What Happened the Last Time Antarctica Melted?

By Eric Betz | January 18, 2018 2:34 pm

The JOIDES team snapped this image on their transit through the ice near Antarctica. (Credit: JOIDES Resolution/Twitter)

Earlier this week, an international team of geologists and climate scientists parked their ship off the coast of West Antarctica and started drilling. Their mission: To find out why glaciers here melted millions of years ago and what that can tell us about what’s happening today.

Over the next couple months, their ship, the International Ocean Discovery Program’s JOIDES Resolution, will drill at least five core samples reaching thousands of feet below the Ross Sea. These cores will let scientists read layers in the rock record like pages of a book, unraveling climate and ice conditions stretching back tens of millions of years.

Amelia Shevenell is the project’s mastermind. The University of South Florida expert in ancient climates has worked for years on proposing and planning the expedition.

“This expedition is really exciting, and particularly to me because I’ve been working on it for 10 years,” says Shevenell.

In that time, scientists have become increasingly confident that warm ocean water from more northern climes is washing up toward the coast of Antarctica and finding its way beneath these ice sheets, melting them from below. That’s causing coastal glaciers, like Pine Island in West Antarctica, to retreat irreversibly, losing hundreds of feet each year. And these glaciers act like a stopper, holding back inland glaciers. Once they melt, the whole West Antarctic Ice Sheet is at risk of collapsing.

The IODP drilling expedition aims to better understand what made these ice sheets melt in the past. Was it warming ocean waters back then, too? If scientists can learn more about these ancient climates, they might better understand what the future holds.

Every day from now through early March, Shevenell and her colleagues will work a 12-hour shift. Drill staff will pull up cores from the ocean depths and hand them off to scientists for examination in the ship’s laboratory.

As the cores come in, Shevenell says she’ll be looking for changing rock sizes. Pebbles and gravel are deposited near a glacier’s grounding line — the point where it meets the sea. So when scientists see layers of those small rocks, they’ll know glaciers reached their drill location at that point in history.

Layers of gray clays indicate the sediments formed beneath a large floating ice shelf. And when Shevenell sees tiny marine creatures through the microscope, she knows the region was open ocean at that point at that time — devoid of ice. These microscopic marine animals can also reveal details about the environment, like temperature.

“We can combine all that data and try to understand times where ocean temperatures were warm, and we can look at times where oceans weren’t as warm,” she says.

She’ll even be looking out for pollen, because before the ice sheets, Antarctica was a big rain forest covered in tree ferns. Ice overtook the continent between 50 and 34 million years ago. Scientists are still debating why that happened.

About 34 million years ago, Tasmania and South America broke away from Antarctica, leaving the continent isolated. That kick-started what’s called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current — a vast current of cold waters that walled the continent off from more tropical heat.

But atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were also changing around the same time, leading some to believe that greenhouse gases were the main cause of Antarctica’s icy shift.

Shevenell suspects both changes played a role, but she’s hoping to add more evidence to the scientific debate.

However, the most intriguing time — the period that matters most to us today — scientists hope to explore in the rock record is between 7 and 14 million years ago. It’s a period geologists call the Miocene. Earth’s temperature and atmospheric CO2 levels were similar to what we’re experiencing today, and yet Antarctica was going through significant changes.

“At that time in Antarctica, the ices retreated pretty significantly and caused sea level rise,” Shevenell says. Scientists don’t fully understand what drove those changes. But Shevenell has a hunch.

“I have a sneaking suspicion that this ice variability will be related to ocean changes,” she says.

The IODP team should have a better idea later this year. Once the collections efforts are over, the team will bring the cores back to land for more intensive study.

This one trip can’t provide all the answers, but Shevenell says it’s one of a handful of drilling expeditions set to happen around the continent over the next several years. By combining snapshots of ancient ocean temperatures and glacier locations over time, scientists can better map out the continent’s icy history — and get a fuller picture of why its glaciers retreat and expand.

“We’re going to begin to understand a lot more about Antarctic ice sheets and how they respond to atmospheric and oceanic changes,” she says.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: climate change
  • nik

    The ONLY cause of climate change on Earth, is changes in solar radiation reaching the Earth.
    CO2 has had no effect on climate in 600 million years, in spite of carbon tax propaganda myths to the contrary.
    30-50 million years ago the solar system entered a major galactic ice age, which may last somewhere around 100 million years. At its coldest it may repeat the ”snowball Earth” event that ended around 600 million years ago, when all life, except algae, and bacteria became extinct.
    ‘Normal’ global temperature average is about twice present, and there are no ice caps. These ‘galactic’ ice ages repeat roughly every 150 million years.

    • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf Uncle Al

      The criminal Left is about is about ideas not facts. Demanding empirical value in the face of Situated Knowers is despicable oppressive historic White Protestant European patriarchal factualism. Are you going to believe your own lying eyes or what self-appointed experts in on the cashflow tell you?

      • Gerald Wonnacott

        Uh, sure, Al…

      • nik

        Having experienced ‘establishment’ lies to the public, first hand, when in the military, I have a healthy disrespect for any ‘official’ stories.

        • JWrenn

          Do you have evidence of your theory or just don’t believe the current one?

          • OWilson

            “If you like your plan, doctor, you can keep your……..PERIOD!

            “You’ll save $2,500………”

            Only dupes bought that those lies, but they came from the very top!

            No conspiracy theories needed! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Didn’t they block you? It’s really bad form to post at someone who won’t be able to reply.

          • OWilson

            Bad form?

            From you and your trolls, Mikey?


          • Mike Richardson

            Lot and kettle again, Troll Lord. LOL! 😁

          • OWilson

            Why do you get all hissy and prissy about the little things, when the important stuff goes right over your head?

            How would I know who is blocking me? I assume a lot are.

            Plenty of chicken little ostriches out there :)

            And, that still doesn’t take away my right to post my opinions.

            Why don’t we just leave moderating to the moderators?

            You government “credentials” count for zero here.

            Because the real folks are finally figured that your government has turned into one big corrupt Swamp!

