Antarctic Ice Shelves are Thinning Rapidly — and the Losses are Accelerating in West Antarctica

By Tom Yulsman | March 27, 2015 1:50 pm
ice shelves

Satellite radar data reveal the speed of flow of the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica between March 3 and 15, 2015. Pink indicates the fastest flow: about 100 meters (328 feet).

Yesterday, I posted a story about the Halley Research Station on Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf. I titled it a “Winter Postcard from Antarctica,” and it included photos and comments about life at the station from Tom Welsh, the wintertime manager there.

Well, I was so busy putting that post together that I missed the big news yesterday about Antarctic ice shelves in general: They are thinning faster than previously thought.

This is a big deal because these ice shelves act like dams that impound giant glaciers behind them, slowing their movement to the sea. So as these ice shelves erode, it allows the glaciers to flow more quickly, releasing more ice into the sea and thereby raising sea level.

The new findings have been reported widely elsewhere, including this excellent overview by Andrew Freedman at Mashable. So I won’t go into them in great detail here.

But I thought I’d share a quick summary as well as some imagery that can help explain what’s going on.

The new research, published on March 26, 2015, in the journal Science, is based on a new high-resolution record of ice shelf thickness based on satellite radar missions of the European Space Agency from 1994 to 2012. The study showed that from 1994 to 2003, total ice shelf volume in Antarctica changed very little. But then it went into rapid decline.

There was one exception to this pattern — and it was not a good one: West Antarctic ice shelves lost ice during the entire observation period. And during the most recent decade the erosion of ice there has been accelerating.

The image at the top of this post portrays the speed of the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica.  The pink coloring is indicative of the fastest speeds, and the blue represents stable ice on either side of the glacier. Based on radar data from the Sentinel-1 Mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), the image shows that parts of the Pine Island glacier flowed about 100 meters (328 feet) toward the sea between March 3 and 15 of this year.

According to the space agency:

Pine Island is the largest glacier in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and one of the fastest ice streams on the continent, with an average of over 4 km per year. About a tenth of the ice sheet drains out to the sea by way of this glacier.

Last year, research offered strong evidence that melting of the massive West Antarctic Ice Sheet — which the Pine Island Glacier helps drain — has passed the point of no return. If true, this means it is now in irreversible retreat and will “collapse,” as scientists put it, over the course of 200 years, give or take.

Here’s how I described the situation in an earlier post here at ImaGeo:

As the ice tumbled into the sea and melted, such a scenario would eventually raise sea level by 16 feet. That’s enough to swamp coastal areas where many tens of millions of people live worldwide. Luckily, however, the time frame is long — if not from a geologic perspective, certainly from a societal one.

I also noted other worrisome research:

 . . . new research has suggested that the melt rate of glaciers in West Antarctica has tripled during the last decade. And another study attempts to show why: According to the research, over the past 40 years, a deep mass of water ringing Antarctica called the Circumpolar Deep Water appears to have warmed. The research also shows that warming CDW waters are intruding more and more to the undersides of glaciers that drain the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, causing them to melt from below, and speeding their passage toward the sea.

The Pine Island Glacier has been called the “weak underbelly” of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Like other glaciers in the region, it is fringed by an ice shelf — that has been steadily eroding. Here’s a NASA video that explains how warm water circulating under the ice shelf at its outlet is helping to melt it from below:

Between November 9 and 11, 2013, a gargantuan iceberg broke off the calving front of the Pine Island Glacier. Here’s an image of what that looked like from space:

ice shelves

An ice berg breaks free of the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica, as seen in this image acquired by the Landsat 8 satellite on Nov. 13, 2013. (Source: Earth Observatory)

It’s impossible to judge scale simply by looking at this image. So consider this: That chunk of ice is more than twice as large as the Island of Manhattan (and about the size of the island nation of Singapore).

Click here for a wider view of the iceberg from November 10, just after the separation.

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  • tmitsss

    I searched for the word “volcano” and came up short

  • Atma Khalsa

    Nice to come upon the comment section and see it blessedly free of deniers. So far. lol.

    • Mike Richardson

      That’s ’cause they’re flailing away on the last post that dealt with this topic. You should see it — I’ve actually been informed by one of them that greenhouse gases cool the earth. Who’d a thunk it, those pointy headed climate scientists were wrong all along, and we’ve been cooling thing’s off. We really should inform all those misbehaving thermometers to get with the program.

      • Voodude

        Energy gets transferred from nitrogen molecules, to CO2, via collision; CO2 then radiates that energy – some of which escapes into space. Had it not been for CO2, N2 would have to find some other radiator.

    • OWilson

      May your god “bless” you and keep you safe from heretics, infidels, apostates and other assorted “deniers”.

    • Mike Richardson

      See, you knew it couldn’t last. Like moths to a flame.

    • Dan Imler

      Yes, here they are with their charts, graphs, etc. But the stew of climate “trends” is much more spicy. What about factors such as volcanism, meteor explosions, polar shifts, etc? Some phenomena are beyond human ken or, at least, before human times, and “Biblical” in nature. Bad stuff has happened in the past to trigger climate change. What are we doing now? Nothing that is much good. We will argue, negotiate, and consume ourselves into oblivion.

  • OWilson

    Ah, the daily Global Warming dump.

    It’s all here, “thinning rapidly”, “thinning faster”, “rapid decline”, ” passed the point of no return”, “irreversible retreat and will “collapse” .

    The truth is there has been no statistically significant warming during the 36 years of the satellite record, and Global sea ice cover is also above average of this period of time.

    There is a new study published in Nature Geoscience that uses current data (not 2012) and new high tech methods to reveal Antarctic ice is thicker than has been reported.

    “A game changer” they say.

    Period.

    (Now stop scaring the children)

    • The History Man

      “The truth is there has been no statistically significant warming during the 36 years of the satellite record, and Global sea ice cover is also above average over this period of time.”
      If this is the ‘truth’, perhaps you can quote the original source and the date of the study… if it is in the Nature Geoscience publication.

      Was it peer reviewed and what was the result?

      As a true ‘sceptic’ I am always worried when people write about ‘truth’ in science rather than ‘evidence’.

      • OWilson

        You don’t read well.

        The satellite data is one thing (easily verified)

        The Global ice cover is another (easily verified)

        The Antarctic ice study was published first in Nature GeoScience and was widely covered, by Nature, LiveScience, and even the Guardian.

        (You shouldn’t expect to find this kind of blasphemous material in Discovery Mag) :)

        Here are some excerpts:

        Nature, November 24, 2014

        Antarctica’s ice paradox has yet another puzzling layer. Not only is the amount of sea ice increasing each year, but an underwater robot now shows the ice is also much thicker than was previously thought, a new study reports.

        Risky robotic exploration of the vast expanse of sea ice around Antarctica has revealed it to be far thicker in many places than previously measured.

        The conventional picture of Antarctic sea ice being a thin veneer over the ocean is probably only true for some portion of it,” says Ted Maksym, an ice researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts (WHOI). “We need to do a better job of surveying the overall ice cover.”

        Previous observations of the thickness of Antarctic sea ice produced a mean draught — the depth between the waterline and the bottom of the ice sheet — of around 1 metre; the new work gives a mean draught of over 3 metres. And a previous maximum recorded ice-sheet thickness of 10 metres has now been increased to 16 metres.

        The more data scientists can gather about Antarctic sea ice, the more they can unpick why climate models struggle to accurately predict its extent. Although researchers have been generally successful at modelling the huge declines in Arctic sea ice, the extent of Antarctic sea ice has actually increased in recent years, contrary to the predictions of models.

        “If we don’t know how much ice is there is, we can’t validate the models we use to understand the global climate,” Maksym told Live Science. “It looks like there are significant areas of thick ice that are probably not accounted for.”

        LiveScience, November 24, 2014

        Robot Sub Finds Surprisingly Thick Antarctic Sea Ice

        Antarctica’s ice paradox has yet another puzzling layer. Not only is the amount of sea ice increasing each year, but an underwater robot now shows the ice is also much thicker than was previously thought, a new study reports.

