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Antarctic Glacier Melting Without Global Warming

From a ‘not sure how to spin this’ Reuters:

Big Antarctic glacier to keep raising seas, even without warming

By Alister Doyle | February 20, 2014

OSLO (Reuters) – A thawing Antarctic glacier that is the biggest contributor to rising sea levels is likely to continue shrinking for decades, even without an extra spur from global warming, a study showed on Thursday.

So this glacier is continuing to melt even though there has no global warming for 15 years. Could that mean there might be something besides global warming that is causing some glaciers to melt? (Nah.)

Scientists said the Pine Island Glacier, which carries more water to the sea than the Rhine River, also thinned 8,000 years ago at rates comparable to the present, in a melt that lasted for decades, perhaps for centuries.

So there was man-made global warming 8,000 years ago to get it started?

"Our findings reveal that Pine Island Glacier has experienced rapid thinning at least once in the past, and that, once set in motion, rapid ice sheet changes in this region can persist for centuries," they wrote in the U.S. journal Science.

A creeping rise in sea levels is a threat to low-lying coasts from Bangladesh to Florida, and to cities from London to Shanghai. Of the world’s biggest glaciers, in Antarctica and Greenland, Pine Island is the largest contributor.

Even though there is no evidence that the sea levels are really rising.

The trigger of the ancient thinning, of about a metre (3 ft) a year, was probably a natural climate shift that warmed the sea and melted the floating end of the glacier, removing a buttress that let ice on land slide more quickly into the sea.

In other words, they don’t know what triggered the melting then. Just like they don’t know what triggered the melting now.

"It seems to be a similar mechanism now … it could easily continue for decades," Professor Mike Bentley of Durham University in England, a co-leader of the project that included experts in the United States and Germany, told Reuters.

Other studies indicate that a build-up of man-made greenhouse gases, rather than natural shifts, is behind the warmer waters blamed for an accelerating thinning and retreat of the glacier in the past two decades, he said…

Naturally. They have got to find some way to keep the grant money flowing.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, February 21st, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “Antarctic Glacier Melting Without Global Warming”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
    Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?
    Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
    Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
    Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…
    Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
    Mayor: All right, all right! I get the point!

  2. captstubby says:

    for your weekend reading;
    (and there will be no exam)

    charles h langmuir and wally broecker

    to relate the smallest of parts to the largest of systems. the traditional scientific approach of so-called reductionism. Much scientific understanding has come about by discovering governing mathematical equations, or laws, that account for diverse phenomena. In this approach, understanding comes from our ability to “reduce” the whole to the fundamental laws of physics from which all phenomena arise. Then phenomena calculated at the most fundamental level can, at least in theory, explain and predict the whole.

    Understanding how laws that operate at small scales manifest on much larger scales is one of the great triumphs of the scientific method.
    Despite its obvious successes, however, reductionism falls short when we try to calculate or understand many natural phenomena. From the practical point of view, very few natural phenomena can actually be calculated from first principles.
    a straightforward, one-dimensional problem that involves simply summing the weight of the atmospheric column directly above you. We can measure pressure very precisely indeed—what would it take to calculate it as well as we can measure it?
    To calculate it, we would need to know the density of the atmosphere at each point along the column.
    Thermodynamics helps with the general pressure-temperature-volume relations, but quantitative thermodynamic calculations apply best to closed systems, and the air over your head is in movement. The density of air also depends on the concentration of water vapor, which can vary both laterally and vertically. Winds are a response to pressure gradients,
    so pressure changes continually owing to movements and forces exterior to your personal atmospheric column. We could take an average temperature profile for this time of year, and assume a clear sky with constant relative humidity and no wind, but that gives an approximate pressure, nowhere near as precise as what we can measure.
    We could send a probe up through the atmosphere and measure the temperature and water vapor, but that is a bit like simply measuring the pressure, and by the time we got the data and processed it, the atmosphere could have undergone small changes from time of day and weather, leading to small errors.