            An Obanana Republic!

          • Mike Richardson

            “Hissy and prissy” — I do so love your characterization of standards for the truth. LOL! And how would you know who’s blocking you?! Seriously? JWrenn told you repeatedly you were being blocked, and is no longer responding to your posts. You were told — that’s why. So drop the clueless act. By the way, you also worked for the government yourself, when you were employed by the Canadian government, so you really need to drop the anti-government B.S., hypocrite. Posts like yours above make it clear as day why it’s extremely ironic for you to declare anyone else a troll. Now go find an outdated study (with no links, since they aren’t allowed here), and boldly declare that the poles have quit melting and the planet is actually cooling. You want to stay on topic, right? 😁

          • OWilson

            You are government worker who doesn’t know the difference between an “Appointed Consultant” and an “employee”?

            Governments use “Appointed Consultants”, among other reasons, because their own “hired employees” do not know the difference between an employee and a Consultant.

            That’s why we call your goverment a Swamp.

            Hope you don’t have anything to do with your IRS. :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Projecting again, my hypocrite friend. No hate here, just amusement at your perpetual double standards and unwarranted holier-than-thou attitude. And that’s not a grimace–that’s genuine appreciation for your unintended humor.
            Bye. :)

          • OWilson

            As usual, thank you for your contributions to the topic, Mikey.


          • Mike Richardson

            LOL! And not a trace of irony in that response, eh? No, the poles are melting, the globe is warming, and just as consistently, you will continue to criticize others for the behavior you yourself engage in so frequently. Irony is alive and well here.

          • OWilson

            He did respond to me in another thread, after he said he had blocked me.

            You trolls need to get your act together! :)

            You can’t come and lie, then close your eyes and ears.

            This is NOT your CNN or NYT or WP where you can’t respond!

          • Mike Richardson

            Seriously? You really want to bring this up? Because the last reply I saw about that in Imageo had you attributing the apparently failed blockage to “militant compatriots” you blamed for hacking you! LOL! Now that bizarre episode isn’t a lie, I’m afraid. Militant compatriots! 😂

          • OWilson

            As usual, you have finally resorted to off topic trolling.

            As usual, when I get you there, it’s Bye Mikey! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Adios, Troll Lord. Remember, the militant compatriots will be with you, always. :)

          • nik

            Its not theory, its facts.
            Read further down, in the comments.

          • JWrenn

            Not without evidence it is not.

          • nik

            If you look below, I’ve given leads to the evidence.
            Any links posted here are automatically removed, so you’ll have to do just a tiny little bit of work for yourself, if thats not beyond your abilities.

          • JWrenn

            I tried searching a few things you posted…nothing came up regarding what you said. Like the 150 million solar thing…yeah nothing.

          • nik

            Well keep searching, its in some genuine scientific papers on astronomy.
            Try looking at the geocraft . com graph of Global CO2, and temperatures, over the last 600 million years.
            Human existence on that scale would be just a pin-prick on the graph.
            You really think humans can have any really significant long term effect on the planet?
            Its 3 am here, so I’m off to bed.
            Catch you later.

          • JWrenn

            I am debating that there have been huge dips in temperature long ago, but I am debating your solar side of things. That you think some solar dust is going to drop the temp every 150 million years. I have found nothing saying that at all.

          • nik

            You’re confused.
            Its not ”solar dust” its interstellar dust, in the arms of the galaxy.
            There’s nothing in the solar system that can cause cooling at 150 m.y. intervals, as regular as clockwork. so it has to be interstellar.
            Which is why I searched for interstellar reasons, it took several searches, changing the wording each time, and scanning through several dozen papers to eventually obtain the correct responses.
            The galaxy looks like a starfish, with curved legs or arms. as the solar system enters one of the arms, from almost clear space, the interstellar dust gradually gets denser, blocking more and more sunlight, much the same way that fog and clouds of water block it on Earth. its very thin, but when there’s millions of miles of it its effective.

          • JWrenn

            Well i went looking for that info as you said to go search for it…and I found nothing. The amount of dust would have to be huge considering how large space is.

          • nik

            There doesn’t have to be huge amounts, its just that there’s millions of miles of it.

          • JWrenn

            That is….oh man. The amount of area that it would have to cover, to get in between us and the sun, would require there to be a lot of it. You can’t cover millions of miles without a lot of something.

          • nik

            The diameter of the Earth is less than 8000 miles, not millions!
            Also, we’re not talking total blackout, just about the same difference as between summer and winter.
            Ever noticed the difference between summer and winter?
            Summer is warm, and nice, winter is cold, and in the USA, you get snow.
            This year there was snow in Florida, and the Sahara desert, which is very unusual.
            Do you think that might be a sign of the Earths land masses cooling?
            Recently there have been record cold temperatures, and record snow falls in both the northern, and southern hemispheres.

          • JWrenn

            Not debating that lowering the amount of sun getting to the earth, or part of the earth cools it. Debating how much dust it would take to get between us and the sun to cause a large change in earth temperature. Then take that amount and imagine how much dust there would have to be out in the solar system in a clump and our trajectory to pass through it. That is a lot of dust.

            It also as far as I can see, has never been postulated by a serious scientist as the reason for the cooling.

          • nik

            TRY multiplying the area of the cross section of Earth, at the diameter, in meters, by 150 Billion meters to the sun, to get the number of cubic meters, and then put just ONE speck of dust in each cubic meter.
            All those specks will reflect a lot of sun, compared to no dust at all.
            As for scientist and interstellar dust, its accepted fact amongst astronomers.
            We are talking arms of the Galaxy here, not open space.
            Its space dust that collects, and eventually forms planets and suns.

          • JWrenn

            And how much dust would there have to be in a cloud floating out in space, for us to pass through it, not suck all of it into our sun and get this cooling effect for a large amount of time.

            It’s not all going to be just between us and the sun. This is one giant cloud we are passing through right? So it has a lot of dust.

