Claim: Antarctica is headed for a climate tipping point by 2060, with catastrophic melting if carbon emissions aren’t cut quickly

The big wildcard for sea level rise is Antarctica. Photo Credit Charles Rotter 1993

Julie Brigham-Grette, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Andrea Dutton, University of Wisconsin-Madison

While U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken draws attention to climate change in the Arctic at meetings with other national officials this week in Iceland, an even greater threat looms on the other side of the planet.

New research shows it is Antarctica that may force a reckoning between the choices countries make today about greenhouse gas emissions and the future survival of their coastlines and coastal cities, from New York to Shanghai.

That reckoning may come much sooner than people realize.

The Arctic is losing ice as global temperatures rise, and that is directly affecting lives and triggering feedback loops that fuel more warming. But the big wild card for sea level rise is Antarctica. It holds enough land ice to raise global sea levels by more than 200 feet (60 meters) – roughly 10 times the amount in the Greenland ice sheet – and we’re already seeing signs of trouble.

Scientists have long known that the Antarctic ice sheet has physical tipping points, beyond which ice loss can accelerate out of control. The new study, published in the journal Nature, finds that the Antarctica ice sheet could reach a critical tipping point in a few decades, when today’s elementary school kids are raising their families.

The results mean a common argument for not reducing greenhouse gas emissions now – that future technological advancement can save us later – is likely to fail.

Long lines are formed by the glacier's flow
A satellite image shows the long flow lines as a glacier moves ice into Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf, on the right. The red patches mark bedrock. USGS

The new study shows that if emissions continue at their current pace, by about 2060 the Antarctic ice sheet will have crossed a critical threshold and committed the world to sea level rise that is not reversible on human timescales. Pulling carbon dioxide out of the air at that point won’t stop the ice loss, it shows, and by 2100, sea level could be rising more than 10 times faster than today.

The tipping point

Antarctica has several protective ice shelves that fan out into the ocean ahead of the continent’s constantly flowing glaciers, slowing the land-based glaciers’ flow to the sea. But those shelves can thin and break up as warmer water moves in under them.

As ice shelves break up, that can expose towering ice cliffs that may not be able to stand on their own.

There are two potential instabilities at this point. Parts of the Antarctic ice sheet are grounded below sea level on bedrock that slopes inward toward the center of the continent, so warming ocean water can eat around their lower edges, destabilizing them and causing them to retreat downslope rapidly. Above the water, surface melting and rain can open fractures in the ice.

When the ice cliffs get too tall to support themselves, they can collapse catastrophically, accelerating the rate of ice flow to the ocean.

The study used computer modeling based on the physics of ice sheets and found that above 2 C (3.6 F) of warming, Antarctica will see a sharp jump in ice loss, triggered by the rapid loss of ice through the massive Thwaites Glacier. This glacier drains an area the size of Florida or Britain and is the focus of intense study by U.S. and U.K. scientists.

To put this in context, the planet is on track to exceed 2 C warming under countries’ current policies.

Other projections don’t account for ice cliff instability and generally arrive at lower estimates for the rate of sea level rise. While much of the press coverage that followed the new paper’s release focused on differences between these two approaches, both reach the same fundamental conclusions: The magnitude of sea level rise can be drastically reduced by meeting the Paris Agreement targets, and physical instabilities in the Antarctic ice sheet can lead to rapid acceleration in sea level rise.

The disaster doesn’t stop in 2100

The new study, led by Robert DeConto, David Pollard and Richard Alley, is one of the few that looks beyond this century. One of us is a co-author.

It shows that if today’s high emissions continued unabated through 2100, sea level rise would explode, exceeding 2.3 inches (6 cm) per year by 2150. By 2300, sea level would be 10 times higher than it is expected to be if countries meet the Paris Agreement goals. A warmer and softer ice sheet and a warming ocean holding its heat for centuries all prevent refreezing of Antarctica’s protective ice shelves, leading to a very different world.

The vast majority of the pathways for meeting the Paris Agreement expect emissions will overshoot its goals of keeping warming under 1.5 C (2.7 F) or 2 C (3.6 F), and then count on future advances in technology to remove enough carbon dioxide from the air later to lower the temperature again. The rest require a 50% cut in emissions globally by 2030.

Although a majority of countries – including the U.S., U.K. and European Union – have set that as a goal, current policies globally would result in just a 1% reduction by 2030.

It’s all about reducing emissions quickly

Some other researchers suggest that ice cliffs in Antarctica might not collapse as quickly as those in Greenland. But given their size and current rates of warming – far faster than in the historic record – what if they instead collapse more quickly?

As countries prepare to increase their Paris Agreement pledges in the runup to a United Nations meeting in November, Antarctica has three important messages that we would like to highlight as polar and ocean scientists.

First, every fraction of a degree matters.

Second, allowing global warming to overshoot 2 C is not a realistic option for coastal communities or the global economy. The comforting prospect of technological fixes allowing a later return to normal is an illusion that will leave coastlines under many feet of water, with devastating economic impacts.

Third, policies today must take the long view, because they can have irreversible impacts for Antarctica’s ice and the world. Over the past decades, much of the focus on rapid climate change has been on the Arctic and its rich tapestry of Indigenous cultures and ecosystems that are under threat.

As scientists learn more about Antarctica, it is becoming clear that it is this continent – with no permanent human presence at all – that will determine the state of the planet where today’s children and their children will live.

[Understand new developments in science, health and technology, each week. Subscribe to The Conversation’s science newsletter.]

Julie Brigham-Grette, Professor of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Andrea Dutton, Professor of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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May 21, 2021 10:09 am

Come on man. New study? This is the same old stuff…I will not be around in 2060 so what can I say? Tough cookies?

Reply to  Anti-griff
May 21, 2021 10:22 am

How dare you? Think of Greta and her stolen childhood.

Reply to  Alan
May 22, 2021 2:32 am

Think about it:
Since ~1970, the warmists have made 48 consecutive wrong predictions to date and
counting – even at “idiot odds” of 50:50, the probability of that happening is 1 in 281 trillion!
The failed predictions of the climate clowns were never plausible – they were not even credible enough to be specious! They were deliberate lies!
Global warming alarmism is the supreme scientific scam, the pinnacle of propaganda,the H-bomb of bullsh!t.
No rational honest person or group could be this wrong, this obtuse, for this long. The global warming propagandists knew they were lying – they’ve known it all along.

May 22, 2021 3:01 am

OT: In a world where our institutions have been taken over by Marxists and IYI’s, scoundrels and imbeciles, let us enjoy a brief glimpse of strength, purity, grace and hope. Watch the video. Thank you Simone.

Tom Abbott
May 22, 2021 5:24 am

“No rational honest person or group could be this wrong, this obtuse, for this long. The global warming propagandists knew they were lying – they’ve known it all along.”

I agree, the climate change lies are deliberate, and ongoing.

John Tillman
Reply to  Anti-griff
May 21, 2021 10:42 am

The alkenone proxy method shows CO2 to have been around 1000 ppm when Antarctic ice sheets formed, at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Other proxies suggest lower, but in any case, higher than now or in 2060.
comment image

The sheets survived periods much warmer than now.

Robert A. Taylor
Reply to  John Tillman
May 21, 2021 5:23 pm

Note the illogic: SOME areas in parts of Antarctica have SOME danger of SOMETIME adding to sea level; THEREFORE all of Antarctica will raise sea level by 200 feet very rapidly. All while ice cores in Antarctica and Greenland show continuous ice with considerably higher than predicted temperatures.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Tillman
May 22, 2021 5:29 am

“The sheets survived periods much warmer than now.”

Yes, and there is no reason to believe the Earth will see a 2.0C increase in temperature anytime soon anyway. That is pure speculation on the part of alarmists.

Reply to  Anti-griff
May 21, 2021 12:03 pm

My first thought and I barely read it. Just another recycled turd.

Richard Page
Reply to  Anti-griff
May 21, 2021 1:02 pm

Models again. Stopped reading at that point. When are these educated idiots going to stop playing bloody computer games with yet another ‘tipping point’ silliness and do some actual research in the real world?

Pat Frank
Reply to  Richard Page
May 21, 2021 1:42 pm

What, give up fame, a pointless career, and easy money for hard work and obscurity? Really, Richard, what are you thinking? 🙂

Reply to  Anti-griff
May 22, 2021 7:45 am

These “experts” completely misunderstand physics and hydraulic engineering. They speak of ice sheets flowing faster because these ice shelves block them, but the driving force for all ice flows and liquid water flows is gravity and the “hydraulic grade line”. The hydraulic grade line is a function of the land surface slope as well as the mass of upstream ice or water which, due to gravity, drives the downstream flows.

