by Rud Istvan
Sea level tipping points are a popular CAGW/media theory, easily suggested by images of calving icebergs and summer meltwater rushing down Greenland moulins. But they are alarmist precautionary mitigation fantasies rather than remotely possible future scenarios on multi-centennial time scales.
The core tenet of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) is that rising CO2 will raise temperatures and result in various catastrophes. IPCC, UNFCC and now the US NCA have argued this requires immediate drastic collective mitigation. Nature has not co-operated. Temperatures stopped rising (the pause), extreme weather did not increase (IPCC SREX), Australian drought turned to flood, Tuvalu has not disappeared, and polar bears thrive. So AR5 WG2 finally said adaptation might be a better response.
About the only urgent immediate mitigation rationale left is the precautionary principle: take expensive actions as just in case ‘insurance’. Precautions against some ‘tipping point’ beyond which the world is rapidly, disastrously, and irreversibly affected, which point at any cost we therefore dare not risk passing. No price is too high to pay to avoid a catastrophic tipping point according to this precautionary principle. Bad economics piled onto bad science.
One of the most marketed tipping points is sea level rise (SLR). The problem with ‘sudden’ SLR is that it did not happen in the Eemian interglacial. But that does not say it might not with CAGW added to this one, the Holocene.
There are only three ice bodies with enough water to cause a potentially rapid and large sea level rise. These are the Greenland, East Antarctic, and West Antarctic Ice Sheets. Since Antarctica as a whole may (inconveniently for CAGW) be accumulating ice [i], Greenland has been the ‘tipping point’ most frequently mentioned by official agencies [ii] and by the MSM. [iii]
There is no doubt that Greenland is losing ice mass, and at a recently increased rate. This has been measured in different ways (ice melt boundary, gravity (GRACE), iceberg calving… The ‘consensus’ is about 170- 200 Gt per year recently, but about 100Gtpy over satellite era Arctic cycles since the estimated loss was only about 7Gtpy in the 1990s.[iv] Winter snow accumulation is as important to net ice mass balance as the summer melt.
The observed mass loss should be put into perspective. According to the Byrd Polar Research Center the Greenland Ice Sheet comprises 2.62-2.93 E+6 km3. That is a total mass of about 2.67E+18Kg (uncertainty on volume, and uncertainty on density—firn, moulins, entrained air). A gigaton is E+12Kg. Greenland is estimated to be losing about E+14Kg per year averaged over two decades. At that rate, it would take about (2.67 E+18kg mass/E+14kg average annual mass loss) 27000 years to melt/sluff. Even the recent accelerated rate (if continued) would take over 14000 years.[v] That is longer than it took the great Laurentide Ice Sheet to disappear at the end of the last ice age. If Greenland ever did melt it would raise sea level by 6.7 meters. Even at the faster melt rate this would be (670 cm/140 centuries) 4.8 cm/century of sea– an additional 0.5mm/yr—more adaptation than mitigation.
It is unlikely that Greenland will melt. NEEM showed northwest Greenland was +5-8°C above the present for about 7 millennia during the Eemian. True, more ice melted there then than has up to now in the Holocene. The NEEM site cored ‘only’ 2537 meters of ice. At end of the Eemian the NEEM location ice was about 130 meters lower—‘only’ ≈2400 meters thick.
The only way a centennial or even millennial Greenland tipping point would be possible is if much of its ice ‘slid off’. It is true that the outer ice sheet edges are glaciers creeping seaward and sluffing—calving icebergs like the one that sank the Titanic in 1912 (before AGW). But it is not true that most of the Greenland ice sheet could ever creep off, since the underlying bedrock is bowl shaped. The most graphic 3D visualization is from Bamber, University of Bristol.
The thickest ice is over the deepest part of a bedrock bowl 1000-2500 meters deep, e.g. at the NEEM site. It is not going anywhere anytime soon. That ‘bowl’ interior is where the Greenland Sheet has been accumulating even as the edges sluff/melt. Creep decline becomes increasingly self-limited by underlying geology.
Greenland losing all its ice is geophysically impossible on millennial time scales, since it has to melt. Not something to worry about at all on centennial time scales, even as an implausible black swan or dragon king.
With Greenland geologically debunked as a possible SLR tipping point, attention turned to Antarctica. Whether Antarctica in total is gaining or losing ice is a matter of dispute between NASA and NOAA. Current NOAA ice loss is:
WAIS losing, EAIS gaining, the Peninsula about even. So any tipping point has to be sought in West Antarctica (WAIS). The general WAIS slope is from the Transarctic Mountain divide down to the sea, although some is anchored by the Executive Committee and Ellsworth mountain ranges.
Potential WAIS instability has been the subject of much scientific scrutiny. The original concerns were the large below sea level grounded portions of the Ronne (which is not part of WAIS but is still mostly in the Western half of Antarctica) and Ross ice shelves. (Floating shelf ice cannot further raise sea levels.) These have the largest volumes of ice creeping toward the sea. Like Greenland, much of the rest (and most of EAIS) is land anchored by underlying bedrock topology. On an annual basis fresh snow still replenishes most of the lost edge mass inland at higher WAIS elevations. It is the net mass balance along these seaward sloping WAIS ice sheet edges that might constitute sufficiently large tipping points.
Ronne (1) is net gaining ice mass according to NASA. So it isn’t a plausible tipping point. Ross (19) might or might not be losing ice, but it is what ‘holds back’ almost half of WAIS. Ross also has more ice grounded deeper on the seabed, which if ungrounded (melted from below), would raise sea levels more. For years Ross was the main WAIS instability ‘tipping point’ concern.
The ANDRILL program was designed to look at the underlying Ross seabed (both where the ice is grounded below sea level, and where it is floating shelf) to understand its behavior in previous interglacials. Andrill cores and creep rates suggest it has not before (well, for at least 3 million years and the entire Pleistocene Ice Age) and likely will not now collapse. The Ross shelf’s seaward creep has decelerated. [vi],[vii] Ross had bedrock islands ‘anchoring’ its grounded ice, retarding seaward creep. [viii] So Ross is not a plausible tipping point after all.
So 2014 attention turned to the only other possibility, the Amundsen Embayment, which is indisputably losing ice at an accelerating rate. Abetted by additional NASA PR and author interviews (Rignot of NASA JPL “Already gone into irreversible retreat, past the point of no return”), MSM alarmist headlines were, well, alarming. Reuters reported worldwide: “West Antarctic Glaciers in irreversible thaw: rising seas” CNN said: “Ice melt in part of Antarctica ‘appears unstoppable’, NASA says”
The MSM did not read these new papers carefully or in context (if at all). The first paper found Pine Island (22) plus Thwaites (21) plus the four lesser Amundsen Embayment glaciers are discharging ice more rapidly than all of Greenland (together ±330Gtyr). That is surprisingly 3-4x higher than any previous estimate, for example those also from NASA in 2011 shown above. The second paper used computer models of Thwaites (21) bottom melting to conclude it could become unstable in 200 to 900 years. If so, the computer models suggested 1mm/yr of additional SLR thereafter. Not ‘in coming decades’ as Reuters said and NASA PR implied.
There is a deeper comprehension problem in this new NASA sponsored version of a SLR tipping point. The NASA NEWS about these papers says the Embayment region contains enough ice to raise global sea level by 4 feet (1.2 meters). That is true for the entire catchment basin of about 360,000 km2. [ix]For 1.2 meters of SLR, the entire catchment would have to become entirely ice free. That is highly unlikely. The interior portions are not flowing much toward the sea according to the first paper itself, and are also still accumulating ice. [x], [xi]
Sea level tipping points are a popular CAGW/media theory, easily suggested by images of calving icebergs and summer meltwater rushing down Greenland moulins. But they are alarmist precautionary mitigation fantasies rather than remotely possible future scenarios on multi-centennial time scales.
AR5 WG2 had it right that the best response to SLR is adaptation. Major coastal cities like New Orleans (3-10mm/yr), Jakarta (6-22mm/yr), and Bangkok (10-28mm/yr) are already subsiding at much faster rates than sea levels are or will foreseeably be rising.
JC note: This is a guest post, submitted via email. As with all guest posts, keep your comments relevant and civil.
Obtuseness by Rud Istvan, scientific literature by FOMD!
Conclusion Present-day sea-level rise-rates — which is proceeding without pause or obvious limit — *ALREADY* are *SUBSTANTIALLY* accelerated, relative to mean rise-rates of the past two millennia.
The issue of near-term versus longer-term implications is subtle too, eh Climate Etc readers?
Leave it to fan to link to a paper which talks about SLR which is clearly evidence of natural viability and not AGW.
Not to mention that the sea level of Cretan shores is much more likely to be influenced by local/Mediterranean tectonics than global average sea level.
Another example of time-wasting red-herrings from proponents of a socialist agenda in response to imaginary apocalypse.
I am unfamiliar with why Romans had fishtanks. Were they for raising fish for food?
Yes, sea level tipping points are observed in both the “scientific and archaeological record” (sic for redundancy) but are ALSO a contemporaneous and demagogic “precautionary mitigation fantasy” of the CAGW alarmists.
The Roman’s were better at Aquaculture than we are; no freezing technology so they had a need for fresh fish.
They has fishery vessels with fish tanks;
I read this reference and I found it to be quite technical and difficult to follow but, having been with my husband while he worked as a volunteer at a marine lab with large tanks, I am still at an utter loss to understand how one can determine sea level from a fish tank. Can someone explain it in plain English please?
The Romans liked fresh fish but it was not always possible to catch them to order and without refrigeration they could quickly go off.
The Romans built fish tanks right on the shore line where fish Could be stored until needed. There were sometimes devices to feed in oxygen or where possible that fresh sea water could keep the water and fish in a good condition.
So the theory is that if fish tanks are no longer right at the sea shore the sea level must have changed. Of course there is a lot of tectonic activity which confuses the theory as there might have been subsidence or uplift of the shore
The Romans invented the reed valve and had four man (slaves) pumps for fire fighting.
They had lead pipes with quick fit connectors.
They often gold, Tin and silver ‘mined’ by playing water down the sides of hills with metal baring ores, like at the Ogofau Gold Mine in Wales, hydraulic mining.
They loved fish and had excess slave power.
The idea that slaves + pumps + pipes could flush fish tanks above sea level is impossible and that the Romans might want to site fish tanks above the water levels at high tide is inconceivable.
Sigh. Unless CAGW is a landlord, I believe you mean ‘tenet’ in your opening remarks. Otherwise this is a very useful post and thank you for taking the time to write it.
Tell me FOMD……has Guam tipped over yet?