        The discovery adds to the ongoing mystery of Antarctica’s expanding sea ice. According to climate models, the region’s sea ice should be shrinking each year because of global warming. Instead, satellite observations show the ice is expanding, and the continent’s sea ice has set new records for the past three winters.

        November 24, 2014

        The Guardian, November 24, 2014

        “Dr. Guy Williams, from IMAS, said the research is an important step in gauging changes to Antarctic ice.

        “Sea ice is an important indicator of the polar climate but measuring its thickness has been tricky,” said Williams, the report’s co-author. “Along with the satellite data, it was a bit like taking an X-ray of the ice, although we haven’t X-rayed much of it, just a postage stamp.

        “The key thing is that this is a game changer because it was previously very challenging to measure ice depth. We were limited to visual observation from the decks of ships or ice cores and take measures.

        “It was a lot of hard work and quite crude, which means we were biased towards thinner ice. It was a bit like a doctor diagnosing a condition by prodding the skin.”

        • Gene Buddy Maxwell

          Good for you! From all of the thousands of studies and much research done all over the world concerning this issue, you found one robot study that shows a paradox about: global warming and how it is changing the Antarctic ice shelf area and thickness over different locations. What other evidence, research and studies do you have? Or is it just this one paradox (that is actually explained by global warming).

          • OWilson

            Ah, another science denier.

            This is what the magazine Nature says, “Although researchers have been generally successful at modelling the huge declines in Arctic sea ice, the extent of Antarctic sea ice has actually increased in recent years, contrary to the predictions of models.”

            You should write them and tell them it ” is easily explained by Global Warming”

            Lol

          • Gene Buddy Maxwell

            Ah, a cherry-picker who thinks he knows science. Hey, it was your own post that showed me it was the “warm waters below” that caused the paradox at the Antarctic. It must be tough to see your own “evidence” used against you. Ya’ll people are so anal about that Antarctic! Geez! Look at the rest of the world. Well, come one, give it a try. Look what was just announced today in California. Look at the heat wave in Nevada. The water shortages because of lack of snow melt in the Rockies. Heck the ski resort near Las Vegas closed because of NO SNOW.

            WHERE IS YOUR SCIENCE?
            Global Warming: Proof From All Over The Planet (and this is just the short list I came up with in a few minutes).

            Warming Preserves Antarctic Sea Ice

            http://www.natureasia.com/en/research/highlight/2132

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice.htm

            Climate Change: Lines of Evidence videos

            http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/videos-multimedia/climate-change-lines-of-evidence-videos/

            Alaska Lack of Snow:

            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/02/150212-iditarod-dogs-sled-race-alaska-global-warming-science/

            Greenland’s Ice Sheet Loses Mass, Global Sea Level Rise

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/surprise-lake-sheds-light-on-underbelly-of-greenland-s-ice/

            Arctic Sea Ice Melts, Allowing Oil Companies To Move In

            (Hey, Republicans should actually be overjoyed the Climate is warming!!)

            http://science.time.com/2012/09/11/arctic-sea-ice-vanishes-and-the-oil-rigs-move-in/

            Vietnam Rice Crop Suffers From Rising Sea Water

            http://www.dw.de/climate-change-affects-vietnams-rice-bowl/a-17896809

            Australia Scorching Heat

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/09/australias-scorching-2013-heat-record-was-virtually-impossible-without-global-warming/

            http://www.smh.com.au/environment/australias-2013-heatwave-due-to-climate-change-researchers-conclude-20140930-10o1sj.html

            First 2 months of 2015 warmest such period on record across the world

            http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

            Summer 2014 record warmest ever

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/09/18/june-july-august-set-record-for-warmest-summer-on-earth-says-noaa/

            2014 hottest ever

            http://www.climatecentral.org/news/record-2014-hottest-year-18502

            More Carbon Dioxide in The Air Than Ever Before

            http://www.businessinsider.com/more-co2-in-earths-atmosphere-than-ever-2013-5

            Have a good evening. It is because of people like you who have proved beyond a shadow of doubt to me that Global Warming is real. Your own arguments lead me to the articles in question and I see that it is the “warm waters below” that cause the paradox. I too used to be a denier (back in the 1980s) but I have to admit the mounting evidence showed me the truth. Now I see the Global Warming deniers (you and your ilk) are a dwindling number and are just not looking at the whole picture. Remember this: just because it is snowing on your front porch, that doesn’t mean it is snowing all over the world. Good Day.

          • OWilson

            “”Look what was just announced today in California. Look at the heat wave in Nevada. The water shortages because of lack of snow melt in the Rockies. Heck the ski resort near Las Vegas closed because of NO SNOW.
            WHERE IS YOUR SCIENCE?””

            You’re joking, right?

            Here a hint for you:

            “The plural of anecdote is not data.” – Bekoff

          • Gene Buddy Maxwell

            You are the Joker! A soft one at that. It is obvious you have noooo real science professional experience. You have never worked outdoors. Yet you act like such an expert on Nature. All of these things happening around the world, but you just automatically deny they are happening and then go find a graph. Oh such hard work and research!

          • OWilson

            You’re wrong about me working outside and my science teaching experience.

            But, believe what you want to believe.

            It’s ok by me. Lol

          • Voodude

            It is the freaking cold, that creates the sea-ice in Antarctica.
            NSIDC: “…the change in saltiness is too small to significantly affect the freezing temperature…”

            http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2014/ , “Antarctic extent patterns”

            Bintanja, R., et al.:”Specifically, we present observations indicating that melt water from Antarctica’s ice shelves accumulates in a cool and fresh surface layer that shields the surface ocean from the warmer deeper waters that are melting the ice shelves. ”

            ”As a consequence, the overlying cold atmosphere cools the upper 100 m more effectively (Fig. 3c), especially in autumn and winter when the atmosphere–ocean temperature contrast peaks. These relatively cold and fresh surface waters can then freeze over more easily, which probably explains why observed Antarctic sea-ice trends peak in autumn and early winter (1) in regions where the surface waters have become fresher (Fig. 2). The Southern Ocean thus exhibits a remarkable signature, with warming in the deeper layers being accompanied by a cooling trend in the upper 100 m. This is consistent with our hypothesis that increased subsurface melt of ice shelves (23) contributes significantly to Southern Ocean surface cooling.”

            NSIDC: ”… ice shelf … meltwater is creating a cool layer near the surface of the ocean that promotes sea ice production. In addition, the meltwater is fresh, or much less salty and dense than surrounding saline ocean layers. So fresher meltwater floats upward, mixing with the cold surface layer, lowering its density. As this fresh layer expands, it forms a stable puddle on top of the ocean that makes it easier to produce and retain sea ice.” http://nsidc.org/icelights/2014/01/31/why-is-there-so-much-antarctic-sea-ice/

          • Voodude

            Really cold, and cooling, for a long time.

          • Gene Buddy Maxwell

            So? That doesn’t mean Global Warming isn’t happening. Look at the rest of the planet. Oh, by the way, you forgot to emphasize the “warmer, deeper waters.” Thank you for proving the real point of Global Warming – it is in the water. The Antarctic is really only a small point of study. First: check out what is happening in California now because of the lack of snow, and the heat wave in Nevada. Then: Check all these things out from around the world, how freakin HOT it is, there IS NO SNOW and NO ICE, there is a DRAUGHT. Your home work for tonight:

            Global Warming: Proof From All Over The Planet

            Warming Preserves Antarctic Sea Ice

            http://www.natureasia.com/en/research/highlight/2132

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice.htm

            Climate Change: Lines of Evidence videos

            http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/videos-multimedia/climate-change-lines-of-evidence-videos/

            Alaska Lack of Snow:

            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/02/150212-iditarod-dogs-sled-race-alaska-global-warming-science/

            Greenland’s Ice Sheet Loses Mass, Global Sea Level Rise

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/surprise-lake-sheds-light-on-underbelly-of-greenland-s-ice/

            Arctic Sea Ice Melts, Allowing Oil Companies To Move In

            (Hey, Republicans should actually be overjoyed the Climate is warming!!)

            http://science.time.com/2012/09/11/arctic-sea-ice-vanishes-and-the-oil-rigs-move-in/

            Vietnam Rice Crop Suffers From Rising Sea Water

            http://www.dw.de/climate-change-affects-vietnams-rice-bowl/a-17896809

            Australia Scorching Heat

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/09/australias-scorching-2013-heat-record-was-virtually-impossible-without-global-warming/

            http://www.smh.com.au/environment/australias-2013-heatwave-due-to-climate-change-researchers-conclude-20140930-10o1sj.html

            First 2 months of 2015 warmest such period on record across the world

            http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

            Summer 2014 record warmest ever

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/09/18/june-july-august-set-record-for-warmest-summer-on-earth-says-noaa/

            2014 hottest ever

            http://www.climatecentral.org/news/record-2014-hottest-year-18502

            More Carbon Dioxide in The Air Than Ever Before

            http://www.businessinsider.com/more-co2-in-earths-atmosphere-than-ever-2013-5

          • Voodude

            “More Carbon Dioxide in The Air Than Ever Before”
            Good!