If an ice sheet temporarily overcomes an ice shelf, it will only do so until it reaches a new equilibrium hydraulic grade line (HGL). Think of an ice sheet like a river in liquid water. Just because a jam up of ice or debris (trees, rocks, whatever) is suddenly loosened doesn’t cause the overall river to flow a greater volume of water, because other factors upstream limit that flow to the hydrologic inputs (precipitation, watershed area, land slopes, etc.).

When global warmists claim that ice sheets are flowing faster now than at some earlier, more “perfect” era, it can only be because there is greater precipitation and buildup of ice upstream on the same glaciers. The land slope isn’t changing, at least over any human timescales (uplift occurs over millions and tens of millions of years). Therefore the only way that glaciers can flow faster and faster “downhill” is because there is more ice upstream, whose thickness provides the HGL sufficient to drive a faster flow of ice downstream.

Engineering science – what a concept! Who’d a thunk that the global warmists are so anti-science? Well, us, that’s who.

May 21, 2021 10:24 am

Are we getting in the 2060 range now. Everything is 2025, 2050 or 2100. We got a new milestone. Neat.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Pauleta
May 21, 2021 10:52 am

It’s the same 40-years out that we’ve been told for 65 years for fusion power. I wonder if anyone in the fusion scam will be embarrassed when we reach a century of promising commercialization in 40 years. Certainly nobody in the Climastrology scam will ever be embarrassed by moving goalposts.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Pauleta
May 21, 2021 12:16 pm

The lead author probably surveyed all the authors and probably figured the last author named to retire from professional work would by 2059. So 2060 is probably a safe “reputation expiration date” for all of them.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 21, 2021 10:07 pm

Could, might, may, possibly. All the usual stuff.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Pauleta
May 22, 2021 5:36 am

“Are we getting in the 2060 range now. Everything is 2025, 2050 or 2100.”

The Climate Czar, John Kerry, says we only have nine years left before Climate Armageddon, so that puts the deadline right around 2030.

We are going to hold you to that prediction, John.

We can add this failed prediction to all the other failed climate change predictions uttered by the alarmists. They haven’t gotten one right yet, and I’ll go out on a limb here, and say they won’t get any better at prediction in the future because they have it all wrong to begin with. They see what they want to see, not what is there, so they make predictions that don’t represent reality.

May 21, 2021 10:24 am

“…can…” “…might ” ” … may… ” …could…”
If ifs and ands were pots and pans there’d be plenty of work for the tinkers.
Polar Portal shows Greenland just a little below average. Arctic Sea Ice News shows Antarctic Ice above average and Arctic Ice just a whisker below average but trending towards average.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Oldseadog
May 21, 2021 12:02 pm

Oh no, don’t introduce facts into the discussion, this is all about politics.

Reply to  Oldseadog
May 21, 2021 2:50 pm

or my favorite
“if frogs had wings, they wouldn’t bump their ass a’hoppin”

May 21, 2021 10:25 am

prepare for a runaway acceleration of hysteria rise as we approach the next meeting of the UN climate comedy show . latest state of the art computer models project 200 feet of sea level rise by 2100 unless we all move to Paris . we must do it for the children

Last edited 1 year ago by garboard
Reply to  garboard
May 21, 2021 11:08 am

$4million gets you a could ; another $4 million gets you a would .

Lance Flake
May 21, 2021 10:29 am

A new modeling effort with a dozen authors on the paper. How that qualifies as a “study” is beyond my ken. What’s to study besides how to tweak the parameters to get the desired results?

spangled drongo
Reply to  Lance Flake
May 21, 2021 9:46 pm

Don’t knock it, Lance, it’s started already. In March 2021 the mean sea level was 2 inches lower than the first recording in 1914 but in April 2021 it’s risen over 4 inches:

I’ve been wondering when it was gonna start.

G. Loco
Reply to  spangled drongo
May 22, 2021 4:24 am

Mean Sea Level and the supposed increases are mathematical artifices with no bearing on reality. They are generated by satellite readings combined using models that claim to improve accuracy by averaging points and come up with readings claiming accuracy on the order of mm; again proving the vast majority of climate scientist willfully ignore the most basic concepts of precision vs. accuracy and how to account for error. The fact is physical measurements of physical locations along actual sea shores show no sign of increasing. The same holds true for this paper the basis of which is countless other papers all modelling a melt that can’t be measured and is pure modelling nonsense the impact of which is easily overridden by changes in estimates of total snowfall on the continent (which in theory will increase with climate change) or changes in the rate at which the continent is sinking. Changes in either assumption being capable of swamping the models estimate.

May 21, 2021 10:31 am

The lies-per-line rate was pretty high in this one. And the entire paper is based on more computer modeling, the authors proudly proclaim it! This is toilet paper, bird cage liner, packing material, what have you, until they can locate some actual physical evidence. hint: computer games, even if you print out the results, are not evidence.

Second part of my comment: If this old world had any catastrophic “tipping points” it would have tipped long ago, as in billions of years, and we wouldn’t even be sitting here to discuss it. Since we are, it doesn’t.

I could take a sentence-by-sentence review and point out all the lies (if they have no supporting physical evidence, it’s a lie), but I could go on longer than this little press release.

But I do gotta say, sea level rise of 2.6″/year? Not that there is any physical evidence that has happened or even could happen, but even if it does, I think I can walk faster than that. Again, not catastrophic.

Last edited 1 year ago by Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
May 21, 2021 11:03 am

isn’t that faster than sea level rise 12000 ya coming out of the last glaciation when North American ice melted ?

Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
May 21, 2021 2:13 pm

This is toilet paper, bird cage liner, packing material,

Come On Man, don’t hold back, tell us what you really think.

and we wouldn’t even be sitting here to discuss it.

Well, I would. I am currently well over 100 ft. above current sea level. If sea levels had risen 100 feet extra at any time, it would not have affected me at all. Just luck, I suppose.

The lies-per-line rate was pretty high in this one.

Quote Of The Day!
Red94ViperRT10 wins the thread.

Reply to  TonyL
May 21, 2021 3:15 pm

The Warmunists constantly proclaim “…the end of Life…”, so it doesn’t matter how far above sea level your current location, if all life had ended at that “tipping point” however long ago, none of us would be sitting here. Q.E.D.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
May 22, 2021 6:05 am

“Second part of my comment: If this old world had any catastrophic “tipping points” it would have tipped long ago, as in billions of years, and we wouldn’t even be sitting here to discuss it. Since we are, it doesn’t.”

That’s right.

May 21, 2021 10:32 am

Do 91 volcanoes have anything to do with this?

Reply to  John Shewchuk
May 21, 2021 10:49 am

Only a few are active and two that have been studied in some detail, it is an uncertain area because except for two Volcanoes, there is little information available to know what effect they have on the glaciers in their respective regions.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Sunsettommy
May 21, 2021 12:16 pm

If they were actually ‘active,’ one could expect them to melt a hole and be spewing ejecta above the ice. However, even dormant volcanoes commonly have thermal activity such as geysers or mud pots.

John Tillman
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 21, 2021 2:16 pm

True. For example, 8967-foot stratovolcano Mt. Melbourne. Geothermal heat flow there has formed an ecosystem of mosses and liverworts, which grow between fumaroles, ice towers and ice hummocks. Mosses are particularly common in the protected Cryptogam Ridge area, within and south of the summit caldera.

This type of vegetation is found at other Antarctic volcanoes, developing when geothermal heat melts snow and ice, which meltwater allows plants to grow in the cold environment.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
May 21, 2021 3:18 pm

Now is that (what was/is/will be the effect of those dormant volcanoes under the ice?) a question worth consuming research money? What would the answer(s) to that(those) question(s) tell us that we don’t already know?

Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
May 21, 2021 10:36 pm

There are TWO active Volcanoes that are materially contributing to the melting of two Glaciers, based on PUBLISHED science research, there are probably OTHER Volcanoes contributing to the melting in Western Antarctica but too many wanna be planetary saviors stay in their warm office making up a bunch of modeling scenarios about melting glaciers and warn the world of imminent drowning chicken little baloney, thus we have too little on site research on Volcanoes effect on glaciers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sunsettommy
Reply to  John Shewchuk
May 21, 2021 1:45 pm

Most likely. They have apparently recently discovered what they think is an active volcano directly beneath Pine Island glacier, which is one of the melting glaciers they constantly whine about. One of the heat flux maps of W. Antarctica shows one of the two highest heat fluxes at that very location. The other high flux is of similar size and strength and lies beneath the headwaters of Thwaites in the Transantarctic Mountains, another glacier they whine about.

