Antarctic melting reports omit key facts

By |2014-05-24T07:07:30+00:00May 19th, 2014|CFACT Insights, Guest Insights|7 Comments
You just can’t beat the timing of two breathlessly announced reports suggesting that global warming is causing irreversible melting of Antarctic glaciers which will cause a catastrophic sea level rise.
Their nonaccidental tandem release follows hyperventilating primal scream conclusions chronicled in the Obama Administration’s new National Climate Assessment that “climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present.”
Yup. Another meltdown issue is now absolutely clear. Climate changes!
One of those studies conducted by a group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California-Irvine used satellite measurements to track “six rapidly melting glaciers” between 1992 and 2011.
antsheetThe other, conducted at the University of Washington, developed computer models to predict that coastal melting could cause the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet within 200 to 900 years. This, they claim, might cause global sea levels to rise by as much as 10 feet.
As for influences surrounding this knuckle-biting alarm, the researchers place blame on broad patterns of climate change. Included are rising regional temperatures, warming ocean currents, and changing wind patterns. And while both research teams agreed that the existence of warm water might actually be part of the natural ocean system, they assert that climate change is a contributing factor in bringing the warm water in contact with the ice and causing it to melt.
But wait a minute. This isn’t exactly a new development that is readily attributable to smokestacks and SUVs. The West Antarctic ice sheet has been melting at about its recent rate over thousands of years. This condition is expected to continue until either it entirely disappears, or until such time as the next Ice Age intervenes to stop it.
For some additional perspective, consider that the West Antarctic ice sheet, which has been experiencing modest warming contains less than 10% of the continent’s total ice mass. That other 90% has been getting colder, with no decline in polar ice extent since satellite recordings first began in 1979. As a matter of fact, Antarctic polar ice extent just surpassed the greatest month-of-April measurements in satellite-recorded history.
The JPL/UC-Irvine satellite study observed that a West Antarctic Pine Island glacier of particularly high concern has retreated 19 miles since 2005. This fast-moving ice discharger first gained lots of attention when satellite measurements revealed a retreat rate of about 1.2 kilometers per year between 1992 and 1996. A large iceberg that broke loose from the glacier caused media-trumpeted speculation that this “race to the sea” heralded the beginning of the end for the West Antarctic ice sheet.
A different Pine Island glacier satellite study reported in a 2000 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research determined that ice over the entire drainage basin thinned by about 1.6 meters per year between 1992 and 1999. Such dynamics are typically driven by phenomena operating on time scales of hundreds to thousands of years, not by 20th-century warming. [Editor’s note: Thus there is no need to jump off a cliff!]
And what net contribution to sea level rise will result if this thinning rate continues unabated? It will amount to about 6 mm — the width of a paper clip eachclip century.
Scientists involved with the most recently reported studies admit that the West Antarctic ice sheet is not melting due to warming air temperatures, but rather because naturally occurring warm ocean water is being pulled to the surface by the intensification of winds that encircle the continent. They then hypothesize that those stronger winds are being influenced by human-caused global warming.
There’s at least one big potential problem with that theory. Although atmospheric CO2 levels have risen, global temperatures have been flat for going on the past 17 years.
Here’s something else those study reports did not bother to mention. In 2012 some experts from the University of Aberdeen and British Antarctic Survey discovered a huge, 1-mile-deep rift valley about the size of the Grand Canyon located beneath the ice in West Antarctica. Since this previously hidden ice-filled basin connects directly with the warmer ocean, they think it might constitute a major cause for much of the melting in this region.
erebusIt might also be worth mentioning that a chain of active volcanoes has recently been discovered under that West Antarctic ice sheet as well. While it is believed that eruptions are unlikely to penetrate the 1.2- to 2-km-thick overlying ice, researchers conclude that they could generate enough melt water to significantly influence ice stream flow.
So what does all of this really mean? The White House will continue to tell us that it means more fossil fuel regulations and wind power subsidies are urgently needed to prevent catastrophic coastal flooding. Those who spread such nonsense are already in way over their heads.


  1. Ernie Jones May 24, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    The sky is falling….Oh wait! That one is already in use. Lets try….There are 164 major rivers in the world that will raise the sea level. They must be plugged up or we are in deep waters. Don’t flush the toilet, it eventually runs into the rivers which will soon be the death of us.

    • Allen Barclay Allen May 24, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      Its A Baker actable dementia of Mental Illness, “Global Warming/ Climate Change’. It is a virus that jumped off the computer screen into their mind while watching grafts of phony climate models. There’s no hope for this Dementia !!! It has eaten up their mind like Alzheimer’s or Alzclimaters or Alz-hola-ism. Their totally done when the wind blows threw their empty head.
      Perhaps they will find their end like the African toad, an invasive species, we had in Florida. It came in our yards ate our Dog’s food, used his water bowl for a Jacuzzi, and was run over in our roads while chasing cars. But I don’t want them running ANYTHING TELL THAT HAPPENS.