          • Voodude

            Jun 2013: “Satellite observations reveal a greening of the globe over recent decades. The role in this greening of the “CO2 fertilization” effect—the enhancement of photosynthesis due to rising CO2 levels—is yet to be established. The direct CO2 effect on vegetation should be most clearly expressed in warm, arid environments where water is the dominant limit to vegetation growth. Using gas exchange theory, we predict that the 14% increase in atmospheric CO2 (1982–2010) led to a 5 to 10% increase in green foliage cover in warm, arid environments. Satellite observations, analyzed to remove the effect of variations in precipitation, show that [green vegitation] cover across these environments has increased by 11%. Our results confirm that the anticipated CO2 fertilization effect is occurring alongside ongoing anthropogenic perturbations to the carbon cycle and that the fertilization effect is now a significant land surface process.”

            [Note, others have published results in humid areas, like the Amazon rain forest.] “Satellite observations, analyzed to remove the effect of variations in precipitation, show that [green vegitation] cover across these environments has increased by 11%. Our results confirm that the anticipated CO2 fertilization effect is occurring alongside ongoing anthropogenic perturbations to the carbon cycle, and that the fertilization effect is now a significant land surface process.” “…it has proven difficult to isolate the direct biochemical role of[increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations] in these trends, from variations in other key resources (such as light, water, nutrients [Field et al., 1992]) and from socioeconomic factors, such as land use change [Houghton, 2003].”

            Donohue, Randall J., et al. “Impact of CO2 fertilization on maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments.” Geophysical Research Letters 40.12 (2013): 3031-3035.

            http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/18383638/1708677228/name/grl50563.pdf

            PDF link in article: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/26thIAE/conversations/topics/3529

          • Voodude

            “More Carbon Dioxide in The Air Than Ever Before”

          • Voodude

            2015: ”the carbon cycle is second only to physical climate sensitivity itself in contributing uncertainty”

            ”Our results, however, show significant tropical uptake and, combining tropical and extratropical fluxes, suggest that up to 60% of the present-day terrestrial sink is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2. ”
            ”Photosynthesis increases with increasing CO2 following a Michaelis−Menton curve, and this effect grows stronger at higher temperatures”

            Schimel, David, Britton B. Stephens, and Joshua B. Fisher. “Effect of increasing CO2 on the terrestrial carbon cycle.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112.2 (2015): 436-441.

            http://reddcommunity.org/sites/default/files/field/publications/increased_CO2_Schimel.pdf

          • Voodude

            “… plant growth and yield have typically increased more than 30% with a doubling of CO2 concentration …may decrease evapotranspiration… if the climate warms, the average growth response to doubled CO2 could be consistently higher than the 30% mentioned above … in nutrient-poor soil, the growth response to elevated CO2 has been large … under water-stress, the CO2 growth stimulation is as large or large than under well-watered conditions … plant growth and crop yields will probably be significantly higher in the future high-CO2 world.”

            Kimball, B. A., et al. “Effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 on vegetation.” Vegetation 104.1 (1993): 65-75.

            http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00048145#page-1

          • Voodude

            Enhanced growth of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) under 550 ppmv CO2 were found to be “cultivar dependent” with an increase in productivity of 42% [to as much as] 53% for the cultivar called Yitpi, but less for the H45 variety.

            Thilakarathne, Chamindathee, et al. “Intraspecific variation in leaf growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum L) under Australian Grain Free Air CO2 Enrichment (AGFACE): Is it regulated through carbon and/or nitrogen supply?” Functional Plant Biology (2014).

            http://www.publish.csiro.au/view/journals/dsp_journals_pip_abstract_scholar1.cfm?nid=102&pip=FP14125

          • Gene Buddy Maxwell

            Before you use woodfortrees again, remember this (and this comes copy and pasted straight from that man’s web site: “The algorithms used on this site have not been formally peer reviewed and hence should not be used unverified for academic publication (and certainly not for policy- making!). This site is only intended to help find interesting directions for further research to be carried out more formally.” OhOh!! Dubious information, especially in light of who is presenting it. I mean, come on: “Voodude?” You won’t even put your name and picture to your data. That alone makes it suspect. Why do you need some other guys algorithm for? Cut out the middle man. Just go to the original source themselves: NASA, NOAA, Hey the San Diego Zoo Global (who I used to work for) has many cases on its web site explaining the situation. get off your chair and go into nature. Using your legs, not a car.

          • Voodude

            WFT is just a chart-plotting service. It represents data as a time-series. Not exactly brain surgery.

          • Voodude

            Which, of my WFT graphs, do you have questions with?
            (If I downloaded the data, and used a graphic program on my computer, and posted the output, you ‘d complain that I was “cooking the books” myself. ) In WFT, there is a “raw data” link you can click, and verify the data (the source of the data is even listed). There are “manipulations” that one can do on WFT (such as “detrend” or “offset”) but the URL shows every manipulation selected, so WFT cannot be used to “pull the wool over your eyes”

          • Voodude

            “Norway spruce and European beech exhibit significantly faster tree growth (+32 to 77%), stand volume growth (+10 to 30%) and standing stock accumulation (+6 to 7%) than in 1960. … mainly the rise in temperature and extended growing seasons contribute to increased growth acceleration …” The 14% increase in atmospheric CO2 (1982–2010) world-wide was not a controlled variable in this study, and its effect was ignored. This study attributes all of the increased productivity to the rise in temperature, and the resultant increase in the growing season.

            Pretzsch, Hans, et al. “Forest stand growth dynamics in Central Europe have accelerated since 1870.” Nature communications 5 (2014).

            http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140912/ncomms5967/full/ncomms5967.html

          • Voodude

            Pretzsch, Hans, et al. “Forest stand growth dynamics in Central Europe have accelerated since 1870.” Nature communications 5 (2014).

            http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140912/ncomms5967/full/ncomms5967.html

          • Voodude

            … suggest that up to 60% of the present-day terrestrial sink is caused by…

          • Voodude

            “…CO2-enriched trees to have consistently sequestered approximately 2.8 times more carbon than the control trees over a period of three full years.”

            Idso, Sherwood B., and Bruce A. Kimball. 1991 “Downward regulation of photosynthesis and growth at high CO2 levels No evidence for either phenomenon in three-year study of sour orange trees.” Plant Physiology 96.3 (1991): 990-992.

            http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/96/3/990.short

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “More Carbon Dioxide in The Air Than Ever Before”

            CO2 is greening the planet!

          • Voodude

            2009: ”…the evidence indicates that both gross and net primary productivity has likely increased over recent decades, as have tree growth, recruitment, and mortality rates, and forest biomass. … potentially from rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, is the most likely cause.”

            Lewis, Simon L., et al. “Changing ecology of tropical forests: evidence and drivers.” Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 40 (2009): 529-549.

            http://www.planta.cn/forum/files_planta/changing_ecology_of_tropical_forests_evidence_and_drivers_133.pdf

          • Voodude

            ”Rising atmospheric [CO2] from anthropogenic fossil fuel emissions fertilizes plants (Liebig, 1843; Arrhenius, 1896; Ainsworth & Long, 2005).”
            Zaehle, Sönke, et al. “Evaluation of 11 terrestrial carbon–nitrogen cycle models against observations from two temperate Free‐Air CO2 Enrichment studies.” New Phytologist 202.3 (2014): 803-822.

            http://c-h2oecology.env.duke.edu/pdf/np12697-14.pdf

          • Voodude

            “More Carbon Dioxide in The Air Than Ever Before”
            Wonderful!