Level of the sea simply can not, in my opinion, be determined by these tanks through either their level or by their denizens. Level of the tank indicates nothing because of how easy it is to raise water up with pumps and slaves which the Romans have. The organisms on the tank walls wouldn’t mean anything either. In my experience with volunteer work at a large marine lab, incoming sea water has many larval free swimming stage organisms that colonize whatever they surface they find in the tank even though in the wild they may be confined to one depth/region/area of ocean. Plus there is the possibility that sea level changed due to all the geologic changes in the region which is full of volcanos and such. Is a lot of climate science and suppositions about sea level based in such thinking? My husband calls it “rabbinical thinking” from his observations of Rabbinical study of the Torah. Decide in advance what conclusion you want to reach and then follow the data along the path, no matter how unlikely, to get there while ignoring all other possible divergences, including far more likely ones, from that path. It is not particularly scientific. Is that really the best they can do?
Tom Fuller, I goofed late last night in not recognizing that you were the first to recognize one this thread my stupid spelling error. Belated apologies, since I don’t generally read Fanny stuff. But I do thank him? for labeling that stuff so clearly so it can be skipped.
And, DocMartyn and ClimateReason, thank you both for teaching me something I did not know, to wit, Roman fish tanks. The collective power of the human mind linked via Internet is awesome. Fulltimetumbleweed, sounds like you are a military wife. I am a military brat. Carry your ‘potting soil’ with you like my late mother always did. Highest regards to all.
There’s quite a lot of scientific literature that you don’t read, Rud Istvan!
That willful ignorance is what sustains the consistent ideological purity of your essays, which are so notably oblivious toward mathematical, theoretical, and observational advances in climate-science!
Rising sea levels are fairly easy to adapt to, but don’t represent the worst of what anthropogenic climate change could bring.
Rapidly rising seas were the largest realistic threat from a warming world. There simply is not reliable evidence to support the fears and there is not anything that would be reasonably likely to change the situation for the next several decades. Most CO2 mitigation actions by the US certainly will not change the CO2 growth curve by any significant amount.
If a person is reasonable, not a zealot, and wishes to implement effective actions; then building and maintaining robust infrastructure to lessen harms from adverse weather is the best response to AGW concerns.
And the worse are what?
Try to include those with evidence, not model projection.
Compared to other things that could happen, rising sea levels present an inconvenience. There is time for both infrastructure changes, adaptation and migration where necessary. As we move up the list of potential negative effects of anthropogenic climate change, effects on food and clean water supplies could cause more immediate issues than rising seas. Near the top of the list in terms of extreme catastrophic effects would be some massive methane release and buildup causing temperatures to soar, and likely bring the end of the majority of life on Earth. Interestingly, there are several potential sources for this methane, all of which are adding to the highest levels of methane we’ve seen in millions of years– but all of these sources relate one way or another to anthropogenic activities with CO2 increase being the most significant. Equally interesting is that such a C02 “trigger” to firing a methane gun is not without precedent in Earth’s history as that seems like a real potential for the great PETM species extinction event.
In short, if there was one really potential catastrophic event that should draw the attention of “alarmists”, is is certainly not sea level rise, but the potential for a significant build-up and resulting warming from methane.
Hope I am getting this right.
Leaving aside for a moment the threat to food and water, it appears your biggest concern is us reaching a tipping point related to release of methane. How probable is that? Haven’t there been several papers recently that down play the methane runaway scenario? Is there a record of this happening in the past? Is there any solid understanding if how this would occur?
A geologist friend was telling me about how there is evidence of massive ice sheet slides in the past from Antarctica which caused a 3000 meter tsunami. Should we worry about that? What about the Yellowstone caldera or the Iceland super volcano? An eruption of either one would cause far more harm than anything likely to come from global warming.
Worrying about anything beyond a 100 year horizon is a waste of time. It is hard enough to get people thinking even that far in advance. And without the tipping point argument, it is difficult to see where there is any extremely worrisome threat out there related to global warming over the next 100 years.
Which probably explains why we see so much about extreme weather. It’s all the alarmist side has to frighten people into action.
Methanotrophs will save us from biologically-created methane.
From the article:
Methanotrophs (sometimes called methanophiles) are prokaryotes that are able to metabolize methane as their only source of carbon and energy. They can grow aerobically or anaerobically and require single-carbon compounds to survive. Under aerobic conditions, they combine oxygen and methane to form formaldehyde, which is then incorporated into organic compounds via the serine pathway or the RuMP pathway. Type I methanotrophs are part of the Gammaproteobacteria and they use the ribulose monophosphate (RuMP) pathway to assimilate carbon. On the other hand, type II methanotrophs are part of the Alphaproteobacteria and utilize the Serine pathway of carbon assimilation. They also characteristically have a system of internal membranes within which methane oxidation occurs. Methanotrophs occur mostly in soils, and are especially common near environments where methane is produced. Their habitats include oceans, mud, marshes, underground environments, soils, rice paddies and landfills. They are of special interest to researchers studying global warming, as they are significant in the global methane budget.
I can’t tell you how much fun it is to watch you and others make excuses and rationalize as another cataclysmic forecast goes down the tubes. I hope you dont get a hernia from straining so hard in coming up with reasons why sea level rise is, after all, no big deal. The pause. Increasing Antarctic sea ice. No Category 3 hurricane hitting the US in over 3000 days. Tornado activity down. Droughts not unlike those in the 1930s. No acceleration in sea level rise rate.
When will the doomsday machine get cranked up. Looks like not in this century.
” Haven’t there been several papers recently that down play the methane runaway scenario?”
I don’t think there is any realistic “runaway” scenario. A large increase in methane simply adds to the warming, and indeed, the high methane levels are already doing so. What we get from rising methane is a positive feedback on the warming process that would not end until all the methane from permafrost and hydrates is exhausted. We also might see an increase in certain microbial life that has methane as a byproduct, and this may add additional warming. This may add to the warming, but it is not a “runaway” Venus scenario I don’t believe.
The stress on human civilization comes from the rate of change and the ability to maintain food supply and fresh water supply during a period of rapid climate change such as could be possible under a CO2 triggered methane reinforced period of rapid warming.
Related to recent studies on methane releases and future warming potential, none that I’m aware of say it is nothing to be concerned with. If you know of one, please pass it my way, as everything I’m reading recently say that methane releases and the general growth of methane in the atmosphere deserves our attention.
I can’t tell you how much fun it is to watch you and others make excuses and rationalize as another cataclysmic forecast goes down the tubes.”
Not being a proponent of CAGW, I really could care less about the supposed “excuses” or rationalizations that anyone makes. There are cataclysms enough looming in the future to not be specific that they involve CAGW. The Fermi Paradox and the Great Filter are topics worthy of serious consideration if you want to wax philosophical or focus on potential cataclysms. See:
Robin Hanson’s argument that the failure to find any extraterrestrial civilizations in the observable universe implies …
He first has to prove that the techniques used, given the vastness of space-time, can be expected to find any extraterrestrial life during the short time we have been searching.
IOW, he is reasoning from a false premise.
If you look at the 65 million year Benthic Oxygen 18 data used to estimate temperature over that period, which shows the PETM between 50 and 60 Million years ago, you will see that the indicated temperature up to 35 Million years ago was significantly higher than after the 35 Million years, and in fact was much higher than the last 3 million years. The high level, along with a rising temperature peaked in the Eocene. The large amount of warming up to the PETM, on top of the overall high temperature level, likely heated the deeper oceans until the Methane Hydrate that had formed prior to the heating suddenly started releasing in large quantities, and likely caused a prolonged temperature spike. However, based on the Oxygen 18 data, the peak of the temperature spike was not much higher than the following level reached in the prolonged Eocene Optimum, and that extended peak likely was not a Methane or CO2 effect (it lasted several million years, vs a much shorter period for the PETM). In fact, data showing the combined temperature and CO2 atmospheric content does not show a high CO2 level correlation with high temperature over most of the last 600 Million years. The fact to take away from these points is that we are presently not at a suitably high temperature needed to heat the deep ocean to release the Methane Hydrate like in the PETM. It was a different situation completely.
What we get from rising methane is a positive feedback on the warming process that would not end until all the methane from permafrost and hydrates is exhausted.
heating of the permafrost in the peatlands introduces a negative feedback on atmospheric Co2 ie they are significant carbon sinks.The concomitant release of CH4 is a feedstock for methanotrophic species that fix nitrogen for spagnum moss and associated species ie a climax ecosystem that is really efficient.
Over the period of the LIA the peatlands were a source of carbon due to a decrease in surface radiation (Groves LIA),although there were also sink excursions due to volcanic produced acid rain.
” Near the top of the list in terms of extreme catastrophic effects would be some massive methane release and buildup causing temperatures to soar, and likely bring the end of the majority of life on Earth.”
What are the numbers. Given that life flourishes from the tropics to the arctic, what is the mechanism that will bring it to an end?
“In short, if there was one really potential catastrophic event that should draw the attention of “alarmists”, is is certainly not sea level rise, but the potential for a significant build-up and resulting warming from methane.”
But this would indicate the highest priority should be to mine [capture] this methane.
But the disaster from large methane release into the atmosphere is the economic loss of this vast amount of energy.
Our world eats CO2 and methane is consumed by sunlight- turning into CO2- in a non useful way. So for Methane to be released in such quantity that it vaguely matters in terms of temperature there needs to billions of tons per year, or trillions of tons per century. There is lot square meters [square km] on earth, and one have a small quantity per square meter being released and add up to lot. But this is already occurring and has been occurring and will continue to occur. Or this is not pathway to getting large amount of Methane in atmosphere. Instead it’s got to be from large concentration which has building up over a long period of time. And it is these types of deposits one would mine.
And related to this issue, is question how old are Methane Hydrate deposits
in the ocean?
Let’s google: how old are Methane Hydrate deposits.
Don”t seem to be any quick answers
How about google: how old are coal deposits:
“Coal should be around 360 and 286 million years old”
“Bituminous coal in the United States is between 100 to 300 million years old. ”
Seems to be something some people imagine they have a clue.
Why do they have a clue, whereas Methane Hydrate deposits one doesn’t
get any such quick answers. Well one reason is coal is mined. And knowing how old the coal is, is a relevant piece of information.
It seems that if people were concerned about sudden release of methane, they would find out how old they were.
So sort of like when dems make the claim they have pass obamacare to find out what is in the law. We probably need to mine Methane Hydrate deposits to find out about Methane Hydrate deposits. Because apparently the doofuses are too stupid to ask the right questions.
As to economic loss because we fail to mine Methane and instead have it escape into the atmosphere so as to have no value to no one.
One cubic meter of natural gas weighs:
“0.714 kilograms in a cubic meter of natural gas.”
So one billion tons is .714 trillion cubic meter
“$268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters agreed last year when an association agreement with the European Union was shelved in November 2013.
In the second quarter of 2014, the price for Russian gas for Ukraine was set at $385.5 per 1,000 cu m.”
