Antarctic Peninsula by Charles Rotter 1993

Thwaites glacier: Significant geothermal heat beneath the ice stream

Researchers map the geothermal heat flow in West Antarctica; a new potential weak spot in the ice sheet’s stability is identified

Peer-Reviewed Publication

ALFRED WEGENER INSTITUTE, HELMHOLTZ CENTRE FOR POLAR AND MARINE RESEARCH

Helicopter with magnetometer
IMAGE: GEOPHYSICAL MEASUREMENTS WITH A MAGNETOMETER BEING TOWED WITH RV POLARSTERN’S BOARD HELICOPTER. view more CREDIT: ALFRED-WEGENER-INSTITUT / THOMAS RONGE

Ice losses from Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica are currently responsible for roughly four percent of the global sea-level rise. This figure could increase, since virtually no another ice stream in the Antarctic is changing as dramatically as the massive Thwaites Glacier. Until recently, experts attributed these changes to climate change and the fact that the glacier rests on the seafloor in many places, and as such comes into contact with warm water masses. But there is also a third, and until nowone of the most difficult to constrain, influencing factors. In a new study, German and British researchers have shown that there is a conspicuously large amount of heat from Earth’s interior beneath the ice, which has likely affected the sliding behaviour of the ice masses for millions of years. This substantial geothermal heat flow, in turn, are due to the fact that the glacier lies in a tectonic trench, where the Earth’s crust is significantly thinner than it is e.g. in neighbouring East Antarctica. The new study was published today in the Nature online journal Communications Earth & Environment.

Unlike East Antarctica, West Antarctica is a geologically young region. In addition, it doesn’t consist of a large contiguous land mass, where the Earth’s crust is up to 40 kilometres thick, but instead is made up of several small and for the most part relatively thin crustal blocks that are separated from each other by a so-called trench system or rift system. In many of the trenches in this system, the Earth’s crust is only 17 to 25 kilometres thick, and as a result a large portion of the ground lies one to two kilometres below sea level. On the other hand, the existence of the trenches has long led researchers to assume that comparatively large amounts of heat from Earth’s interior rose to the surface in this region. With their new map of this geothermal heat flow in the hinterland of the West Antarctic Amundsen Sea, experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have now provided confirmation.

“Our measurements show that where the Earth’s crust is only 17 to 25 kilometres thick, geothermal heat flow of up to 150 milliwatts per square metre can occur beneath Thwaites Glacier. This corresponds to values recorded in areas of the Rhine Graben and the East African Rift Valley,” says AWI geophysicist and first author of the study, Dr Ricarda Dziadek. 

Based on their data, the geophysicists are unable to put a figure on the extent to which the rising geothermal heat warms the bottom of the glacier: “The temperature on the underside of the glacier is dependent on a number of factors – for example whether the ground consists of compact, solid rock, or of metres of water-saturated sediment. Water conducts the rising heat very efficiently. But it can also transport heat energy away before it can reach the bottom of the glacier,” explains co-author and AWI geophysicist Dr Karsten Gohl.

Nevertheless, the heat flow could be a crucial factor that needs to be considered when it comes to the future of Thwaites Glacier. According to Gohl: “Large amounts of geothermal heat can, for example, lead to the bottom of the glacier bed no longer freezing completely or to a constant film of water forming on its surface. Both of which would result in the ice masses sliding more easily over the ground. If, in addition, the braking effect of the ice shelf is lost, as can currently be observed in West Antarctica, the glaciers’ flow could accelerate considerably due to the increased geothermal heat.”

The new geothermal heat flow maps are based on various geomagnetic. field datasets from West Antarctica, which the researchers have collated and analysed using a complex procedure. “Inferring geothermal heat flow from magnetic field data is a tried and tested method, mainly used in regions where little is known about the characteristics of the geological underground,” explains Fausto Ferraccioli from the British Antarctic Survey and the Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), one of the study’s co-authors.

The experts will soon find out how accurate their new assessment of the heat flow below Thwaites Glacier is. An international team led by British and American polar experts, which the AWI is also taking part in, is currently engaged in a major research project. In this context, collecting core samples down as far as the glacier bed and taking corresponding heat flow measurements are planned. The findings will provide the first opportunity to comprehensively verify the new heat flow maps from West Antarctica.


DOI

10.1038/s43247-021-00242-3 

METHOD OF RESEARCH

Observational study

SUBJECT OF RESEARCH

Not applicable

ARTICLE TITLE

High geothermal heat flow beneath Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica inferred from aeromagnetic data

ARTICLE PUBLICATION DATE

17-Aug-2021

From EurekAlert!

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Zig Zag Wanderer
August 19, 2021 6:06 pm

Wouldn’t it be terrible if we discovered that Antarctic ice loss (which isn’t happening) wasn’t caused by runaway Global Warming (which isn’t happening)?

Duker
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 19, 2021 10:41 pm

Its a religion now… so reformations are even more devout.

