Posts Tagged ‘Circumpolar Current’

Antarctica Breaks Apart, In The Middle Of Winter!

July 13, 2017

It’s not just what, where, but when. In the depth of winter. Even in the depth of winter, Antarctica breaks apart. Larsen C Iceshelf, a vast 5800-square-kilometre iceberg more than a quarter the size of Wales, weighing more than a trillion tonnes, has now calved. It was detected by Nasa’s Aqua MODIS satellite instrument.

The calving reduces the size of the Larsen C Ice Shelf by around 12 per cent and will change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula forever.  

As the iceshelves disintegrate, the feeding glaciers, overland, accelerate and the sea warms further. The Larsen C break forked like a snake tongue, 2 months before breaking. (Meaning more is coming soon!)

Iceshelves are part of Antarctica’s glaciers. They are glaciers which have separated from the rockbed, and start  floating on the sea. Some are 800 kilometers (500 miles) wide, and 800 meters (half a mile) thick.

Just a bit of math: an iceshelf 1000 kms wide extending 1000 kms in the sea, and a kilometer thick weights: 10^6 10^6 10^3 = 10^15 tons, that is one thousand trillion tons. It’s obvious that such an object in the way, especially when anchored here and there to rocky islands, is hard to move. So the iceshelves slow down the interior glaciers of Antarctica, force them to bunch up (thus to receive more snow).

Thus 12% of the Larsen C iceshelf in Antarctica just broke this week. In the middle of Antarctica’s winter. The whole  Larsen C, three times as large as Wales, could well follow…

To this a denying insect responded: A. D.. Jordan ridiculously screeched on the Internet: “Perhaps you should complete your story on the Larson [sic] C Ice Shelf story. Scientists who study such things say it will take many years of study to determine if this event was due to what you assert. Fear mongering based on no factual information has been the biggest black eye the Man Made Climate Change folks have suffered.”

When a plane, and, a fortiori, a planet, crashes, one does not wait for “Scientists”, whatever a “scientist” is supposed to be, years from now to deliver a verdict (Darwin, certainly a scientist, was no official “scientist”: he had no serious degree, let alone a “scientist” job… My grandfather, who drew the geological maps of Algeria, had no official geology degree, his “real” job was something else… The point is that good science is what good scientists do, and a tool they use is having a good hunch, or skill; not being corrupt helps.).

The Larsen A and B iceshelves previously disintegrated in a similar fashion. By chance, there an automated weather station in the area of the Larsen B iceshelf when it collapsed into a zillion tiny bergs (all of which Zuck sucks). The disintegration happened in the polar night too. For four days, incredibly warm and powerful foehn wind blew at temperatures exceeding 50 Fahrenheit (and actually 15 Centigrades!)

If all iceshelves of the Antarctic Peninsula disintegrated, we would not need “scientists” to tell us what is going on. Many scientists are on the take: Google will pay “scientists” up to 400,000 dollars to sing the right tune. This methodology, of paying “scientists” was long practiced by the drug industry (of tobacco leaves).

The 180-kilometer-long crack threatening one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves had branched out, before the break. Radar mapping shows that a second crack has split off from the main rupture like a snake’s forked tongue, the Antarctic Project MIDAS reported May 1. That second branch, which stretches around 15 kilometers, didn’t exist on radar maps taken six days earlier, the scientists say.

Denying the facts of anthropomorphic climate change is dishonest, or ignorant, or both. The map of Antarctica will have to be redrawn, smaller, that’s a fact. The fact that the iceshelf broke in the Antarctic winter is itself telling: that means there is warming even when there is no sun (there can be foehn in the dark, and also the warm circumpolar current is undermining the ice from below; this was long hypothesized by your truly, and it’s increasing becoming a demonstrated fact: warmer water is denser.).

West Antarctica is mostly a huge iceshelf and giant icesheet grounded on rock most of which is way below sea level, as deep as the Grand Canyon (much fun is to be had when warm ocean water sneaks below). It’s also one of the fastest warming region on Earth (more than twice the global rate, that is in excess of 2.5 C, where the average is 1.2 C…) Soon the gigantic icesheet which constitutes most of West Antarctica will turn into an iceshelf, and the denial insects will migrate to higher land from flooded Florida. 