“Wholesale” somewhere around 25 to 40 cents per cubic meter. So hundreds billion dollars of wealth pissed away- per 1 billion tonne going into atmosphere.
If ever we lose 1 billion tons of natural gas [which have near zero effect on temperature] we doing something like allowing all the food US grows in a year, rot.
And if people worry about gas leaks, is like suggesting we let entire year crop rot, because people tend to rot a lot of food, anyhow. Or ships sink, and deteriorate over time, but not an argument not to use ships. .
“The fact to take away from these points is that we are presently not at a suitably high temperature needed to heat the deep ocean to release the Methane Hydrate like in the PETM. It was a different situation completely.”
I have little confidence in this conclusion when I weigh it against research like this: (not a hyperlink, you’ll need to cut and paste)
We know that the hydrates in the Arctic are destabilizing, and methane is coming from permafrost, but to see hydrate destabilization at lower latitudes is a bit unexpected, but as the research shows, a warming ocean is the cause.
We don’t know the rate of clathrate melt. Not the rate of formation. It could very well be that our fertilization of the oceans is leading to greater clathrate formation we simple haven’t seen (deep ocean anyone?).
I once brought up the Greenland bowl to a Greenland Icecap radar specialist moderating a literary group discussing ‘Storm World’ and he denied it saying that the elevation of Central Greenland was higher than the coasts. It took me a while to figure out that he was talking about the icecap. When I re-iterated that I was talking about the underlying land he was evasive.
He was also loathe to explain the 800 year average lag in the ice record from temperature rise to CO2 rise. It was blatantly obvious that these were heresies he did not want the group to hear.
Similarly, the whole point of Nature’s blushing face of Antarctica was to raise unfounded fears about the WAIS. Similarly the shift of the meme from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate wierding’. Similarly so much else of this horror show we mistake for a modern narrative. It is all about using fear and guilt to stampede us into psychotic policy, and for what? A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life.
” It is all about using fear and guilt to stampede us into psychotic policy, and for what?”
+1 well stated
re: Greenland, a question about the underlying land topography and the “bowl” —
the image above and others I have seen show 1-3 locations which appear to have significant gaps/breaks in the bowl, so is the bowl shape really much of a consolation?
I realize that this would not affect arguments about the rate of any possible ice melting, or the fact that Greenland ice is a rather small percentage of ice when also including Antarctic ice. Also, it could be that those “gaps” (if I am seeing the correctly) might be choked with ice for countless millennia even in an extreme melting scenario, does anyone know?
I see that Rud’s major analyses do not relate to issues of the “bowl” anyway, but I’m simply wondering if that “bowl” is such a protection as has been claimed?
Skiphil, both Zwally (NASA) and Bamber say it is. Of course you can get some creep through the gaps. But not much compared to the overall volume. But I would be willing to bet that the newly discovered ‘grand canyon of Greenland’ which is north and leads to the Arctic sea will eventually feature in some new paper as another possible tipping point. It’s like the carnival game whack a mole.
You may want to check the autocorrect on your smartphone: “tenet” not “tenant”.
Rud Istvan’s assertion uncritically (even bizarrely) overlooks analyses like Rohling et al. “High rates of sea-level rise during the last interglacial period (Quaternary Science Reviews, 2012) and Thomas M. Cronin’s survey “Rapid sea-level rise“ (Quaternary Science Reviews, 2012)
Ignoring this literature is scarcely common-sense, eh Rud Istvan?
Acceleration of the sea-level rise-rate to the historically precedented rate of 16mm per year (that is, 52 feet per millenium) would irretrievably change the face of our entire planet.
That’s common-sense, eh Rud Istvan?
5 feet, 4 inches per century?? This isn’t a catastrophe, it’s a joke!
AK my son grew 5 foot and 4 inches in a decade and yet my wife and I managed to cope.
Joke by AK, punch-line by FOMD/NYC city planners.
At $150B for the first five feet … doubling for every successive five feet of sea-level rise … NYC won’t become economically uninhabitable for, oh, another 200 years or so.
That’s *AFTER* spending a trillion dollars on abatement measures.
Conclusion Send the bill to Duke Energy and/or the Koch brothers.
Rud Istvan isn’t just ignoring sobering science, he’s ignoring plain economics too … eh Climate Etc readers?
By then technology will have completely changed. I’ll admit a bias: IMO buildings floating well away from the shore will soon become cheaper to build and maintain than on land.
But even without that bias, if NYC is too far underwater a century from now, long before that point the functions filled by such cities (if any remain in the post-internet era) will have moved to locales not so threatened.
Putting it simply (yeah, simplistically, but that seems to be the only thing too many understand), unless we’re talking about 20-50 years or less, anything we have warning of isn’t a problem. It’s an opportunity (for technical innovation).
Yeah! `Cuz seawall/dike technology has, like, *TOTALLY* changed over the past few centuries.
Oh wait. No, it hasn’t.
Never mind, eh Climate Etc readers?
On the Water: The New York/New Jersey Harbor
Two Feet High and Rising: On Optimism, Speculation and Oysters
Build It Back Smarter
Fruitless as it is to focus on the least expensive pointy end of the IPCC analysis, bypassing entirely the non-catastrophic but still economically costly reductions in productivity and loss of resources, we might as well have a closer look at this flawed analysis.
No pause after a 32 year lapse, and you can do the math for the changes in temperature it would take for a pause to appear on a climate timescale.. Why haven’t you done that math?
Further, the law of conservation of energy tells us that if energy isn’t becoming heat at the surface in the short term, it’s becoming something else somewhere in the short term; the thermomechanical principle anticipates that at least half of this energy is mechanical motion in the short term. That’d be more wind, faster ocean currents, changes in pressure.. oh, hey.. that’s called more extreme weather. You want your cake in the long term, don’t try to eat it in the short term too. And even this is too narrow an analysis: what has changed is the Risk of extreme events; the instantiation of any one set of actual extreme events cannot be construed to reflect that changing probability distribution function any more than flipping a coin once and turning up heads tells us it’s a two-headed coin.
Australia’s a big island; big enough to have droughts (that don’t last forever) and floods (that also don’t last forever), and which have to both be called extreme. Other than an excuse to seem cosmopolitan, what’s the point of mentioning Austrialia. There’s droughts and floods in the US, too, and Americans aren’t fooled by claims what they’re experience isn’t extreme.
Tuvalu.. yeah. Cosmopolitan ostentation aside, also invalid: http://ejil.oxfordjournals.org/content/25/1/343.short is one of some two hundred results of a search of Google Scholar for Tuvalu Sea Level Rise since 2014 alone. Asserting that Tuvalu still hasn’t sunk yet is cold cynicism, not analysis.
Which polar bears, exactly, are thriving? The ones in zoos? How about one single population thought to be increasing and two holding steady while two dozen other populations — all the populations of polar bears in the wild — are dwindling. And while that population is double what it was at the nadir of the species, some seven decades ago after decades of hunters doing pretty much everything in their power to wipe out the species, it is at most at a quarter of its pre-contact numbers.
Adaptation is an inevitable response, because it’s too late to just mitigate. We’re already in AGW conditions, and we cannot expect the trend to stop digging us deeper into these conditions any time soon. Suggesting, however, that mitigation isn’t more urgent than ever, from the point of view of simple economics, forgetting all that Green feelgood stuff, is just plain fiscally irresponsible.
Limiting an analysis, pruned of all other evidence, just to the most speculative portion of the most difficult to assess, exploiting the uncertainty and ignorance afforded by that strategy, is not a trustworthy act.
OK, Bart, you concede the time for mitigation has passed and now is the time for adaptation. Where do you recommend we begin with adaptation?
Please be specific.
“That’d be more wind, faster ocean currents, changes in pressure.. oh, hey.. that’s called more extreme weather. ”
jim2 | May 18, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
I’m delighted you ask.
You see, paying owners of the air for the use of the carbon cycle as a waste reclamation system for CO2E will give them the money they need to decide how to adapt, or mitigate, or do whatever else they please with what is, after all, their money.
Adaptation taken care of, in one specific step: carbon pricing on all CO2E emission paid equally to all owners (each citizen), level determined by the Law of Supply and Demand.
Which of the two claims?
@Bart R | May 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
Since plants and bacteria each have about 10 times the biomass of humans, but no bank account, how do you plan to compensate them?
Bart R – re polar bears .
What are your citations for polar bear population declines? Susan Crockford’s work has made me skeptical of the polar bear claims. The dominant issue for me when is that when a single courageous scientist bucks the so-called “consensus” – that skepticism has enormous credibility with me. You may want to read Dr. Crockford’s bog since it documents a remarkable step back on published regional population decline.
“This lecture focuses on recent research results that have shown that polar bear populations are not responding as predicted to recent declines in Arctic sea ice. Despite the fatalistic attitude of many polar bear field biologists, real-world evidence indicates that polar bears are well equipped to survive substantial variations in their Arctic sea ice habitat and have not been harmed by recent low ice coverage. Such resilience over the short term is hardly surprising, since polar bears are now known to have survived a multitude of past climate shifts of almost inconceivable magnitude.”
RobertInAz | May 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
“Such resilience over the short term is hardly surprising, since polar bears are now known to have survived a multitude of past climate shifts of almost inconceivable magnitude.”
Seems like that bet on the wrong animal. Polar bears do weather which can bounce around and vary from the average. They do alternating cycles of the PDO. They handled the MWP if it existed as well as the Roman climate optimum. It seems they evolved from the brown bear. I’d call them a pioneer species. Ending up in a hostile environment. A poster child for adaptable life.
We will know concern for polar bears has passed from lip service to reality when we stop shooting 1,000 of them each year.
RobertInAz | May 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
Susan Crockford the Arctic canine expert, who suddenly became an Arctic ursine expert the second polar bears made the news by.. writing opinion pieces with no original research or direct observations?
I think I’ll stick with the published numbers from people who’ve seen polar bears not in a zoo. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12339/full The results are mixed and complex, and suffer from so little data available by so much as to really make the whole polar bear thing somewhat speculative.
I’m not really a champion of using the polar bear as a proxy for sea ice. It’s got its own problems, and there are hundreds of other Arctic species that can be tracked and enumerated and tagged for a better picture of what’s happening than a population of top predators subject to trophy hunting pressure and other forms of habitat loss, cannibalism, competition for scarce food if their numbers do grow, and economic pressures on the aboriginal populations that have subsisted in that environment long before all this started. However, I don’t think much of the claim that an animal in such a precarious position is “thriving”.
Oh, and what do you think all those other Arctic species’ numbers are doing?
You kindly referenced me on the last thread then immediately moved with
the party crowd to this new thread.