Reply to  icisil
May 21, 2021 1:57 pm

The study about Pine Island volcano

The heat flux map. The two pink spots are the highest fluxes and are Pine Island and headwaters of Thwaites

Reply to  icisil
May 21, 2021 2:14 pm

I guess they’re really light purple instead of pink.

Reply to  icisil
May 21, 2021 3:20 pm

Wouldn’t/Shouldn’t that be “…headices…”? (Tongue firmly in cheek.)

Reply to  icisil
May 21, 2021 4:03 pm

. . . another glacier they whine about.

The problem with a volcano under the ice is the melting can’t be blamed on human activities. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from wringing their hands and blaming humans anyway.


John Tillman
Reply to  John Shewchuk
May 21, 2021 2:06 pm

At last count, over 138 had been discovered. Some lie outside West Antarctica’s stretch of the Ring of Fire.

John Bell
May 21, 2021 10:35 am

There COULD be a problem in the distant future! Hurry up and act now, do as I tell you. They keep beating a dead horse.

Reply to  John Bell
May 21, 2021 3:26 pm

And regardless what the research reveals, I still believe adaptation (something you do after the effects have begun to affect you) will be far cheaper than mitigation (something you do ahead of time to change the conditions to prevent something from happening, and since we don’t know for sure what’s going to happen, what are we trying to prevent?). So, relax, everybody, even in the face of 60 meters of sea level rise, it still will turn out to be cheaper and/or more effective to move everyone (yes, even if it’s as many as 40 million people) to higher ground than it would be to cease combustion of all fossil fuels in an effort to prevent that 60 meters of sea level rise, especially since we have been pretty much assured by non-corrupted research, that reduction of CO2 emissions will have little to no effect on future atmospheric temperatures.

Rory Forbes
May 21, 2021 10:35 am

Until they learn the difference between carbon and CO2, the gas of life which is already in short supply, they can’t pretend to be doing science. They’re just fear mongering. There are very few places emitting “carbon”. 1st they must prove that 1.5 or even 2 degrees in temperature increase will cause any part of what they claim, that fat into the future.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
May 21, 2021 3:27 pm

…and even if it does cause what they claim it will cause, will that actually be a bad thing?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
May 21, 2021 5:15 pm

Yes, quite right. So far, I have seen nothing but beneficial outcomes from the small amount of warming and the CO2 increase. Our planet has been gobbling up CO2 quite fast, geologically. Surely that is a far greater danger to life on Earth.

Dave Fair
May 21, 2021 10:39 am

In the parts of the Antarctic mentioned, it neither rains nor melts at the surface, a fact that should be known by “experts.” Temperatures of the last interglacial exceeded the temperatures of even the wildest projections for 2060. But noting such facts would interfere with the political narrative. Got to keep that funding coming.

May 21, 2021 10:42 am

Proposed for approval:
JAFTP: Just Another Fabricated Tipping Point (p.g. version)

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  dk_
May 21, 2021 12:45 pm


Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 21, 2021 1:33 pm

New Zealanders call Aucklander’s JAFAS.
Work that out ,

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 22, 2021 9:10 pm

Yes but that would be the almost-allegedly-mature-audience version. Like Disney 2022.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Redge
May 21, 2021 11:34 am

followed by scientific review of the model output diagnostics

What in Pete’s name does this mean? A “scientific review”? What is that?

Reply to  Tim Gorman
May 21, 2021 1:21 pm

Translation. We reviewed model outputs then calibrated the diagnostic product to maximize future grant opportunities while minimizing risk of any potential authentic science now and in the future. 

Reply to  Tim Gorman
May 22, 2021 12:13 am


Reply to  Redge
May 22, 2021 12:08 am

Word salad. Sciencey drivel.

Reply to  Graemethecat
May 22, 2021 9:11 pm


Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Redge
May 22, 2021 3:36 am

The rest of that web site is just as bad:

May 21, 2021 10:43 am

All that water will move towards the equatorial bulge, the planet rotation will slow down, day will be 25 hours, year will be 350 days long, and have 50 weeks, so if you are paid weekly you will loose 2 weeks pay.
Now that should get you really worried.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Vuk
May 21, 2021 11:27 am

Nah, by 2060, I’ll be voting for Democrats regularly (i.e. dead).

But I imagine that they will still be paying the Covid 19 stimulus payments in 2060, don’t you think?

Reply to  Vuk
May 21, 2021 12:06 pm

You could get an extra hour of sleep though, so not all bad.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Vuk
May 21, 2021 12:44 pm

loose or lose?

Ed Zuiderwijk
May 21, 2021 10:48 am

By 2060, after another forty years of global cooling, the quantities of ice building up on Antarctica will be such that ‘experts’ will be worrying about the wobbling Earth axis and speculate that the planet could even be nudged out of its orbit. Plus ca change …..

Gordon A. Dressler
May 21, 2021 10:56 am

Oh, dear . . .

Yet another warning of an impending catastrophe if we don’t do xxxxx (insert a favorite action here) right away.
I will add it to my ever-growing file of such.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
May 21, 2021 1:41 pm

xxxxx is always the same Gordon. Stop burning fossil fuels to destroy western civilization and install a permanent socialist regime.

Reply to  Rich Davis
May 21, 2021 7:29 pm

Klaus Schwab and his cronies will own everything and they’ll be happy.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 21, 2021 8:13 pm

G’day Rich,

xxxxx is always the same” Spot on.

In the first part of the 1970’s it was a coming ice age. STEPHEN H. SCHNEIDER’s ‘cure’ – stop using fossil fuels. By the late 70’s it was global warming – and his ‘cure’ was – stop using fossil fuels.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 22, 2021 8:37 pm

Well, Rich, I will offer this as a different example:

There will be a catastrophic spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus if we don’t all wear masks.

May 21, 2021 10:59 am

In Antarctica, CO2 has a cooling effect, should we stop emitting CO2 to save Antarctica ?
No, better not….. 😀
They don’t even study existing papers about their research object 😀

Last edited 1 year ago by Krishna Gans
Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 21, 2021 2:40 pm

The Warmists can’t even keep their lies straight.

May 21, 2021 11:00 am

The study used computer modeling based on the physics of ice sheets

I wonder if that included the fact that ice melts above 0 deg. C

Last edited 1 year ago by doonman
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Doonman
May 21, 2021 12:42 pm

Or that the ice surface slopes upwards from sea level to 4,000m, and that the ice volume increases towards the interior?

Nick Schroeder
May 21, 2021 11:02 am

Antarctica covers 14.2 E6 km^2 (NBS equivalents: 20 * Texas, 2,768 * Delaware or 163,218 * Manhattan) with an average ice cap thickness of 1.9 km for a volume of 2.698 E7 km^3. (L*W*H math)
Ice has a density of 9.2 E11kg/km^3. (engineering)
The Antarctic ice cap (NOT sea ice!) contains 2.482 E19 kg of ice, 2.482 E16 tonne, 24.82 E6 Gt. (science)
Between 2002 and 2012 the Antarctic ice cap “lost” about 1,200 Gt or a decrease of 0.0048%, 48 ppm, per decade. (technology)
At this rate the ice cap will be all gone in 206,850 years. (more math)
I don’t plan on waiting around.
Every year the SEA ICE swings from around 3E6 km^2 during summer to 14E6 km^2 (doubling in size) during winter. (technology)
Thwaites glacier is 192,000 km^2 or about 1.3% of the ice cap. Yawn!!!!!

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 21, 2021 12:07 pm

Please don’t rob them of their tipping point.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
May 21, 2021 12:44 pm

Their tenure and promotion may depend on that tipping point.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 21, 2021 1:02 pm

volume wise, Thwaites is a much smaller % than that of the entire AIS. East Antarctic Ice sheet is vast, thick (2-3 km) and quite stable.
Basically what the climate fraudsters are doing is using Thwaites and Pine Island mass loss rates and saying, “If we extrapolate these Thwaites ice mass loss rates increasingly in a model across the entire AIS, then we’re doomed.”

May 21, 2021 11:43 am

Every single friggin day for the last 33 years.

Matthew Bergin
May 21, 2021 11:44 am

What “Current rate of warming” hasn’t it gone negative this month? I have been listening to this crap for 35 years. How much garbage can these A-holes spew. Pretty soon calling someone a scientist will be an insult.

Reply to  Matthew Bergin
May 21, 2021 12:13 pm

Not just this month. The peak of the current warming was in the 1930s, it’s been a cooling trend since then.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Matthew Bergin
May 22, 2021 6:15 am

“How much garbage can these A-holes spew.”

It seems to be endless.

May 21, 2021 11:44 am

it seems that the average summer temperature is around -20F at the south pole. 2 degrees C warming would not even take the temperatures to 0F, This CO2 must be magic stuff to make ice melt in negative temperatures.

