        It is as “alarmist” as claiming there is “reason for concern” because the Sun came up this morning.

        Richard

      • Greg. Its long past time of giving the benefit of the doubt to those propagating and furthering the hunch – of human-caused climate change – by suggestions like yours that some of those embedded in the hunch are engaged in altruism. I recently reached out to the sole non-Left think tank in Ireland so as to hopefully engage the well-known principal representative in a debate on how the Irish media are totally and utterly entrenched in catastrophism. I had noticed that he and his deputy were absent from regular broadcast debates on how the planet is doomed from all theburning of hydrocarbons. His cordial response shocked me. Rather than enquiring what I wanted to discuss he replied he regarded those who dispute the science as “strange and irresponsible”. He also said that he had noticed evidence of climate all around him in his daily life. We have passed the point of cult status when it comes to the majority believing this climate science junk.

      • The intent is to cause alarm. There is no attempt to reassure us there is NO need to be concerned. There is no other way to interpret, ”That, to me, seems to be reason for concern”

        Giving a quick mention that it may ”deserve deeper study” is the token gesture phrase that gets him off the hook in the future when things don’t go according to plan. He can refer to that and say, ”See, I told you it needed more research.”

        Regards, Eamon.

      • So what do we make of the Cook Mann Antarctic study that from 1979 forward the Eastern Antarctic temperature dropped .2 C per decade? It is already below freezing and the temperature drops .2 C per decade. The drop from 1979 to date would be .8 C. But it is supposedly ‘melting’ at an increased rate? So this must be the product of Oxycontins.

  3. Facts mean nothing , headlines everything that is climate ‘sceince ‘ and AGW proponets , in action .
    Therefore proving their facts wrong has zero effect because these do not matter in the first place.

    • Obviously, the CAGW crowd is really running scared now and doubling down with really catastrophic predictions. After so many years of crying wolf, most realists are no longer listening, and have moved on to real problems

  4. Go to climate4you -> oceans + polar temperature.
    The Argo Circum-Antarctic ocean temperatures 2004 -> from surface to 1900 m depth show no trend.
    The HadCRUT4 Antarctic monthly surface air temperatures south of 70S, 2000 -> show no trend.
    The HadCRUT4 Antarctic monthly surface temperatures 70-90 S, 1957 -> shows no overall trend.
    Perhaps that insidious gas, as well as causing everything from acne to potholes, melts ice.

  5. I agree with the last paragraph. As the tide gauges are showing no acceleration in sea level rise, these estimates of Antarctic melting are probably wrong.

    • Donald,

      I think you must’ve missed some tongue in cheek.

      The ‘acceleration’ mentioned is so small as to be essentially non-existent.

    • Donald,
      Shirley you can’t be serious?
      Did you actually read it?
      Did you not get what was meant by “acceleration factory”?
      Factory, as in a place where things are manufactured.
      Here is the actual conclusion from Willis:
      “And this makes it very likely that Church and White are manufacturing sea level acceleration where none exists … bad scientists, no cookies.”

  6. “You’ve got an extra zero in your percentage, should be 0.00095% per year loss.
    Which means that the last ice will melt in the year 3079.”

    When I saw the first number I thought, well… that means 1% every thousand years, and was ready to set aside a bottle of champagne for somewhere around the year 103079.

  7. The melt must have increased even more dramatically since 2015, when NASA announced that mass gains of ice exceeded the losses. It’s flipped from net ice gain to massive losses of billions of tonnes of ice, in such a short time!!
    (But, of course, this is nothing to do with science. It’s seemingly just an in-house ego-battle between Zwally and Rignot. With Zwally generously considering accretion on the plateau, and Rignot obsessing over glacial melting at the perimeter. Seemingly.)
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses

  8. One ugly fact can ruin a string of beautiful theories. The ugly fact is that global temperature 1000 years ago were at least one degree C. warmer than today, for a period of at least 100 years – and 8000 years ago probably 2 degrees warmer.