My response to you is even more relevant on this thread than the last one, so here it is again
In essence the ocean oscillates up and down according to glacier advances and retreats. It was higher around200 AD and 1600 ad with another high level stand in the centuries leading up to the 11 th century. It was how the Vikings managed to sail up European rivers to pillage towns
The alpine glaciers were said to have all but disappeared during the roman warm period . The lia was the coldest period in the last 5000 years so presumably there is the potential for substantial melt from this ice mass. Researchers should be able to tell us whether or not sea levels are likely in the future to reach those of the roman warm period when glaciers were depleted.
Thanks for a good, insightful comment.
However, you seem to operate under the misapprehension that this Fan of Malicious Trolling is here for a respectful, engaged dialogue. Contrary to his professed “SPICES” formula, there is a complete absence of respect for equality, community, etc. in his posting.
All indications are that his torrid bloviations serve only to primp his own ego, not to engage or rationally convince anyone.
That is why I find his form of gaseous Tartuffery especially offensive, because he imagines that he provides the substance of impeccable rational thought, when in fact he is an incoherent hypocrite imposing his rants upon the patient denizens of this forum.
With great respect to you, Tonyb, and none to FOMT,
I look on it that we are performing a useful public service by keeping him off the streets. :)
Seriously, fan is ok. At least There is nothing malicious about him and he does have a good sense of humour.
Tonyb, heh heh, well done!
However, I must respectfully disagree, I find him humorless and quite malicious, in seeking to derail better discussions with his long trolling barrages…. it seems that tastes and judgments can differ quite a bit on such matters!
But thanks to you for your many respectful, civil, and informative comments here. FOMT and quite a few others should seek to emulate you….
> insightful comment.
Any variant of “As above, so below” is as insightful as it is empty.
Thanks Willard, I think it’s fine to give someone an “attaboy” now and again….. no one imagines that is an attempt at a substantive comment, so why even take the trouble to point it out?
What kind of substantive rejoinder to TonyB’s implicit “Yes, but it happened before” you had in mind, Skiphil?
I thought that it may have been enough to underline a possible connection with the Hermes Trismegistus and to emphasize that cyclicity appealed to the Ancients.
” with his long trolling barrages”
They are not that long. And he politely highlights them so we know which posts to skip over.
I think that the only saving grace about fan’s posts is the obvious glee he has in posting them and getting responses. The posts are often generally very irritating, but there is an absence of negativity and malice. (Except that it is often said that fan’s emoticons etc mess up the threading – if so, he should be required to desists or go into moderation.)
Thanks, Rud. Compelling presentation.
The hysterical hand waving from the warmists is just plain ludicrous. Life is at best, a dicey proposition in a cold and uncaring universe. We human beings, burdened with an entirely understandable existential dread, must make what peace we can with our situation, and go on living our lives. Among many other things, this involves making measured, sober judgments as to what the risks are WRT to “climate change,” and what if anything we can reasonably do about them.
The bottom line is there’s not a damn thing we can do to mitigate “climate change” that’s going to make the slightest bit of difference. This is both a cold hard political reality in a complex world with so many competing interests, and likely a physical reality as well.
Any “cure” we foolishly undertake, could easily be worse than the supposed disease. In point of fact, anthro “climate change” might end up being a net positive…to the extent it even exists
pg, this would all seem so obvious that it mystifies me how such contrary ideas could ever gain traction. Could it be that not everyone is a pragmatic realist with a genuine concern for human well-being? The mind recoils at the thought.
(Hmm, that rather undermines the pragmatic realist claim, but, hey, it’s a blog.)
Measured, sober judgement, yer’d hope so pokerguy, Faustino,
however … as variable as the weather, the variety of ways we
humans find ter look upon our world, events like changing climate
… CLIMATE CHANGE OMG! A case in point.
Shakespeare’s ‘Tempest,’ though it’s jest a play, is another.
Not only the transmogrified scenarios stage managed by
Prospero, shaman wise, but all the varied ways the characters
manage ter fool themselves. Not everyone on Prospero’s island,
( used ter be Caliban’s but now it’s not,) is a pragmatic realist
with a genuine concern fer human well being. (
An idea of the rate of ice sheet melt without strong forcing is given by the early Holocene sea-level rise rate of 1 meter per century. With forcing, it is likely much faster. For example, even if we think these glaciers will last 1000 years, the melt rate averages 7 meters per century. CO2 levels higher than about 500-700 ppm are inconsistent with any polar ice according to all the paleoclimate evidence from the Eocene.
Did you mean the Eocene?
Co2 levels fluctuated considerably. Methane was very considerably higher than today with all the heat generation properties that implies.
I think comparing today with the Eocene is comparing apples and oranges. Also the earth looked very different to today
Tonyb, apart from the short PETM period, which might have been a major natural methane release, the later Eocene was characterized by a general decline in CO2 levels from possibly in excess of 1000 ppm, eventually making way for the first glaciation in Antarctica as the values dipped towards 500 ppm. This 20 million year CO2 decline is believed to have been associated with mountain-building such as that associated with the Himalayas.
Bengtsson’s paper was rejected, in PART, because of the concern that the conclusions might be misused by the sceptics.
“Summarising, the simplistic comparison of ranges from AR4, AR5, and Otto et al, combined with the statement they are inconsistent is less then helpful, actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of “errors” and worse from the climate sceptics media side”
Question did any reviewer express a similar concern about the Science article? specifically that it might be misused by the alarmist press?
Having read the Science article and then re reading the press accounts of the article the divergence is stunning.
All of the assumptions and caveats and details of the science which argue against alarm, are glossed over in the message of alarm.
Where are the authors complaining that their science is being misused?
It may be true that B’s paper caused “… concern that the conclusions might be misused by the sceptics.” But that concern need not be any part of the reason for its rejection. If B’s paper did not kick the can very much forward, that seems like a more-than-adequate reason for a scientific journal to refuse to publish it–even, perhaps, an admirable reason, given B’s standing as a scientist.
Worse, the senior author (Rignot of JPL) fanned the media flames here in his NASA sponsored author interviews. That is what motivated me to rewrite this essay from a forthcoming book on climate and energy into a form Judith could post. Very evidently the same double standard at Science that the Marcott affair exposed last year.
Certainly climate-change papers are much more interesting in today’s world than climate-not-changing-as-fast-as-the-models-said papers. I can see how certain subjects have wider appeal when they bring brand new observational data in for the debate.
Steve, the press release is typically drafted by the media office, after talking to the authors. You, as an author, get the draft and make changes. Then you get the second draft and make changes. This goes on until all are satisfied with the draft.
It then goes on the press release, normally sent to the agencies and scientific press.
The authors sign off that the release is a description of their work. You have to fight the PR people as they tend to be a bit on the excitable side and like to sex things up. However, your signature is at the bottom of the accept sheet.
Mosher, thanks for pointing it out. Had to laugh when I the. See this not far down:
Jim D | May 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
Certainly climate-change papers are much more interesting in today’s world than climate-not-changing-as-fast-as-the-models-said papers. I can see how certain subjects have wider appeal when they bring brand new observational data in for the debate.
Certain own goal by Jim and it would seem he completely oblivious to it.
Yes, Jim, the attitude that climate alarmism papers are “more interesting” is exactly what skeptics keep saying: it’s not about science when the peer review is about alarmism rather than the science.
Well played Jim.
ksd, I happen to think it is true that the public and scientists are not as interested in validating models over short timespans as in actual climate change that is occurring. The skeptics should also be, but are somewhat out of touch with their main preoccupation still being in validating models. This is much too esoteric for Joe Public, and even the journal reviewers seem to be tired of it.
Jim, your now up to two own goals, well done!
Me, I have this belief that science and peer review are supposed to be about advancing, well, science, not political agendas. And that scientists and peer review are so lopsided is disgusting and we should call it out as such, as Mosher has done.
So, maybe the skeptics need to start writing papers on the Antarctic and paleoclimate. I wonder why they don’t have any experts in those topics in addition to not having climate modelers. They are being severely outflanked due to their very narrow focus, and a lot of their problem is just how wide the field of climate science is, much of it being beyond their expertise to criticize.
Perhaps, Jim, peer review should insist on better validation and verification of proxies. As to the Antarctic, perhaps peer review should get its head out of its arse and look for good science as opposed to the crap that is published.
The bottom line is if skeptics want to be published, they need to be getting their own new data, not just rehashing old stuff. It is the new data that gets published in this field. As far as I can tell, Bengtsson didn’t have any, which is a disadvantage.
“Where are the authors complaining that their science is being misused?”
Or the reviewers. Bless you
Yup, I’ve always wanted to launch my own satellite. Hope the FAA is cool with it.
The most depressing is that the school teachers of CAGW worry about what will unfold over a millennia as the quality of public-funded education plummets during our lifetime.
Oversimplified claims seem to be the norm among warmists; yes, Steve, the divergence is stunning.
The game is pretty simple.
The scientist says 97% agree. ( which is pretty close to the truth, depending on the subject )
The media and message pushers say the science is settled.
It goes like this:
Scientist: nearly all of us agree humans cause warming
Message Pusher: The science is settled.
Skeptic: Science is never settled.
Scientist: we never said the science was settled.
Scientist: There is a possibility that the WAIS will increase its it melt
to 1mm per year in 200 to 900 years, and eventually lead to
12 feet of SLR
Message Pusher: Collapse in 200 years, we will have to Move LAX.
Scientist: we never said 12 feet in 200 years.
There is an asymetry of concern. read the climategate mails. The concern is always about a message being misread in one direction. Concern that a message will lead to less alarm. There is never any concern that the message will lead to more alarm. In behavior there is always a proactive effort when the press gets it wrong on the “less alarm” side and no proactive effort when the mistake is on the More alarm, side.
There is one exception, when somebody argues that we have gone too far and that there is no hope
you want just the right amount of alarm. Not too much to make the situation hopeless, not to little to justify delay.. just the right amount goldilocks
Because the whole point is to use the “scientific” alarm as a stalking horse for a socio-political (socialist) agenda.
OK, where’s the real Steven Mosher and what did you do to him?
What caused the change from trying to improve the marketing of the CAGW consensus of the last couple years, to this recent spate of denialist, anti-science, world threatening agitprop?
First a commment on Climate Audit defending the apostate Bengtsson –
“Basically the reviewer is asking for something that NO STUDY HAS EVER DONE, that is explain “how they come to be different”
There are studies of single models that hint at it, but nobody has explained this for a study of ‘models’ why? Because nobody understands enough models in detail to explain why they differ. The models are roughly 1 million LOC.”
Just when you think he’s gone completely tribal again, Mosher goes and says something both rational and insightful. Twice in as many days no less. (The old Mosher would unleash some quantum logic right about now to show why his comments are just as anti-skepticism as anti-consensus.)
Keep it up and they’ll take away your secret decoder ring.
Your: scientist, messenger, skeptic dialogue is fairly accurate.