Bruce Cobb
May 21, 2021 11:48 am

Banging the Arctic-Ice-Is-Melting drum has gotten tiresome, and has lost that Alarmappeal, so hang on, here’s a brand new drum – the Antarctic-Ice-Is-Melting, and it’s an even bigger, louder, and scarier sounding drum. Perfect!

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 21, 2021 2:12 pm

They see a healthy glacier calving icebergs and think it is the sign of a dying one. The worst though is when they use the law of large numbers on the temperature record. There are no climate temperature measurements, accurate to hundredth’s of a degree, taken in the 1700’s, 1800’s or even most of the 1900’s

Reply to  Matthew Bergin
May 21, 2021 4:12 pm

They see a healthy glacier calving icebergs and think it is the sign of a dying one.

If this didn’t happen regularly, then all the water on the planet would windup frozen in the Antarctic. The rest of the planet would be desert–like Mars.


Reply to  Jim Masterson
May 22, 2021 12:13 am

It’s amazing how widespread this fallacy is among Alarmists. A glacier calves because it is growing, not melting.

Carlo, Monte
May 21, 2021 12:01 pm

First, every fraction of a degree matters.

Idiots. The whole thing is filled with similar dreck but this one stands out.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
May 21, 2021 12:41 pm

It’s all based on magical thinking, that of human CO2 releases being a magical control knob to dial temps up and down.

May 21, 2021 12:05 pm

“Scientists have long known that the Antarctic ice sheet has physical tipping points, beyond which ice loss can accelerate out of control.”

Scientists? No, that’s Hollywood.

Reply to  Art
May 22, 2021 2:09 am

And if they were actual tipping points then surely it should be “will” rather than “can”, and there would be geological evidence of such events.

May 21, 2021 12:06 pm

Biden looses to Ayatollah.
According to the researchers from the University of California, Death Valley at 134.1°F is NOT the hottest place on Earth: New data shows Iran’s Lut Desert is even warmer, with surface temperatures of up to 177.4°F

Last edited 1 year ago by vuk
Reply to  Vuk
May 21, 2021 1:20 pm

All those who sponsor acts of terror against innocent civilians, women & children included, will eventually find themselves in a very warm place indeed.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Vuk
May 21, 2021 4:28 pm

Vuk, you overlook the fact that those University of California “researchers” did not use the proper conversion factor between Iranian °F and °F in English-speaking countries.

Reply to  Vuk
May 21, 2021 5:25 pm

The lowest natural temperature ever directly recorded at ground level on Earth is −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F; 184.0 K) at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica on 21 July 1983 by ground measurements.

So now, we can calculate the Earth’s average temperature. (177.4 – 128.6) /2 = 24.4

Oh look. The Earth’s average temp is below freezing.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Doonman
May 21, 2021 5:33 pm

Having done that now let’s look at at areal averaging of temperatures.

Then again, maybe we should follow President Biden’s lead and not “follow the science”.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Doonman
May 21, 2021 9:05 pm

That is an example of why using a daily mid-range value is unfit for determining ‘average’ daily temperatures.

May 21, 2021 12:07 pm

went to moderation

(I was here an hour ago, saw one post in the mod bin and it wasn’t yours, none at all at this time) SUMOD

Last edited 1 year ago by Sunsettommy
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Vuk
May 21, 2021 12:50 pm

Probably because you used the “D” word. I wish the ‘bad word’ filter wasn’t so sensitive. Maybe Anthony could give those of us who have demonstrated that we are not raving trolls, a pass on filtering. Long-term, it would mean less work for the moderators and more timely responses.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 21, 2021 1:17 pm

Thanks. … or in the ‘Reference Pages’ have a list of such words.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 22, 2021 6:25 am

I think there are two word lists. One for WUWT and one that WordPress uses. Anthony said earlier that he has no control over the list WordPress uses.

it would be interesting to see a list of barred words.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 22, 2021 3:26 pm

Only two I’ve run into so far are contained within “sk!lled” and “Sc*nthorpe” (the town with the problem)

And either of those words would hit moderation too, because apparently WP has that town’s problem too, a shame in this day…

Joel O'Bryan
May 21, 2021 12:11 pm

Model mania. All based on high emission scenarios with high forcings.

This Conversation piece is based on this Nature article:
“The Paris Climate Agreement and future sea-level rise from Antarctica”

  • Robert M. DeConto,David Pollard,Richard B. Alley,Isabella Velicogna,Edward Gasson,Natalya Gomez,Shaina Sadai,Alan Condron,Daniel M. Gilford,Erica L. Ashe,Robert E. Kopp,Dawei Li &Andrea Dutton 
  • Nature volume 593, pages 83–89 (2021) (paywall)


“The Paris Agreement aims to limit global mean warming in the twenty-first century to less than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, and to promote further efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius1. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades will be consequential for global mean sea level (GMSL) on century and longer timescales through a combination of ocean thermal expansion and loss of land ice2. The Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) is Earth’s largest land ice reservoir (equivalent to 57.9 metres of GMSL)3, and its ice loss is accelerating4. Extensive regions of the AIS are grounded below sea level and susceptible to dynamical instabilities5,6,7,8 that are capable of producing very rapid retreat8. Yet the potential for the implementation of the Paris Agreement temperature targets to slow or stop the onset of these instabilities has not been directly tested with physics-based models. Here we use an observationally calibrated ice sheet–shelf model to show that with global warming limited to 2 degrees Celsius or less, Antarctic ice loss will continue at a pace similar to today’s throughout the twenty-first century. However, scenarios more consistent with current policies (allowing 3 degrees Celsius of warming) give an abrupt jump in the pace of Antarctic ice loss after around 2060, contributing about 0.5 centimetres GMSL rise per year by 2100—an order of magnitude faster than today4. More fossil-fuel-intensive scenarios9 result in even greater acceleration. Ice-sheet retreat initiated by the thinning and loss of buttressing ice shelves continues for centuries, regardless of bedrock and sea-level feedback mechanisms10,11,12 or geoengineered carbon dioxide reduction. These results demonstrate the possibility that rapid and unstoppable sea-level rise from Antarctica will be triggered if Paris Agreement targets are exceeded.”

Several points:

  • What you really have to do from a technical perspective is ask why does their model show an abrupt acceleration in 39 years? My cynical guess is because 2060 is when all the authors figure to be retired or dead by then.
  • Another point is these authors freely conflate and intermingle “grounded sea ice sheet instabilities claims with the vast regions of the continental AIS, which while grounded below sea level are far inland and thus not subject to ocean-driven melting, hydrofracturing of buttressing ice shelves or structural collapse of marine-terminating ice cliffs. In the first bolded section in the Abstract above, the references they cite in are all discussing grounded sea ice shelf instabilities (subject to ocean warming effects), not the vastly larger but much more stable continental AIS and is quite stable over many millions of years going back to the Pliocene and earlier when it was much warmer than today, and it likely took thousands of years for those changes to happen. Several of those references (like #8 especially) are completely inappropriate references for the claims being asserted. They simply conflate the two very different ice masses (grounded sea ice shelves, and the continental AIS), where they need the vastly larger but stable inland AIS to be part of their doomerism scenario.
Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 21, 2021 1:38 pm

Their Reference #8 I looked at a bit more in detail.

It’s a study (by DeConto of course, the first author of this paper) where their future sea level rise associated ice sheet melt rates come from the use of RCP 8.5 forcing scenario. Wholly unrealistic junk.

So when they start with junk and then build upon it with more junk. The junk science on top depends on the junk science supporting it. It’s simply junk science all the way down through nested layers of well-known crap science scenario modeling.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 21, 2021 3:38 pm

In other words, they took output from a model and used that as input, maybe even as data, in this model, to produce exactly the answer they intended to produce before they ever even started.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
May 21, 2021 4:59 pm

and they used the recognized unrealistic high forcing scenario RCP8.5. And then they slapped a science label on it. Calling this science doesn’t make it so.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 22, 2021 6:28 am

“So when they start with junk and then build upon it with more junk. The junk science on top depends on the junk science supporting it. It’s simply junk science all the way down through nested layers of well-known crap science scenario modeling.”

You just described Alarmist Climate Science.

The alarmists started out with an unsubstantiated assumption about CO2 and the Earth’s atmosphere, and it has gone downhill from there. Junk built upon Junk.

Robert A. Taylor
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 21, 2021 5:34 pm

Ice below sea level cannot raise sea level any more than floating ice can.

M Courtney
May 21, 2021 12:15 pm

When the ice cliffs get too tall to support themselves, they can collapse catastrophically, accelerating the rate of ice flow to the ocean.