            Even if this is out there and if you are right….SHOW ME THE SCIENCE! I am sure there is a cloud that could do this but no scientists that I have seen agree with you.

          • JWrenn

            Here I will shift gears….let’s say this did happen, exactly like you say it did.

            How does that disprove any of the science that says right now carbon emissions are the cause?

          • nik

            Simple, in 600 million years they have not, why should they now, just because someone invented carbon tax?
            Also, Volcanic emissions, the main source of carbon in the atmosphere, COOL the planet, they dont warm it!
            The historic ”Year without a summer,” in the northern hemisphere, where thousands starved as crops failed everywhere, was caused by just ONE volcano erupting.

          • JWrenn

            one paragraph at a time.
            1. The industrial age is what happened.
            2. No the carbon emissions do not cool it. The net loss of temperature from volcanoes is because of other sun blocking material they throw into the atmosphere (sun blocking stuff you like that). Primarily in the form of sulfur.
            3. Yes a volcano can cause areas to have all sorts of crazy weather phenomena. You would need many huge volcanoes to cause this world wide, and it would cause cooling.

            What is your point of the last grouping of ideas? Is it volcanoes that you think cause any warming or cooling in the past….ok I can go with that! Are they doing it now in any different way than they have in the past 100 years? Does that negate the fact that we are adding on top of what the earth does on its own more greenhouses gasses to the air than normal?

            Just because the earth does and has has shifts doesn’t mean man can’t shift it as well. Unless there is evidence of something else currently causing the temperature shift all the historical data that other things can do it means nothing.

            If you find a man next to a building with a bullet hole in his head you don’t say he died from jumping off the building just because you saw a jumper the week before. You look at all the evidence and figure out whether he was shot, jumped, shot then fell…everything that is there. Historical data will not solve this alone. Current data is saying it is us this time.

          • nik

            I repeat;
            CO2 has had no effect on climate in 600 million years, even when it was SEVENTEEN times the present level!
            CO2 is the weakest of the so-called greenhouse gasses!
            The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, at 0.04% is negligible, so has NO direct effect on climate!

            Try this analogy;
            A man teaches a spider to march to order, and calls his friend to see.
            He says, ”spider, quick march!”
            the spider marches,
            He says, ”spider halt!”
            the spider halts.
            he does this several times, then turning to his friend he says ”watch this,” and he pulls all the spiders legs off.
            Then he says, ”spider, quick march!”
            The spider doesn’t move.
            ”See,” says the man, ”if you pull a spiders legs off, it becomes stone deaf!”

            CO2 has as much to do with climate change as pulling a spiders legs off has to it being deaf.

            The main greenhouse gas on Earth is water vapour, at an average of 65%, thats about 1600 times compared to 0.04% CO2.
            Thats why its warmer on cloudy nights than when there is no cloud cover.
            CO2 cannot directly cause climate change, except if it disappeared altogether, and then the planet would become one huge desert!

            Evaporation of water vapour causes cooling.
            Trees evaporate water and absorb sunlight, so they cool the planet.
            When trees are removed the climate heats up, and in extreme cases of total deforestation you get hot desert.

            During the 10-15 thousand years of the life of the inter ice age, the nutrients left behind by retreating glaciers that nourished the trees, get washed down through the soils until its too deep for the tree roots to reach, this weakens the trees, and so they respire less water, and convert less sunlight into carbon. So, the climate heats up. In addition the weaker trees become more susceptible to disease, and, as they are dryer, to forest fires. (noticed many of those lately? world wide)
            The loss of trees world wide, heats up the climate, world wide.

            One tree transpires some 150,000 litres of water per year. Multiply that by billions, and you can judge the total cooling effect, and also the heating effect when they all start to suffer at around the same time.
            Add to that, mans deforestation efforts, and over grazing by livestock, and you have global warming.
            In addition, compound that with an atmosphere impoverished of CO2, which further weakens all plant growth and you have the real problem.

            In fact, anomalously, far from causing global warming, mans emissions of CO2, may have actually reduced it, by giving plant life more CO2 to function with, by raising atmospheric CO2 from 0,28% CO2, before the industrial revolution, to the present 0.04%

        • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf Uncle Al

          BRAVO! Reality is not a peer vote. If any entity in a hierarchy is (conveniently) clueless…the bottleneck is generally at the top of the bottle.

          • nik

            In my youth, there was a popular saying, ”Cream rises to the top, and, so does scum!”

      • David Schwartz

        Yeah, gotta get that climate scientist cash

    • taylor applegarth

      Nik you have a good lead going here, are you on any platforms where I can friend you when you unearth some data?

      • nik

        I put quit a lot on youtube, at various times.
        Also comments on ‘New Atlas’ from time to time.
        If you google, ‘global historic CO2 and temperature’ and then select ‘images’ there’s a graph by geocraft . com which shows the average temperatures over the last 600 million years, with the CO2 levels. this is also used by judithcurry . com.
        The 150 million year minimums are clear. Thats what aroused my curiosity, and then…
        Then search, ‘150 million year solar minimums’ or similar, and look for astronomical papers, on the suns orbit around the galaxy.
        Its a while, [years,] since I did it, so I cant remember the exact phrase I used.
        There’s also a youtube documentary that describes the inter ice age processes, caused by deforestation, combined with Malenkovitch cycles.
        Simply put, trees cool the atmosphere, when they dont, due to less sun, nutrients, or deforestation, it gets hotter, that causes more evaporation, more snow, and precipitates a new ice age.
        In the same way that plate tectonics were dismissed as ”madness,” the ‘experts’ dismissed Malenkovitch cycles, as too weak to be the cause, but as they coincide exactly with the ice ages, it should have suggested to them that they were connected.
        A recent study, has confirmed that combined with ‘environmental factors’ they are responsible for ice ages.
        As the climate cools, CO2 released by the oceans falls, and this starves the trees of the most essential nutrient. Contrary to ‘carbon tax’ bullshit, CO2 is not a pollutant, but an essential component for all life on Earth. No CO2 = No plants, = No food for anything else, = No life except maybe bacteria and algae.
        CO2 level during this inter ice age, is the lowest its been for 270 million years. since the Permian extinction.’ and as the galactic ice age progresses, it will continue to decrease.
        This one is a repeat of the ‘Snowball Earth’ event, which ended 600 million years ago.
        ‘Experts’ again, dont know what caused it to end, but if the galactic connection is made, its obvious, the solar system came out of the interstellar dust and the suns radiation reaching Earth increased.