    Why all the worries, for heaven’s sake?

    • People who are not worried are usually happier than people who are worried. Happy people can not be controlled as easily as unhappy people.

      • Maybe so, but not as many as are about to be erased by evil capitalists.
        And oil companies. And just “everyday people”, of which, there are way too many.

    • And when dinosaurs ruled the earth, CO2 was about 10 times as high as it is now. Yet some claim that if CO2 doubles, all life will end.

    • To be fair, sea levels WERE higher 8,000 years ago, perhaps a meter or so if I recall correctly. That kind of sea level rise today would cause a lot of trouble. That’s what the alarmists want us to think is happening now, though when it happened before it was all perfectly natural, and there’s zero evidence linking today’s sea level rise to anything but natural causes.

  9. This is much better, the EurekAlert! crap is starting to depress me just thinking about all the energy, time and money being spent on propaganda is very depressing. Thanks for the uplifting Anthony!

    • ditto
      abc rn aus ran this early yesterday
      i get angry hearing this drivel,
      depressed we cant get the debinking onto media to fight back
      i sure annoy;-) mates with a lot of email links to wuwt
      my hertfelt thansk also Anthony et al

  10. Mooney says:
    “Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water”

    This is the; “Warm water flows underneath the colder surface water – underneath the sea ice – underneath the shelf ice and THEN melts the ice sheet at the grounding line.” BS isn’t it?

    Will someone please debunk this crap.

    • You’ve already done so.
      If they seem to just make it up as they go along, it’s probably because they know nobody bothers to even read most of it anymore, so they can say what they like with impunity.

  11. Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds
    More fake science, fake news.

    No it hasn’t. Th extent is allmost back to the 2014 MAX, a maximum since a long time.

    Zhang et al., 2019
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Liping_Zhang19/publication/329372480_Natural_variability_of_Southern_Ocean_convection_as_a_driver_of_observed_climate_trends/links/5c0592f4a6fdcc315f9ad416/Natural-variability-of-Southern-Ocean-convection-as-a-driver-of-observed-climate-trends.pdf

    “Observed Southern Ocean surface cooling and sea-ice expansion over the past several decades are inconsistent with many historical simulations from climate models. Here we show that natural multidecadal variability involving Southern Ocean convection may have contributed strongly to the observed temperature and sea-ice trends.”

    Models say warming ocean and decaying ice at Antartica:
    http://notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Southern-Ocean-temp-and-sea-ice-modeling-failures-Zhang-2019.jpg

    Reality (observations) says cooling ocean and increasing ice, even with the Western Volcano’s doing their best:
    http://notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Southern-Ocean-cooling-and-sea-ice-growing-since-1979-Zhang-2019.jpg

    • This is not about sea ice, which has no effect on sea level, since it is already floating on the ocean.

    • But, the “study” concluding that Antarctica is seeing a 600% increase in ice melt since 1992 claims it is due to warm ocean waters. The Zhang et al. 2019 paper, as long as many other, not to mention empirical data, all show that the Southern Ocean is COOLING in recent decades.

      I know that the cult of global warming has trouble with words, but the difference between what ‘warming’ and ‘cooling’ means should be such a simple concept that even a brain damaged caveman should get it.

      • And if you look at Chartic you’ll see that the antarctic sea ice extent is the lowest it has been since 1979 for the date. I would expect that less seaice means a warmer ocean since there is now ocean where there was formerly ice.

        • Bullshit. This is the Antarctic. Ice extent is almost back to 2014 extent which is the maximum extent in decades.

          Observations say that the sea around Antartica is cooling and is cool, it is not as the models have. Just look at the pictures I linked to.
          One set shows reality (observations) and the other the average of climate models (WRONG).