So their models say ice cliffs are getting too tall. And that the sea ice is sticking out into the Ocean too far. And so both might collapse.

There is another inference to be drawn from cliffs of ice growing taller.

May 21, 2021 12:25 pm

Here is RSS on South Polar temps since 1980.

RSS_TS_channel_TLT_Southern Polar_Land_And_Sea_v04_0 2 21 21.png
Clyde Spencer
May 21, 2021 12:30 pm

I left the following comment at The Conversation:

“It [Antarctica] holds enough land ice to raise global sea levels by more than 200 feet (60 meters).”

That is a very scary fact. However, it is not presented in context. At current rates of melting, the Greenland Ice Sheet would take about 15,000 years to melt. All other things being equal, I would expect Antarctica to take longer because it is larger and farther removed from the ocean. Who can tell what technology or the climate will be like several millennia from now?

“First, every fraction of a degree matters.”

Not so! Because ice melts at a fixed temperature, the ice may have to warm several degrees before there is any melting. Assuming that at some point in the near future the ice on the coast were to reach 0 deg C and start melting, because of the dry adiabatic lapse rate, the melting would only move inland a horizontal distance equivalent to 100 meters elevation for another 1 deg C rise in temperature. With the interior being 4,000 meters elevation, and at least -40 deg C compared to the coast, the temperature would have to rise at least 40 deg to melt all the ice!. Nobody is forecasting that kind of temperature rise. The ice is currently melting rapidly because it is being attacked by ‘warm’ water, and is being impacted by geothermal heat on the west side, because of some 90 under-ice volcanoes, recently discovered. Once there is no longer any floating ice, the rate of melting will reduce.

The claims are hyperbolic and not presented in context.

One of the authors responded thusly:

We can probably agree to differ given that the point of recent work is about rates. We known Greenland melted back a lot in several interglacials and others are working on the timing and frequency but certainly complete demise in 8,000 is not unrealistic. But demise is one thing. What matters are slowing down the first few meters from Antarctica and Greenland in coming centuries.

I responded to her with:

As I’m sure you are aware, all extrapolations are fraught with difficulties. One of the most serious is the validity of assumptions, such as the current rate of melting being representative of the future. There is no way to prove that a priori; it has to be taken on faith.

I would suggest that once the glaciers retreat deep into a fiord, instead of projecting out into the ocean currents, or rise above water level, the melting will slow down substantially and your current high rates will decline. Thus, your problem of the “first few meters” may be solved.

Human civilization is thought to have started about 10,000 years ago with the invention of agriculture. You are suggesting a “not unrealistic” length of time of the same magnitude for a demise of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). A lot has happened in the last 10,000 years, even at geological scales.

The last time a did a ‘back of envelope’ calculation on the time it would take (at then current rates) to melt the GIS, I came up with a number of around 14,000 years. I don’t have a lot of faith that very recent measurements doubling the rate are really representative of the long-term rate. What is the standard deviation of annual rates for the last 100 years?

You mention ice shelves as impacting the forward motion of the glaciers and cite an NSIDC website. They mention several ice shelf collapses in recent years in Antarctica; but they only mention one instance of an apparent correlation between the ice shelf collapse and the speeding up of the glacier. This would seem to fall into the category of anecdotal evidence unless there are enough instances to be able to establish a formulaic relationship between ice shelves and glacier acceleration. It might well be that the common behavior of glacier surging was responsible for the ice shelf collapse.

NSIDC apparently doesn’t put much stock in the idea that inertia of the ice shelf alone is sufficient to be more important than the friction of the ice with the bedrock it rides over. They suggest instead, that barriers such as islands and peninsulas offer immovable barriers to an irresistible force. Considering that there is plentiful evidence of glaciers on land shearing over, or flowing plastically around topographically high features, I would expect the same behavior for small points of resistance in the water because ice responds plastically to overpressures.

Considering what science and technology has accomplished in just a couple of hundred years, it may not be a significant problem in “coming centuries.”

Being in ‘No Man’s Land,’ I took some fire from some more aggressive defenders of the authors.

Last edited 1 year ago by Clyde Spencer
Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 21, 2021 12:38 pm

The other point to make is whose SUVs and power plants were generating GHG emission-warming in those earlier interglacials? The point being: if CO2 didn’t causethe melt-back in the deep past, it likely won’t be the cause if it happens again in the future.

Richard Page
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 21, 2021 1:15 pm

Don’t hold your breath for those studies of Greenlands ice during previous interglacials. Even a cursory glance at the cross section through the ice sheet showing the relative ages of the ice layers indicate that previous interglacials were far warmer than ours and have been getting progressively cooler during at least the last 3 of them. That’s not the message these climate enthusiasts want you to have.

Climate believer
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 21, 2021 1:15 pm

Nice one Clyde, she’s probably still picking up bits of her brain off the floor.

Steve Z
May 21, 2021 12:41 pm

 [QUOTE FROM ARTICLE]”Parts of the Antarctic ice sheet are grounded below sea level on bedrock that slopes inward toward the center of the continent, so warming ocean water can eat around their lower edges, destabilizing them and causing them to retreat downslope rapidly. Above the water, surface melting and rain can open fractures in the ice.” [END QUOTE]

Where is the evidence that ocean water near the Antarctic ice sheet is warming? Sea ice around Antarctica has been increasing in year-to-year comparisons at the same date.

If “warm” (i.e. less cold) water did result in some melting, the latent heat required to melt the ice would be absorbed from nearby water, causing it to cool. The heat required to melt 1 kg of ice can cool 80 kg of water by 1 degree C. If an “ice cliff” at the edge of the glacier did break off and fall into the sea, the heat required to melt the resulting iceberg would cool down much of the surrounding water and prevent further melting of the edge of the glacier.

Most of Antarctica is at more than 70 degrees south latitude. How much “rain” would the Antarctic coast receive even in summer to open fractures in the ice? Wouldn’t these cracks be refilled by ample snowfall during autumn and winter, then re-frozen?

In the Arctic, relatively warm water from the Atlantic can flow northward into the Arctic through the space between eastern Greenland and Scandinavia, which can warm the Arctic waters north of Scandinavia and western Russia, while cold water returns southward through the Bering Strait (into the Pacific) and between Labrador and western Greenland (the cold Labrador Current). Of the land which mostly surrounds the Arctic, only Greenland is glaciated, while the northern coasts of Russia, Alaska, and Canada are snow-free in summer, and can absorb sunlight and warm the Arctic waters near the coasts.

Antarctica, however, is a polar island continent, with no path for warm water to flow under the land-based ice, analogous to Greenland. If any warm water approached the Antarctic coast, an equal volume of cold water would be displaced northward, which would cool the surrounding ocean. Most of the area between 40 and 65 degrees South latitude around the world is covered by water, with very few land masses (only the southern end of South America and the Antarctic Peninsula and a few small islands), so that ocean water (and storms) tend to circle Antarctica from west to east unimpeded, with little flow of warmer water southward from lower latitudes. During the southern hemisphere summer, the mid-latitude ocean reflects most of the sunlight, with little warming of the oceans. Where would all the warm water come from to melt the edges of the Antarctic ice cap?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steve Z
May 21, 2021 4:09 pm

Where would all the warm water come from to melt the edges of the Antarctic ice cap?

Perhaps from the 90+ volcanoes and the southern extension of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge Spreading Center.

Ian W
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 23, 2021 11:04 am

And of course those recently discovered volcanoes are all emitting CO2 under the ice. So when the bubbles in the ice are analyzed….. where did that CO2 in the bubbles actually come from?

May 21, 2021 12:46 pm

They only have anecdotal statements and single samples for what’s going on under the ice shelves. But they are willing to let you think they have the same quality of continuous data found in other systems and settings.

H. D. Hoese
May 21, 2021 12:48 pm

“Here we use an observationally calibrated ice sheet…..”
There are 12 reference citations in the abstract and a claim that the Paris agreement implementation targets have not been “directly tested with physics-based models.” There is no data or summary of same in the abstract, only conclusions with numbers. Always check the fine print hidden way down in the paper.

Is it a review or some sort of conglomeration?

Joao Martins
May 21, 2021 12:50 pm

I stop reading any article that uses expressions void of any rigorous scientific definition, like “tipping point”, “forcing”, “runaway”, etc.

From where I stand, these expressions and words indicate that someone is trying to push an ideia into my head.

May 21, 2021 12:50 pm

So many words. So little knowledge and understanding.
For openers, the GCMs are faulty. Besides Christy’s graph showing GCM calculated temperature increase rates averaging about twice measured, measured water vapor increase is about 43% more than the GCMs calculate. WV has been increasing faster than possible from planet warming which demonstrates that CO2 change does not cause climate change.