But there is a basic problem when the “messenger” is someone like UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
In an op-ed in the International Herald Tribune (November 17, 2007) entitled “At the Tipping Point” (after a sight-seeing trip to Antarctica), he cited a scientist who stated that “the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet is at risk”, adding:
Believe it or not, he later added:
So the problem we have here, Mosh, is not only coming from over-eager media “messengers” or self-appointed saviors of the planet, like Al Gore, but from influential top world leaders.
When these people become the “messengers” of doom, many gullible people fall for it.
And when the “scientists” don’t jump in and correct silly op-eds like this, they become indirectly implicit in the scam.
And then, when other “scientists” like James E. Hansen spread the same tipping point nonsense, they become directly implicated.
Thankyou Steven Mosher for the shortest and best summary of the public conversation of global warming. I started reading this article without knowing who Rud Istvan was. I was impressed with the presentation. But then I read that he is not a scientist but a “summarizer” who takes information and re-words it for the general public. My dilemma is not knowing who is an honest “summarizer” and who not (Andrew Montford comes to mind). I wonder how Mr. Istvan selects which articles to discuss, which images to present, without there being some message behind it. Who sifts through all the articles and guides him to these particular references? Wiki articles are written by self-selected individuals, they could be scientists, they don’t have to be.
Rmd, the role of a “summariser” is critical in policy development. One of my strengths as an economic policy adviser in years past was that I could quickly assess the merits and implications of a great deal of complex material and explain the policy implications. It is an essential, and very valuable, skill, one which Rid seems to have. As one once skilled in this art, I find him very credible.
And thanks, Mosher, for some excellent comments.
Manacker @ May 18, 2014 at 7:01 pm
Faustino. I did not know that “summarizing” was a learned craft. This is perhaps the problem with climate research and the IPCC specifically. There are no official “summarizers” and the scientists themselves assigned themselves that role. They are too close to the original research to be able to look at it with an unbiased eye. On the other side, there are those who self select themselves as spokespersons and pick and chose based on their personal views (be they political or social). Both sides write books and reports with valid looking references. I am inclined to side with the scientists but am glad to hear that you think the article above is ok. (I thought it was convincing but I have been wrong before).
If there is a more official word than “summarizer” I’d be happy to use it.
Rmd, sorry for the belated appearance. Today was another work day. Your ‘summarizer’ is accurate in some senses, not others. I am summarizing here, as have done my entire professional life as a consultant and senior exec. But as a co or sole inventor on 14 issued US patents, not just. You must decide for yourself. That is why I post easily accessible images and extensive references and footnotes. Read them and make up your own mind. Never trust someone like me. I could be no different than Mann.
Or, you could trust Judith, whom I can assure you vets everything here at least as much as one of her students papers before posting. I have graduated (I hope) from Curry 101, and am presently trying to survive Curry 201. Something I learned long ago and far away ( in Cambridge) always take any course the toughest prof offers. You might fail, but you will learn one heck of a lot.
Thankyou for your response, Rud, I really liked your essay and it made a lot of sense. But 14 patents does not make one knowledgeable about climate research. I think comparing yourself with Michael Mann is incorrect. He has been doing climate research for many years, regardless of whether his techniques are right or wrong (there is no such dichotomy in statistics). I expect him to know a lot about the climate of the last 1000 years because this is what he has been studying. His summaries might be biased towards his own research but that is simply human. He should not be writing summaries for the IPCC. I admit that trying to influence publications is corrupt and that has become an ugly side of climate science.
One begins to wonder whether “skeptics” are even capable of reasoning w/o relying on straw men.
Skeptics don’t rely on strong men, Rud.
or straw men for that matter.
Joshua: With your meager supply of poorly understood logical fallacies like “straw man” and “appeal to authority,” you’re like a kid with firecrackers. You don’t care whether they actually apply, you just can’t wait to set them off.
Yes, I noticed that one too. Economic estimates actually put the costs at a small fraction of the amount of money spent on fossil fuels, which is why taxing it has a significant benefit in offsetting the damage.
Well you can most certainly find people that argue we should pay any price to avoid climate change.
Then see those who argue that capitalism has to go.
Then see those who argue for de growth.
Then see the survialists
American Exodus: Climate Change and the Coming Flight for Survival
Now of course the Rud took it a bit too far, but his intent is clear.
You might actually engage the science. Intelligent readers get what he is arguing even if he uses hyperbole to do it.
“You might actually engage the science. Intelligent readers get what he is arguing even if he uses hyperbole to do it.”
I wonder when the last time Joshua complained a warmist was exaggerating. I’m sure there must be hundreds of instances, knowing Joshua’s solid reputation for fairness and careful reading.
So Josh, you have a problem with strong women, but have a soft spot for strong men; is it bear or bare you go for?
“I wonder when the last time Joshua complained a warmist was exaggerating. I’m sure there must be hundreds of instances, knowing Joshua’s solid reputation for fairness and careful reading.”
There is no requirement that Joshua read and comment on both sides. Perhaps he doesnt have the time.
I will say that if you spend time criticizing both sides you do confuse people and piss off both sides. This however is no evidence that one is correct.
lets put it this way, Joshua would have a higher impact if he spent maybe 10% on one side and 90% on the other as opposed to his current split. Just as a joke he ought to try it
“Joshua would have a higher impact if he spent maybe 10% on one side and 90% on the other as opposed to his current split. Just as a joke he ought to try it”
One of the reasons I respect you Mosher, as do many others I’d venture to say… you do manage to piss off both sides on a regular basis.
Once all the lukewarmers understand it’s a good thing, the war is over.
Mosher’s link at the washingtonpost reminded me of this:
“The theme that divine punishment should lead to repentance comes from the prophets (Amos 4:6–12, Ezekiel 20), and the form of prophetic speech, “Thus says Yahweh”, and the figure of the prophet as divine messenger, are from the late prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel…” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagues_of_Egypt#Scholarly_interpretation
The Awfulness of Global Warming (AKA Climate Change), #2
Since the warming of the last 150 years, sea levels have risen at the rate of about 7 inches per century (1.8 mm/yr = 18 cm/century or 18/2.54 inches/century). This rise, attributed to human use of fossil fuels, is so much worse than the natural caused sea level average rise during the Melt-water pulse 1A period of 154 inches/century (40 mm/yr) and the average for the last 20,000 years of 23 inches/century (6 mm/yr) (ref.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise or http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/gornitz_09/ ) that the human use of fossil fuels must be stopped at once or we will all drown.
Oh, wait you say. Human effects aren’t so awful as those from nature.
Well, that would make you a “denier” — welcome!
> You might actually engage the science.
Yes, Joshua, don’t pick for instance:
This may not be science. After all, it’s only the lead of Rud’s editorial.
Also, Joshua, please don’t pick Rud’s penultimate paragraph:
This may not be science. After all, it is only the repetition of the lead’s editorial.
Also, please don’t discuss this observation:
This may not be science. After all, it may only be an application of the rule of three in Rud’s editorial:
Finally, don’t discuss this claim:
This may not be science. After all, it’s only a way to leave the impression that unless Greenland melts in its entirety, there’s nothing to worry about.
I hope this is enough to convince you to only discuss the science behind Rud’s editorial.
I think some posts should come with trigger warnings
If that’s not a joke story, Americans should take to the lifeboats now rather than await sea level rise. Good grief. (h/t: Charlie Brown)
Thanks for the post Rud Istvan. I liked the review of the topography of Greenland and Antarctica. Greenland’s concave shape reminded me of a leaky bucket. It has varying inputs and outputs which would seem hard to pin down with an accurate equation. Antarctica too has potential pools and high resistance areas. It seems we’re trying to figure out each of these buckets in the polar ice system at the same time. If we could think of this as storing cold and a certain amount of albedo, the topography is aiding in making this storage resilient. If we have as many years as it seems to adapt to rising sea levels it seems that nature is throwing us a softball to hit. If the question is, does the Earth work to favor life, giving it time to adapt, my answer would it seems to. But it doesn’t favor the stubborn. The ones that don’t think it should change.
Does anyone know why Greenland has the ‘bowl-shaped’ geology?
It looks very odd with a dip in the center a sharp mountains around the edge. Do ice sheets bore down the bedrock to create a hollow?
Some of it is the weight of the ice.
Greenland without the ice sheet is an archipelago. Most archipelagos are volcanic in origin. This one may have formed by passing over the hotspot that is presently occupied by Iceland.
Big magma explosion similar to Yellow Park possibly the same extrusion but many, many millions of years before [it is tracking south westerly slowly].
Meteor impact .
are the three most likely causes of the bowl.
AGW causes most things.
Ice sheets horizontally displace their own mass of mantle, so very approximately a 3km ice sheet will cause about 1km of crustal depression, assuming equilibium is reached (10’s of thousands of years). The displaced mantle has the effect of causing uplift beyond the edge of the ice sheet. A case in point, the UK north of a line from the Humber to the Severn is rising (recovery from the ice sheet). South of that line the land is sinking (mantle material returning to where it was diplaced from).
Good reading on Greenland’s bedrock geography.
Good reading here David, I think it effectively debunks the Iceland hot spot theory.
Greenland is pretty old, mostly precambrian.
Thanks for posting this comprehensive debunking of the “sea level tipping point” scare.
One point that I have seen mentioned elsewhere: the questionable reliability of the GRACE gravimetry methodology for determining mass loss. In addition to de-bugging the normal startup problems there appeared to be an inherent weakness due to “sensitivity to estimates of bedrock vertical motion” (Thomas et al., 2006). The GRACE method was not able to separate glacial-isostatic adjustment from ice mass change.
The margin of error resulting from this problem was apparently larger than the measured rate of mass change itself. This problem tended to result in exaggerated estimates of ice mass loss, which could not be corroborated for Greenland by other methodologies, which showed net ice gain (Johannessen et al., 2005 and Zwally et al., 2006), or for Antarctica (Wingham et al., 2006), which also showed net ice gain.
A more recent study using satellite altimetry (Zwally et al., 2012) shows, for example, that the Antarctic Ice Sheet gained more mass than it lost from 2003 to 2008, while GRACE showed net ice loss over this period.
Another recent study (Sasgen et al., 2013) seems to infer that “improved estimates of glacial-isostatic adjustment based on GPS uplift rates” now enable more meaningful GRACE estimates, but another study (Quinn et al., 2010) suggests that the problems with GRACE errors and biases are still unresolved, so my question remains.
Has this problem really been resolved for the GRACE methodology or are we still dealing with rather arbitrary estimates of bedrock vertical motion to arrive at rather meaningless mass loss estimates for Greenland and Antarctica?
Thanks for any added input on this you can share with us.