          • Voodude

            ”… the change in nutrient constituents of plants exposed to [700 ppmv CO2] continuously … Idso (2001) … observed to increase sour orange juice vitamin C concentration by approximately 5% in average-type years when total fruit production was typically enhanced by 75%. In abnormal years, when the CO2-induced increase in fruit production was greater, however, the increase in fruit vitamin C concentration was also greater, rising to 15% when fruit production on the CO2-enriched trees was 3.6 times greater than it was on the ambient-treatment trees.”

            Ramírez, Fernando, and Jose Kallarackal. “Nutrient Value of Fruits in Response to eCO2.” Responses of Fruit Trees to Global Climate Change. Springer International Publishing, 2015. 9-10.

            http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-14200-5_3

          • Voodude

            2014 Dec NASA NCAR Press Release: ”As human-caused emissions add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, forests worldwide are using it to grow faster, reducing the amount that stays airborne. This effect is called carbon dioxide fertilization.” β

            https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/news/13659/tropical-forests-have-large-appetite-carbon-dioxide

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “More Carbon Dioxide in The Air Than Ever Before”

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “2014 hottest ever”

            NASA: Hottest year ever, we’re 38% certain •••

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2915061/Nasa-climate-scientists-said-2014-warmest-year-record-38-sure-right.html

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “2014 hottest ever”

            ”about a quarter of the claimed global warming since 1900 is actually an artifact of adjustments.”

            https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/how-much-have-adjustments-contributed-to-global-warming/

            http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/01/30/forget-climategate-this-global-warming-scandal-is-much-bigger/

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “Summer 2014 record warmest ever”

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy cried, “Summer 2014 record warmest ever”

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “First 2 months of 2015 warmest such period on record across the world”
            GLOBAL UAH (to Feb 2015)

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “First 2 months of 2015 warmest such period on record across the world”Arctic UAH to Feb 2015:

          • Voodude

            Arctic MSU/AMSU satellite data, current to March, 2015, shows that the first two months of 2015 are certainly not the “warmest such period on record across the world” … after all, since the Arctic is warming up at twice the rate of the rest of the globe, and the Arctic has been COOLING for six years, what’s that say about the globe?

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “First 2 months of 2015 warmest such period on record across the world” UAH TLT Globe

            California is hot.

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “First 2 months of 2015 warmest such period on record across the world”
            WoodForTrees plot of RSS Satellite data shows an uninterrupted COOLING trend since late 1996

            http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1996.84/plot/rss/from:1996.84/trend

          • Gene Buddy Maxwell

            Whew!! You sure know how to rant. There we have it folks, Global Cooling is causing all the heat! Woodfortrees is a joke. They cherrypick what they want. You! Go travel the world and look for yourself. Get out from behind your computer. Forget the data. Anybody can find data that seems to help them, Instead, see what is happening with your eyes. And I don’t mean on your porch. Work and live outside. I would rather look and see for myself than pick and choose which data to use for this debate. My experience, having worked for the San Diego Zoo Institute For Conservation Research, working outside in the Mojave Desert, tells me all that I need to know. I worked with colleagues from all over the globe. What is happening: Global Warming. Happy ranting! Oh, thank you for letting me use you! Your data is flawed and I have used you as en example for my paper.

          • Mike Richardson

            But dude, he had cartoons! Cartoons! How can you argue with that, or with posts from Not-So-Breitbart? Kinda proves that quality of data counts a lot more than quantity, eh? It never ceases to amaze me the arguments that are presented here, often in parallel, and from the same folks that: “A. The earth is not warming because either greenhouse gases are actually a cooling factor or the trees are all lapping it up; B. It’s warming, but it’s due to the sun and all those pointy-headed climate scientists forgot to factor it in; C. Yeah, it’s warming, we might be doing it, but it will actually be a good thing — think of the trees, it’s good for the trees!; D. Okay, it might be bad as the scientists say, but changing our ways will be too expensive, and what are you, a commie-Islamist-greenie — real Amurkins will stand up to the likes of you!” Then you just start over with A, and go through the whole cycle again. Well, anyway, please post back here more often. It’s always good to here from the folks out in the field.

          • Voodude

            What did I ever post, from Breitbart?

          • Mike Richardson

            You posted a link to the site, in one of your numerous posts from three days ago, along with a link to some site called “notalotofpeopleknowtha…”. I know, I know, you post so much stuff it’s hard to keep up where it’s all coming from. As I said, quality of sources is more important than quantity. Tons of cartoons and links to the right wing blogosphere aren’t helping you prove your point very well.

          • Voodude

            Humor hits hard. The non-warmists are laughing.

          • Mike Richardson

            If they’re laughing at those idiotic cartoons, I’m sure they get plenty of laughs from equally sophisticated sources, such as whoopee cushions and the Three Stooges. Don’t want to tax the intellect much, apparently.

          • Voodude

            Ah, one link to Breitbart:

            http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/01/30/forget-climategate-this-global-warming-scandal-is-much-bigger/

            … because they did a write-up on Paul’s treatment of the temperature adjustments.

          • Mike Richardson

            Like I said, though, you aren’t even bothering to screen your sources. Just throw up enough crap and hope something sticks. Of course, it’s also the tried and true method that climate change deniers use of posting in such volume that they hope to bog down scientists and blog hosts who feel the need to respond and refute their claims. Most folks have caught on to this tactic by now, though.

          • Voodude

            ” aren’t even bothering to screen your sources”

            … what makes you think I didn’t read (and appreciate) the article on breitbart?

          • Mike Richardson

            Probably the fact that you didn’t remember it when I mentioned it for starters. Also the fact that appreciating anything on Breitbart implies an inability to critically think, and I was actually giving you the benefit of a doubt on that one.

          • Voodude

            “anything on Breitbart implies an inability to critically think”
            Even a blind squirrel finds a nut, now and then.

          • Voodude

            I do all my own research. I read dozens of journal published, peer reviewed research, a week. The “crap” that I “throw up” has the sources cited… “in such volume” is just a reflection of how many holes exist in the contentions stated, and the volume of research that I have to refute it.

          • Voodude

            “Woodfortrees is a joke.”
            Why?

          • Voodude

            WoodForTrees (WFT) is an excellent site, except for, sometimes the data isn’t current. Whaddya want for free…

          • Voodude

            Since Gene Buddy doesn’t like WoodForTrees plots, here is the plot off of the MSU/AMSU web site:

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy says, “Australia Scorching Heat”
            Got nothin’ on that.

          • Voodude

            … but, for the Southern Mid-latitudes, we have MSU/AMSU satellite data:

            http://images.remss.com/msu/msu_time_series.html

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy says, “Vietnam Rice Crop Suffers From Rising Sea Water”

            Sea Surface Height has been going DOWN for the last seven years, since July 2008, in the south china sea, near the Mekong delta.

            This is a delta-subsidence issue.

            “… problem is that much of the Mekong River Delta only became rice-friendly fairly recently…. Tim Gorman explains that, ‘100 years ago we would have been standing in the middle of tidal swamp.'”

            “The saline intrusion wrecks what farmers in the region often call the “third crop” – a rice crop that’s grown during the dry season. During these months, fresh water for the rice fields typically gets pumped in from waterways outside of the area.”

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy says, “Vietnam Rice Crop Suffers From Rising Sea Water” SSH has been going down for seven years…

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy says, “Vietnam Rice Crop Suffers From Rising Sea Water” Price for rice is dropping in the area, and for the world. Rice production and yield is up, all around.