Like medieval times , if the harvests are good, praise the Lord. If the Harvest is bad, praise the Lord and root out the sinners and increase the tithes.

August 19, 2021 6:18 pm

No, no, no! Any sea level rise or glacial decay must be anthropogenic! Nature does not exist as a cause! Repent your ecological sins, and pay into the Indulgences fund we control, and all will be forgiven! So satin the IPCC.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 19, 2021 6:19 pm

Damnable autocorrect. Saith, not satin.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 19, 2021 6:22 pm

*sayeth?

Mr.
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 19, 2021 7:41 pm

You blokes need to work on correcting your lisps.

Duker
Reply to  Mr.
August 19, 2021 10:36 pm

No Lizzp here

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 19, 2021 11:45 pm

Don’t you “Stalin”?

Sara
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 19, 2021 6:57 pm

I challenge you to take my ice cube trays from my cold, wet hands!

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 20, 2021 5:24 am

I think you mean “Satan”, which the IPCC may as well be.

davidmhoffer
August 19, 2021 6:19 pm

geothermal heat flow of up to 150 milliwatts per square metre 

So 0.150 watts? Per square meter? That much? This is significant?

Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 19, 2021 6:27 pm

A heat flux of ZERO from inner core to surface would mean Temperatures are equal!

http://phzoe.com/2020/04/29/the-irrelevance-of-geothermal-heat-flux/

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 6:56 pm

Zoe, from your link…..
Geothermal provides a tremendous amount of energy, even more than the sun”…

Shame on you for publishing such nonsense.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 19, 2021 7:15 pm

I take feel no shame in understanding why humans find it hard to drill deeper than 13km. Even though the heat flux is tiny 13kms below, the temperature is not.

You have no explanation for that because you misapply SB law.

MarkW
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 7:30 pm

Once again, you fail in understanding the difference between heat flow and heat.

Reply to  MarkW
August 19, 2021 7:42 pm

Heat is defined as the spontaneous flow of energy from hot to cold.

“Heat flow” is a redundant way to say Heat, not unlike people who say “ATM Machine”.

Heat is therefore something that happens between two locations at different temperatures.

Radiation is a product of a single location with a given temperature.

Equating a difference to an absolute makes no sense.

MarkW
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 8:32 pm

Heat is not defined by flow, heat is defined by energy content.

Is there anything you know that is actually true?

mkelly
Reply to  MarkW
August 20, 2021 6:23 am

Mark, Zoe is spot on. You are not.

Heat is defined a the energy that is transferred between two systems or a system and its surrounding because of a difference in temperature.

The difference in wording she used of “flow” and my thermodynamics book of “transferred” is minimal.

AndyHce
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 9:41 pm

So something in thermal isolation cannot contain any heat?
What a strange world you inhabit.

jono1066
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 20, 2021 4:48 am

bring back Esparanto,
I can understand that heat is a verb as well as a noun.
if Im going toheatmy dinner I need to transfer some calories over a period of time to raise the temperature
and last time I checked my dinner had a specific
heat` capacity

Kpar
Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 20, 2021 3:36 pm

If one is looking at a point source, or even an area source, it is quite possible for more energy to come from geothermal than the Sun.

Especially in a place like Antarctica…

Steve Z.
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 20, 2021 8:35 am

If the crust is almost 50% thinner under some parts of Antarctica, why is the heat transfer from the mantle to the surface just 0.15 extra watts per square meter? If you drilled down 20 kilometers into a 40 km crust, I would think the temperature would be hundreds of degrees hotter.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 19, 2021 6:41 pm

The extra 150 mw heat radiated to, say your bare 40 C skin (not a good idea in Antarctica), amounts to 0.022 degrees C….so insignificant as to be an entirely foolish consideration.

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 19, 2021 7:02 pm

DMac,
I suggest you take a cold bath in boiling water. If the water is of uniform temperature (heat flux = 0), you will freeze to death because converting the heat flux to temperature using SB Law would make it zero kelvin.

Emission is based on temperature, not the conductive flux. Boltzmanm and Planck proved this a while ago.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 7:14 pm

I suggest a cold shower for you…..

MarkW
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 7:32 pm

Radiation depends on temperature. Heat flow depends on temperature difference and thermal resistance.

Reply to  MarkW
August 19, 2021 7:49 pm

Exactly, Mark!

Radiation != Geothermal Heat Flow

(Temperature != Temperature Difference and Thermal Resistence)

(T != delta T and R)

It’s basic logic.

THEREFORE you can’t convert the 150mW/m^2 to a temperature using SB Law.

You finally got it, and yet …

MarkW
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 8:38 pm

Every time I try to have a discussion with you, I wind up wondering just how many drugs you are on today.

Nobody claimed that radiation = geothermal heat flow. That’s your delusion.
Nobody claimed that temperature = temperature difference and thermal resistence. That’s your delusion.
NObody has claimed that you can convert heat flow to temperature, using any law. That’s your delusion.