  12. When I see the tide gauge readings at The Battery in NYC start accelerating, I will start believing the AGW=Drowning meme. It has been rock solid at about 3 mm/yr increase since 1850 – that’s 165 years with no change up or down. And if one is to believe that the recent ~9 years of data from the GPS altimeter gauge at the site represents land elevation changes over the full 165 years of the tide gauge record, then about 2 mm/yr of the relative sea level rise has in fact been due to the and sinking. If you instead choose to consider that the GPS data only represents the past 9 years of elevation changes and there was none before, then The Battery tide gauge shows there to be a sudden decrease in sea level rise from 3mm/yr to 1 mm/yr beginning about 2011! Either way, there is no increase to be sure.

    • Tamino’s recent blog has shown that the New England coast (NY north) sea level is rising more slowly than the median for the east coast whereas the mid atlantic coast sea level is rising more rapidly than the median. The difference being due to differences in the two regions vertical land movement. His fits to data since 1950 show an increase in trend since the 1980s (mid atlantic 2.8-5.1mm/yr), (NE 1.5-4.1).

      • Phil.:

        The blogger who posts as “Tamino” is an academic who
        (a) publishes work in the academic literature
        and
        (b) posts tripe he is not willing to put his name to on his blog.

        Richard

  13. The beauty of estimating ice loss in Antarctica from GRACE data is that the raw data does not differ significantly from zero, so the result depends entirely on which GIA correction you use. Since there is very little actual GIA data from Antarctica (and the data that does exist doesn’t fit any of the GIA models) this allows a rather considerable degree of flexibility in your results.

    • So sextupled might be seventupled, doubled, milliontupled, or even negative billiontupled and it would not mean anything. This whole ‘sextupled’ is meaningless. We don’t really know the sign of the seventies change, so using n-tupled comparison is methodologically wrong.

  14. There must be some central meme clearing house where scheduling of the flotilla of alarms are meted out to researchers. Polar bears were the big thing unti they clearly proved to be just fine thank you. It was so serious an alarm that extinction was nigh. Today, it seems taboo for alarmists to mention these critters. Likewise Penguins are no longer profitable. Hurricanes were once the canaries in the coal mine until we went 12yrs, a new record, without landfalling H and they went quiet until another rash of them in1917 and 18, about the same frequency as in the 1950s. Now they are back in vogue.

    Antarctic ice and Greenland melting are on the quickest scheduling cycle, because since “The Great Greening^тм” and associated bumper crops, about which cloistered silence is strictly enforced except for a couple of pallid attempts to show why it’s a bad thing, fell flat on their faces (egad, we cant have a positive benefit of “carbon”) and sealevel rise is the sort of last resort for calamity. The shrillness of the retreating mountain glaciers catastrophe is now crickets. Do the world mountain glaciers folk still issue a report -it used to be in your face every year.

    The icecaps are becoming the last beachhead and they have proved mainly unsatisfactory. They too are destined to become ‘crickets’ as the end of the line for falsified climate theory inexorably approaches.

  15. So anyone looking at tide gauges can see the rate of change in sea level has been constant for over a century, and that is ignoring the revisions that erased the flat spots in the trend that used to be what was shown by official graphs.
    And ocean total heat content is rising faster than ever, and glaciers are melting faster than ever, and ice sheets are melting faster than ever, and groundwater and surface waters are being pumped for irrigation, adding that to the evaporation and runoff that eventually winds up in the ocean.
    It does not add up.
    Very simple.
    Rate of change of sea level would have to be showing on the tide gauges if all of these other things were occurring.
    Wavier than ever, meltier than ever, tidier than ever, warmier than ever, droughtier than ever, floodier than ever, changier than ever.
    What is actually happening that can explain all of this?
    Making stuff up, more shamelessly than ever.
    That is the only thing the climate mafia are actually expert at.

  16. “….East Antarctica — home to the largest ice sheet on the planet — deserve deeper study.’ This a study to encourage more money for more studies.

  17. Typo

    Which means that the last ice will melt in the year 3079 …

    I think this is missing a couple zeroes, like 3079000 or something, error being a bit large.