    Within the chaos, there are limited regions where steady-state values again are obtained

    Nowhere is the uncertainty of prediction more evident than chaotic systems. Chaos occurs in common equations where the outcome is so sensitive to the tiniest of changes in initial conditions or constants in the equations that long-term prediction is impossible.
    In the chaotic regime, the result after a fixed number of steps also varies with minuscule changes in initial conditions.

    No matter how precisely the initial value is specified, while the first step is the same, the final value after a sufficient number of steps can vary across the entire range. “Extreme sensitivity to initial conditions” is the hallmark of chaotic systems and has been described by the so-called butterfly effect, where the beating of a butterfly’s wings in China could lead eventually to a hurricane in the Atlantic.
    The weather is a familiar example of a chaotic system. There are upper and lower bounds of temperature that characterize the seasons, and prediction is quite good for periods of hours. But last night’s weather forecast in Boston predicted rain with one inch of snow accumulation overnight. Today the skies are gray, but no precipitation has fallen. What will the weather be two weeks from now? It will still be the same season, but accurate weather prediction is not possible. To the extent that natural systems are chaotic, their behavior cannot be calculated precisely, even if the governing equations are known exactly.
    Natural phenomena do not exist in static equilibrium states, but are in movement at all scales.
    Earth’s atmosphere is in a disequilibrium state, its temperature sustained by the continuous influx of solar energy and the warming effects of greenhouse gases coming from Earth’s interior and modulated by life. The sun is not at equilibrium, but reflects a balance between gravitational forces leading to contraction, and expansion forces coming from heating of its interior by nuclear fusion. Energy flows continuously outward. The forces toward equilibrium are acting everywhere, but the state is one of disequilibrium.

    • merkelerk says:

      A very good explanation of what should be obvious to anyone educated past grade school.

      Unfortunately we live among imbeciles who make up the vast majority of the population. Any teenager can master level 437 of the latest greatest computer game but has no clue how the wireless components in the controller work. Something that Maxwell and Hertz understood in the 19th century! No one, it seems, even tries
      to understand the basics of science. The majority in our society have been convinced that they cannot understand and are content to be told exactly what to do, think and feel. Their only concern is the continuation of the “bread and circuses”.

      The corpses of empirical method and critical thinking lay at the feet of consensus science. Why don’t we just universally agree that the threat of climate change has passed, problem solved.

  3. merkelerk says:

    Ego veniam….

    If you did not understand Chaos theory and complex dynamic systems or have no clue as to the workings of radio waves, I did not mean to classify you as an imbecile. If your knowledge of science is lacking it is through no fault of your own. The blame rests on the education system in particular and society as a whole.

    Ignorance is not knowing, and this is easily cured.
    Stupidity is not caring to know, and this is fatal.

    • captstubby says:

      merkelerk , i agree..
      “your knowledge of science is lacking …on the education system .”
      but this is what you get when they do explain;

      in his new book,theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss
      (who knows everything thats to know in the universe,)
      answers the question;

      A universe from nothing : why there is something rather than
      nothing/ Lawrence M. Krauss ; with an afterword by Richard
      Dawkins.20 1 2

      Praise for A Universe from Nothing.
      “Nothing is not nothing. Nothing is something. That ‘ s how a
      cosmos can be spawned from the void-a profound idea conveyed
      in A Universe From Nothing that unsettles some yet enlightens
      others. Meanwhile, it ‘ s just another day on the job for physicist
      Lawrence Krauss . ”
      -Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist,
      American Museum of Natural History

      “A fascinating antidote to outmoded philosophical and
      religious thinking, A Universe from Nothing is a provocative,
      game-changing entry into the debate about the existence of
      God and everything that exists . ” Forget Jesus , ” Krauss has
      argued, ” the stars died so you could be born. ”