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “Arctic Sea Ice Melts, Allowing Oil Companies To Move In”

            To modify another quote from Gene Buddy: “So? That doesn’t mean Global Warming is …” causing it. PIOMASS Arctic sea ice volume has recently been increasing (a hopeful sign, but not enough)

          • Voodude

            It isn’t fixed, but it isn’t as bad as predicted…

          • Voodude
          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “Arctic Sea Ice Melts, Allowing Oil Companies To Move In” but Arctic temperatures are on a downward trend, making increasing ice a possibility:

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “Arctic Sea Ice Melts, Allowing Oil Companies To Move In” but ice has shown improvements

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “Arctic Sea Ice Melts, Allowing Oil Companies To Move In” but RSS Arctic TLT shows a decline in temperature:

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy complained, “Greenland’s Ice Sheet Loses Mass, Global Sea Level Rise”

            Nothing new here. The earth is in an interglacial period. You prefer The Little Ice Age? “Global Warming” requires an acceleration of sea level rise, not a steady rise. The sea is sloshing around a lot, so if you look for an arithmetic “acceleration” you can find in in some data, like Church and White did, once, but… when looked at, globally, you just clocked a slosh up. It doesn’t hold water (pun intended).

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy complained, “Greenland’s Ice Sheet Loses Mass, Global Sea Level Rise”

            “Global Warming” requires an acceleration of sea level rise, not a steady rise. The sea is sloshing around a lot, so if you look for an arithmetic “acceleration” – it is splotchy:

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy complained, “Greenland’s Ice Sheet Loses Mass, Global Sea Level Rise”

            “Global Warming” requires an acceleration of sea level rise, not a steady rise. The sea is sloshing around a lot, so if you look for an arithmetic “acceleration” – it doesn’t stay, for long:

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy complains of “Alaska Lack of Snow” but for North America, Euro-Asia, in fact, the whole northern hemisphere, snowpack has been going up, as shown:

          • Voodude

            Only in spring and summer has snowpack been going down….

          • Voodude

            but the recent trend is upwards

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy complains of “Alaska Lack of Snow” but for North America, Euro-Asia, in fact, the whole northern hemisphere, snowpack has been going up, as Rutgers shows:

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy “Check all these things out from around the world, how freakin HOT it is, there IS NO SNOW and NO ICE, there is a DRAUGHT
            Maybe we should tip back a few, and discuss this.

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy said, “Oh, by the way, you forgot to emphasize the “warmer, deeper waters.” “

            Two days ago, I emphasized the “warm water below” in this comment, directed to you: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/imageo/antarctic_ice_shelves_are_thinning_rapidly_and_the_losses_are_accelerating_in_west_antarctica/#comment-1938901167

            Bintanja, R., et al.: ”Specifically, we present observations indicating that melt water from Antarctica’s ice shelves accumulates in a cool and fresh surface layer that shields the surface ocean from the warmer deeper waters that are melting the ice shelves. ”

          • Voodude

            Gene Buddy says, “Australia Scorching Heat” Got something on Australia! Which part? Left is cooler, middle is just the same, right is warmer, but not as abnormally hot as California (relative to the anomaly).

          • Voodude

            Cold, really cold…

          • Voodude

            It is the cold areas that form the ice…

          • Voodude

            Look at where the excess sea-ice forms (along the vertical line, 0°/180° line, and look (below) at the melt, in the left of the image. At the image above, notice that the cold areas are where the excess sea-ice forms.

          • Voodude

            It’s the cold

      • Voodude

        “Application of the method shows that there is now a trendless interval of 19 years duration at the end of the HadCRUT4 surface temperature series, and of 16 – 26 years in the lower troposphere”

        McKitrick, Ross R. “HAC-Robust Measurement of the Duration of a Trendless Subsample in a Global Climate Time Series.” Open Journal of Statistics 4.07 (2014): 527.

        http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=49307#.VFros742xlI

        • Voodude

          No statistically significant warming – I won’t say for 36 years, but, maybe for 16… UAH satellite data

          • OWilson

            The latest satellite reading for March shows an anomaly of 0.26 over the satellite record of 36 years.

            Scientifically statistically insignificant!

        • Voodude

          ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/graphics/tlt/time_series/rss_ts_channel_tlt_global_land_and_sea_v03_3.txt RSS shows “no statistically significant warming” … as a matter of fact, COOLING, for 18 years…

    • nosmokewithout

      You are at cross-purposes. The Nature Geoscience survey is not referring to the ice shelf. Clearly you are confused about this issue!

      • OWilson

        Lol

        It is not a “Nature Geoscience survey”, it was a study reported in the aforementioned magazine.

        And it quite clearly referred to the ” the vast expanse of sea ice around Antarctica”.

        No confusion, except in your own head

        • nosmokewithout

          You really do want to dig yourself into an intellectual hole. It does not refer to “the vast expanse of sea ice around Antarctica” sic.

          The survey refers to sea ice around near-coastal regions of the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Wilkes Land sectors of Antarctica. And as you are clearly a person who is hard of thinking, the origins of sea ice is quite difference from shelf ice.

          Sea ice builds and retreats annually and does not contribute to sea level rise. The ice shelves originate on land and act as a balance to land ice build and loss. Unfortunately, warming oceans have lead to a massive increase in the loss of these ice sheets which is increasing ice loss from the land. This will have an impact on sea level rise.

          Try reading and thinking before posting!

          • OWilson

            You are either a liar or an idiot, or more probably a troll.

            It DOES refer to, “”the vast expanse of sea ice around Antarctica” sic.

            This, from Nature magazine,

            “Risky robotic exploration of the VAST EXPANSE OF SEA ICE AROUND ANTARCTICA has revealed it to be far thicker in many places than previously measured.

            Take it up with them and stop wasting our time.

          • Gene Buddy Maxwell

            You don’t get out much do you? What is actually happening in Nature, all around the world, contradicts your proclamations. Get off your butt and climb a mountain, hike through the desert, travel overseas. Your data is dubious. I am semi-retired now but I used to work at San Diego Zoo Institute For Conservation Research working in the Mojave Desert specializing in the Desert Tortoise. Hey, we don’t even have to go there, not just my experience in Environmental Science, Conservation, Zoology, Animal science, but I have worked with people who have worked in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii. All of this hands-on information, research and case studies makes it a slam dunk: Global Warming. But folks like you who scan the Internet, looking for that one article or graph that hopefully backs your ludicrous claims of a hoax. Unless you have actually worked in a science and have worked outside (somewhere other than your little front yard), then you really should stop trying to act like a “wise-guy” when you really just spout hot air. Here is one case: California and Nevada are in a drought with serious water issues (predicted by Global Warming in the 1980s), but I am sure you will find a graph somewhere that says that is not so. Good Luck with that. LOL And Man-Up, get a profile picture, show us you really believe in what you say and are not afraid to hide!

          • Voodude

            ” All of this hands-on information, research and case studies makes it a slam dunk: Global Warming.” Anecdotal. Hearsay.

          • Voodude

            “ludicrous claims of a hoax. “

          • OWilson

            Relax. If you and your echo chamber buddies believe in global warming, why get so upset with a different point of view?

            I got 36 years of satellite data for global warming and global sea ice, and you got a drought in a desert State?

            Lol

            And, no, I don’t trust your radical cousins with my identity, ya know the ones that put iron spikes in trees to injure loggers.

            “Not all radical environmentalists engage in illegal activities, of course, and many specific tactics are controversial within these movements, especially those which might entail risks to living things, including human adversaries.”

            http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/bron/ern/R.pdf

          • Voodude

            Floating ‘tongues’ of marine-terminating glaciers have already made their contribution to sea-level rise, decades ago, by the time they separate from the rest of the land-locked glacier. In cases where the ‘tongue’ is grounded below sea-level, the separation of the ’tongue’ from the rest of the land-locked glacier can actually lower sea level, when the ’tongue’ had been held below the level that it would rise to, once it floats.

            ”Because the ice shelves are in contact with the sea, warming of seawater (e.g., [64,65] and changes in ocean circulation can trigger basal melting and further break-up, allowing the ice flow to speed up [62].”

            Cazenave, Anny, et al. “The challenge for measuring sea level rise and regional and global trends.” Proceedings of OceanObs 9 (2009): 135-152.

            http://cheryl.nbmg.unr.edu/hanspeterplag/publications/pubs/2010_2A3-Cazenave-OceanObs09.pp.11.pdf

            ”Ocean warming is quite effective in melting ice at the ice/ocean interface, eroding the marine-based parts.”