        • JWrenn

          The ocean does not release co2…it sequesters it. What are you talking about?

          • karlemen

            Solubility of gases varies inversely with temperature. So as ocean cools, it sequesters more..

          • JWrenn

            Not sure what that has to do with this. He is claiming that CO2 is released by the ocean as the earth cools. So….are you agreeing with me Karlemen?

            It really doesn’t release co2…at least not on a net level so…yeah no clue on this one. Just gibberish.

          • nik

            You seem to have got the idea reversed. When the oceans warm, they release CO2, as they cool, they cease to do so.
            That’s why cold beer keeps its fizz, and hot beer loses it.
            Same process.

          • JWrenn

            Both cold beer and warm beer lose their fizz. That also has nothing to do with the oceans.

            The oceans are a net reducer of CO2 in the air. They are not warm enough to pump CO2 into the air yet, compare to the amount they take in.

            You however said “CO2 released by the oceans falls” This is not true. CO2 absorbed by the oceans increase…slightly. The oceans only account for 1/3 of the CO2 absorption so no it absorbing 10 to 15% more is not going to starve the trees.

            You are still saying it wrong, not matter what you think. The ocean does not put CO2 into the air, it takes it out, even when it is warm.

          • nik

            Try putting one beer in the coldest part of the fridge, and one in the sun, and see which loses its fizz first.
            If beer loses its fizz, which is dissolved CO2, the the oceans can do the same.

          • JWrenn

            Is that really your scientific basis for this? Beer? The reason the beer loses it’s CO2 is because it has way more CO2 than it can hold…that is why it bubbles when not compressed. Yes, it does lose it faster when it is warm. No it does not lose all of it’s CO2.

            The oceans are not full of CO2 yet. They are getting more and more full of CO2 and thus slowing down on the amount they take in. The heat lowers the top limit. The ocean still sucks up more than it releases. This is a verifiable scientific fact. if you have a study, or paper or well hell anything other than a beer that points to something else I am glad to read it.

          • nik

            Where do you think the CO2 in the Oceans originates from?

          • JWrenn

            Animals in the oceans and the animals outside of the ocean. What about you?

          • nik

            How about vast numbers of volcanoes, thousands of miles of them, at the tectonic plate margins?
            Animal emitted CO2 is utterly trivial, and not even worth measuring in relation to Volcano emissions.

          • JWrenn

            It is true that volcanoes do it as well…and always have! The animals have done it…and always have. You know what is new? INDUSTRY! Also where it comes from has nothing to do with whether the oceans push CO2 into the air vs sucking CO2 out of the air.

          • nik

            Animal emissions are utterly trivial and can be discounted when considering global events.
            There’ a volcano in Africa, that seeps CO2 and methane, its been known to kill whole villages, and herds of cattle from time to time.
            Its said that it can seep as much CO2 in a day, as the whole of US industry does in a year.
            So in one year, it could seep more CO2, thnt the US has done since the ‘founding fathers’ landed.
            I know its hard to believe, but everything you have been told about CO2 in the last ten or so years is a lie! Its purely to support the carbon tax scam.
            There’s an old saying, ”Where there’s muck there’s money,” The converse is also true, ”Where there’s money there’s muck.” and when its trillions of dollars of carbon tax money, you can expect trillions of dollars of muck, or corruption.
            Volcanoes were erupting CO2, long before animal life existed on Earth, and they still are, thousands of them, mostly hidden under the oceans. Most of that that CO2 is absorbed by the oceans, and then some is gradually released into the atmosphere.
            Oceans dont ”suck CO2 out of the air” wave action aerates the surface, and so all the gasses that form the air are absorbed. CO2 is a minute fraction of that, 0.04%
            There are huge bubbles of gas on the ocean beds, held there by the cold, and pressure and occasionally one of them burps, and if a ship is unlucky, and happens to be sailing over that spot, the whole ship is instantly swallowed by the burp, and is sunk without trace.
            Mostly the Oceans emit far more CO2, than they absorb. As they cool, that emission diminishes.

          • JWrenn

            “Mostly the Oceans emit far more CO2, than they absorb. As they cool, that emission diminishes.” This is just not true. We can argue all the ways it absorbs and dissipates CO2 but the facts are out there…it has been measured and estimated. Do you just think those are all lies, or wrong?

          • nik

            I’ll qualify that, ‘to the atmosphere’ Most of the CO2 in the oceans originates from sub-sea volcanoes.

          • nik

            Most of the evaporation of the oceans occurs in the tropics. When water evaporates it transforms to gas, water vapour, and any other gasses within it are released.
            The source of all the hurricanes and tornadoes that hit the USA is the tropics. So, tropical evaporation is enormous.
            These storms travel north and eventually dissipate into a myriad of smaller storms that then his the UK and Europe, which is why the UK has weather rather than climate.
            The UK never knows whe(a)ther it will get rain snow or whatever at any time of the year.

    • JWrenn

      Is there evidence that we are currently in a high that started about 100 years ago?

      • nik

        The ”little ice age” [LIA] lasted roughly from late 1200’s to middle 1800’s when it started warming again. That warming has continued until a few years ago, when southern ice started advancing again.
        Before the LIA the North West passage, in the Arctic, was open to shipping during the summer, as the climate warmed several disastrous expeditions were mounted to try and relocate it. One by the British Navy resulted in all the crew being lost, and resorting to cannibalism to try and survive.

        • JWrenn

          So you are trying to say that because we have gained ice in the south the planet is cooler? The whole planet?