      • It’s a good thing that we can linearly extrapolate the last 20 years of data into the next 100,000 years.

        • True, might still be totally wrong. There’s no reason to trust the ice age would end because of human emissions. It could take millions of years. Hansen would disagree, and I’d say bollocks, old hippie.

  18. Scientists use models to measure the movement of land mass in response to changes the ice sheet sitting on top. For example, Zwally said eastern Antarctica’s land mass has been going down in response to ice sheet mass gains.

    That land movement effects ice sheet data, especially in Antarctica where small errors in GIA can yield big changes ice sheet mass balance — whether ice is growing or shrinking. There are also differences in how researchers model firn compaction and snowfall accumulation.

    “It needs to be known accurately,” Zwally said. “It’s an error of being able to model. These are models that estimate the motions of the Earth under the ice.”

    https://dailycaller.com/2018/06/15/antarctica-ice-sheets/

    There are glaciers flowing quicker into the oceans as the front melts quicker but due to current flow. If there is any connection to climate, its because the major reason for climate change is the ocean currents.
    eg.
    https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/1520-0485%282004%290342.0.CO%3B2. (written by ship of fools guy so not the work of deniers).

    • Robert B. The good thing about using Icesat data (as Zwally did) in contrast to GRACE is that for height data as Icesat measures the GIA uncertainty is proprtionally much smaller.

      If the bedrock moves 1 cm up or down this will affect the thickness of the ice by 1 cm for ICESAT, but the same movement will affect the GRACE data by the depth of ice with a mass equal to one centimeter of rock, i e a little over 3 cm.

      This does not imply that Icesat measurements is more precise than GRACE, the opposite is almost certainly true, but GRACE data are much more ambiguous in the absence of actual GIA measurements, which will never be available for most of Antarctica since there is no accessible bedrock.

  19. Ice is melting… ice is accumulating. I say potAto you say poTAHto.

    Who do we believe?

    Well, always best to go to the bottom line results .. is sea level rise accelerating, or not.

    The data say no.

  20. Maybe the Forest Service sociologist can take a run at how confused scare stories based on one study get blared in the media. Hiring an obvious advocate to write what amount to press releases is reprehensible.

    If it’s faulty as it appears to be marshal the facts and ask for a correction. The response if you get one should be interesting.

  21. “I don’t want to be alarmist,” said Eric Rignot, an Earth-systems scientist for the University of California at Irvine and NASA who led the work.
    *****************************************************************
    unmitigated bullshit.

  22. I like the sentence, “Quite simply, nobody has the faintest idea whether the ice cap is growing or shrinking, never mind by how much, as the error margins and uncertainties are so huge.” That is the best summation of the situation, putting it very clearly.

  23. Are there any reliable tide benchmarks from 1650-1750? What about earlier? Of course it’s difficult to account for earthquakes inducing vertical shifts in certain locations, but some places are relatively stable. The question is how much of the sea level rise is still just recovery from the LIA, and how can we detect a stronger shift to cooling in which global ice accumulates again, with sea levels falling. That will happen eventually. Nothing can stop it.

  24. “Now for the math” as a subheading is somewhat prophetic when it is followed by “252 billion tonnes is 252 gigatons”.

    I think you meant it is 0.252 gigatons.

    • Actually, I take that back.

      The error is in the text, not the maths.

      The 3rd paragraph of what is supposed to be a transcript of a Washington Post article states the ice loss as 40 billion tonnes, & 252 billion tonnes.

      The screen shot of the Mail Online webpage says those losses are in gigatons.

  25. I don’t know if I will be able to sleep tonight knowing that at this rate, the East Antarctic Ice sheet will have completely melted in 26.5M/252 = 105,158 years.

    • Actually we’ll be in the middle of another ice age then. That will be a real bummer.