            Bintanja, R., et al. “Important role for ocean warming and increased ice-shelf melt in Antarctic sea-ice expansion.” Nature Geoscience 6.5 (2013): 376-379.

            http://www.atmos.albany.edu/daes/atmclasses/atm305/2013/27Aug/ngeo1767.pdf

            The influence of sea water that is a little bit warmer, erodes and undercuts the ice… but as the ice that reaches the water breaks off, the rest of the (now land-locked) ice must flow to the sea, for it to get eroded, undercut, and calf. The land-locked ice that doesn’t get wet with seawater, doesn’t erode, doesn’t get undercut, and isn’t subject to calving… only to melting, or, flowing into the sea. Melting can only occur when the air temperature is above freezing, which occurs only seasonally. This will, ultimately, reduce the rate of ice loss, long before a total melt of the whole of Antarctica’s ice. Glaciation in Antarctica has survived much warmer periods, than those predicted to come, by the IPCC. Glaciation in Antarctica is more than a million year old, so we’re not talking about all of it melting…

            Somewhat cooler ”Melt water from the ice shelves has a comparatively low density and therefore accumulates in the top ocean layer. Observations confirm that the upper ocean layers get fresher, with the resulting cold halocline stabilizing the ocean at the base of this layer—between 100 and 200 m depth”

            This halocline effectively insulates the warmer water from the ice.

            Bintanja, R., et al. “Important role for ocean warming and increased ice-shelf melt in Antarctic sea-ice expansion.” Nature Geoscience 6.5 (2013): 376-379.

            http://www.atmos.albany.edu/daes/atmclasses/atm305/2013/27Aug/ngeo1767.pdf

          • Voodude

            while you are on the subject of sea ice…

            “A new underwater robot called SeaBED has begun to deliver a clear picture of the greatest mass of floating frozen water on the planet. [Antarctic sea-ice] And the first evidence is that the ice is thicker than anyone had realized: on average somewhere between 1.4 and 5.5 metres, but sometimes as much as 16 metres or more.”

            http://www.eco-business.com/news/yellow-submarine-big-hit-antarctic-records/

  • Voodude

    LOOK at how these ice shelves’ collapse have affected sea level …

  • Voodude

    “. . . new research has suggested that the melt rate of glaciers in West Antarctica has tripled during the last decade. “

    “The total amount of loss averaged 83 gigatons per year”
    Let’s use 85 instead of 83…
    Wow. Sounds big. Reports of Antarctica’s land-locked ice is melting away into the sea at a rate of (85 billion metric) tonnes of ice per year for the past decade, 85 Gt per year. There is 20.62 million Gt of ice, in Antarctica to melt…

    20,620,000Gt/85 Gt per year = 240 thousand years. How much does 85 billion tons of ice melting, contribute to sea level rise? 118/361.8 = ¼ of a millimetre per year, smaller than 1/64th of an inch. Do you think you can outrun that tsunami?

    The Eastern Antarctic ice sheet is the big one, but it isn’t melting away, it is gaining mass. The western portion is “wasting away”… Let’s run the numbers. So, 85 billion tonnes, 85 Gt, is melting, per year… but how much is there to melt? This article does’t say, so I went looking for it:

    “Antarctica holds enough ice to raise sea level by 57 meters.”

    http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/sotc/iceshelves.html

    that comes from a paper by Lythe, M.B., D.G. Vaughan, and BEDMAP Consortium. 2001. BEDMAP: A new ice thickness and subglacial topographic model of Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research 106(B6): 11335-11351.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2000JB900449/abstract

    “BEDMAP grid is 25.4 million km^3, and the total sea level equivalent, derived from the amount of ice contained within the grounded ice sheet, is 57 [metres of sea level equivalence, SLE], comprising 52 [metres SLE] from the East Antarctic ice sheet and 5 [metres SLE] from the West Antarctic ice sheet…”

    Well, that isn’t a convenient figure. We need the mass of the ice sheet, in gigatonnes (Gt). What we have is metres of sea level rise. Fortunately, there is a conversion: “A one millimetre increase in sea-level requires about … 361.8 Gt of meltwater”. 361.8 Gt/mm.

    http://www.sealevel.info/conversion_factors.html

    57 metres is 57000 millimetres … 361.8 Gt/mm X 57000 mm = 20,622,600 Gt or 20.62MGt.

    Or, we can convert the millions of cubic kilometres into Gt: 25.4 Mkm^3

    1 Gt = 1 gigatonne = the mass of 1.091 cubic km of ice

    again, a conversion from http://www.sealevel.info/conversion_factors.html

    1 Gt = 1.091 km^3 or 1/1.091 = 0.917Gt/km^3

    25.4M km^3 x 0.917 = 23.28MGt

    Somewhere between 20.62MGt to 23.28MGt. Let’s use the smaller amount of ice. 20,620,000 Gt to be melted.

    The ratio of SLE from West (5) and East (52), implies that fraction of the 20.62 MGt, 5/52, or 0.0962, is the mass of the Western ice sheet: 1.983 MGt.

    …but wait, I said Eastern Antarctica was not wasting away, snowfall is ahead of ablation; only the Western (the Peninsula). 1.983MGt/85 Gt per year, 23 thousand years for all of the Antarctic Peninsula to melt. That would rase sea levels five metres … over the time span of 16 thousand years.

  • ziff

    I find it curious that so many deniers are focused on one unexplained phenomena (increasing sea ice). And that somehow this one issue somehow negates all the other indicators, and thus all of global warming is wrong. Such behavior is the very definition of confirmation bias: only focusing on one piece of data that supports your position, and ignoring all the rest.

    As it happens, here’s why that reasoning is wrong:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/18/stop-using-antarctic-sea-ice-to-claim-nothings-wrong-at-the-south-pole/

    • OWilson

      I agree. Thanks for pointing that out.

      The obsessive focus on Arctic sea ice loss as opposed to Antarctic sea ice gain is suspect.

      I try to balance by posting factual GLOBAL ice cover data from NSIDC, which shows that GlOBAL sea ice is above the average for the 36 years of the satellite observation era.

      http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

    • Voodude

      So, Ziff, you tacitly admit that “Antarctic sea ice is growing.” That’s it? That is all the acknowledgement? Whole articles are written by news outlets, whole papers are published in journals, regarding the effects of sea-ice on albedo in North Pole, Arctic waters. Hype about albedo is all the rage up there. Down here, where the “ozone hole” lets through (supposedly) more UV, albedo isn’t even mentioned. Yes, sea-ice is significant. It cuts the albedo, but it also reduces heat transfer from the warmer oceans (which are hundreds of metres below the very, very cold surface waters of the Antarctic). Do you know how that game of balancing will tip? Antarctica is melting, not due to carbon dioxide but ENSO and SAM, winds and currents. Sea Ice interferes with winds and currents.

      ”Oceanic warming in Antarctica has been linked to increases in the upwelling of warm Circumpolar Deep Water, which melts tidewater glaciers and ice shelves from below (Pritchard et al., 2012). Upwelling of Circumpolar Deep Water, in association with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Southern Annular Mode climatic oscillations, is projected to continue, raising questions regarding the dynamic response of ice sheets and ice streams to these changes.”

      ”Climatic records indicate that the region has been warming since the 1930s (Vaughan et al. 2003), although ice-core records suggest that warming began 600 years ago (Mulvaney et al. 2012), with summer snow-melt accelerating during the twentieth century (Abram et al. 2013). This warming has been associated with changes in the westerly winds around Antarctica, which produce warming over the Antarctic Peninsula.”

      Glasser, N. F., et al. “Ice-stream initiation, duration and thinning on James Ross Island, northern Antarctic Peninsula.” Quaternary Science Reviews 86 (2014): 78-88.

      http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/77904/7/CarrivickIce-Stream%20Initiation_.pdf

      **************

  • Ernesto Franklin

    I wonder if Mother Nature realizes she’s making the “Chicken Little” crowd absolutely crazy?

    • OWilson

      In the old days, (before CNN, MSNBC), our elders gave us well worn adages, fables and proverbs, that saved us from making the same old mistakes.