      Lawrence Krauss

      “The purpose of this book is simple. I want to show how modern
      science, in various guises, can address and is addressing the
      question of why there is something rather than nothing: The
      answers that have been obtained-from staggeringly beautiful
      experimental observations, as well as from the theories that
      underlie much of modern physics-all suggest that getting
      something from nothing is not a problem. Indeed, something from
      nothing may have been required for the universe to come into
      being. Moreover, all signs suggest that this is how our universe
      could have arisen.
      I stress the word could here, because we may never have
      enough empirical information to resolve this question
      unambiguously. But the fact that a universe from nothing is even
      plausib …Before going further, I want to devote a few words to the notion
      of “nothing” -a topic that I will return to at some length later. For
      I have learned that, when discussing this question in public
      forums, nothing upsets the philosophers and theologians who
      disagree with me more than the notion that I, as a scientist, do not
      truly understand “nothing. ” (I am tempted to retort here that
      theologians are experts at nothing.)
      “Nothing, ” they insist, is not any of the things I discuss.
      Nothing is “nonbeing , ” in some vague and ill-defined sense. This
      reminds me of my own efforts to define ” intelligent design” when
      I first began debating with creationists , of which, it became clear,
      there is no clear definition, except to say what it isn ‘ t. ” Intelligent
      design” is simply a unifying umbrella for opposing evolution.
      Similarly, some philosophers and many theologians define and
      redefine “nothing ” as not being any of the versions of nothing that
      scientists currently describe .
      But therein, i n my opinion, lies the intellectual bankruptcy of
      much of theology and some of modern philosophy. For surely
      “nothing” is every bit as physical as ” something, ” especially if it
      is to be defined as the “absence of something. ” It then behooves
      us to understand precisely the physical nature of both these
      quantities. And without science, any definition is just words.
      A century ago, had one described “nothing” as referring to
      purely empty space, possessing no real material entity, this might
      have received little argument. But the results of the past century
      have taught us that empty space is in fact far from the inviolate
      nothingness that we presupposed before we learned more about
      how nature works . Now, I am told by religious critics that I
      cannot refer to empty space as “nothing, ” but rather as a ” quantum
      vacuum, ” to distinguish it from the philosopher ‘ s or theologian ‘ s
      idealized “nothing. ”
      So be it. But what if we are then willing to describe “nothing”
      as the absence of space and time itself? Is this sufficient? Again, I
      suspect it would have been . . . at one time. But, as I shall
      describe, we have learned that space and time can themselves
      spontaneously appear, so now we are told that even this ” nothing ”
      is not really the nothing that matters. And we ‘ re told that the
      escape from the “real ” nothing requires divinity, with “nothing”
      thus defined by fiat to be “that from which only God can create
      something. ”
      It has also been suggested by various individuals with whom I
      have debated the issue that, if there is the “potential ” to create
      something, then that is not a state of true nothingness. And surely
      having laws of nature that give such potential takes us away from
      the true realm of nonbeing. But then, if I argue that perhaps the
      laws themselves also arose spontaneously, as I shall describe
      might be the case, then that too is not good enough, because
      whatever system in which the laws may have arisen is not true
      Turtles all the way down? I don ‘ t believe so. But the turtles are
      appealing because science is changing the playing field in ways
      that make people uncomfortable . Of course, that is one of the
      purposes of science (one might have said ” natural philosophy” in
      Socratic times) . Lack of comfort means we are on the threshold of
      new insights. Surely, invoking “God” to avoid difficult questions
      of ” how ” is merely intellectually lazy. After all, if there were no
      potential for creation, then God couldn ‘ t have created anything. It
      would be semantic hocus-pocus to assert that the potentially
      infinite regression is avoided because God exists outside nature
      and, therefore, the “potential ” for existence itself is not a part of
      the nothingness from which existence arosele is certainly significant, at least to me.”