Iceshelves are goners, admire while they last…

In the last ten years, the speed of sea rise, worldwide, has augmented by 50%. It’s already clear that much of Florida will go below the waves (no dam can save it, as the limestone there is porous), very soon. The debate, increasing, is whether we will be able to limit sea level rise in the next few centuries, to 20 meters.

More can be done, like repelling the Donald Trumps at the heart of Anglo-Saxon imperialists. By “Anglo-Saxon imperialists” I don’t mean the British The British, as the good Europeans they are, emit only b. Great Britain has reduced its CO2 emissions by 40% since 1990!

High CO2 emissions have, arguably, to do with the nastiness of a country: Luxembourg, an obnoxious tax haven hidden in plain view inside the European Union, recently emitted 21.4 tons of CO2 per person per year (Luxembourg does not have the excuse of high fossil fuels production, as Qatar, Emirates, Trinidad & Tobago have).

The CO2 emissions, per capita, per year of the EU 28 (European Union including rogue Britain) were less than seven (7) tons in 2015 (and decreasing strongly). By the way, the added value of manufacturing in the EU 28 was on a par with China, and 30% larger than that of the USA. (So the USA can’t retreat behind a cloud of smoky justification that America is Great Again, and has been emitting a lot…)

French CO2 emissions per capita in 2015 were only 5.1 ton (France has the greatest number of nuclear reactors functioning… in the world, even more than the USA).

Australia crows that it didn’t have a recession in 20 years. That’s true, but it’s also true that Australia is a massive producer and exporter of CO2 generating substances. The CO2 emissions per head in Australia are 18.6 tons, mostly from coal used in power generation. Natural gas is frantically exported to other countries, which made the city of Adelaide recently go without electricity, when the gas ran out…  

Canada, with its boyish heir to the throne, Trudeau, is paying lip service to climate change, all cosmetic: in spite of giant hydropower in some states, for example Quebec, the country is a miserable 15.5 tons per capita per year in CO2 emissions. Mostly because Canada selfishly, not to say dementedly, insists to produce and export the world’s most polluting fuel, tar sands. I guess, when you have killed nearly all the Indians and French-Indian metis, you may as well try to kill the rest of the planet too. Good things have come out of these massacres… (I feel, that, as Putin himself had the impudent honesty of recognizing, higher-ups in Canada believe that global warming is a good thing. Some of Trump’s advisers have expressed the same feelings, long hidden at the top of America…)

A few months ago, during the Austral summer, a French expedition pushed towards the Totten glacier, not far from the Dumont Durville station. They dived along the massive cliff of the iceshelf.

The French have the only autonomous scaphander tech to dive in subfreezing waters: the equipment weights hundreds of pounds and is figured as cover story in National Geographic, July 2017. The entire swimsuit has several layers, one of them being electrically heated… The report is fascinating:

“Deepest Dive Ever Under Antarctica Reveals a Shockingly Vibrant World. 
Our special report offers a rare look at life beneath the frozen continent—where penguins, seals, and exotic creatures thrive.
Tendrils of ice-covered brine, or brinicles, leak from sea ice near East Antarctica’s Dumont d’Urville Station. Ephemeral and seldom seen, they form when trapped, supercooled brine escapes from the ice and freezes less salty seawater…”

Notice the hanging tentacles of ice…

The French scientists dived next to a towering cliff, and expected the ice to go deep, hundreds of meters deep. Instead, it mysteriously stopped, sort of right away. The scientists were floored by this discovery. In my humble opinion, it seems the ice is just hanging there from a cantilever effect. That would explain why the iceshelves so readily disintegrate… It also mean the ice is melted from below by the warm circumpolar current, irresistibly gnawing, preparing to spring a nonlinear trap, onto a humanity in denial…

Global warming is a fact, not just a theory! Yet, it gives us the occasion of drawing conclusions about national moods…

Patrice Ayme’