Heat is the amount of energy an object contains.
Heat flow is energy moving through a material from hot to cold.

When you figure that out, you will be on the first step in a long journey out of your delusions.

Reply to  MarkW
August 19, 2021 8:57 pm

That’s funny, Mark. According to DMac:

“The extra 150 mw heat radiated to, say your bare 40 C skin (not a good idea in Antarctica), amounts to 0.022 degrees C….so insignificant as to be an entirely foolish consideration.”

How was he able to reach that conclusion?

No, Mark, Heat is NOT “the amount of energy an object contains.”

That would make Heat and Energy the same thing. Not true.

Heat is already a flow.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/heat.html

‘Heat may be defined as energy in transit from a high temperature object to a lower temperature object. An object does not possess “heat”; the appropriate term for the microscopic energy in an object is internal energy. The internal energy may be increased by transferring energy to the object from a higher temperature (hotter) object – this is properly called heating.’

Wim Röst
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 10:34 pm

Zoe: “Heat is already a flow”

WR: Zoe, I think you’re confused about the rate of heat flow. Radiant heat that goes into space unimpeded (!) has a speed of about 300,000 km per second. But the heat flow through the Earth’s crust (by conduction, not radiation) is much slower than the speed of a snail.

It is because the rate of heat loss through the Earth’s crust is so SLOW that the Earth’s core can maintain its high temperature.

Reply to  Wim Röst
August 20, 2021 6:58 am

Wim,

“It is because the rate of heat loss through the Earth’s crust is so SLOW that the Earth’s core can maintain its high temperature.”

Yes, Indeed. And a heat flux of ZERO would mean it would maintain its temperature forever, correct?

So the SMALLER the heat flux, the HOTTER, right?

And you admitted the heat flux can’t tell you the temperature. Thanks

Wim Röst
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 20, 2021 7:16 am

Zoe: “And you admitted the heat flux can’t tell you the temperature. Thanks”

WR: I admitted that the heat flow through the Earth’s crust is by conduction, not by radiation. In case you missed this.

Reply to  Wim Röst
August 20, 2021 7:25 am

Wim,
OK, and the implication of that would be …

You are practically implying that conduction makes a better “greenhouse effect”. If so, the term “greenhouse effect” is unnecessary and superfluous. QED

And you still can’t tell the temperature at any given level of depth using geothermal heat flux, including the surface, which can also conduct to the 14km of bulk atmosphere above.

So you must agree “small heat flux” is purposefully misleading.

davidmhoffer
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 10:36 pm

He was able to reach that conclusion by applying an energy flux of 150 mW/M^2 to a body at 40 deg C to determine how much the temperature would increase by. Which is precisely what SB Law was formulated to do. It is:

P=5.67*10^8*T^4. You start with the T the body is at, calculate the P, add 0.150 to it, then solve for the new T. It isn’t hard Zoe, get a grip.

davidmhoffer
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 19, 2021 11:10 pm

P=5.67*10^-8*t^4 …thought I would fix the missing – sign before someone else did but too late to edit it (Zoe, this is called a transcription error which is totally and completely different from the complete misunderstanding of physics)

davidmhoffer
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 10:29 pm

I usually ignore you Zoe, but you placed so many wrong things into one comment it deserves response.

First, Radiation! DOES NOT = Geothermal Heat Flow. Geothermal “heat flow” is largely conductance.

Your logical statements immediately following all depend on that incorrect statement so are also false. You end up at the end with insisting you cannot convert 150 mW/m^2 into a temperature using SB Law. Strangely, that’s the ONLY thing you got right. However you can calculate a new equilibrium temperature for given body exposed to that much additional heat flux (provided all else stays equal) so even though you got one statement right, you immediately drew a fantastically wrong conclusion from it.

I cannot decide if you believe your own nonsense or if you are just the most clever troll this board has ever seen.

davidmhoffer
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 10:50 pm

I’m reading Zoe’s reply to DMac and… Zoe, that’s not right. That’s not even wrong.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 11:49 pm

Please advise, is “SB Law” a new tv show somewhere?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 19, 2021 7:14 pm

your bare 40 C skin (not a good idea in Antarctica)

40C skin isn’t a god idea anywhere. Do you have covid?

Loydo
Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 19, 2021 7:27 pm

“The extra 150 mw…”
There is no “extra”; there is no evidence it’s changed much in a million years.

philincalifornia
Reply to  Loydo
August 19, 2021 8:08 pm

Volcanic activity in highly active volcanic regions on Earth doesn’t change in millions of years. As ever, that’s funny. Have you thought of a new career as a stand-up comedian?