          • nik

            Land cools faster than water, and
            70 % of the Earths surface is water, so Antarctica, being land cools quickly. The Arctic is being warmed by the Gulf Stream, so it will take longer before any effect there is evident.
            The UK is a lot further north than New York, but as it receives the Gulf Stream influence, palm trees can be grown on the west coast, even in the north, in Scotland!
            When the oceans finally cool, the effects will be sudden and very rapid. From deep ocean and lake core drillings, it has been ascertained that the change from inter ice age to full ice age, can occur in as little as 20 – 50 years. This is gauged by the pollen and residues from plants growing at the various times.

          • JWrenn

            Ok so why were you talking about the ice in Antarctica as if it proved your point that the the earth started cooling a few years ago. You said “That warming has continued until a few years ago, when southern ice started advancing again.” Were you not trying to say that the earth was cooling again?

            You jump all over with your “facts” and go for so many different things that it is hard to pin down your points.

          • nik

            The whole Earth doesn’t cool equally, the coldest places get colder, and that is noticeable because ice starts to form where it wasn’t before.
            Some places like the equator will never have ice. At least not in our lifetime.
            So, once again, No!
            I wasn’t saying the ”whole earth” was getting cooler, just the land masses.
            Thats why the USA, and other places have recently recorded the lowest winter temperatures EVER, since records began.
            AGAIN, as I have said, the oceans cool more slowly, and, as 70 % of the earths surface is ocean, that cools more slowly.
            You really must pay attention to what I write, all of it, not just bits and pieces that catch your eye.

          • JWrenn

            The oceans are getting hotter, so is the overall land and air temperatures. You are talking about weather and pretending it is climate.

            I am reading all of it and it doesn’t make any damn sense. So let’s recap, the land is getting cooler, and so are the oceans but they are so large they cool slower, but the overall temperature isn’t cooling….what!

            First, no the oceans are getting warmer not cooler.
            Second, no the land is getting warmer not cooler.
            Third, weather is not climate. One place getting colder almost always means the cold was pulled from another location that is now getting warmer.

  • Lord Garfield

    That iceberg was over 6 miles long and over 400 feet high

  • nik

    ”Ice overtook the continent between 50 and 34 million years ago. Scientists are still debating why that happened.”
    Then those ‘scientists’ should get their head out of their collective arses and do a tiny bit of research into the astronomy of the solar system, and the reasons would become obvious. Its related to the solar systems orbit around the galaxy, and every 150 m.y. it enters one of the arms of the galaxy. Interstellar dust reduces solar radiation reaching the Earth, and global temperatures fall, steadily, over several millions of years. This ‘galactic’ ice age started about 30 m,y ago.
    Its an event that repeats every 150 million years, approximately. I cant give a link to the information, because I’ve tried, and they are always removed, but a Google search on 150 million year solar system events, may bring up some relevance.

    • JWrenn

      Your theory doesn’t sound tested or proven in any way. It simply points at something that happened and makes a guess at what it could have done. There is more evidence that co2 controls the temperature.

      Not saying you are wrong, just that there is not much evidence to support it.

      • nik

        There is no ”evidence” to support CO2 has any effect on global temperature, just lots of bullshit propaganda, to promote carbon tax.
        During the last 600 million years, CO2 increased for millions of years, while global temperature decreased for millions of years. Also, CO2 increased for millions of years, while global temperature decreased for millions of years,
        Quote; ”If the observed facts do not fit the theory, no matter how elegant the theory, then the theory is WRONG!” Richard Feynman, Nobel Physicist.

        • JWrenn

          Those two cases were not in bubbles. Nobody is saying nothing but CO2 can have effects on temperature. You need to look at all of it. If everything else is the same and co2 goes up and the planet gets hot…then hey maybe it is co2! Currently scientists think it is co2 because they have looked at all of it, not just because they like CO2.

          I am done. This idea that any standard science is a lie is silly and has no basis in reality. If you come from that point of view nothing will be debatable. You think the truth is a lie so there is no way to show you the truth.

          • nik

            When the planet gets hot, THEN CO2 increases, for the reason I’ve already stated.
            CO2 FOLLOWS global warming, it does not CAUSE it.
            The ”CO2 causes GW” myth has only been around since carbon tax was invented, it was never ”standard science” until then.
            Its not science now, its propaganda, and misinformation.
            Have you ever known governments to tell lies?
            Better question; have you ever heard of one that dos not?
            I never ‘think’ the truth is a lie. I ascertain the facts, and then after checking facts, decide if the statements made are true or not.
            If you do the little research that I’ve suggested below, thing may become clear.
            If you dont, then, hey, wallow in your ignorance if you must.

          • JWrenn

            have fun with your aluminum foil hat

          • nik

            I wouldn’t want to steal it from you!

          • OWilson

            Please don’t.

            Without their family of “Russian spies” in the White House, they’d have absolutely no excuse for Hillary losing twice to political unknowns! :)

          • nik

            Are you in the UK?

          • OWilson

            Dominican Republic, via Canada and U.K.

            The heart of Global Warming and folks are hapy with it here!

            We’ve had days of heavy rain that reduced the temp to around 72 in the mornings, and the local are complaining about the cold.

            Seems the weather is always contorversial, (Ask any farmer. If it’s bad weather he complains, If it’s good weather it won’t last, and if it lasts, it is too little, too late. Lol) and your politicians have finlly found a way to make a buck at it, and put more laws on your books to please their pals the lawyers. :)

          • nik

            Thats quite a ‘tour.’
            My cousin moved from Mass to Florida, to escape the cold winters.
            She had to decamp to her nieces place in N Carolina, during the recent hurricanes, which brought down several of her palm trees.
            They’ve just had snow in Florida.
            Is she pleased?
            Not a lot!
            I’m in France, Dordogne, continuous rain for about two moths so far.
            My well is full to the top and the groundwater has risen, and is seeping through the floor of my workshop in my barn, that has no damp course, YET!
            I’m moving it into the barn attic.
            82% RH in the barn, in winter!
            (I dont think.)