TPW meas & calc H4 &RH thru Jan 2021.jpg
May 21, 2021 12:52 pm

Please stop this global warming nonsense. What we really want to know is why The Pentagon thinks UFOs may exist after all… and the evidence is growing”

Last edited 1 year ago by vuk
Richard Page
Reply to  Vuk
May 21, 2021 1:18 pm

Well it’s one way to divert attention away from what you’re really up to.
“Don’t look at the men with their hands in the till – look at the alien spaceships!”

William Ward
Reply to  Vuk
May 22, 2021 12:51 am

It is interesting that the subject gets little attention. I guess we are too busy looking for radical white supremacist Trump supporters ready to spring another insurrection.

I have a hypothesis about the recent UFO incidents – and for that matter many UFO incidents. I suspect we are witnessing plasma phenomenon. In the lab, plasma takes on geometric shapes, it moves (following flows of ions), changes modes (glow, dark), and can do the things we see these UFOs doing. Plasma tufts or plasmoids are visible to the naked eye, would be detected by IR and likely radar. It would explain the extreme acceleration that no known lifeform or physical object could survive. If its energy moving, like a light beam, there is no mass to accelerate. Its simple the movement of charged particles or the z-pinch in a flow of ions. It could also explain the apparent teleportation – disappearing at one point and reappearing elsewhere. This can be explained by the plasma leaving glow mode, going to dark mode and the z-pinch going to glow mode somewhere else along the ion stream.

William Ward
Reply to  William Ward
May 22, 2021 10:12 am

I just found this article that supports my hypothesis.


U.S. Navy Laser Creates Plasma ‘UFOs’

The U.S. Navy has patented technology to create mid-air images to fool infrared and other sensors. 

One of the interesting things about LIPFs is that with suitable tuning they can emit light of any wavelength: visible, infrared, ultraviolet or even terahertz waves. This technology underlies the Navy project, which uses LIPFs to create phantom images with infrared emissions to fool heat-seeking missiles.

The patent goes on to explain that the laser creates a series of mid-air plasma columns, which form a 2D or 3D image by a process of raster scanning, similar to the way old-style cathode ray TVs sets display a picture.

the LIPF decoy can be created instantly at any desired distance from the aircraft, and can be moved around at will.

Phantom aircraft that can move around at high speed and appear on thermal imagers may ring some bells. After months of debate, in April the Navy officially released infra-red videos of UFOs encountered by their pilots, although the Pentagon prefers to call them “unidentified aerial phenomena.” The objects in the videos appear to make sudden movements impossible for physical aircraft, rotate mid-air and zip along at phenomenal speed: all maneuvers which would be easy to reproduce with a phantom projected image.


I think it’s likely that plasma phenomena happen naturally and can explain most of the UFO observations. But the fact there are military programs to utilize plasma to create the illusion is essential to know!

All who care about the future of technology must look to advancements in plasma physics. So much lies therein, including great potential for alternate sources of energy.

I also suspect ion/plasma flows between the Earth and the Sun – which is just beginning to be studied – may play a role in climate, and have a non-trivial role in climate variation over time.

May 21, 2021 12:55 pm

It’s all about the narrative

William Ward
May 21, 2021 1:38 pm

Is anyone else as exhausted as I am with these nonsensical pseudo-scientific predictions? The claims are utter rubbish. There is little to no net annual ice mass loss from warming air temperatures. The total Ice mass on the continent can decline simply because the yearly snowfall is less than the annual ice mass loss. Ice is created in only one way: snowfall. Ice mass can be lost in 4 ways.

1) Calving – ice falls into the sea due to new snow at higher elevations pushing thousand-year-old ice into the sea.

2) Sublimation – ice evaporating – transitioning from the solid to the gaseous state. Ice cubes in your freezer do this.

3) Solar radiation melting – direct exposure to sunlight causes melting, and the meltwater can evaporate or run into the sea.

4) Ambient temperature melting with the meltwater evaporating or running into the sea.

Ice mass loss in Antarctica has little to do with warming temperatures. The average temperature in the center of the continent (where most of the ice mass is) is -57C. It rarely exceeds 0C, even on the coasts.

The NASA JPL study from 2018 claims ice mass loss acceleration, but the data analysis shows the “acceleration” was from 1ppm/yr to 4ppm/yr. I calculated that if Antarctica were a 220lb man, the equivalent mass loss would be 8 human tears. That analogy should frame the utter absurdity of this subject.

But an application of fundamental physics provides for even more entertainment. We know that the air above 2.5km has an average temperature below 0C. So no thermal energy exists in the atmosphere above 2.5km that could possibly cause melting. The average air temperature between sea level and 2.5km is ~8C. A generous estimate of thermal energy can be obtained using this value and the mass of the atmosphere in that band. For every 1C of atmospheric thermal energy we exchange with the ice sheets, we can at most cause 0.4 inches of SLR. So if we exchange all of the energy in the atmosphere above 0C with the ice sheets, we can at most raise sea level by 3.4 inches. The global air temperature will now be at or below 0C, which is 4-6C colder than the coldest average temperature during a glacial maximum.

Indeed, the thermal energy in the oceans is sufficient to melt all of the ice. But we have the problem that there is no way this thermal energy will ever get to any significant portion of the ice. Unless the temperature gradients completely collapse, we have to contend with warming the interior of Antarctica from -57C avg to something significantly above 0C. It’s a preposterous scenario.

We have “scientists” with no education or experience in structural engineering whinging about Marine Ice Cliff Instability (MICI) possibilities. We know that the waters around Antarctica are very cold, and large icebergs can float around the continent for over 30 years before melting. In a hypothetical scenario where a “catastrophic” amount of ice “collapsed,” the likely scenario is that the ice would slump – filling fissures but remain grounded and in place. Why do scientists forget that ice floats with 90% underwater & 10% above the waterline? The ice is too tall in elevation to float. It will be grounded unless it breaks up into relatively small fragments. We are dealing with a mass of ice the size of the US east coast and over 3km tall. Are we to believe it will shatter into shards small enough to float?

If a large amount were to achieve floating status, it would likely ground before long in shallower water. If it continued to float and consume thermal energy from the water, that would not happen without consequence. There is only so much thermal energy transported to that area, and it would quickly be consumed, reducing melting potential elsewhere.

I rarely read the updated reports on these situations because they are entirely without scientific merit. The real issue now is to realize we are (and have been) in an information war that underpins a REALITY WAR. WE ARE IN A WAR TO DEFINE REALITY, and the climate crisis nonsense is one of the battlefronts.

Every major point of contention in our world today is sourced from the same root of evil. Are we witnessing violent, destructive and aimless riots, or are we witnessing peaceful protests as honorable expressions of American Democracy? Did we have the safest elections in the nation’s history, or was the election stolen out from under our noses while the perpetrators gave us the middle finger? Is our nation a racist, white-supremacist hell-hole, or is it a beautiful experiment in Liberty that doesn’t always live up to its potential because humans are fallible? Will Elon Musk create a million jobs on Mars, or is it likely that we will kill many people trying to put foot on the planet before giving up on the absurdity? Are we near climate catastrophe and another global mass extinction, or is the climate barely distinguishable from natural variability? Do we have a situation where the entire population was in dire jeopardy from a virus or was that risk very narrowly isolated to specific populations? Did they produce a safe “vaccine” in 9 months where 15 years would be the normal expectation, or are we being forced into a dangerous medical experiment with who knows what malicious agendas might be operating?

On each of these issues, ask yourself which side supports our system of Liberty and which supports totalitarian control. I have made all of the scientific arguments against climate alarmism I care to make. The other side is not listening. It isn’t the goal to listen. In each of these issues, the goal is to terrify people to give up power and freedom. Those who refuse to be terrified will be defunded, ridiculed, and shunned from academia and polite society. It’s time to stop debating. Science is not the issue. Science has long ago been the casualty in this war, and if there is “denial,” it is the denial of this fact. It’s time to fight this like the war it is. Either win it or lose. If we don’t organize and push back on all of these lies, then all is lost. My political opponents come out of the womb with a bayonet in hand, ready to fight for a cause. People on my side are not natural organizers and activists. But it’s time to learn from the enemy. Stop debating and start fighting. Peacefully and politically, of course. (At least for now). If you enjoy the parlor game of debating climate, then realize that is what you are doing. You are playing games while your enemies are weaving you into an evil future reality. Evil is defined as doing great harm in the name of doing great good. Our enemies are truly evil, and if they win, it’s because our side refuses to wake up and fight the war.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  William Ward
May 21, 2021 4:17 pm

Welcome back, William!