Here try reading this one:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antarctic-science/article/abs/determination-of-geomorphological-and-volumetric-variations-in-the-1970-land-volcanic-craters-area-deception-island-antarctica-from-1968-using-historical-and-current-maps-remote-sensing-and-gnss/2DC1597E264F9635DC725FB0F7099D8B

Here’s the abstract:

Abstract

During the nearly 40 years covered by the study, major height differences of over ± 25 m have been revealed in the volcanic landscape of the 1970 craters in Deception Island, an active volcano in the South Shetland Islands (West Antarctica). In the last 14 years, the mean volcanic filling rate has been 1 m yr-1 and the mean erosion rate has been -0.2 m yr-1. There has been considerable landform modification mainly associated with landslide-induced accumulation, and erosion may indicate the craters’ fill over the next 30–40 years. Deception Island’s eruptions have been recorded since 1842. Special attention was paid to the zones affected by the most recent volcanic events and the geomorphological changes that have taken place in those zones since then (e.g. the 1970 volcanic craters area in the last episode occurring between 1967 and 1970). Historical maps (produced before and just after the 1970 eruption) were compared with maps plotted in 1992 and updated using a 2003 image from the Quickbird satellite and data obtained with Global Navigation Satellite System technology in 2006. Techniques used included both geodetic transformation and the geometric correcting of maps.

Last edited 1 month ago by philincalifornia
GregK
Reply to  Loydo
August 19, 2021 8:43 pm

Or maybe there is…

“Our results further suggest that the subglacial water system of Thwaites Glacier may be responding to heterogeneous and temporally variable basal melting driven by the evolution of rift-associated volcanism and support the hypothesis that both heterogeneous geothermal flux (6) and local magmatic processes (5) could be critical factors in determining the future behavior of the WAIS”

from

https://www.pnas.org/content/111/25/9070

Loydo
Reply to  GregK
August 19, 2021 10:24 pm

Or maybe there is…
Fair enough. “there is no evidence it’s [geothermal flux under the WAIS] changed much in a million years” is inaccurate.

ATheoK
Reply to  Loydo
August 20, 2021 7:38 am

‘Argumentum ad Ignorantiam’ a logical fallacy where the claim is based upon ignorance.

Where lolly translates “there is no evidence” into specious claims…

ATheoK
Reply to  GregK
August 20, 2021 7:40 am

That paragraph hinges it’s claims on:

  • “suggest”
  • “may be”
  • “could be”

The conclusions are Confirmation Bias beliefs and doctrine, not science.

Mr.
Reply to  Loydo
August 19, 2021 9:02 pm

Loydo, when you were a kid (2 years ago?) were you ever taught to look BOTH WAYS before crossing a road?

Well, when considering climate influences, that same lesson means looking DOWN as well as up.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr.
davidmhoffer
Reply to  Loydo
August 19, 2021 10:43 pm

As usual Loydo, you misunderstand the terminology. The 150 mW isn’t “extra” in the sense that it wasn’t there before, it is “extra” in term of how much higher the temperature would be with it as opposed to without it.

What’s really funny my warmist friend is the amount is so close to zero as to be laughable. Meaning that it does NOT explain the melting of the ice sheet regardless of it being there before or not, so pointing out that it is nearly nothing would bolster the argument that it must be something else… possibly CO2. I find it hilarious you are so eager to dispute something on a thread that you don’t even realize you are arguing against your own narrative.

Sorry, today’s lunatic troll prize still goes to Zoe.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Loydo
August 20, 2021 5:30 am

Its mathematically “extra” compared to NOT considering it….but then turns out to be not worth considering.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 20, 2021 8:59 pm

To go further, if the surface temperature was -40C, 0.15 watts per square meter “extra” is enough to warm the surface by .052 C….calculated as dissipating the “extra” heat by radiation only, not counting conduction or convection which have greater heat transfer….so still entirely foolish….

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 21, 2021 7:24 pm

The relevant calculation looks at how rapidly water is warmed by the heat flow. At 4.2kJ/kg/K, 0.15W takes 7.78 hours to raise 1kg by 1 degree K, or 7,777 hours per tonne or 1m of water depth. The best part of a year per metre between the seabed and the bottom of the glacier. The ice warms at just over twice the rate, while melting due to the heat occurs at about 12.5 times the rate once the ice is at melting point.

Actual melting is speeded up by processes of calving and cliff collapse. I guess this paper explains a model of that

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03427-0

Smart Rock
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 19, 2021 6:51 pm

It’s significant because the normal continental heat flux is 0.06 W/m². I.e. it’s 2.5 times normal.

And there are probably hot spots where magma gets closer to the subsurface.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 19, 2021 7:08 pm

Whether 0.15 W/m² is enough to cause catastrophic melting is a question above my pay grade. But since it’s been going on for millions of years, the answer is probably no.

davidmhoffer
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 20, 2021 9:21 am

2.5 times almost nothing remains almost nothing. Not significant. The researchers are pretending it is to keep their funding safe.

Johanus
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 20, 2021 3:10 am

@davidmhoffer
“So 0.150 watts? Per square meter? That much? This is significant?”