      Sea level will have dropped, waves will have spread the coral reefs all over the back reefs. Much of Canada, parts of Europe and Russia will be under ice, their large forests… gone. Florida will be a lot bigger. Polar bears will be prowling Long Island.

      Perhaps we should prevent this? !

      • How about by a $15/ton tax on all carbon dioxide production (not just those from liquid fuels), increasing by $10 every year, as in the Green New Deal? It’s just been introduced in congress. That should fix everything, as it is intended to fix “climate change”.

  26. ‘Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water’

    Sea level rise has been nominal for 100 years. Suggesting that Antarctic glacier melt has zero impact on SLR. But wait . . . glaciers are not in water. What does ‘an influx of warm ocean water’ have to do with glaciers ?!?!

    ‘a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades.’

    So why didn’t it start 40 years ago?

    There is no continuity of thought in this study. It is just goofy.

  27. Even Willis Eschenbach was off by a factor of 100!

    When he said “and the last ice will melt by 3041” (or something close), he inverted the percentage of change:

    1 ÷ 0.000951% ⇒ 1,051 years

    Whereas he should have inverted the raw ratio:

    1 ÷ 0.00000951 ⇒ 105,100 years

    In other words, it’ll be around the time of the NEXT interglacial for today’s CO₂ trend to materially affect the Antarctic ice cap.

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy

    • Speaking of insignificance, lest we forget that 400 parts per million is 0.0004 in 1, which is 0.04 percent of the atmosphere of any gas by any standard is insignificant. Both Mars and Venus atmospheres are over 95% CO2. One is frozen and the other melts lead. One has a massive atmosphere and the other is thin at best. I’d say atmospheric pressure is more meaningful in planet surface temperatures. The temperature gradient versa altitude is an example of pressure versa temperature. If Mars atmosphere was as deep as earth, someone here could calculate a fairly close surface temperature at the surface from pole to pole. I’d do it, but I retired. Point is …. all the blowing off steam about CO2 is ridiculous nonsense and a waste of wealth in spending.

  28. And you can guesstimate how fast the sea level will fall by estimating the rate of accumulation of snow on the Antarctic. All that frozen water comes from the evaporating oceans.

  29. Good news, comrades! I used a paper straw for my ice water last night, so I’m pretty sure the planet has been saved.

  30. “Seas could rise nearly THREE FEET globally by 2100 if the world does not sharply decrease its carbon output”

    When I hear this kind of panic, I remember the stories I heard as a boy about the dykes in the Netherlands and the terrible flooding in 1953. Yet because of the simple ingenuity of the Dutch this has not reoccurred in the years since – 65 years ago.

    Why would we panic with all the extraordinary engineering advances since then. The huge sums wasted on trying to change the climate of the world would be far better spent in adapting to and even benefiting from climate changes.

    • When I hear this kind of panic, I remember the stories I heard as a boy about the dykes in the Netherlands and the terrible flooding in 1953. Yet because of the simple ingenuity of the Dutch this has not reoccurred in the years since – 65 years ago.

      I remember them too, however the solution was far from simple. The Delta Plan was initiated in 1958 and planned to take 25 years and cost about 20% of the national GDP, it ended up taking about 40 years. On the other side of the North Sea the UK invested in the Thames Barrier which took ten years to construct and was opened in 1984.

      • Phil.:

        The Thames Barrier was constructed to protect against a still-continuing effect of isostatic rebound that is a response to the end of the last glaciation which concluded ten thousand years ago.

        Richard

      • Thanks for your comment.

        I used the word “simple” qualifying “ingenuity” not to describe the actual plans and implementation hence my mention of “extraordinary engineering advances.” There are many examples over thousands of years of human ingenuity and also of human waste. I believe time will show that current efforts to change climate best illustrate the latter.

        I remember seeing the progress of a huge dam built in the early seventies – on time and within budget – yet read of similar dams going well over time and budget. The latter was not a problem with human ingenuity.

