Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why Antarctica also doesn't need 'saving'

In an article today, Eyes Turn to Antarctica as Study Shows Greenland’s Ice Has Endured Warmer Climates, NYT blogger Andy Revkin says,
"My answer would be that Greenland doesn’t need “saving,” Antarctica needs much more observation and analysis"
Here's why Antarctica also doesn't need "saving":

New paper finds Antarctica snow pack will continue to grow during 21st century

New paper finds no change in Antarctic snowmelt since measurements began in 1979

New paper shows Antarctic temperatures haven't increased over past 500 years

Shocking warming in Antarctica - almost back to temperature in 1850

Inconvenient truth: Antarctica sea ice extent growing 1.43% per year

New study finds growth of Antarctic sea ice accelerated 53% since 2006

Antarctica sea ice shows accelerating increase over past 30 years

Antarctic Temperatures and Ice Extent Not Unprecedented

GRACE satellite data shows Antarctica is gaining ice mass

New paper shows sea temperatures near Antarctica were about 10°C warmer 12,000 years ago


Lewis page also sums up today why we don't have to worry about either Greenland or Antarctica:

Greenland ice SIMPLY WOULD NOT MELT in baking +8°C era 120k years ago

Scratch off yet another IPCC doom warning

By Lewis Page • Get more from this author

Posted in Science24th January 2013 15:29 GMT

Scientists analysing ancient ice samples say that the Greenland ice sheet withstood temperatures much higher than today's for many thousands of years during a period of global warming more than 120,000 years ago, losing just a quarter of its mass. It had been widely suggested - by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for instance - that any such warming would melt the entire sheet, leading to massive sea-level rises.

The new research was carried out by analysing a 2.5km long ice core drilled from the Greenland ice last year by a major scientific expedition involving top boffins from around the world. The core data showed that 115 to 130 thousand years ago, temperatures above the Greenland ice were much higher than they are today: 8±4°C, in fact.

Until now it had been generally assumed that any such temperature rise - or indeed a much lesser rise of more than 3°C - would mean that all the Greenland ice would inevitably melt, causing the oceans of Earth to rise by as much as 7 metres. Based on the current IPCC status report, the climate-hardliner hippies at Greenpeace have this to say (pdf):
There is a major risk that the warming expected during the next five decades would trigger meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet ...
Ice sheet models project that a local warming of larger than 3°C ... would lead to virtually a complete melting of the Greenland ice sheet ...
But we now know that the Greenland ice was exposed to much greater heat for many thousands of years and lost only a quarter of its mass, so the models are evidently wrong and another IPCC doom warning has been consigned to the dustbin of history (previously the organisation has attracted widespread ridicule for suggesting that the glaciers of the Himalayas would all be gone by 2035 and that the Amazon rainforest might suddenly catch fire, burn up and vanish).

"The good news from this study is that the Greenland ice sheet is not as sensitive to temperature increases and to ice melting and running out to sea in warm climate periods like the Eemian, as we thought," explains Dorthe Dahl-Jensen of Copenhagen uni, one of the lead boffins working on the ice core research.

Some of the participating scientists suggested that even though we are now pretty sure we're safe from the Greenland ice sheet, we may still be flooded out of our homes at some point by meltwater from the even bigger and chillier Antarctic ice. However recent research has shown that big ice shelves down there, which had been thought to be melting, are actually not: that nothing new is going on in the much-discussed Western Antarctic peninsula: and that in fact the mighty sheet froze into being at a time when the atmosphere held much more carbon than it now does. It will also be well known to regular readers that the sea ice around the Antarctic coasts is steadily increasing in area year after year - baffling climate scientists and further undermining confidence in their models.

The new Greenland ice-core research is published here in hefty boffinry mag Nature.


  1. You're cherry-picking bits and pieces of studies to back up the climate-change-denial narrative, trying to portray this as a still dubious and debated question. The overwhelming majority of evidence shows a future of melting - in BOTH Antarctica and Greenland; that basic scenario hasn't changed - and significant sea level rise. The explanation for current Antarctic ice gain is out there, too, which is a fact that you conspicuously leave out of this post.

    Or is that also too much "boffinry?" As a side note, using condescending names for the people you disagree with doesn't exactly make you more credible.

    1. 1. The denier word is not allowed on this site. Read the comment policy. Are you denying natural climate change has resulted in much warmer climates than today and that there is no evidence it was due to CO2?

      2. There is no evidence that there will be significant sea rise. The sea rise of the past 18,000 years has decelerated over the 20th and 21st centuries and shows no evidence of a human fingerprint.

      3. Your cherry-picked article in National Geographic is directly contradicted by the more recent model in the first study I listed above, and others.

      4. Apparently you don't understand that the 2nd part of the post is from a newspaper and written by Lewis Page. Page. If you want to reply to him on condescension & boffinry do so at his site.

  2. comment at Revkin's site:

    Stan0301 Colorado

    Antarctica has been frozen since the Miocene when South America separated from Antarctica and the South Circumpolar Current started to flow. It has seen warmer times than today and hasn't melted. Even if it were to melt the weight of the ice has depressed the land to well below sea level, and as water occupies 10% less volume than the ice that it came from that space (below sea level) that it formerly occupied would be more than able to handle it. Indeed if the ice cap were to melt the freed up volume where the ice used to be would be so able to handle the volume of water produced that sea level would actually fall.
    Jan. 25, 2013 at 4:54 a.m.

  3. New post today:

  4. comment at NYT

    Semper NonfidelisBoston, MA.

    To: L. Harrison, PhD. It is worth noting that the the ice of Western side of the Antarctica sits on the ocean floor. Archimedes Principle applies.