Yes, it is over half the flux measured at Grimsvotn, Iceland’s most active volcano.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/26/an0maly-on-twitter/#comment-2807840
[Note: Windity, and other weather map sites, have changed their SO2 reporting mechanism in 2020, and no longer plot the sulfur fumes leaking out of these volcanic Antarctic regions. Detection of SO2 at the surface is an indicator that magma may be close to the surface.]

Voltron
August 19, 2021 6:22 pm

They’ll find some inconvenient numbers at the bottom of those core samples and simply toss them overboard.

tygrus
August 19, 2021 6:25 pm

Please recheck spelling & grammar.
“This figure could increase, since virtually no another ice stream in the Antarctic is changing as dramatically as the massive Thwaites Glacier.”

“But there is also a third, and until nowone [now one] of the most difficult to constrain, influencing factors.”

Not all heat comes from the sun & GHG is not news to proper scientists. The 150mW/m^2 is small compared to claimed potential global warming but they’re waiting on empirical data from Antarctica to verify.

Last edited 1 month ago by tygrus
Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  tygrus
August 19, 2021 7:23 pm

I suggest you mention this to the actual author, rather than whoever vopied and pasted it here.

lee
Reply to  tygrus
August 19, 2021 7:31 pm

Thank Eurekaalert for that. It is in their post

Allen Stoner
August 19, 2021 6:41 pm

Showing that it is certainly global warming melting it.

Rud Istvan
August 19, 2021 6:43 pm

The fun volcanic thing about Thwaites, noted in ebook Blowing Smoke, is that this is NOT new news. Volcanic ash layers have been observed in the Amundsen Abayment glacier front for decades.

philincalifornia
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 19, 2021 8:16 pm

Sorry for being a bit off-topic (perhaps maybe not), but have you seen this new development Rud:

https://patriotalerts.com/2021/08/fulton-county-court-grants-motion-to-add-ruby-freeman-other-shady-election-workers-to-georgia-audit-case/

Zoe might care to comment on this too, since she’s on this thread.

Smart Rock
August 19, 2021 6:46 pm

“a conspicuously large amount of heat from Earth’s interior beneath the ice, which has likely affected the sliding behaviour of the ice masses for millions of years

So why is it a matter for concern now?

Loydo
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 19, 2021 7:20 pm

It’s obviously not, but it successfully muddies the water and fosters doubt about CO2 – the aim.

MarkW
Reply to  Loydo
August 19, 2021 7:34 pm

It’s the lack of science in climate science that fosters doubt about CO2.

lee
Reply to  Loydo
August 19, 2021 7:42 pm

You mean CO2 the “control knob” that has not increased Antarctic temperatures for 70 years? That CO2? LOL.

Mr.
Reply to  Loydo
August 19, 2021 9:38 pm

loydo, do you have a little shrine to worship one of those mini cannisters of CO2 for soda makers in one corner of your basement bedroom?

Here’s a pro tip – it is actually safe to surround your shrine with lighted candles, because despite IPCC inferences, CO2 is not a flammable gas.

davidmhoffer
Reply to  Loydo
August 19, 2021 10:59 pm

No it doesn’t. They calculated an energy flux of less than two tenths of one watt over a square meter which is insignificant. So it shows that it is too small to explain changes in the glacier. So if you understood the explanation, you would have jumped all over it as proving it must be something else (and then no doubt insisting the only thing it could be is CO2 thus making yourself wrong again”.

But its really funny watching you take evidence the bolsters your argument (not well, but a little) and hitting yourself over the head with it.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 19, 2021 7:27 pm

Based on their data, the geophysicists are unable to put a figure on the extent to which the rising geothermal heat warms the bottom of the glacier

They have no idea how much effect it has. They do, however, go on to make a number of silly alarmist claims about what ‘might’ happen ‘if’ something something. All pulled out from their ‘prison wallet’ of course.

As you say, after millions of years, why worry, and what could we ever do about it anyway?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 19, 2021 8:35 pm

So why is it a matter for concern now?

Because Chicken Loydo is running around yelling “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

Sara
August 19, 2021 7:02 pm

Could this discovery explain why my freezer is not working properly, even though I just had the fridge guy in on Monday? Can’t possibly be gorebull warming, can it? Has to be something else… or maybe my fridge is just after another visit from the appliance guy…? And he’s swamped with work. I may have to ‘splain to my fridge just how the Thwaite Glacier’s melt activity corresponds to the freeze/thaw cycle in the freezer compartment.

Machines….. (shakes head). Things were so simple when it was just an icebox in the kitchen…..

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Sara
August 19, 2021 7:30 pm

Things were so simple when it was just an icebox in the kitchen…..

Not for the people who had to make the ice, and then ship it to you. Now they just have to burn some gas, make electricity, and you can use it to make things cold. Much simpler (if it works, of course).