      • According to wikipedia, it would cost about 20% of the national GDP for 1958, but be spread over 25 years, meaning that if evenly spread it would be less than 1% of GDP per year and falling as a share of GDP as their economy expanded.

        The 1953 storm caused a sea level rise of up to 5.6m, and that essentially overnight and not over decades. Meanwhile, the sea level off the Dutch coast has risen about 23cm from 1890 to 2014, with no visible acceleration in that span. Any coast that is vulnerable to the piddling sea level rise is also very vulnerable to much larger storm surges in a very much shorter period of time.

  31. Now, all we need to do is post links to this article in the comments section of any major paper covering the story – story, indeed! That’s where so much of the action is these days, in the comments sections.

  32. Well, this assumes the volcanoes won’t become dormant or extinct long before they melt very much of the ice. Man-made warming? Shirley, thou jests.

  33. The narative of this study is that the ice started melting rapidly since the late 1970’s. Well that would make some sense if tempature were the only metric, since the thought of the day was the Earth going into another ice age as there was a significant cooling trend from the mid 1940’s to the late 1970’s and we all acknowledge a slight warming trend since the 1970’s. But warming alone doesn’t make or break the AIS, since precipitation can put more water/snow back on the ice sheet than melted, calfed, or evaporated.

    I think the conclusion of this post is the most accurate, in that we just don’t really know with any accuracy how much ice is being lost or gained. Given that it is statistically irrelevant anyway, it appears the last of the meme’s of the alarmist claims are also evaporating. At the end of the day, if the majority of tide gauges are not showing any large acceleration in sea level rise, then this myth of the AIS melting is also busted since other than the Greenland Ice Sheet, where would all the water come from to raise the oceans up to 3 feet in the next 81 years? The alarmists are slowly losing all their ‘evidence’ of any pending doom. Sad that it will cost so much to wait for science to advance with the death of every alarmist climate scientist. But when it is clear there is no pending tipping point, or disaster from any small beneficial warming, then this climate scam built on demonizing CO2 will finally be busted.

  34. Anthony, this appears to be in complete conflict with this paper!!??
    Zhang et al., 2019
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Liping_Zhang19/publication/329372480_Natural_variability_of_Southern_Ocean_convection_as_a_driver_of_observed_climate_trends/links/5c0592f4a6fdcc315f9ad416/Natural-variability-of-Southern-Ocean-convection-as-a-driver-of-observed-climate-trends.pdf

    “Observed Southern Ocean surface cooling and sea-ice expansion over the past several decades are inconsistent with many historical simulations from climate models. Here we show that natural multidecadal variability involving Southern Ocean convection may have contributed strongly to the observed temperature and sea-ice trends.”

  35. “Global sea level rise.” It’s global? How astonishment.
    How about “the myriad of global sea level rises.”
    Tautology squared? No, the myriad was OK.

  36. Due to the thermosteric expansion of sea water, it is easier to detect a rise in sea level than it is to detect a 0.003C/year rise in temperature. (See Nir Shaviv’s “The oceans as a calorimeter” http://www.sciencebits.com/calorimeter ) If the rise of the oceans since 1900 at a fairly steady 2mm/year were 100% thermal expansion, with no melting glaciers, etc., then given the average ocean depth of about 4000m, 0.002m/4000m = 0.5ppm/year. That translates to a temperature change of 0.5ppm/(150-300ppm/°C) = 0.0033 to 0.0067°C/year. If you multiply that by the ocean volume of 1.37×10^9 cubic km at 1cal/degree/cc, and divide by the surface area of the Earth, you get (1.37×10^24 cc)(1cal/degree/cc)(4.184watts/(cal/sec))(0.0033 degrees/year)/(31,536,000 seconds/year)(5.1×10^14m2) = 1.18 – 2.36 W/m2.
    The total net anthropogenic radiative forcing is estimated by the IPCC to amount to 1.6W/m2.
    So, if as we are told, almost all of the heat is going into the oceans, then it accounts for almost about all of the observed sea level rise, with very little room for ice to melt.