          • OWilson

            I grew up poor, so I have been trying to leave behind the socialism that wants to keep me poor, a dependable socialist voter who hates the rich :)

            They followed me to Canada in the 60s, then they took over what was to be my next stop, the U.S., in the eighties.

            The last straw was Obama!

            So I went looking for another place, where the population is happy, living real lives, close to Mother Nature, no resentment or hate for their fellow citizens, and no time to blame the goverment for their own problems, no TV politics and no newspapers.

            Dirt poor, in financial terms, but they don’t hate the rich.
            Matter of fact they see the rich as just one more resource to be cultivated! :)

            They don’t blame some newly elected President in a far of country for their weather!

            Life is good!

          • nik

            Well, good luck, you’ll need it. The greedy will be looking at the ripe fruits to pick, as always, and with the US bankers so close, they’ll get involved eventually.
            I dont know where I fit in, I believe in business and making a profit, and also detest socialism, usually thinly disguised communism. It doesn’t work, and nor do a large number of the people who profess to follow it.
            I ran my own businesses, after deciding that the 9-5 grind with a boss, often a stupid one, bugging me wasn’t my scene. I was mainly a one man band, but subcontracted work occasionally, if I was too busy to do the work myself.Gave me the freedom to work as and when it suited me.
            Left the UK after Bliar, turned the country into something I totally despised. When a young man can have nine bullets pumped into his head, in public, and the the ‘police’ are deemed to have done ‘nothing wrong,’ something is very seriously wrong! Then when his family, who he was sending money to, asked for compensation, Bliar’s lot refused to even consider the request.
            This was the place of my birth, and where I had ‘served queen and country’ for 9+ years in the RAF. So I left it, and moved to France, where they still have a few morals in government, ‘Not a Lot!’ but enough to give it a veneer of respectability.

          • OWilson

            France, like Switzerland, and Holland are happy to be bit players in geopolitics, sort of like a “Rick’s Cafe”.

            Other countries, like Russia, China, U.S., U.K. have this incessant desire to tell other people what to do (leading the world, they call it.)

            As for DR, It is only a matter of time. One day socialism will inevitably come here, because the promise of a free lunch is irrisistable and folks are only human.

            But it will take the socialists a whole generation to brainwash them into thinking they can get something for nothing.

            By that time I’ll be long gone, having been fortunate to be a part of one of the last and least governed countries of beautiful, hardworking, resourceful, familiy loving, commonsense people!

          • nik

            From what part of the UK did you originate?
            I’m originally from East Anglia, but my family has wide European roots.
            Dutch, Armenian, (if any survived the Turkish massacre) Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, and on, in fact world wide. I’m probably more European than most Europeans.
            I concur with the fact that governments that are just power crazy, and want more and more of it, like a drug.
            Electric Vehicles, are just the next step. They will be totally electronically controlled, so any amount of spyware can be installed, and that will be accessible to government, and the ability to control the car remotely by the ”security forces” that nobody needs until the government instigates or invents the security problems.
            Take airports; everyone has to jump through any number of ”security” hoops, but on a recent trip, my last flight if I can make it so, I asked one of the staff if they knew what liquids were required to make the so called ”liquid” bomb. The answer?” No, we dont have that specialist information.”
            So, the arseholes dont even know what they are looking for, when they ‘search’ your luggage. If I needed proof that the whole ‘security’ processes were a total sham, that was it.
            The real problem is that it would still be possible to take explosive materials onto a plane, because the real explosives aren’t being searched for.
            What a world!

          • OWilson

            It’s a big regulatory sham. Trump has it correct. Given enough regulations, and selective enforcement (Obama) you can chose to arrest anybody at any time for just about anything.

            Good luck fighting the Deep State! If those Circuit Court Judges ever get into the SCOTUS, you’re done!

            But this is how stupid they are. My partner and I once arrived at major European airport with armed militia gaurding the entrances. We took our bags out of the taxi and rolled them into the very large departure concourse, under their very noses, that had thousands of people milling about.

            Our bags could have had anything in them. Why would we try to get on a plane when we could have taken out thousands?

            My recent flight from a major airport to DR, always the same thing. Nobody looks at your baggage until you are well inside the airport!

            The problem is they cannot profile, like the smart Isrealis, they must check everybody or nobody!

          • nik

            I also failed the ‘eleven plus’ but after 9 years in the RAF as an electronics man, which was a disaster, as I’m not a ”yes-man” I’m more likely to say, ”what the f+ck for!” After 9 years, went back to college and retrained as a mechanical engineer.
            Have a best mate from the RAF lives in Sheffield!
            After working as an engineer for a few years, dropped out, to gut and rebuild a near derelict Victorian house in London, and then, looked at the pay being offered to degree qualified engineers, and it was about half what a carpenter on a construction site could earn, without the stresses.
            So started my own building company. Gave me freedom, to work when I chose, with no idiot boss breathing down my neck, and up to 4 months holiday a year, to spend with my kids.
            Used some of that time to do a 21,000 mile motorcycle tour of the USA, visiting about 45 states. Met some nice ladies, who invited me into their ‘homes.’
            Got to see most of the major tourist attractions.Time well spent.
            Married one of the women I met, who when she couldnt get her hands on any cash in the UK, as it was all locked up in property, legged it back to the USA. [I later found she was still married to someone else when she married me!] She then met and married another Englishman, that she subsequently shot, intending only to wound, but he died! Not to be unexpected, when you use a 44 Magnum with dum-dums! She’s now serving life without parole in Phoenix. [Terrible waste of a good woman.]
            Retired now, in France, in an old stone farmhouse with about 25 acres and a couple of barns to hide myself and my hobbies in. Also found myself a very nice french lady companion.
            The thing about all this airport crap, where they herd everyone like submissive cattle, it brings to mind another situation in the past, funded by the same crowd, thats instigating all this ”war on terror” crap, for the vast profits they rake in.
            Perhaps the Goons would have put it this way;
            ”I say old chap do you think we made a slight error of judgement when we trusted these chaps? They told us we would get a nice hot shower, at the end of our journey in that horrible cattle truck, and instead of water, there’s just nasty smelling gas coming out of the shower!”