But then again, I guess someone in some Asian country had to make that fridge for you, and ship it to you, and do that again three years and a day later when the warranty runs out and it breaks, so maybe not…

Last edited 1 month ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Sara
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 20, 2021 4:42 am

Asian country? Nah, the fridge was made in Mexico, just like my stove.

Mark D
Reply to  Sara
August 20, 2021 6:28 pm

How does heat get out of an ice box?

Darrin
Reply to  Mark D
August 22, 2021 8:47 pm

How does the heat get out? Simple enough, I keep opening the door every hour to see if ice cream magically appeared even when I know it hasn’t.

Mark D
Reply to  Darrin
August 23, 2021 7:09 am

LOL!
I missed the correct answer 50 years ago in tech school and haven’t forgotten the answer since.

August 19, 2021 7:35 pm

For those who think geothermal heat flux is insignificant and therefore irrelevant … you need to read this:

https://phzoe.com/2020/02/20/two-theories-one-ideological-other-verified/

And see two experiments at the end.

Equal temperatures = Zero Flux != 0 Kelvin.

MarkW
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 8:41 pm

Geothermal heat flow is insignificant because it is. It is a tiny fraction of the amount of energy coming from the sun.

Any time two objects are the same temperature, proves that they are actually at zero kelvin.

It’s a really strange world you inhabit Zoe, one unknown to any form of science or logic.

Reply to  MarkW
August 19, 2021 9:14 pm

There’s 0 W/m^2 of solar flux reaching 3km below the surface. So why is it over 100C there? The heat flux is only 0.0916 W/m^2 there.

You have an answer?

davidmhoffer
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 11:17 pm

There’s 0 W/m2 of solar flux reaching the core of my body. So why is it 98.6F?

If you can answer that question you’ll be able to both understand your own and realize how stupid it was.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 20, 2021 7:06 am

“So why is it 98.6F?”
Thermochemical Engine

It’s definitely not because 0 W/m^2 can’t leave your body fast enough causing you to be hotter than if you had no body.

davidmhoffer
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 20, 2021 9:19 am

Well there you go Zoe, you’ve answered your own question, then babbled something about 0 W/m^2 not changing anything. In your delusional world, would you expect 0 W/m^2 to change anything?

If you did add some energy flux greater than 0 to your body and all else stayed the same it would rise in temperature. It doesn’t stay the same of course, other processes work to cancel the extra energy flux and bring the body back to 98.6 F. The ice sheet doesn’t have internal processes that regulate it in that fashion so if there’s an energy flux added to it, the temperature must change or ice must melt. In this case the energy flux is so small that it is inconsequential.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 20, 2021 9:57 am

You’re the one that’s babbling. You still haven’t answered why it’s >100C at 3km below, even though the heat flux is 0.0916 W/m^2.

I know the answer. You may too, but you fail to recognize the implications.

MarkW
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 20, 2021 5:43 pm

It’s 100C 3km down because it’s it’s about 6000C at the center of the Earth.
For the same reason that it is hotter inside the water heater than it is on the outside.

Swenson
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 19, 2021 11:51 pm

Zoe,

Of course he hasn’t. These idiots believe their ridiculous SB equation, and that the Earth’s temperature “should be” 255 K or so.

Unfortunately, the Earth’s surface was apparently molten, but their stupid misuse of SB claims this could not be – 255 K is the answer!

Before the first water condensed, the minimum surface temperature was over 373 K. “Oh, no!”, they cry, “That cannot be. Our equation says 255 K!”

Fast forward to now. The same obviously incorrect useage of SB persists.

The SkyDragons obviously don’t accept that a big ball of molten rock like the Earth can have a surface hotter than 0 K! Measured heat loss gives me a BB figure of around 40 K or so, in the absence of the Sun. So, assuming the SkyDragons SB calcs are more or less correct, average surface temperature could well be around 288 K. The dimwit clan obviously think that the energy required to raise a body to a certain temperature is identical, whether you start from 0 K, or close to the final temperature!

The Earth’s surface has cooled from the molten state to its present temperature. No need for a GHE, which, even if it existed, was unable to prevent the Earth from cooling anyway.

MarkW
Reply to  Swenson
August 20, 2021 9:51 am

You seem to be suffering from the delusion that GHE’s completely prevent heat from leaving the earth’s surface.

MarkW
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 20, 2021 9:44 am

Because the earth’s core is hot and because the thermal resistance of the three miles of rock above that point is high.

Reply to  MarkW
August 20, 2021 12:47 pm

Good, Mark. Now would a heat flux of 0 W/m^2 offer the best or the worst thermal resistence?

Can you actually tell if a small flux could or couldn’t melt the bottom of an ice block?

MarkW
Reply to  Zoe Phin
August 20, 2021 5:48 pm

A temperature flux of zero means there is no temperature difference. Therefore it doesn’t matter what the thermal resistance is.