Manacker, I just finished a different essay on SLR for the upcoming book. It goes into the design accuracy of various satellite measurements. Grace was designed to measure hydrology (retained soil water after rain) to within a few cm, provided that it had previously mapped the underlying gravity field from the geology. It was not designed the measure ice sheet mass in the first place. Google ‘gravity potato’ or ‘grace potato’ images to see just how irregular the world is. Ditto with sat altimetry. Jason 2 design accuracy is to 3.5cm with a random drift not more than 1mm/yr.
So there are a lot of arbitrary estimates. Judith’s uncertainty monster is alive and well. You have done the research, and are at the knowledge frontier IMO.
This leads to something called the closure problem. Sat altimetry (Jason 2 being the newest bird) says SLR is constant from 1993-2013 at 2.8 +- 0.4mm/ yr ( without the 0.3 mm GIA correction). ICESat says all glaciers other than Greenland and Antarctica contribute about 0.4mm meltwater. ARGO says about 0.7mm thermosteric rise. Greenland at 200GT/ year (one GT is 1cubic km) is about 0.6mm. Antarctica in total is close to a wash depending on NASA or NOAA and what time period. Well, the total of individual contributions is about 1.7, max still less than 2 if you add all the error estimates on one side together—not 2.8. The world is a big place, and our best instruments still have limitations.
” Antarctica in total is close to a wash…”
Nope. It is losing far more than gaining and that loss is accelerating:
Here’s a report that says Antarctica is gaining ice mass.
Looks like there is still a lot of “uncertainty” regarding Antarctic ice mass balance (as Rud Istvan has pointed out), despite what the BBC may be trying to tell us.
Speaking of isostasy, perhaps this is a good place to point out that the bowl-shaped geometry of Greenland is an isostatic phenomenon. As the ice unloads, the bowl will disappear. Ultimately, it won’t hold water.
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A natural process which began around 10,000 years ago (so you now can’t walk from Victoria to Tasmania – big deal), had one of its little spurts after the late 1700s, and which has been pretty sluggish of late. That’s sea level rise.
The rest of the “science” is a cheesy script for a Roland Emmerich disaster movie. (I suggest Russell ‘Mumbles’ Crowe for the part of the hero who saves preachy Gwynneth or Cate from a drowning LAX.)
Good plot, but the script needs “fleshing out”
Speaking of which, we’d have hapless Gwynneth or Cate (decked out in a neat bikini) watching the scene in horror from the control tower, as the waves are lapping around LAX.
Title could be: “The Day the Point Tipped at LAX”
More work and a good script writer needed.
I actually have an Oscar winner in mind, someone whose Tennessee location doesn’t make him the least bit smug about the woes of coastal people. Or LAX people.
I can’t contact him right now. He’s in the air. He’s in the air a lot, actually, so a high and dry LAX is probably very important to him.
Donald Sutherland is a definite starter as the smirking capitalist/Republican bad guy. He can do that role in his sleep by now.
also, beginning around 10,000 years ago, the British Isles (“Atlantic Archipelago” for the politically sensitive) became separated by water from each other and from the European continent…. if only one could walk between the UK and the continent, the Brits might not be so prickly and distanced from their lovable continental neighbors (jk jk).
At the centuries slow, no, millennial slow, millimeter sloooow rate
rate of ice melt yer gonna hafta make yr movie inter the fuchure.
“14001, The Movie.” Da Dah!.
I see it more as a religious movie, Last Days of LAX.
Of course, instead of white-bread Christians being fed to wild beasts we’ll have cuddly wild beasts being picked on by white-bread Christians. Wind turbine in the final fadeout shot instead of crucifix.
Otherwise, it’ll be same old same old – just no Victor Mature or C B DeMille. You serfs will lap it up. We’ll make you feel guilty every time you use a toaster.
kom warned us serfs about falling prey ter fear and guilt, moso.
Yikes, ‘kim.’ Vowel blindness!
No need for the Greater Knout, or even the Lesser Knout. Beating serfs is so last millennium. Hiring cossacks to put some stick about is expensive and often counter-productive. I recommend guilt.
The modern way to keep a great domain is to punish your serfs with energy-deprivation using guilt. Tell ’em the the electricity they burn will cause great floods and storms, put up the price of power, keep it almost out of reach. That way they won’t spend the evening reading Hayek and they will spend the evening breeding.
Elites have got to learn to think like proper aristocrats again. Big Green is our big chance to regain the obedience of our serfs, get them back to populating and drudging.
Plato on the hill and worse!
I’m fer fossil fuels and freein’ the serfs.
“I suggest Russell ‘Mumbles’ Crowe for the part of the hero who saves preachy Gwynneth or Cate from a drowning LAX.” moso, wouldn’t it be better for us all if they were left to drown?
Sadly, our north coast economy needs the high-consuming Mumbler and Cate brings federal funds into Sydney (for something or other called the yartz).
As for Gwynnie, however…
You’d think René Thom and catastrophe theory would come in, in real science. Tipping point isn’t one of the catastrophes.
So ‘Sea level rise’ has to be added to the list of catastrophic labels like ‘greenhouse gas ‘ and ‘continuous models’ to fool an uncritical public into thinking that destruction is nigh. Well, it certainly helps to sell newspapers.
Doc Martyn says
“Does anyone know why Greenland has the ‘bowl-shaped’ geology?
It looks very odd with a dip in the center a sharp mountains around the edge. Do ice sheets bore down the bedrock to create a hollow?”
Three reasons. An ice-cap does erode its bed to some extent. The Baltic and the Great Lakes are largely due to the erosive effects of ice. More importantly an ice-cap depresses its bed considerably by its own weight. Thirdly Greenland is quite unusual in that it has been rifted away from both Europe and America and consequently started out with elevated escarpments along most of both the east and west coast. This latest was probably the most important factor (southern Africa with its all-round escarpments, bowl-shaped morphology and partly endorheic drainage is the only similar area on the planet).
Together it means that the Greenland icecap is uniquely stable (and consequently the only more-or-less permanent one in the northern hemisphere, despite its position at relatively low latitude).
By the way, no conceivable warming will melt all ice on Greenland. Along the East Coast the ice rests om mountains up to 3300 meters high. This area has had permanent ice ever since Oligocene, when there were parrots and palms in Central Europe. It is no coincidence that the largest fiords in the World are found there. It took many million years for those to form, and it is known that e. g. Scoresby Sound already existed in much the same form as today back in the Pliocene.
Thanks for your comments. Great background and very understandable.
Yes, extremely helpful. The sad, nay tragic, thing is that this is known to the alarmists. And yet, on they persevere with the fear and the guilt.
“The second paper used computer models of Thwaites (21) bottom melting to conclude it couldbecome unstable in 200 to 900 years. If so, the computer models suggested 1mm/yr of additional SLR thereafter. Not ‘in coming decades’ as Reuters said and NASA PR implied.”
No, not 1mm/year. >1mm/year. See that symbol ‘>’.
They capped the model at 1mm/year because they can’t model such destabilization once that threshold is reached.
The paper says: “rapid collapse (>1 mm/year of sle) will ensue once the grounding line reaches the basin’s deeper regions, which could occur within centuries. Such rapid collapse would probably spill over to adjacent
catchments, undermining much of West Antarctica.”
Wow, maybe greater than 1 mm per year which could appear sometime 200-900 years out. Scary.
“At that rate, it would take about (2.67 E+18kg mass/E+14kg average annual mass loss) 27000 years to melt/sluff. Even the recent accelerated rate (if continued) would take over 14000 years.”
And if the recent rate accelerates further? I would have thought given the subject here is worst case scenarios you would calculate the worse case scenario. I don’t consider ice loss peaking at current loss the worse case scenario, or even plausible if the world warms several degrees more than present.
And if the sky begins to rain elephants?
careful, you might reinforce a view that skeptics are acting recklessly to dismiss a real threat.
A gloom with a view.
Did you already do “A gloom with a view” Kim? If so, I apologize.
Worst case is the sun super novas tomorrow and we all die terrible deaths. There you go lolwot, no need for anything scarier.
It wouldn’t even have to be the Sun what supernovas. It could just be a relatively close star. We’re probably more likely to get hit by an asteroid or a falling elephant.
When global SLR (not subsidence in a cherry-picked location) rises to 5 mm/year for a 20 year stretch, get back to me.
No, j2, it’s all yours, and good.
Yes the GIA (Global Isostatic Adjustment) is a big problem mot only for GRACE but for all determinations of ice loss/gain However GRACE measurements are at least extremety precise which is more than you can say for satellite radar data. Most calculations of ice-loss are based on the ICE-5G GIA model which is now known to be grossly inaccurate for the Antarctic even based on the relatively few GPS control points and short time available More recent estimates based on better GIA model give much lower figures for the loss
However the big problem is that GPS measurements are only possible where bedrock is exposed so there will never be any control points for any GIA model for most of East Antarctica (which is of course the most important area, about 80)% of all ice on Earth being there)
“There is a deeper comprehension problem in this new NASA sponsored version of a SLR tipping point. The NASA NEWS about these papers says the Embayment region contains enough ice to raise global sea level by 4 feet (1.2 meters). That is true for the entire catchment basin of about 360,000 km2. [ix]For 1.2 meters of SLR, the entire catchment would have to become entirely ice free. That is highly unlikely. The interior portions are not flowing much toward the sea according to the first paper itself, and are also still accumulating ice.”
And if those interior portions started flowing faster towards the sea in the future? The subject is destabilization after-all.
“I don’t consider ice loss peaking at current loss the worse case scenario, or even plausible if the world warms several degrees more than present.”
No for Greenland (which we are talking about here) I would expect ice-loss to decrease sharply once the ice cap has receded inland and can’t calve into the ocean, and instead will just lose mass through melting. Under such condition the ice-cap also becomes considerably steeper, which is the probable reason that measurements of the thickness of the central part of The ice-cap during the Eemian (when climate was several degrees warmer and the ice-cap perhaps as much as a third smaller in area) give altitudes almost as high as at present.
“If so, the computer models suggested 1mm/yr of additional SLR thereafter. Not ‘in coming decades’ as Reuters said and NASA PR implied.”
The Reuters article you linked to doesn’t even mention “1mm”. It’s hardly a reassuring sign that you have got wrong what Reuters said when the article is one click away.
The Reuters article does say something regarding coming decades: “This part of Antarctica would be a major contributor to sea level rise in coming decades and centuries since the glaciers hold enough ice to raise sea levels by 1.2 meters (4 feet).”
Did you really shorten ‘in coming decades and centuries’ to ‘in coming decades’?
Your ‘Not in coming decades as Reuters said’ makes it sound like Reuters claimed the ice sheet would melt away in decades. In fact that’s what I assumed they had said when I read your words.
What else might I be getting wrong if I believe your post?
As for the part “and NASA PR implied”. I doubt they did imply it, because if they had implied it I think you would have claimed they had “said” it.
And if those interior portions started flowing faster towards the sea in the future? The subject is destabilization after-all.