William Ward
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 21, 2021 5:42 pm


Reply to  William Ward
May 21, 2021 6:00 pm

Don’t get me wrong, as I’m the first to say that the climate “crisis” is a scam, but the temperature (energy) in the atmosphere isn’t a one-time thing that took many years to warm up. It isn’t like you can calculate the energy that the air gains by warming 1C and transfer that to ice thus figuring out how much ice can be melted. The atmosphere gains and loses heat quickly, it warms and cools many degrees per day. It gains heat from the sun and the warmer surface and it loses it to space by radiating and convecting heat to cooler surfaces. It’s actually more complicated than that but if you transferred enough heat in the atmosphere to ice to cool the atmosphere by 1C, the atmosphere would decrease the amount of energy radiating to space and it would just quickly heat up again providing more energy to melt more ice.

Last edited 1 year ago by meab
William Ward
Reply to  meab
May 22, 2021 12:36 am

meab said: “if you transferred enough heat in the atmosphere to ice to cool the atmosphere by 1C, the atmosphere would decrease the amount of energy radiating to space and it would just quickly heat up again providing more energy to melt more ice.

When heat is transferred from the atmosphere to the ice, there is no net change of energy on Earth. I’m not aware of any mechanism in physics that would cause it to “quickly heat up again.”

meab said: “It isn’t like you can calculate the energy that the air gains by warming 1C and transfer that to ice thus figuring out how much ice can be melted.”

What I described is fundamental physics/chemistry. Its routinely used in the lab and
works at all scales. So, yes, you can calculate the atmospheric cooling that would take place for a given amount of ice melting and vice versa.
Since 1900, net of all variables, the surface temperature has increased 1C, and the sea level has risen by 1.5 inches.  If none of the ice had melted, the atmosphere would be 4C warmer because the energy to melt 1.5 inches of SLR is equal to the energy to raise the surface temperature by 4C.  Therefore, the energy “consumed” by the ice was 4x the energy “retained” by the atmosphere over the past century. We observed a 4:1 ratio of consumed heat to retained heat.  It is reasonable to assume a similar ratio in the future, absent a good explanation of why it shouldn’t be.
The IPCC forecasts a 3C surface temperature rise this century. If the 4:1 ratio we observed last century is maintained, then it equates to a 4.5 inch SLR this century. In one scenario, the IPCC forecasts 2m SLR this century. With a 3C temperature rise, that equates to a 70:1 ratio of consumed to retained heat. What could explain the deviation from our observations last century? Melting 2m of SLR would require over 50x the energy being transferred to the ice this century. That is enough energy to heat the atmosphere by 200C! Of course, that can’t happen, but it would be possible for a constant flow of heat to transfer from the atmosphere to the ice such that the energy was consumed. The temperatures in Antarctica must rise significantly above 0C for much of the year over most of the continent. We see no indication of this.
The massive ice melt scenarios are not even remotely possible over a short time. Fundamental physics applies here, and it can set us free. We have a century of observations to guide us, but we are being asked to disregard them and instead adopt ridiculous models that fail the fundamentals. But as I said, this isn’t about physics. It’s about control and domination. It’s up to us now to tell Climate Alarmists to get lost. 

Reply to  William Ward
May 24, 2021 7:54 am

The atmosphere heats and cools several degrees per day. That’s quick. How? The sun.

By the way, I taught Thermodynamics at a major university for years.

Steve Case
Reply to  William Ward
May 21, 2021 8:42 pm

Yes, Antarctica is well below freezing nearly everywhere, nearly all of the time. Ice loss or gain is a function of snow fall and calving of icebergs. That’s also true for Greenland .

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steve Case
May 21, 2021 9:13 pm

Actually, there is a fair amount of melting taking place at the lower elevations of the Greenland Ice Sheet in the Summer. There are photos of the melt-water streams on the surface. When I was there (near Thule AB) in 1966, I observed that the slush on the surface was coherent enough to support the weight of an Arctic Fox, but when I threw some cobbles out onto the slush, they sank a couple of feet into it.

Steve Case
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 21, 2021 10:36 pm

And there’s Nansen Falls in Antarctica. This is the #3 Solar radiation melting mentioned in William Ward’s post. You can observe this in most places that receive winter snow. The sun melts snow on the roof, and icicles form in the cold air.

Sea level has been rising since record keeping began in the early 19th century, and the water has to be coming from somewhere. The ice caps and glaciers are a good bet for that. See #1 in Ward’s post. More ice calves into the sea than falls as snow in the interior.

The various IPCC reports distinguish between surface ice melt and ice loss. The ice caps may be losing ice, but it’s not due to temperature. It’s the press that leads its readers to believe the ice loss is due to melting. The reposted article from “The Conversation” with the head line “…catastrophic melting…” is testimony to that.

By the way, sea level rise due to thermal expansion is local, if the middle of the Pacific Ocean warms up during an El Niño it won’t cause sea level to increase in New York harbor.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Steve Case
May 22, 2021 3:47 am

One should not dismiss decades of recent sea level change being caused by small shifts in the volume of the container in which the oceans sit. We know that sea mounts form, we know that sea floors spread, we know that these factors can change that available volume holding the seas, yet for the sake of spinning a story about climate change we close our eyes like children told that Santa does not exist. What strange, anti-science behavior! Geoff S

Pat Frank
May 21, 2021 1:40 pm

Here’s the money shot:

We build on previous work by improving a hybrid ice sheet–shelf model … using the NCAR Community Earth System Model. We test the future response of the AIS to scenarios representing +1.5 °C and +2 °C global warming limits, a +3 °C scenario representing current policies and extended RCP emissions scenarios. (my underline)

Yet another models all the way down study, relying on climate models that have no predictive value.

Nature (London) needs a new name: Nature (crock).

May 21, 2021 2:16 pm

Yawn, Rahmstorf 2.0 science fiction.

Stephen W
May 21, 2021 2:16 pm

“The tipping point
Antarctica has several protective ice shelves that fan out into the ocean ahead of the continent’s constantly flowing glaciers, slowing the land-based glaciers’ flow to the sea. But those shelves can thin and break up as warmer water moves in under them.”

If that’s the tipping point.. it happened 10,000 years ago, when the ocean reached the level it’s at now.
But for some unknown reason, sea level rise slowed down and has been stable ever since.

Edward Katz
May 21, 2021 2:28 pm

Another Tipping Point, eh. It might be a good idea for the alarmists to assign numbers to these for quick and easy reference in case we get them confused with all the Last Chances

John Chism
May 21, 2021 2:38 pm

May I suggest stopping the manufacturing of all Renewable Green Energy Sources – that has added to the Carbon Dioxide for decades – that is contributing to the Increasing of Carbon Dioxide for the future? Or is that hypocrisy that should be ignored?

Jay Hendon
May 21, 2021 3:14 pm
Last edited 1 year ago by Jay Hendon
Reginald R. Muskett, Ph.D.
May 21, 2021 3:15 pm


Andy Pattullo
May 21, 2021 4:15 pm

Why do they bother. Crying wolf over and over just to get attention has diminishing returns, especially when the track record is one of consistent and complete failure in future predictions. They should all take their models, go play in the sand box and leave the adults to manage the really important stuff.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
May 22, 2021 3:40 pm

I’m not so sure about that. The PARABLE of crying wolf suggested that, but it appears the reality is that people buy into the next big disaster announcement even more than the previous. The more they cry wolf, the more people fear the non-existent pack.

Jeremiah Puckett
May 21, 2021 4:24 pm

The entire planet just cut emissions in a massive way over the last 16 months, yet CO² measured at Mauna Loa increased nearly 1% from April 2020 to April 2021. The entire planet shut down factories, cruise lines, a large church of air travel, and commutes to work were cut drastically. So, what else would we need to do?

Reply to  Jeremiah Puckett
May 21, 2021 4:31 pm

So, what else would we need to do?

Stop breathing.


Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Jeremiah Puckett
May 21, 2021 5:04 pm


The current NOAA Mauna Loa website data (available at ) shows that they have measured an annual atmospheric CO2 concentration increase of 2.7 ppm over the last three years. That translates of about 0.65% per year, only close to 1.0% per year by rounding off to the nearest percent.

More specifically, a posted green-box graphic at that website (identified to have been updated May 5, 2021) states that in April 2020 the atmospheric CO2 concentration was 416.45 ppm and in April 2021 it was at 419.05 ppm. Not that I believe the observatory can accurately measure CO2 concentration to two decimal place, but taking just those numbers yields an yearly increase of 0.62%.

That same webpage also provide a link (to ) that answers this question: “Can we see a change in the CO2 record because of COVID-19?”