Whether a small heat flux can melt ice would depend entirely on what the temperature of the air above the ice was.

Reply to  MarkW
August 20, 2021 7:23 pm

Mark, are you suggesting neither ice nor air can conduct? The bottom of ice temperature doesn’t matter? That is really weird.

TonyL
August 19, 2021 7:58 pm

OMG!!!!
The heat source is geothermal, from deep in the planet’s core.
Do you realize what that means?????
The Thwaites Glacier is getting melted by,
*GASP*
Global Cooling!!

It’s Worse Than We Thought.

AndyHce
Reply to  TonyL
August 19, 2021 10:01 pm

It is not cooling if radioactive decay, or anything else, is adding at least as much heat energy as is escaping.

Swenson
Reply to  AndyHce
August 19, 2021 11:58 pm

Andy,

Perfectly true, and completely irrelevant.

The Earth has cooled over the past four and a half billion years. Losing heat energy, even though radiogenic heat was far more copious in the past. All the shorter half life isotopes are effectively gone, with probably no more than 20 tonnes or so of matter being converted to energy per annum. Where e=mc2, that’s quite a lot of heat.

Still miniscule, compared with the past, which obviously didn’t stop the Earth cooling, did it?

MarkW
Reply to  Swenson
August 20, 2021 5:52 pm

Losing heat energy, even though radiogenic heat was far more copious in the past

That sentence makes no sense whatsoever.

Still miniscule, compared with the past, which obviously didn’t stop the Earth cooling, did it?

How exactly is the fact that the earth used to be more radioactive in the past supposed to prevent the earth from cooling?

BTW, the shorter life isotypes were gone long before the earth formed. Heck, they were gone before the cloud that formed the solar system began to collapse in on itself.

Swenson
Reply to  MarkW
August 20, 2021 10:59 pm

Mark,

There is far less radiogenic heat produced now, than in the past. Maybe you believe Stanford U – “In its entirety, radiogenic heat is estimated to have released about 7.6 × 1030 joulesover the course of the earth’s existence. When the earth was young, radiogenic heating generated about four times as much heat flux as it does now.22 Mar 2015”

My figures differ somewhat, but that was the first Google reference. Maybe you just cannot understand the process involved. Don’t blame me or Stanford.

As to your second bit of silliness, I assumed my audience could comprehend English. However, I will try to be clearer.

The interior sources of heat were much greater in the past. The Earth still cooled. Andy implied that current radiogenic heat might exceed heat being lost, without having the guts to say so. Possibly slimy SkyDragon doublespeak? I don’t know.

If previous greater internal heat sources, plus four and a half billion years of continuous sunlight were unable to stop the Earth from cooling, then a lesser heat output cannot achieve the hoped for miracle.

So, the Earth has cooled to its present temperature. Time for you to start blathering about “snowball Earth” and similar rubbish. All you have to is figure out how to get the oceans to freeze when exposed to tropical sunlight. Invoke the miracle of a reverse GHE perhaps?

There is no GHE. You can’t even say where it may be observed and measured, can you?

August 19, 2021 9:22 pm

Yes, Things are looking pretty dire for Climate and the ice at the Bottom of World.
“Canary in the coal” mine stuff.
Bundle up North America, you’re next.

CharacticAntarctica2021August.jpg
philincalifornia
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 20, 2021 12:25 am

You should’ve put the plot from 1979 on there.

The Arctic sea ice is looking interesting too with respect to those strange people who think that falling levels of sea ice is a problem for humans, but seem to rejoice when sea ice levels are falling:

https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

fretslider
August 20, 2021 12:22 am

Has anyone fact checked this with the BBC? /sarc

Last edited 1 month ago by fretslider
griff
August 20, 2021 1:02 am

But I don’t see anyone showing there’s a change in the world’s sub glacial/Arctic sea floor geothermal activity, so it is obviously not responsible for any recent changes in ice cover…

fretslider
Reply to  griff
August 20, 2021 2:02 am

Probably because the Groan hasn’t reported on it

Reply to  griff
August 20, 2021 3:10 am

You mean the growing ice ?? 😀
I wonder you realised it finally 😀

Last edited 1 month ago by Krishna Gans
philincalifornia
Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 20, 2021 7:09 am

One half of his cognitive dissonance already knew it, but he has to beat that one back into the far reaches of his skull.

I don’t know why Arctic sea ice is increasing but, from reading articles with references and comments on this excellent site, I assume that it’s a combination of ENSO, AMO, gulfstream, and solar activity changes and maybe more parameters (cloud cover somewhere important for the cause and effect?). If climate scientists weren’t such a low-standard, juvenile bunch, they could possibly figure it out, but hey ho, as long as they can pretend it’s the beating down of back-radiated IR from CO2 that’s melting the ice and they can fool enough politicians, grant agencies, and thick or virtue-signaling voters, they’ll keep doing it.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
August 20, 2021 7:17 am

You do realise that at least 5 submarines (4 US/ 1 UK) have surfaced in open water at or very close to the North Pole since 1958.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
August 20, 2021 9:54 am

If no one can show a change, then it obviously didn’t change.
Therefor even though no one can show that it was CO2 that did it, we must assume that it was the CO2, because the holy models have so declared.