      Chicken Little was one, The Boy Who cried Wolf was another. A fool and his money are soon parted, was another.

      But now the Kardashian, Obama Iphone generation insist on starting from scratch.

      Oh well, it’s their world now.

      Good luck!

  • Gene Buddy Maxwell

    First off woodfortrees data is a joke. You will see folks try to post this flawed data to claim Global Cooling. They cherry pick data to claim Global Cooling is causing all the draughts, heat, water shortages, dying coral, dying species. Yo! People, look outside. See what is happening – all over the planet. Oh, it snowed in Boston, big deal! It didn’t snow in Nevada, California and Alaska! Heat waves everywhere else. The dog sled race in Alaska had to be relocated 300 miles more north because there is no snow! There is a water shortage in the SW USA because of lack of snow melt. It you want to deny those things, then there is no hope for you. Live on your keyboard, stay at your computer, ya’ll belong there. Now excuse me, I gotta tend to this snake I just found – outside – in the world.

    Here is todays dally lesson:

    http://climate.nasa.gov/effects/

    • Voodude

      “You will see folks try to post this flawed data to claim Global Cooling.”

      That’s probably me.

      “They cherry pick data to claim Global Cooling “

      I don’t consider cherry picking to be applicable when the end of the data is current. If one picks a period, like, 1966-1968, both end-points “picked” … then, that is. But specifying one point, as in, a temperature series, while the other point is “now” … that’s a bit different. What, then, are the alternatives? Either I pick the starting point, or you do… somebody has to pick the starting point… So, then, what is the point in labelling a data series (that has the current point at one end) “Cherry Picking”? The current month is taken as the starting point –no cherry picking– and the root-mean-square, linear regression analysis is computed, going back in time, as far as possible, such that the trend is COOLING. The slope, as returned by the linear regression analysis, is negative. Some temperature time-series do not support any cooling at all. If the data supports the conclusion, then IT IS COOLING. You may argue about the length of the trend, as many are short; or about the statistical significance, because temperature series tend not to be significant, but if the data support the conclusion, IT IS COOLING.

  • Gene Buddy Maxwell

    For today’s lesson. let’s try an experiment. I will post yet another case of Global Warming, a case people who work, travel, and recreate outdoors know to be absolutely true, you can SEE it with your own eyes. BUT, after I post it, let us see if GWDers come out of the woodwork denying it. They will come with their graphs and charts and numbers and data, that claim this is not actually happening. If they don’t address this specific situation, then the Global Warming Deniers will instead shift the argument to the Antarctic Ice Shelf, Sheet, Thickness, Thinness, Cubes, whatever. The point being is that the GWDers are totally oblivious to Nature, the outdoors, the world. A keyboard, some charts/graphs, and maybe the golf cart, is the GWD world. Yes I know this article about Montana is just one isolated thing, but believe me I got hundred of cases from around the world, including the ocean waters that covers two thirds of Earth. The GWDers have nothing, except denying Global Warming/Climate Change cases.

    Retreat of Glaciers in Glacier National Park
    http://nrmsc.usgs.gov/research/glacier_retreat.htm

    • Voodude

      “see it with your own eyes” delusion

      • Voodude

        Warming that has occurred is not in dispute. The cause and the extent of the warming, is in dispute. The earth is presently in an interglacial period. That is when glaciers melt. Throughout the last 10,000 years, the period of the most glacial advance was AD 1300 to 1870.
        The alarmists refer to this as the “pre-industrial” period, but that belies its other name, The Little Ice Age. Throughout the Holocene (the last 10,000 years), The Little Ice Age was the period of the most, and the strongest, glacial advance. So, it would seem, looking back across the last 10,000 years, the earth is returning to it’s average temperature, having been depressed by The Little Ice Age. Glaciers are just responding, as well, retreating to the “normal” positions that the occupied for most of the Holocene..

        • Voodude

          Warming should follow the curve of greenhouse emissions, if Mann-kind’s burning of fossil fuels is really the cause of the warming.

          • Voodude

            Agassiz Glacier, (in Glacier National Park), has experienced melting, in the Holocene (twice – graph below, bottom line, red circles). Mann’s emissions didn’t cause them. Then, on the right, in the bottom, shows the current melting – compare that period with the Greenhouse gas emissions curve… the melting occurred before the onset of the 1950’s greenhouse gas emissions rise, and melt slacked off while greenhouse gas emissions escalated!

          • Voodude

            In greater detail, the glacial retreat happened well ahead of the greenhouse gas emissions, and then reduced the rate of melting, while emissions were skyrocketing!

          • Voodude

            The rate of retreat does not match human emissions of greenhouse gases as shown by the research paper of Munroe, Jeffrey S., et al. 2012, as published in the peer-reviewed journal, Quaternary Science Reviews – H/T Jimbo

            “…alpine glaciers in [Glacier National Park, Montana, USA] advanced, and retreated, numerous times during the Holocene, after the onset of Neoglaciation, ca 6500 BP. The two oldest phases of glacier expansion were synchronous with the well- documented Garibaldi (5600-6900 BP) and Tiedemann-Peyto (1900-3700 BP) phases in western Canada. Younger phases correspond with the First Millennium Advance in western Canada, as well as glacier with advances in the Sierra Nevada. The culminating Little Ice Age (LIA) advance was the most recent, and extensive, of a series of advance/retreat cycles, over the past millennium. Retreat, from the LIA maximum, was the most dramatic episode of ice retreat in at least the last 1000 years.”

            “Glacial moraines offer direct testimony, regarding past glacier extents (Schaefer et al., 2009), however, because of obliterative overlap, moraines are often preserved from only the most extensive advance (Gibbons et al., 1984). In most alpine regions worldwide, the most extensive advance of the Holocene occurred during the Little Ice Age, culminating ca AD 1850 (Grove, 2004).’’ …”Tree-ring records developed from wood incorporated into till, and sheared stumps at the base of till units, can provide annually resolved information about the timing of glacier advances (e.g. Luckman, 1995; Holzhauser et al., 2005). However, glacier maxima and intervals of retreat are not represented, and only intervals of glacier extent greater than modern are recorded.

            “… Agassiz Glacier (Carrara and McGimsey, 1981) indicate that retreat began there ca AD 1860, but remained slow ([about] 5 m/yr) until the early part of the 20th Century (Fig. 8). Rates then increased dramatically to maximum values in excess of 100 m/yr ca AD 1930, … reaching a maximum, nearly synchronous with the fastest ice retreat rates, and decreasing as retreat rates tapered in the 20th Century” The rate of retreat does not match human emissions of greenhouse gases.

            Munroe, Jeffrey S., et al. “A lacustrine-based Neoglacial record for Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.” Quaternary Science Reviews 53 (2012): 39-54.

          • Voodude

            Not all glaciers are experiencing retreat – but only those in retreat are publicized – Oh No! More Global Warming!!

          • Voodude

            Washington State’s collection of glaciers in the Cascades has experienced COOLING over this time period:

          • Voodude

            Washington State’s collection of glaciers in the Cascades has experienced COOLING over this time period, and not by WoodForTrees charts (though there is nothing wrong with WFT):

          • Voodude

            Washington State’s collection of glaciers in the Cascades has experienced COOLING over this time period, as indicated by the GISS temperature analysis that you can verify at data.giss.nasa[DOT]gov/ and ncdc.noaa[DOT]gov/cag:

          • Voodude

            Washington State’s collection of glaciers in the Cascades has experienced COOLING over this time period, as indicated by the ncdc.noaa[DOT]gov/cag:

          • Voodude

            Washington State has experienced COOLING over their collection of glaciers in the Cascades over this time period, as indicated by ncdc.noaa[DOT]gov/cag

          • Voodude

            The Cascades, as well as the whole state of Washington experienced COOLING, which probably helped the Cascade glaciers:

          • Voodude

            One would expect glaciers to advance, during all this COOLING

          • Voodude

            COOLING

          • Voodude

            Protester COOLING

          • Voodude

            COOLING for the CAGW protest

          • Voodude

            Normal weather?

          • Voodude

            The Gore effect… has he visited Washington State recently?

