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Climate Armageddon postponed (again): the melting polar ice

9 October 2010

Summary:  More good news!  The ice-melting apocalypse has been postponed.  Standby for the next dire emergency, coming soon.  A fearful people is an easy to rule people.

Steve Goddard reminds us about another instance of climate Armageddon postponed.  We see the usual script.  A short-term trend get extrapolated into dire warnings on the front page — and the news media either buries or ignores reversal of the trend.  In this case hysteria produced using the 2005-07 rapid melting of Greenland’s glaciers and 2007′s “record” low arctic sea ice (i.e., only from 1979)  — although total global sea ice remained, and remains, more-or-less stable.  Some examples, as illustrations:

Since then arctic sea ice has grown; see trends here).  Greenland’s glaciers stabilized, as reported at the Fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union – Galloping Glaciers of Greenland Have Reined Themselves In“, Richard A. Kerr, Science, January 2009 — Excerpt:

Things were looking bad around southeast Greenland a few years ago. There, the streams of ice flowing from the great ice sheet into the sea had begun speeding up in the late 1990s. Then, two of the biggest Greenland outlet glaciers really took off, and losses from the ice to the sea eventually doubled. Some climatologists speculated that global warming might have pushed Greenland past a tipping point into a scary new regime of wildly heightened ice loss and an ever-faster rise in sea level.

So much for Greenland ice’s Armageddon. “It has come to an end,” glaciologist Tavi Murray of Swansea University in the United Kingdom said during a session at the meeting. “There seems to have been a synchronous switch-off ” of the speed-up, she said. Nearly everywhere around southeast Greenland, outlet glacier flows have returned to the levels of 2000. An increasingly warmer climate will no doubt eat away at the Greenland ice sheet for centuries, glaciologists say, but no one should be extrapolating the ice’s recent wild behavior into the future.

… Taken together, the data show “there’s a pattern of speeding up to maximum velocity and then slowing down since 2005,” Murray said. “It’s amazing; they sped up and slowed down together. They’re not in runaway acceleration. Something happened that has switched off ” the acceleration event of 2003 to 2005.

How fast is Greenland’s icecap melting?   How much does that raise global sea level?

 Answer:  18 thousandths of an inch per year.  From the abstract of “Partitioning Recent Greenland Mass Loss“, Michiel van den Broeke et al, Science, 13 November 2009:

Mass budget calculations, validated with satellite gravity observations [from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites], enable us to quantify the individual components of recent Greenland mass loss.  The total 2000–2008 mass loss of ~1500 gigatons, equivalent to 0.46 millimeters per year of global sea level rise, is equally split between surface processes (runoff and precipitation) and ice dynamics. Without the moderating effects of increased snowfall and refreezing, post-1996 Greenland ice sheet mass losses would have been 100% higher. … 

For more information about these things

See the FM reference pages:

Posts about rising sea levels:

  1. Climate science articles which you might enjoy reading!, 18 January 2009
  2. An example of important climate change research hidden, lest it spoil the media’s narrative, 22 May 2009
  3. About that melting arctic ice cap, 17 April 2010
  4. Fear or Fail: about the melting Greenland ice sheet, 24 May 2010
  5. It’s time to worry (again) about disappearing arctic ice, 8 June 2010
  6. Today’s good news, about rising sea levels, 3 June 2010 — Esp note the links to articles and studies!
  7. Looking into the past for guidance about warnings of future climate apocalypses, 17 October 2010

Posts about climate change propaganda:

  1. The media doing what it does best these days, feeding us disinformation, 11 February 2008
  2. More attempts to control the climate science debate using smears and swarming, 19 October 2009
  3. The facts about the 1970′s Global Cooling scare, 7 December 2009
  4. About Wikipedia’s handling of controversial topics…like climate science, 20 December 2009
  5. The floodgates slowly open and the foreign news media debunk climate change propaganda, 24 January 2010
  6. Quote of the day – hidden history for people who rely on the mainstream media for information, 12 February 2010
  7. A real-time example of the birth and spread of climate propaganda, 9 March 2010
  8. Lies told under the influence of the Green religion to save the world, 30 July 2010
  9. We see the world in terms of facts (mostly numbers). Our world changes rapidly, including the past’s numbers, 2 August 2010
  10. A new video about global warming, a Leftists’ wet dream pretending to be humor, 1 October 2010
  11. Looking into the past for guidance about warnings of future climate apocalypses, 17 October 2010
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