      “It certainly seems sensible to imagine that a
      priori , matter cannot spontaneously arise from empty space, so
      that something, in this sense, cannot arise from nothing. But when
      we allow for the dynamics of gravity and quantum mechanics, we
      find that this commonsense notion is no longer true. This is the
      beauty of science, and it should not be threatening. Science
      simply forces us to revise what is sensible to accommodate the
      universe, rather than vice versa.”

      if you plan on reading the book, **Spoiler Alert!**

      1 . In quantum gravity,
      [Remember that, in the quantum theory of electromagnetism, particles can pop out of
      empty space at will as long as they disappear again on a time
      frame determined by the Uncertainty Principle. captstubby.]
      universes can, and indeed always will,
      spontaneously appear from nothing. Such universes need
      not be empty, but can have matter and radiation in them,
      as long as the total energy, including the negative energy
      associated with gravity, is zero .
      2 . In order for the closed universes that might be created
      through such mechanisms to last for longer than
      infinitesimal times, something like inflation is necessary.
      As a result, the only long-lived universe one might expect
      to live in as a result of such a scenario is one that today
      appears flat, just as the universe in which we live appears.


  4. Astravogel says:

    The problem is penguins. They are black. Black absorbs heat (see Obama) and a rise
    in the penguin population (Pp) equates to more solar heat (Sh) which warms the sea
    and the birds. Penguins swim therein and this causes even more warming, thus the
    ice melts even more, which further increases the Pp as they don’t have to travel so far
    to the sea. I am sure that cold cash (Cc) grants to appropriate scientific groups will
    bear this out. The solution, as I see it, is to introduce male polar bears to Antarctica to
    reduce the Pp. Another solution would be large dams around the Sahara and then the
    pumping of excess sea water into it. It could become a choice vacation spot for folks
    living in Europe. So, Pp + Sh = Cc which is easily understood by scientists and agencies
    of the government.

    • yadayada says:

      unfortunately, you neglected a critical part in your equation – baby seals.

      baby harp seals are white. white reflects the light and heat, thereby counteracting the effects of global warming. also their fur is used for manufacturing coats, which keep people warm and obviously that contributes to warmth in the world. plus the manufacturing and shipment of said clothing articles, and subsequent sales and marketing are part of capitalism (the actual cause of global warming).
      to assist in the fight against global warming we must stop clubbing baby seals to use as clothing. the number of baby seals must be vastly and rapidly multiplied. –

      therefore the equation should be — Pp + Sh x Bs = Cc

    • Astravogel says:

      Ooops! I forgot to factor in the Male polar bears (Mpb). The revised equation
      would then, with Yada’s enhancement, look like: Pp/Mpb +Sh X Bs=Cc

      The exporting of Mpb to the Antarctic would increase the number of Bs they
      won’t be eating in the Arctic. Good addition.

    • yadayada says:

      please accept my apology. my contribution to the equation was meant to be “BS”
      (in all of it’s implications)

  5. ghonadz says:

    A really idiotic post based on Mr. Gilbert’s ignorance of science and extreme gullibility.

    Mr. Gilbert’s post starts with an error. There certainly has been quite a bit of global warming in the last 15 years. 2010 is tied with 2005 as the hottest year on record. The decade from 2001 to 2010 is the warmest decade on record. This last November was the hottest November on record globally. All of the warmest years on record have occurred since 1998 and even the coolest years since 1998 are warmer than all of the years before 1998…

    [Urls redmoved due to improper formatting.]

    • Steve says:

      “There certainly has been quite a bit of global warming in the last 15 years.”

      You had better tell the Climatic Research Unit at the University Of East Anglia, who are the (self-proclaimed) experts on global warming:

      Climatic Research Unit – Home

      Their own chart shows that ‘global warming’ stopped before 2000.

      From the OED: warming – 1. The action of making warm; the state of becoming warm.

      Also, see the graph and article here:
      Sure Predictions Of Global Warming Were Wrong

      FTA: “The graph confirms there has been no statistically significant increase in the world’s average temperature since January 1997 – as this newspaper first disclosed last year.

      At the end of last year the Met Office revised its ten-year forecast predicting a succession of years breaking records for warmth. It now says the pause in warming will last until at least 2017. A glance at the graph will confirm that the world will be cooler than even the coolest scenario predicted.