The world’s reductions in CO2 emissions related to COVID-19 impacts on fossil fuel use pale into insignificance when compared to the total atmospheric mass of CO2 currently existing at an atmospheric concentration level of 416 ppm. They do not merit the adjective “massive”.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
May 21, 2021 9:25 pm

However, another way of looking at this is there is a demand to eliminate anthropogenic CO2 emissions with the expectation of stopping global warming. However, during the period of time (roughly February, March, April, 2020) that emissions were most curtailed (~18%), and the northern hemisphere trees had not yet leafed out to absorb CO2, there is no discernible change in the slope of the increasing CO2 concentration, nor was the early-May peak reduced noticeably. If a significant drop in emissions cannot be observed in the rate of increase or annual Spring peak, how reasonable is it to expect that even draconian reductions will accomplish the stated goal?

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 22, 2021 3:51 am

Using the same logic that says we cannot detect a Mauna Loa CO2 decrease from Covid-19, we likewise cannot detect an increase of 10% or so in CO2 emissions over much of a year. Can we then expect to detect a 20% increase over a year? Geoff S

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
May 22, 2021 12:23 pm

The excuse given for being unable to measure year-to-year changes in CO2 is the natural variability. However, this problem is no different from asking the question about whether the mean value of a sample is statistically different from another sample. However, I haven’t seen anyone try to make this rigorous analysis.

A trough-to-peak (Fall-to-Spring) change of about 8 ppm (2019-2020)is essentially an order of magnitude greater than the precision claimed for the Mauna Loa measurements. A 10% change is nearly 1 ppm. Looking at the graphs, it appears to me that the year-to-year ramp-up variation is less than that. So time spent analyzing the record should be able to determine if the null-hypothesis should be rejected.

Richard M
Reply to  Jeremiah Puckett
May 22, 2021 9:44 am

Keep in mind that during this same time interval a La Nina was present for much of the time. La Nina leads to ocean cooling which should increase absorption HadSST3 has in fact measured a fairly significant cooling.

Not only were there less emissions there should have been more CO2 absorbed by the oceans. The lack of any decrease in the CO2 trajectory is direct observational evidence that other factors are important.

May 21, 2021 5:42 pm

“All models are wrong but some are useful”
An aphorism in statistics meaning that statistical or scientific models always fall short of the complexities of reality but can still be of use.
And then there are completely useless models……

May 21, 2021 5:54 pm

Beautiful photo Charles.

comment image?w=960&ssl=1

Jim Edwards
May 21, 2021 9:20 pm

Antarctic Sea Ice extent for 2020 either hovered same as 1980 or just above. 2021 is either the same or slightly above 2020. Appears to change every 5 years or so but in saying that over 40 years there is very little change in extent.

May 21, 2021 9:56 pm

Could we be any more doomed?

Joseph Zorzin
May 22, 2021 3:48 am

So one of the authors is at U. Mass., Amherst. That says a lot because in MA, you don’t dare dissagree with the climate emergency religion. Very few people in this state would openly dissagree. I do because I don’t give a dam if anyone here doesn’t like it. If you’re in government, academia and most businesses you are required to be a member of the new faith.

May 22, 2021 5:13 am

Tipping points re CO2: every year since it was first set at 1995, then the relentless march as the calendar overwhelmed the “tip”. And all those coastal residents buying up all the bathing suits to swim to dry land, ala Water World. Webbed feet predictions even.
Just shows the world is rapidly returning the the normal pre-Covid Hysteria world.

May 22, 2021 5:13 am

I’ve updated the graphics to include CO2 and the Trend in Temperatures.

In my opinion, this data set is undeniable proof that if you isolate the impact of CO2 on Temperature by controlling for the Urban Heat Island Effect and Water Vapor you can demonstrate that CO2 does not impact temperatures in the lower Troposphere.

These graphics also highlight how any causative relationship between CO2 and Temperature is basically non-existent, and if you place CO2 and Temperature in a Multi-Variable Linear Regression Modeling Program such as R, SAS, or even Excel you will get a non-significant R-Squared and coefficient on CO2.

Lastly, I put a regression line on Temperature. You can see that:

1) Some Months are (+) some months are (-)

2) The high volatility of the data make the slope basically meaningless

3) Climate Alarmists have no answers for the evidence I’ve provided with these graphics. Even their nonsensical slope arguments are debunked with those charts. I have more (-) slopes than they have (+), but the fact that the same location has both (+) and (-) Slopes depending on the month pretty much proves regression slopes are useless in this analysis.

Here is the Evidence:

May 22, 2021 11:47 am

My reply:
We used a different “S” word when I was in the Army.

Clyde Spencer
May 22, 2021 12:24 pm

I nominate “Tipping Point” as being the most overused phrase in 2020.

May 22, 2021 2:14 pm

I have a question:

We’re always hearing that we have to ACT NOW! That the status quo is BAD and we have to CHANGE THINGS.

So here’s my question:

What is the desired end state? Exactly what temperature and what CO2 concentration is the target? All the years of screaming, not once have I heard anyone articulate the end state we need to achieve.

Reply to  TonyG
May 22, 2021 4:19 pm

Thank you TonyG. I agree with your post 100%. I wrote the following months ago and would like to share it with you and others. I am not trying to steel your thunder but rather make it louder. I welcome anyone’s critique of the following.

Computer models predicting a climate catastrophe are nothing more than artwork created to produce an emotion.
Painted with a brush that is bent, with paint that frequently changes colors, on canvas that is stretched to the breaking point.
Where the canvas is a computer monitor, the brush is a mouse and the carefully selected paint is the data. To the connoisseurs of art, they are a masterpiece.
If today, CO2 remains the go to gas to control to prevent this climate catastrophe, and we continue to engineer the contents of the atmosphere, any engineer will state that, a target is necessary. With out a target, how can we apply engineering methods?
You do believe that controlling the contents of our atmosphere is an act of engineering, do you not?
from wikiopedia:
Climate engineering or climate intervention, commonly referred to as geoengineering, is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climate system. The most prominent subcategories of climate engineering are solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal. Solar radiation management refers to offsetting the warming effect of greenhouse gases by reflecting more solar radiation (sunlight) back into space. Carbon dioxide removal refers to removing carbon dioxide gas (CO2) from the atmosphere and sequestering it for long periods of time.
I say…What could possibly go wrong?
That said, there are three questions that require an answer.
1. What is the correct concentration of CO2 in PPM our atmosphere must have to prevent this coming catastrophe?
2. And how did you calculate that concentration?
3. What will the average global temperature be in degrees Fahrenheit once the correct CO2 concentration is reached?
When these questions are answered, then and only then, can engineering begin.


Reply to  Joe
May 22, 2021 5:01 pm

Some of the talk of geoengineering is terrifying on a truly global scale – like the idea of “scrubbing” CO2. Let’s say they actually start doing this. What is the target? They seem to be quite happy with the 250ppm preindustrial level. My problem is, what happens if we overshoot and go below 180?

Yeah, no potential downside there…

But nobody ever wants to consider these possibilities, and they never tell you what they’re actually trying to accomplish in the first place.

May 23, 2021 5:32 am

But those shelves can thin and break up as warmer water moves in under them.

Apparent warm water surface flow toward Antarctica is only one side of a larger story, one which is about cooling, not warming.

Strengthening Antarctic cooling is causing cold deep water formation around the continent. Cooled water at the Antarctic perimeter sinks via sea floor canyons, initiating cold deep ocean currents. In compensation for this formation and sinking of very cold water, more warm surface water is drawn toward Antarctica. The elevated salinity of this warm water from northerly latitudes makes it eventually denser when it cools at the Antarctic perimeter, driving its sinking and deep water formation. It’s feedback-driven, like the AMOC driven by deep water formation in the Norwegian Sea.

Antarctica is cooling, not warming:

Last edited 1 year ago by Hatter Eggburn
Nicholas McGinley
May 24, 2021 5:11 am

I started out thinking I would list all of the false, problematic, nonsensical, misstated, and biased opinions in this article, but by halfway through, I realized that the entire article is almost an encyclopedic amalgamation of every alarmist meme from the past 30 years.

This article is pure alarmist claptrap from start to finish.
Not a single fact in sight.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nicholas McGinley
Ap Boffo
May 25, 2021 6:23 pm

And I thought Doctors were the biggest quackery spewing people on earth, But I stand corrected! Climate Change Quackery has moved to first place. They should just tell the truth, that weather can be manipulated at will, need a storm, tornado, or perhaps an earth quake.
for a small fee, consider it done. How about some out of control forest fires, that will burn by address or zip code. Yes! Geo Engineering is your one stop magneto shop. They can fabricate any change you desire. Use the code GRETA and get an additional discount on you order.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ap Boffo
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