  2. Allen Barclay Allen May 24, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    The more ice on the ocean the higher the water history proves it.

    Vice President Joe Biden is trying to connect the dots of Global warming to Republicans with the rising of the oceans. Not going to do it not on my watch. Democrats know very little about finance why would expect them to understand science. King Henry The 8th Built a castle on the cost of Southern England after a mini ice age. South Castel 1544 a defencive castel. They have recently found the plans and on the plans it was built right on the water within 6-9 feet. The same castel today is 120 feet from the water.The water has receded since then as well as polar ice. During a ice age or a period of massive ice covering the ocean the sea is higher because Ice is expanded water, ice floats because ice displaces more water than water and when the ice caps are much larger than today they raise the sea level. History proves it. Tell Joe Biden to read Chicken little over again.


  3. Allen Barclay Allen May 24, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    When water turns to ice how much does it expand?
    In: Units of Measure, Chemistry, Snow and Ice [Edit categories]

    If you have 100 ml of water, when it turns to ice it will become about 109ml in volume, so about a 9% increase in volume after it freezes. When the temperature plummets to a much lower temperature, say -50F, the volume of the ice will decrease by a small amount, about 0.4% from the 109ml tial volume.

  4. Eckenhuijsen Smit May 25, 2014 at 5:08 AM

    As long as the gay, communist, Islamic, super liar and criminal Barry Hussein Obama Soetoro is able to tell the world that manmade CO2 is a dangerous gas, while in effect all CO2 in the atmosphere is INDISPENSABLE for all life on earth, nothing can save you ‒my American friends‒ from oblivion; get rid of that despicable idiot and put him behind bars on death row together with his transsexual lover Michelle born Michael LaVaughn Robinson!

  5. tsquares May 26, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    Our planet’s history of atmospheric change is quite complex. One can read from the previous posts mathematical formulas which putitively debunk climate change in one fell swoop. It would be nice if it were that simplistic. And I admit I am no atmospheric genius. This debate about whether to change our ways to help the earth recover from either its own changes, and/ or our damages, is very similar to gun control. We can wait to see what happens, then be powerless to stop it when it enters that area of no return, or we can begin to investigate what we can do to either control it, change it or live with it. Gun technology is changing at a rapid pace. Our founding fathers had no idea there would be rifles that could fire one hundred rounds at a time when they wrote about the militia’s right to maintain arms. Now we find ourselves with $30.00 bullets which can explode over or around a barrier killing everyone behind it. It will take decades to get rid of most of the guns in our culture, but what happens when we wait too long (like the ability to create a 3-D printed version of a single-shot gun comes the ability to create a 3-D machine gun)? If we wait a hundred years to get rid of guns, then it will take another 100 years to get rid of all of the guns from that period on. How many innocent children will die in 200 years? If we wait 100 years to figure out that captalists, who have no other mission than to make money, will lie, cheat, steal, rob, dodge taxes and pollute because no capitalist criminals go to jail, will do anything to accomplish that goal of doing whatever it takes to make money “for the stockholders” (and the CEO who gains millions of shares). They spin the “it will cost jobs” baloney. Well, if they have to update their antiquated machinery to modern day equipment, guess who is spending money? When money gets spent, jobs are created. Maybe jobs get lost from the polluter’s company, or maybe the (gasp!) stock prices fall, but companies which manufacture (or should I say “who”, seeing that corporations are now human beings) the new machinery will create tons of new jobs. We can wait to see if 97% of atmospheric scientists are really plotting to take over the world with their paranoid message of gloom and doom, or we can do something now. If you are a gambling person, bet with the house.

    • Scottar June 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      Your analogy is like comparing beans to apples. But the big flaw is thinking guns, aka, CO2 is the problem.

      New Study Demolishes Almost Every Gun Control Myth

      “An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates,” conducted by Quinnipiac University economist Mark Gius, examined nearly 30 years of statistics and concluded that stricter gun laws do not result in a reduction in gun violence. In fact, Gius found the opposite – that a proliferation of concealed carry permits can actually reduce incidents of gun crime.

      60 years ago scientists thought we were on the cusp of another ice age. A little over a thousand years ago we had the Medieval warm period that was world wide. before that there was the roman warm period. In both cases research showed the period where warmer. And before that there was the Minoan warm period. In each case CO2 levels where much less then today.

      And before that there was the 7th great ice age when ice covered much of the northern continents. Human emissions had nothing to do with that melt when sea levels where increasing by about 10 meters a century.

      This whole AGW claim is pure bunk by greedy, unscrupulous bureaucrats. The same bureaucrats told us unemployment pay was creating jobs and ending the recession. That green energy mandates would create sustainable jobs. In case they didn’t tell you, politics is the most promising of careers.

      The sky is falling, no the clouds are descending to form an alarmist fog of political soup! Turn your fog lamps on!

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