      Its source is impeccable. The line showing world temperatures comes from the Met Office ‘HadCRUT4’ database, which contains readings from more than 30,000 measuring posts. This was added to the 75 and 95 per cent certainty bands to produce the graph by a group that amalgamates the work of 20 climate model centres working for the IPCC.”

    • canary says:

      ghonadz you did not take into count the “butterfly effect” Captstubby introduced as to how the deceiving Scientists came up with their false average temperatures if they tried.

      I doubt they counted the black penguins any more than they regarded temperatures of wars or that people used their air conditioners less than usual because of prices and the lower temperatures in November than usual –
      or that people started running their heaters earlier in November because of the early cool weather from the upcoming cold winter.

      Notice this global alarm Reuters was frightened into highlighting and capitalizing.


      “The amount of ice being lost from Pine Island glacier is equivalent to every person on our planet pouring 10 pints of water into the ocean every day,” Professor Andrew Shepherd, an expert at the University of Leeds who was not involved in the study, told Reuters. “That’s the last thing our flood defences need right now.”

      “Scientists uncovered the Pine Island glacier’s past thinning by studying quartz rocks in which the element beryllium changes when exposed to cosmic rays that bombard the planet’s surface.”

      At the very least they studied Pine Islands’ thinning by comparing ice to the metal in quartz.


      Also, ice makes the water rise. As it ice melts it’s a slow process of lowering the liquid level in it’s container.

      To give a ridiculous comparison of everyone on the planet pouring ten pints of water in the sea every day does not take into count the rainfall.

      And ten pints of water is not that much considering what humans on the earth use to drink, bath in, clean clothes, wash food, dishes, feed their elephants, and acres of crops and fields for animals to eat forage.

    • canary says:

      ghonads, I wasn’t looking for this, but glad I found this little study in the Science Daily which makes comparing ice melting to “quartz rocks in which the element beryllium changes when exposed to cosmic rays that bombard the planet’s surface”

      I hope the butterfly effect will give you peace.

      Globular clusters: Survivors of a 13-billion-year-old massacre

      Feb 14, 2012
      Source: Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)
      Our Milky Way galaxy is surrounded by some 200 compact groups of stars, containing up to a million stars each. At 13 billion years of age, these globular clusters are almost as old as the universe itself and were born when the first generations of stars and galaxies formed. Now astronomers have conducted a novel type of computer simulation that looked at how they were born — and they find that these giant clusters of stars are the only survivors of a 13-billion-year-old massacre that destroyed many of their smaller siblings.

      “and they find that these giant clusters of stars are the only survivors of a 13-billion-year-old massacre that destroyed many of their smaller siblings.”

      You have to account for stars siblings that being destroyed that lowers the radiation beaming on earth.

      Did a little star being killed by his big brother star heat a spot on the earth for a millionth of a second creating a warm breath from a a butterfly flying over an ant?

    • canary says:

      oh. let me be clear I do not believe in this study that Scientists studied 13 billion years of stars with or without a novel computer stimulation.

      I did not want you to worry that stars are dying the earth will turn to darkness even though something in the Holy Bible mentions the earth will have a day or days of darkness.

      more good news from the study

      “Now astronomers have conducted a novel type of computer simulation that looked at how they were born —”

      So, stars can be born. Even if the earth turns dark, huge clusters of stars can be born..

  6. captstubby says:

    the S&L Bee’s were just told…
    The Truth is Out There.
    … meaning that it exists and simply needs to be ‘found out’ , .for you to discover.

    or is it a “double entendre”,
    In the sixties especially, and the early seventies “out there” was a familiar phrase with the meaning ,
    “In a mystical different world. In the other world. In the alien’s world.”

  7. Kelley Williams says:

    I believe that it has something to do with Global Warming. We all have been warned years ago, I remember the first time I heard about global warming was 1994. when I had to do a school report about it, that was 20 years ago now.

    • canary says:

      Kelley Williams, Curious as what sources and where you found them for your school report.

      Did they mention the periods when the water refreezes?

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