          • OWilson

            “They gave you a cattle truck? Blimey YOU were lucky!” :)

            (By the way I was actually there, on 3 occasions, but I can still appreciate a silly joke!)

            The best education is always the one you seek for yourself, and of course travel.

            A couple of your adventures with dangerous women I thought I saw on “Investigation Discovery”, which along with sport was about the only TV I watched

            We have a lot of “know it alls” who have never been outside their own Country, City, even Momma’s basement, trying to lecture us. It is fun, and I have a real hard time giving up the blogs, although I intended to retire from the nonsense!

            I just did my office emails (with back ups, Lol) and now I’m off for a sunset cocktail at my favorite Rosa’s Cantina, share stories with ex-pats, and be surrounded by beautiful, and smiling, ladies. Practice my Spanish, and wait for my beautiful Senorita to arrive by bus from the next town.

            Life is good!

            Best to you, and Peace!

          • nik

            I was referring to the Nazis, and the goons in the ”goon show” Peter Sellars, Spike Milligan, harry Secombe, etc.
            Its a gradual process of getting the population to accept being herded, without complaint. Just like the Jews, all the way to the ”showers.”
            I now refuse to fly, because of it.
            Its quicker and less hassle for me to drive to the UK from France than to fly, and about the same cost.
            Enjoy your ”sundowner”

  • OWilson

    NASA recently did a major study that showed that the Antarctic was actually gaining more mass than it was losing.

    “NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses” – October 2015

    “Zwally’s (NASA) team calculated that the mass gain from the thickening of East Antarctica remained steady from 1992 to 2008 at 200 billion tons per year, while the ice losses from the coastal regions of West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula increased by 65 billion tons per year.

    “The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” Zwally said. “But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for.”

    After coming under intense pressure from the global warming establishment, and his political bosses, for this outrageous finding, Zwilly eventually all but disowned his own study.

    I commented on it here in Discover, and accused him of folding to political pressure (that was in the heady days of Obama and his obvious successor, Hillary, Lol.)

    He had no real response on the facts, except to point out that I had spelled his name wrong.

    Sometimes in society it is not politically correct to believe your own lyin’ eyes! :)

    Now there is an urgency to find new “studies” that will bury NASA’s politically incorrect, and totally “unexpected” findings, once and for all :)

    I wish them luck, but I’m sure this time they WILL find what they are so desperately seeking! Lol

    • nik

      Yeah, there was a report that a group of scientists hired a ship to tour Antarctic, to record the effects of the melting ice sheets.
      The ice advanced so quickly, in SUMMER, that their ship was frozen solid in the Ice. Two ice breakers attended, but failed to free them, and one of the icebreakers also became frozen in, so all the personnel had to be removed from the ships by helicopter.

      • OWilson

        That sort of thing is so common that Wiki has a humorous name for it, to whit:

        “The Gore Effect or Al Gore Effect refers to a perceived connection between occurrences of unseasonably cold weather and some events associated with global warming activism, particularly those attended by former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore”

        Every time poor Al warns the end is nigh, the weather changes and his protests often get cancelled because of cold weather.

        That’s why now they have to have you believe, along with them, that cold weather is actually a sign of runaway global warming!

        Seriously! :)

    • Mike Richardson

      You wanted an on-topic response, and I actually posted one yesterday, unaware that this particular blog apparently has a problem with folks including links to support their points. It’s apparently vanished in moderation purgatory. But in summary, you’re hanging your argument on one study, when NASA, NOAA, and the NSIDC have all found declining ice in other studies, both in Antarctica and in Greenland. Your article is also from 2015, while NASA noted record low sea ice at both poles in 2017. Greenland had a slight increase in ice last year due to an exceptional snow year, but the trend for the past few decades has been an accelerating decline. This will likely resume this spring. And no study, from any source, has found increasing glaciers in the other continents. Meanwhile, the sea level is continuing to rise. But hey, you’ve got that one study from 2015, so let’s ignore everything else, right? 😉

      • OWilson

        The NASA study of 2015 was a major study that went back and looked at “thousands of years” of evidence including ice cores.

        Their findings were that more “ice mass was accumilating” than was being lost in the areas that the global warmers are always wringing their hands over.

        What you are calling other studies, are not studies, but reports of sea ice extent (those areas that have at least 15% of ice in the algorithm!)

        Ironically, if there was less ice mass being accumulated, there would be less giant ice shelves breaking of the edges of the glaciers.

        That’s where the excess ice mass has to go!

        By the way, I don’t “hang arguments” I post facts from the main accepted sources. Sometimes they contradict themselves like the examples of NOAA and NASA, and the major example I gave on Tom’s blog, where his own NSIDC in Colorado U (the experts) reported that there were 50/50 odds that there would be no ice at the North Pole this summer (2008)

        As you can see, there is a lot of contradiction and false speculation.

        As a science afficianado, I can assure that this prediction stuff is NOT “settled science”. :)

        As for glaciers not growing on other continents, you might want to take that back.

        Do a Google search for galciers growing, and you’ll find lots of references to the Himalayas, New Zealand, your own Glacier park, and the poster child of the global warmers, the Petermann Glacier in Greenland. They even have pictures for your own lyin’ eyes! :)

  • Jpio

    So sad when science magazines allow themselves to be infected by clueless and ignorant denier trolls who bring nothing but junk blog science and idiotic conspiracies.

    • OWilson

      How about infantile name callers who have nothing to add to the topic being discussed?


      • Jpio

        “If you like your plan, doctor, you can keep your……..PERIOD!

        “You’ll save $2,500………”

        God damn, that’s an intelligent response to the topic of ice melt in Antarctica. You must be a genius.

        Only kidding.

        I thought I’d better add that last bit because it would be cruel to let you go through life under the delusion that you were a genius. You never know; sometimes deniers are not smart enough to get sarcasm.

        “No conspiracy theories needed!”