    Therefore, the more you claim that land-based ice is contributing to sea-level rise, the lower your implied anthropogenic CO2 forcing is.

    • Good point…the Alarmists want their cake and eat it too! They can’t have it both ways by claiming both hypothesis of oceanic thermo expansion and melting ice are a result of exceedingly dangerous man made climate change. Especially when tidal gauges aren’t reading much an acceleration in SLR.

      If they claim the heat is going into the oceans then the rate of additional SLR is Thermosteric from increased volume via expansion. If they say it is all from melting glaciers and from both ice caps, then there can’t be much additional heat going into the oceans. If it is a mix of both, and SLR acceleration is shown to be not rapidly increasing as fast as they claim it to be, then both prior hypothesis are falsified. Since this appears to be the case, and most everything else about climate doomsday scenerio’s are a gross exaggeration, then how long can the climate scam keep going? The Climista Fraud is showing its ugly head with last gasp doomsday pronouncements and the jig is soon up. The question now is how long does it take for the main stream media through a Free Press to report the truth?

    • “Therefore, the more you claim that land-based ice is contributing to sea-level rise, the lower your implied anthropogenic CO2 forcing is.”

      Not at all! You just jack up your GIA-correction a bit. It already accounts for 0.5 mm/yr completely imaginary sea-level rise.

  37. “Thanks, Anthony. One small issue. You’ve got an extra zero in your percentage, should be 0.00095% per year loss.

    Which means that the last ice will melt in the year 3079 ”

    Err what Willis?

    Thats like the lame projections that the arctic would melt out in 2013.

    There is no reason to think the loss will be linear. none. zero.

    Finally, sea level change doesnt care about percentages. it cares about volume of landed ice melting.
    Whether that is .000000000000000000000001% or 99% doesnt matter.

    what matters is volume. EOS.

    • “Finally, sea level change doesnt care about percentages. it cares about volume of landed ice melting.”

      I’ve read many of your comments over the years, and commend you for all those that were informative.

      OTOH, I don’t see any merit in calling out others for a short remark that could be interpreted as deficient in technical rigour. That would be like me pointing out that sea level change lacks the mental capacity to give a fig about anything. Or if “what matters is volume [of landed ice melting]. EOS.”, then because the story is over there should be no need to consider whether a change in ocean water temperature could also have an effect on sea levels.

  38. This paper seems to be a full-blown modelling study: It is based on (experimental) RACMO2.3p1 model, which is initiated with some sparse information available, such as some Landsat images to estimate the ice velocity and some radar measurements (with 10m uncertainty) to estimate the ice thickness. Totally different instruments in different decades used to feed the model.

    Based on this model they claim that even East Antarctica is also losing mass (losing 4.4 +- 0.9 mm of thickness!!), which is in total conflict of almost all other papers released during last 5 years.

    This paper provides a lot of information about the RACMO2.3P1 model:
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320289663_Modelling_the_climate_and_surface_mass_balance_of_polar_ice_sheets_using_RACMO2_part_2_Antarctica_1979-2016

    In summary: Playstation-science based on experimental model. It is sad that “results” of this kind of “science” gets wide-spread publicity.

  39. As long as we’re talking about large cubes, I once estimated the volume of all the people in the world. Squish everyone into a block with no spaces and you’ll be able to make a cube 0.4km in size. It would fit in my neighborhood.

    (Use this to win free drinks.)

    That’s what’s causing all the global warming.

    • That sounds kind of small.
      Hmm…oh, I see the problem…you forgot to include Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell.
      You are gonna need a bigger cube and a larger neighborhood.

  40. Should there not be a distinction made between land-based ice caps, which would contribute to sea level once melted, versus ocean-based caps, which wouldn’t cause levels to rise at all since the equivalent amount of water is already being displaced?

Comments are closed.