          • Voodude

            Moving on to another glacier, in Glacier National Park:
            the time-line for Sperry Glacier’s retreat is also in advance of the emissions of greenhouse gases.

          • Voodude

            G. Pederson 2006 shows an associated drought index

          • Voodude

            The rate of retreat does not match human emissions of greenhouse gases as shown by the research paper of Munroe, Jeffrey S., et al. 2012, as published in the peer-reviewed journal, Quaternary Science Reviews – H/T Jimbo

            “…alpine glaciers in [Glacier National Park, Montana, USA] advanced, and retreated, numerous times during the Holocene, after the onset of Neoglaciation, ca 6500 BP. The two oldest phases of glacier expansion were synchronous with the well- documented Garibaldi (5600-6900 BP) and Tiedemann-Peyto (1900-3700 BP) phases in western Canada. Younger phases correspond with the First Millennium Advance in western Canada, as well as glacier with advances in the Sierra Nevada. The culminating Little Ice Age (LIA) advance was the most recent, and extensive, of a series of advance/retreat cycles, over the past millennium. Retreat, from the LIA maximum, was the most dramatic episode of ice retreat in at least the last 1000 years.”

            “Glacial moraines offer direct testimony, regarding past glacier extents (Schaefer et al., 2009), however, because of obliterative overlap, moraines are often preserved from only the most extensive advance (Gibbons et al., 1984). In most alpine regions worldwide, the most extensive advance of the Holocene occurred during the Little Ice Age, culminating ca AD 1850 (Grove, 2004).’’ …”Tree-ring records developed from wood incorporated into till, and sheared stumps at the base of till units, can provide annually resolved information about the timing of glacier advances (e.g. Luckman, 1995; Holzhauser et al., 2005). However, glacier maxima and intervals of retreat are not represented, and only intervals of glacier extent greater than modern are recorded.

            “… Agassiz Glacier (Carrara and McGimsey, 1981) indicate that retreat began there ca AD 1860, but remained slow ([about] 5 m/yr) until the early part of the 20th Century (Fig. 8). Rates then increased dramatically to maximum values in excess of 100 m/yr ca AD 1930, … reaching a maximum, nearly synchronous with the fastest ice retreat rates, and decreasing as retreat rates tapered in the 20th Century” The rate of retreat does not match human emissions of greenhouse gases.

            Munroe, Jeffrey S., et al. “A lacustrine-based Neoglacial record for Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.” Quaternary Science Reviews 53 (2012): 39-54.

          • Voodude

            Precipitation has been on the decline, in Div 4 Montana – is this likely the cause for glacial retreat?

          • Voodude

            Glacier National Park is near the edge of Montana’s Climate Districts 1 and 3, which show COOLING for many years… according to NCDC.NOAA “climate at a glance”:

          • Voodude

            The whole state of Montana has been cooling since 1986…

          • Voodude

            It would seem that the glacial retreat wasn’t caused by “Global Warming” at all.
            (1) it happened before, when GHG emissions by Mannkind were nil
            (2) this time, it happened before GHG emissions amounted to much.
            (3) it tapered off while GHG emissions were geometrically increasing
            (4) DROUGHT seems to have played a significant part.

          • Voodude

            Glacier National Park too near the edge of Montana’s Climate Districts 1 and 3, so I list both, plus CD4, which show COOLING for many years… according to NCDC.NOAA “climate at a glance”:

          • Voodude

            http://cdiac.ornl.gov

            Northern Montana

          • Voodude

            Sperry Glacier retreated way ahead of “Global Warming” … between 1913 and 1945, the rate of retreat of Sperry Glacier was ten times faster than the rate of retreat since 1979.
            Pederson, Gregory T., et al. “Long-duration drought variability and impacts on ecosystem services: a case study from Glacier National Park, Montana.” Earth Interactions 10.4 (2006): 1-28.

            http://esanalysis.colmex.mx/Sorted%20Papers/2006/2006%20USA%20-CS%20USA%20MT,%20Hyd%20Phys.pdf

          • Voodude

            The rate of retreat does not match the curve of greenhouse gas emissions, as shown by the research paper of Munroe, Jeffrey S., et al. 2012, as published in the peer-reviewed journal, Quaternary Science Reviews – H/T Jimbo

            “…alpine glaciers in [Glacier National Park, Montana, USA] advanced, and retreated, numerous times during the Holocene, after the onset of Neoglaciation, ca 6500 BP. The two oldest phases of glacier expansion were synchronous with the well- documented Garibaldi (5600-6900 BP) and Tiedemann-Peyto (1900-3700 BP) phases in western Canada. Younger phases correspond with the First Millennium Advance in western Canada, as well as glacier with advances in the Sierra Nevada. The culminating Little Ice Age (LIA) advance was the most recent, and extensive, of a series of advance/retreat cycles, over the past millennium. Retreat, from the LIA maximum, was the most dramatic episode of ice retreat in at least the last 1000 years.”

            “Glacial moraines offer direct testimony, regarding past glacier extents (Schaefer et al., 2009), however, because of obliterative overlap, moraines are often preserved from only the most extensive advance (Gibbons et al., 1984). In most alpine regions worldwide, the most extensive advance of the Holocene occurred during the Little Ice Age, culminating ca AD 1850 (Grove, 2004).’’ …”Tree-ring records developed from wood incorporated into till, and sheared stumps at the base of till units, can provide annually resolved information about the timing of glacier advances (e.g. Luckman, 1995; Holzhauser et al., 2005). However, glacier maxima and intervals of retreat are not represented, and only intervals of glacier extent greater than modern are recorded.

            “… Agassiz Glacier (Carrara and McGimsey, 1981) indicate that retreat began there ca AD 1860, but remained slow ([about] 5 m/yr) until the early part of the 20th Century (Fig. 8). Rates then increased dramatically to maximum values in excess of 100 m/yr ca AD 1930, … reaching a maximum, nearly synchronous with the fastest ice retreat rates, and decreasing as retreat rates tapered in the 20th Century” The rate of retreat does not match human emissions of greenhouse gases.

            Munroe, Jeffrey S., et al. “A lacustrine-based Neoglacial record for Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.” Quaternary Science Reviews 53 (2012): 39-54.

          • Voodude

            Jan 2010: “Deglaciation of the Lower Murray Lake area occurred *6900 14C years BP (England 1983), with ice retreat continuing until margins close to or behind present conditions were reached by *5000 14C years BP (Smith 1999).” Note- “margins close to or behind present conditions were reached by *5000 14C years BP” means that glacial retreat was even worse than now, about 5,000 years ago.
            Cook, Timothy L., et al. “Five thousand years of sediment transfer in a high arctic watershed recorded in annually laminated sediments from Lower Murray Lake, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada.” Journal of Paleolimnology 41.1 (2009): 77-94.

            http://www.geotop.ca/pdf/francusP/Cook_et_al_JP_2009.pdf

          • Voodude

            Agassiz glacier has survived periods when it was MUCH WARMER than today. Since the depths of the Little Ice Age, the earth has warmed up about 0.8°C. The chart, below, shows research that demonstrates that Agassiz survived more than 2,000 years at temperatures more than 1.6°C above today, with not more than 28% decline.

          • Voodude

            Above is a reproduction of Figure 11 B from

            Cook, Timothy L., et al. “Five thousand years of sediment transfer in a high arctic watershed recorded in annually laminated sediments from Lower Murray Lake, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada.” Journal of Paleolimnology 41.1 (2009): 77-94.

            http://www.geotop.ca/pdf/francusP/Cook_et_al_JP_2009.pdf

        • Voodude

          Maximum glacial extent during the Holocene was in the Little Ice Age.

        • Voodude

          The period of great growth of glaciers, in the Holocene, was The Little Ice Age“The Little Ice Age is a period between about 1300 and 1870…”

          Environmental History Resources http://www.eh-resources.org/timeline/timeline_lia.html

    • Voodude

      Glacier National Park has been COOLING since 1997 or before, so if the retreat is caused by “Global Warming” – then, where’s the warming??

    • OWilson

      Glaciers advance. Glaciers retreat. That’s what they do.

      Let us know when they don’t. That would be news.

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ImaGeo

ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.

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