        As far as conspiracies go, there seems to be a pervasive belief among deniers that climate scientists are cooking the data. I hope you’ve set your fellow deniers straight and told them what a lot of crap it is. Or maybe you DO believe in that conspiracy. Hard to know what deniers believe these days. Your talking points have as much intellectual substance as the Dear Leader’s tweets. Sad.

        • OWilson

          I don’t listen to your Dear Leader, because I hear he and his family are Russian Spies.

          I wouldn’t live in a country run by Russian plants, where they believe cold weather is actually a sign of global warming doom!

          (At least I should get a few points for that?) No?

    • readneck_enviro

      Wipe your eyes and take a look outside, open closet door first

    • nik

      If anyone brings, ”junk blog science and idiotic conspiracies,” to a discussion, its the clueless, ignorant fools who believe the GW garbage and throw the ”Denier” tag around.
      If they actually used the brain they were born with, assuming they have one of course, and got their head out of mainstream propaganda, and tried looking at reality, they might do themselves some good, and simultaneously save others from their mindless garbage.
      If you can show me why CO2 should suddenly affect climate during the last 20 years, when it has had no effect for 600,000,000 years, then you might have something worth paying attention to.
      Until then, put up or shut up!

      • Jpio

        Poor thing. You’re obviously too stupid to be aware of your own ignorance and too brainwashed for any facts or reason to enter your little pointy head.

        The cult of denial has such a vice-like grip on its gullible devotees that I don’t think even FBI strength deprogramming would have a chance in turning your average denier zombie into a normal, rational, thinking being.

        The thing is, you idiot, it’s not me you have to pay attention to, nor do I have to put up anything; the thousands of scientists contributing to climate science are the people you should pay attention to rather than clueless imbeciles pushing an ideological wheelbarrow and writing unsubstantiated crap on the internet which other imbeciles like you then lap-up without question.

        Instead of asking me to put up, ask yourself why the denial movement, well supported by billionaires like the Koch brothers, hasn’t been able to put up any science which can withstand the scrutiny of the scientific community. You deniers have no research, no data sets and only a handful of scientific papers full of errors and amounting to nothing. And yet, your average zombie denier is convinced that it’s mainstream science that is perpetrating a hoax, and not the multitude of denier Dunning-Kruger imbeciles pretending to know what they’re talking about and making claims they can’t substantiate, like dear ol’ nick here.

        Give it up, buddy. You’re making a fool of yourself. The worst part is not that you’ve got no idea what you’re talking about, because most non-scientists don’t. The worst part is that, along with thousands of other dienier trolls out there, you’re too dumb and too egotistical to be aware of your own ignorance. That’s of course assuming that you’re not some sort of troll paid by the fossil fuel industry to spread disinformation, which can’t be totally ruled out.

        So my advice to you nik, is to nick off and go and learn some real science before you come back trolling.

        • nik

          There is ample science to support the deniers, and non whatsoever to support the GW lunatics.
          As I’ve said, show me why, for the previous 600 million years CO2 had no effect on climate, and only in the last 20 years,when carbon tax was invented was it suddenly claimed that it did.
          However many climate scientists there are, not one supports CO2=GW!
          I can support my claims with science, and have, you have not.
          Put up or shut up.

          • Jpio

            I can see that Fox News or whatever other fake news sites you visit has done a good job on you. Everything you say is not just a little bit wrong but 180 degrees wrong. I doubt that any facts or arguments of any kind are going to be effective against the brainwashing and invincible ignorance you display, which is truly weapons grade. Stop pretending that you understand science because, obviously, you wouldn’t know science if you tripped over it.

          • nik

            First, I’m educated to masters level in engineering, which is as good or better than many scientists, second I dont visit fake news sites, and third, PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

          • Jpio

            Did you get that degree through a Nigerian website? Actually a lot engineers are clueless about climate science, even science in general. They think that because they can solve a few equations they’re automatically experts in all scientific matters.

            “I dont visit fake news sites,”

            See? That’s your problem right there. You obviously do visit fake news sites but you’re too dim to tell apart fake news from real news and fake science from real science.

            “PUT UP OR SHUT UP!”

            I don’t know if you’re getting senile or you always had comprehension problems. I’ve already told you that I don’t need to put up anything; the scientific community (i.e. every scientific organization on the planet) has already put up all the research it has for anyone to see and learn if they’re interested. But deniers are not interested in learning anything and/or are too dumb to understand the issue anyway. When someone like you spouts the amount of shiite that they do _ every single line of text totally wrong and nonsensical_ you know they’re a lost cause; no amount of facts or reason is going to penetrate their thick skull.
            So, happy delusions.

            PS: I see you’re getting on well with the other halfwit, OStupid, aka OWilson. Birds of a feather…
            Your dim mate tried a bit of sarcasm, associating the cold being experienced in the US with global warming, but he’s too dim to understand that sarcasm only works if you highlight the other persons ignorance or stupidity, not your own.
            Aaaargh!! the stupid, it hurts!!!!

          • nik

            What would you know about engineering?
            Obviously nothing!
            You also, very obviously, have no basis for your claims or you would have produced them.
            All you are capable of, is throwing insults, and insults are always the first and last resort of empty windbags with nothing to back up their claims.
            Lets start with you producing just one of your ”scientific organisations,” that support the claim that CO2 causes global warming, when it has not done so in 600 million years, and why.
            Then show me which line of my text is totally wrong and nonsensical, with evidence.
            Anything I have posted would only be nonsensical to an imbecile without the IQ to understand even the simplest of facts.
            So far all you’ve demonstrated is your own total ignorance.
            It seems that like most trolls, you’re all windbag mouth and no substance.
            PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf Uncle Al

    Conservation expensively sacrifices here and now – at gunpoint, for commission – so some designated deserving entity in the tenebrous far future does not get to consume it either.

  • John Thompson

    Maybe I read it wrong, but if they are looking at ice, then they can’t see melted ice – which would be water.
    How do you study melted ice by looking at ice?


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