Bruce Cobb
August 20, 2021 5:35 am

Scorecard:
Natural forces 1
Anthropogenic “forces” 0.

icisil
August 20, 2021 6:12 am

Why is it assumed by some that the 150 milliwatts per square metre is uniform across the entire area? Isn’t that just lazy thinking? It is an average.

Is the heat flow of an erupting volcano the same as it is 1 mile away? No of course not, but averaged over a wide area that number is much less. So what is the resolution of their measurement technology?

Is there any direct evidence that a volcano is not erupting underneath Thwaites? No there isn’t, but there is indirect evidence that there is. They detected what they think is an active volcano underneath Pine Island glacier,

Evidence of an active volcanic heat source beneath the Pine Island Glacier
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04421-3

and this flux map shows the same high heat flow behavior as Pine Island. The light purple circle at -100* is Pine Island and the similar one at -110* is the headwaters of Thwaites

comment image

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/New-heat-flow-map-of-Antarctica-based-on-revised-data-sets-For-details-see-the-text_fig2_340086938

Last edited 1 month ago by icisil
Matthew Sykes
August 20, 2021 6:39 am

Until recently, experts attributed these changes to climate change” No they didnt. The British Antarctic Survey attributed this to volcanic activity decades ago!

Gavin Hardy
August 20, 2021 7:02 am

Kind of justifies the work of by James E Kamis, Plate Climatology Theory
http://www.plateclimatology.com

ATheoK
August 20, 2021 7:18 am

“Based on their data, the geophysicists are unable to put a figure on the extent to which the rising geothermal heat warms the bottom of the glacier: “The temperature on the underside of the glacier is dependent on a number of factors – for example whether the ground consists of compact, solid rock, or of metres of water-saturated sediment. Water conducts the rising heat very efficiently. But it can also transport heat energy away before it can reach the bottom of the glacier,” explains co-author and AWI geophysicist Dr Karsten Gohl.

Nevertheless, the heat flow could be a crucial factor that needs to be considered when it comes to the future of Thwaites Glacier. According to Gohl: “Large amounts of geothermal heat can, for example, lead to the bottom of the glacier bed no longer freezing completely or to a constant film of water forming on its surface. Both of which would result in the ice masses sliding more easily over the ground. If, in addition, the braking effect of the ice shelf is lost, as can currently be observed in West Antarctica, the glaciers’ flow could accelerate considerably due to the increased geothermal heat.”

The new geothermal heat flow maps are based on various geomagnetic. field datasets from West Antarctica, which the researchers have collated and analysed using a complex procedure. “Inferring geothermal heat flow from magnetic field data is a tried and tested method, mainly used in regions where little is known about the characteristics of the geological underground,” explains Fausto Ferraccioli from the British Antarctic Survey and the Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), one of the study’s co-authors.

The experts will soon find out how accurate their new assessment of the heat flow below Thwaites Glacier is. An international team led by British and American polar experts, which the AWI is also taking part in, is currently engaged in a major research project. In this context, collecting core samples down as far as the glacier bed”

My bolding.

Geophysicists involved in this research, don’t know.

  • They surmise.
  • They infer.
  • They build models of their expectations.
  • They use vague action words.
  • They use undefined lurid descriptions, e.g. “Large amounts of geothermal heat”, where they admit to not knowing squat.
  • They plan to use models to validate their models.

It’s just another excuse for their failed sea level predictions and meant to help them keep the fear of sea level rise alive…

Sea level rising fears are likely to be stoked by hurricane Henri’s eye coming ashore at Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard location. A location set on the coast in a funnel shaped inlet where storm surge will be higher because of the funnel…

Large amounts of plaintive press pleading climate sea level rise disaster hitting the airwaves next week.
Lots of popcorn should aid us skeptical watchers.

Olen
August 20, 2021 9:14 am

It is refreshing.

Glacial movement is from natural causes and not from the gasoline engine, the most evil device ever invented, according to Al Gore.

Kpar
August 20, 2021 3:32 pm

Umm, OK. I recall reading, about thirty years ago in Science News magazine (which I canceled due to their uncritical acceptance of AGW theory) that deep radar from the STS (Space Shuttle) showed a large number of active volcanoes under the ice streams in Antarctica- I do not remember any specific reference to the Thwaites Glacier, but this is not news. This is suppressed information.

Jackie Pratt
August 23, 2021 5:24 pm

All this doesn’t matter. Other scientists have finally correlated the data: CO2 is the control knob.
https://phys.org/news/2021-08-volcanoes-safety-valve-earth-long-term.html

Get rid of your SUV and stop breathing.

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