Parts of the catchment area are situated on land above sea-level or near sea-level and can’t be “de-stabilized”. The drawdown mechanism only works when the depth to basement increases up-glacier and the thickness of the ice does not exceed c. 110% of the depth from sea-level to bedrock. If more than 10% of the ice sticks up above sea-level it won’t float since glacier ice has a density of about 0.91.
Please notice that the catchment-area is surrounded by mountains which are known to not have been deglaciated during the Eemian when the WAIS supposedly “collapsed
Thank tty for your many comments.
The Eemian is so inconvenient for alarmists.
If by ‘inconvenient’ you mean so long ago as to obscure reliable inference from uncertain and sparse evidence, you may have a point.
However, the Eemian’s peak CO2 levels were 290-305 ppmv, and then only for a tiny episode. We’re at 400+ ppmv, and catchments are not inviolable prisons for water.
Oh, and on a completely different but related note:
How long will those low-albedo catchments last during abrupt cycles of drought and warmth?
Rud Istvan appears to confuse the sea level rise tipping point problem with the sea level rise problem.
A tipping point is a point of no return, the toppling of the first domino, the pulling of the pin, the ringing of the bell that can never be unrung. A sea level rise tipping point is not sea level rise; it’s commitment to sea level rise — whether in one decade (as likely happened drastically when the Laurentian Ice Dam burst), or in one interglacial — that otherwise would not have happened.
The sea is no simple glass of brine that when you start to pour fresh water into it remains a homogeneous fluid. There are saline ratios and isoclines and rates of margin life adaptation that are profoundly affected by sea level changes of even a minor level, if persistent in the same direction for long enough. Mangroves and salt marshes and salinifaction of freshwater bodies near sea level do not need to wait for meters or feet of rise to be profoundly costly. Rud Istvan’s gross oversimplification is uncharacteristic of the generally careful analysis we might expect from Harvard.
–The sea is no simple glass of brine that when you start to pour fresh water into it remains a homogeneous fluid. —
So, should we worry about the Amazon flowing into the tropics?
The thud of an elephant fell from the sky.
Bart, I think you left out the boogey man, but other than that you’ve got all the scary bits right. Bravo.
Tell you what, take it up with http://www.economie.polytechnique.edu/servlet/com.univ.collaboratif.utils.LectureFichiergw?ID_FICHIER=1304938276136&ID_FICHE=46009 .. I understand if you feel like this is a bit of a handwave, but look at it, look at Rud’s sea ice tipsying point fingerpainting, look at it. Can you tell the difference?
Seriously, if you can’t tell the difference, READ HARDER.
When you’re done there, peruse softly http://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/download?func=downloadFile&recordOId=3469913&fileOId=4157413 for some glimpses into just how pasta-glued-to-construction-paper Rud’s little effort is compared to the real thing.
The Amazon doesn’t dangerously change the halocline of the Atlantic because it, and the Orinoco, and the Mississippi flood and ebb in patterns as old as the Holocene, and life has adapted. Their environs are what they’re ‘supposed’ to be by the niches life has moved to fill, within broad ranges of seasonal shift.
And sure, there’s been a long slow six thousand year transit from the Holocene optimum, and the world is complex, and the growth of dead zones due phosphates and industrial dumping into rivers might overwhelm the signal of an AGW-altered halocline, but at the end of the day, this AGW-altered halocline, this upward march of sea level shifting the margins of the sea faster than sea margin life knows how to adapt, this is caused by a relatively small number of people not paying for the cost of their dumping into the carbon cycle, and its capacity overflowing into the buffer of ice melt.
Sure, maybe none of this is gonna happen. But now the Risk is there, and high, and it’s the specific fault of a specific identifiable group of opportunists. Make of that what you will.
Bart R, my personal policy is generally not to engage with your like, as it is about as productive as my dog chasing its own tail. But all rules have exceptions.
First, what your define as a tipping point and what I wrote about based on the MSM that colors the general public minds are not the same. It is quite possible that, to use your definition, the point of no return to the next ice age has been passed. So what in 10000 years. Second the issue posed was adaptation versus mitigation in the 21st century. If sea level rise is slow, then adaptation is to be preferred over mitigation. Third, salinosteric sea level change is about zero, which is why it was ignored, as almost all papers in this area also do. Fourth, coastlines move with the sea. As for ‘margins of life’, Mangroves and salt marshes and Tuvalu ( a living coral atoll) adjust provided the rate of change is within their evolutionary ability to cope. And it evidently is, as the rate of SLR during the just past deglaciation was much higher than anything CAGW alarmists are projecting, yet mangroves, salt marshes, and Tuvalu all survived by adapting.
Oversimplification, yes, in a short blog version of a longer essay. Gross oversimplification, no. There is no SLR tipping point that leads to meters of inundation in a century (actually, Hansen in 2011 said 5 by 2100 in a peer reviewed article and Rahmsdorf said a minimum of 1). Poppycock. Inches, sure. A foot or two, maybe. Meters, no way.
“The Amazon doesn’t dangerously change the halocline of the Atlantic because it, and the Orinoco, and the Mississippi flood and ebb in patterns as old as the Holocene, and life has adapted. Their environs are what they’re ‘supposed’ to be by the niches life has moved to fill, within broad ranges of seasonal shift. ”
Do you think present ice flows in Greenland are something new to the Holocene?
Is snowfall in Greenland unprecedented or unnatural and are not, environs that “‘supposed’ to be by the niches life has moved to fill, within broad ranges of seasonal shift. “
“Poppycock” is not a well researched refutation of Hansen’s work, you will need to do better than that.
We do have evidence that the mass loss from Greenland is accelerating. Any analysis of the situation needs to take that into account. Your post does not.
Rud Istvan | May 19, 2014 at 12:51 am |
And we can all well understand your policy (for those new to the comments section, that isn’t snobbishness: I’m widely regarded as all sorts of vile things that might fit into a “like”). Myself, I’d never respond to someone like me either; I can assure you I never even read what I’ve written.
If your goal is to fix the MSM, good for you. They surely need it. Though, really, it’s a bit quixotic an escapade. If you succeed, let us know.
I well understand the problems of deciding what to include and what to leave out in writing to inform. Generally we differ in that my decisions are guided by the idea that more informed readers can decide for themselves without me leading them by the nose by stacking the deck in the favor of my agenda. You’d be amazed how much room for extra non-Australian information that principle gives in writing.
The “so” of the tipping point “what” isn’t the endpoint, but the trend for every year to come, as attached Risk is altered in a significant way. If we’re going to fix the MSM, can’t we fix the part where they look at entirely the wrong framing of the question, first?
What if sea level rise is unsteady — slow some of the time, rapid at other points?
What evidence for smooth SLR is there?
Rather, the division of the world’s large ice reserves suggests repeated incidents of accelerating SLR at several different and overlapping rates, with teleconnection of ice loss due the influence of inundation by the sea itself as it rises, a positive feedback.
The albedo feedback of loss of reflective sea ice (though not directly raising sea level) leading to increased dark ocean simultaneously affecting the Arctic in summer (when it matters) while the Antarctic summer sea ice is a cipher and winter sea ice albedo feedback is negligible due the low angle of the sun also suggests nonlinear and accelerating SLR through warming of the oceans. Similarly, as ice sheets break up, there is an albedo feedback too on land. There is also a CO2E feedback, as not just increased water vapor due AGW shifts the atmosphere more toward the GHE, but trapped methane too is released.
When the Arctic ice breaks up sufficiently, there is no telling what the new regime of circulations will do to the climates dependent on them. We might see a semi-permanent Arctic cyclone regime every summer, Greenland might be more directly influenced by the Gulf Stream, along with equatorial breezes lifting ice from Greenland not by melting but by sublimation and evaporation to dump into the sea as rain or even new sea ice. Focus on melt alone too narrows the scope of analysis in the context of new Risk.
Any analysis of how much more and how much more rapid the influx of fresh water to ocean basins takes us into the territory of salinity changes which are seldom discussed at least as much because they’re so difficult to pin down as because some minimize their impact. If SLR exceeds a millimeter a year, that’s certainly representative of a larger surface salt balance change than all the rivers in the world could match, and if that change persists for decades without reversal, we’re in a world of uncertainty about our ocean’s metaphorical gills and lungs.
And while we cannot doubt that adaptation by life forms at the margins of the sea has allowed them always to rebound before, when have they ever had to do so while under all the other pressures we place on them from phosphates and nitrates in the water? Survival of enough genes to recover isn’t the only question when looking at biological stocks, in any case, but also the marginalization of them as those hardiest individuals surf out the rising sea level, leaving behind the dying remains of their old homes for what, if we exceed a SLR tipping point, will be millennia.
That is the SLR tipping point question. Or rather, questions, as we do not know what tipping points we have already triggered, and what tipping points we have in our power by mitigation to avoid.
“What if sea level rise is unsteady — slow some of the time, rapid at other points?”
Then we will see this in the only reasonable means of following global sea level changes (satellite data)
“What evidence for smooth SLR is there? ”
The satellite data shows it has been pretty steady since 1992- Zero evidence of some type of acceleration in the rate of rise.
Rob Starkey | May 19, 2014 at 10:44 am |
On two decades of data?
Just because someone draws a thick black line over top of a graph does not mean the thick black line is the rule.
The point of sigmoids is that you don’t see much evidence of the future trend in any one small section.
Look closer- the site posts the raw data- with and without seasonal signals retained. Over 2 decades of no increase in the rate of sea level rise while a great deal of CO2 was emitted.
Rob Starkey | May 19, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
Warmunists are clutching at straws.
Drama queen clutching at purse by John Sidles. Reason by Springer.
The Warmistas 1,000 year stare.
Chaotic incoherent rants by FOMT. Lucidity by Springer.
Well, you could wait 1,000 years to see who cared, but you have to be
synthesized into a google server to do so, and if you did, you’d want them
burning coal to keep you ‘alive’.
“Since Antarctica as a whole may (inconveniently for CAGW) be accumulating ice.”
Actually Antarctic as a whole is accumulating ice.
Therefore GRACE is wrong in the assumptions used to measure the ice mass.
Common sense says that with increasing sea ice over 30 years there can be absolutely no melting or increased glaciation run off, only the formation of more ice in Antarctica.
Where are the Australian and USA Ice scientists to argue for this.
How can glaciers speed up and run off more ice than is being formed when it is below freezing. If they did in time there would be no glaciers?
If a mechanism to explain increased Antarctic ice loss that does not contravene how it built up in the first place does not exist then GRACE needs to be fixed.
Faster Southern winds sub surface melt and CO2 just do not and scan not do it
Skippy, /Ragnaar is a very brave man,
Better not let Beth see this either.
I know if there is more ice then glacial run off will “speed up” but obviously there will still be more ice overall for the pendants out there.
re debris – my associate and I were watching a program on global warming. Hmmm – she said – we will have to get air conditioning. Women. Pragmatism – r – us.
Domestic Associate (DA) might work.
Whoa – too fast there Ang. 20 years and our Facebook status is ‘it’s complicated’.
Fond as I am of tipping points – I can’t help but wonder if this is an abrupt and nonlinear transition to a new state and whether we are not looking in the wrong place for climate state transitions?
That should be “The core tenet” to start the second para, I don’t think we are talking about leasing ice-bergs here. (Haven’t read the comments, hope this isn’t repetition.)
Yup. Neither I nor Judith caught the goof. Too late to fix here, but thanks for the correction. The rest seems to be standing up pretty well despite the usual quibbles.
The core tenant of Greenland is indeed an ice sheet.
Good to see Rud continuing his recent run of form with these posts; ideological assertions trumping any fair and reasonable reading of what the science says, or what summaries of the science have concluded.
Yes Michael, nothing gets in the way of a rhetorical narrative. Dispensing of the math makes it so much easier.
Care to post some specifics to counter the concrete examples provided, Michael? Somehow, the bedrock topologies of Greenland and WAIS do not seem ideological, rather geological.
Don’t bring a rubber knife to a gunfight.
“Precautions against some ‘tipping point’ beyond which the world is rapidly, disastrously, and irreversibly affected, which point at any cost we therefore dare not risk passing. No price is too high to pay…” – Rud
“at any cost”, “no price is too high to pay” – rhetorical inventions by Rud.
Once the subject gets off equation-babble they are lost. Common sense and clear explanations leave them speechless.
Rud starts with an un-defined premise; ‘sea-level tipping point’, referring to it constantly while leaving it handily unspecified.
Next we have the unsupported assumption that any significant SLR must involve the complete melting of the entire GIS.
It’s all a bit muddle headed.
You want nice pictures
Seems the Greenland is bowl shaped theory is cracked, there are plenty of outlets where the “bowl” rim is less than 100 meters high, and they are pretty wide too.
Most of West Antarctica is below sea level, lower than the Dead Sea it looks like.
Rud’s graphic is way out of date – the original statellite meaures for that were fron the 1970’s.
Skeptics might wonder why Rud didn’t use something much more recent, given the significantly better understanding we have of Greenlands topography since NASAs IceBridge project.
I’m sure Rud would be keenly interested in this;
Decadal denialism by “the usual suspects”, hilarity by FOMD!
Yes the denialist chorus has settled upon the short-sighted note that it will sing. That’s obvious, eh Climate Etc readers?
Centennial Sages Your grandparents, family farmers, hunters, anglers, mountaineers, Audubon Society members, Quakers, conservationists, tree-farmers, organic farmers, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, US Admirals Samuel Locklear and David Titley, Jane Goodall, Pope Francis, Wendell Berry, Ed Wilson, James Hansen, Naomic Oreskes, and — most foresighted of all! — Gary Larson.
Decadal Denialists Koch Industries astroturfers, Duke Energy shills, BP blogo-goons, TEPCO/Fukushima clowns, WUWT/Anthony Watts clowns, Mark Steyn clones, Ayn Rand juveniles, Jim Inofe political hacks, National Review ideologues, the Republican National Committee operatives, Rud Istvan, ceresco kid, AK, timg56, Generalissimo Skippy, and Wagathan.
Conclusion The foresighted allies of history, science, wisdom, enduring moral values, and the angels are incredibly obvious, eh Climate Etc readers?
Prediction Decadal denialism is fated to be forgotten within a decade.
Corollary That’s why denialism is mainly embraced by older folks.
Whereas younger citizens (scientists especially) reject denialism overwhelmingly.
That’s common-sense human nature, eh Climate Etc readers?
Question posed by Moi numerous times to college age “younger citizens” : “Which came first Civil War or signing of Declaration of Independence?”
Failure at an extraordinary rate.
Lesson? Don’t depend on younger citizens for clear thinking about history or climate science.
LOL and like most denialists, you advice citizens to ignore grandparents, family farmers, hunters, anglers, mountaineers, Audubon Society members, Quakers, conservationists, tree-farmers, organic farmers, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, US Admirals Samuel Locklear and David Titley, Jane Goodall, Pope Francis, Wendell Berry, Ed Wilson, James Hansen, Naomic Oreskes, and Gary Larson too!
• James Hansen’s foresighted coauthors Hundreds of all ages, nationalities, genders, and disciplines, spanning many decades.
• Short-sighted coauthors with Rud Istvan, Anthony Watts, Mark Steyn (etc) Few or none.
That’s entirely obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh nottawa rafter?
‘Pacific decadal oscillation hindcasts relevant to near-term climate prediction’
Takashi T. Sakamotoa,
Hiroaki Tatebea, and
‘Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the North Atlantic sector’
N. S. Keenlyside,
L. Kornblueh &
And many more – foolishness from FOMBS – science from GS.
Is GRACE worth a post of its own.
Maybe. It is an aging satellite system. The original error estimates for it’s results are larger than most think I have archived, but not will look up for this brief rejoinder, the 2007 paper that delt with hydrology errors. Not ice, retained water. Original sat design intent. No measurement system is perfect. The degree of imperfection is determined by Judith’s Uncertainty Monster. And that monster is bigger than Godzilla at this weekends box office.
When discussing sea level rise, it seems even greater contribution from Greenland needs to be considered:
And Antarctic ice loss is accelerating as well:
Seems at least a meter sea level rise by 2100 is quite reasonable.
“Seems at least a meter sea level rise by 2100 is quite reasonable.”
The link he offered “The melt loss from the White Continent is sufficient to push up global sea levels by around 0.43mm per year.”
Gates– when is this feared acceleration in the rate of sea level rise going to happen? How long does the current rate have to hold for your concerns to be lessened?
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The link, thanks Mr Gates, is much worse than that.
It says the Smith Glacier is having surface lowering of 9 meters a year!
now thats a lot of lowering or a might big blooper by the Cyrosat guys.
But hey its needed by modelling to make the ice loss “real”.
anyone else care to comment on this?
The second laugh is saying that the Glaciers are rapidly retreating. Cannot have it both ways. Either there is more rapid flow which can only happen if there is more ice formation from snow, bigger the mass, faster the flow, or there is less flow which would indicate warming in a climate where the ground goes above zero at times of the year, but that’s not Antarctica.
All in all a shoddy article.
Flow can be affected by temperature which does get above freezing in McMurdo Sound
Temperature doesn’t get above freezing in Antarctica?
I wish more skeptics would check their facts.
“tenant” s/b “tenet”.
Rud Istvan, thank you for a good post.
You are welcome. A longer more complicated version will be part of my next book, due somewhen– heck, maybe never as writing this stuff is just too much fun.
The Greenland map from NSIDC you linked to above is the same as Mr. Istvan’s (Bamber 2001). The Antarctic map is from BEDMAP consortium 2000. These aren’t new.
Then why is anyone promoting the Greenland can’t melt cause it’s bowl shaped argument anymore?
Like he said it’a a big game of whack’a’mole
I believe you are mischaracterizing the argument. Some people are arguing against the position that warming, in addition to melting glaciers, will increase the likelihood of their sliding into the sea.
That would be arguing against the evidence that increased temperatures have increased the speed of glaciers.
I mean, what do glaciers do but slide? Into the sea, if that is where they end, or into a river or a stream, if that is where they end.
Bottom line, I think the evidence shows that there are no tipping points with respect to the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps, just the more CO2 we put in the atmosphere, the faster both ice caps will melt, and the faster glaciers on those two ice caps will slide into the sea.
About 5 yrs ago I gave a lecture at U. Illinois at Chicago about my treering work. During questions, a student asked about melting ice caps. I said the bulk of Greenland ice sat in a bowl and could not “slide” anywhere (see image above). A geology prof stood up and started screaming at me that it was sliding into the sea, and I was a bad person (rather incoherent rant, hard to remember it), and then stomped out. My host was mortified.
Craig: A couple of years ago, I gave a short recitation on a book I wrote on climate change at Author’s Night at my local library in South Pasadena, CA (population 22,000). Usually, about 20 people show up on Author’s Night. The room was packed with Greenpeace/JPL AGW believers who were rude and obnoxious. A couple of years earlier, I gave a talk at USC and one person got up in the middle of the talk, audibly cursing, and stomped out of the room.
I find it interesting that within the responses to these postings there is: (1) An almost total lack of humility and uncertainty in the responses, (2) Repetitiveness of responses by any specific person within a given posting or from posting to posting (e.g. the Fan), (3) Certainty and arrogance of the assertions in the responses, (4) Widespread (but not universal) lack of civility. Rarely do we see a response that begins with “As far as I can tell —” or “It seems to me —“. Rather, many responses could end with “The Great Oz has spoken”. Yet, just about every single posting on this website, whether it be on SLR, El Ninos, the “pause”, or whatever, seems to carry with it a great deal of baggage (otherwise known as “uncertainty” due to lack of accurate long-term unequivocal data). Many of the responders contribute predictable responses; they enter the fray with preconceived hardened viewpoints and try win points by adding their spin to the quasi-religious discussion. Yet, there are some who make balanced, insightful comments that I find useful and sometimes entertaining (e.g. Mosher). Part of the problem might be due to the democratic nature of the system. The wide use of pseudonyms might hide the fact that some responders are highly qualified scientists while others could possibly be trash collectors? Even within the group of highly qualified scientists, there might be a divergence. Most scientists are narrow specialists. They might be highly qualified within their specialty, but they might not have the synoptic view of the broad field. This is where the system engineers (aka “summarizers”) provide a service by reviewing the work of others and pulling together an overview. But ultimately it seems to me there in only one possible conclusion: Almost every proposition, conclusion, assertion, and forecast in climate science is highly uncertain due to lack of data and there is no way to resolve what is really happening. Thus the certainty and arrogance of the assertions in the responses is irrational, and we are engaged in an irrational dialog between religious zealots, interspersed with occasional rational comments by a minority.
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FOMD is funny. He’s got a good schtick going. Entertaining for sure. Definitely has that Jon Stewart humor for sure.
Frankly, I’m more worried about Steve Sarkisian and whether or not USC can beat UCLA this fall.
I’ll let FOMD and his ilk fret about 100 years from now. But I do enjoy the humor.
Uncertainty is an element of climate science. But we have known for over 100 years that carbon dioxide traps solar energy in the atmosphere by preventing it from escaping back into space. the “skeptics” love to quibble. But all the quibbling does not change the fact that warming is inevitable under conditions of rapid carbon loading. So sure that we are falling prey to “alarmism”. so sure that a handful know more than a vast majority. so sure that we are afraid because we enjoy it.
surprise- I am not enjoying being afraid. I would so like to feel safe. But somehow, the smug rants about climate alarmism fail to reassure me,