Posts Tagged ‘Totten Glacier’

Proof ANTARCTICA Is BREAKING UP

March 2, 2016

OUTSMARTING NASA (or is NASA, and other climate “scientists” being deliberately dumb?):

Abstract: Found below is the proof that Antarctica Is Already Breaking Up. Using a recent NASA study is crucial. Interestingly NASA drew the opposite conclusion from its own data. Had NASA been more ASTUTE, its data would have let it to the conclusion below. Amazingly, it did not. It’s all about the water level not changing in a glass with melting ice, and contrasting it with what happens when one starts with ice only!

***

I was reading the description of the damage from Sea Level Rise (SLR) in “Learning From Dogs”:“Interconnections Two”. Therein are found reference to “scientific” papers. The big question is what does “scientific” mean? “Science” means what’s known. The problem is that today’s scientists are afraid of the biggest questions, because the answers attached to them are very ugly, something intolerable in the age of beauty, celebrity, and philanthropy (aka plutocracy).

Antarctica Stripped Of Ice. In Some Places, Ice Rests On The Ground 2,500 Meters Below Sea Level (a mile and a half).

Antarctica Stripped Of Ice. In Some Places, Ice Rests On The Ground 2,500 Meters Below Sea Level (a mile and a half).

[NASA picture. The greyish area is now covered by kilometers of ice. The ice presses down with enormous weight, so its bottom is kilometers below sea level.]

Up to 2015, no reputable scientist would have dared to consider that the polar ice sheets could melt before several millennia. Such a contemplation was way too dangerous for their careers and livelihood. Thus the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) excluded considering the gigantic masses of ice covering Greenland and Antarctica for its computations of Sea Level Rise. This is rather curious as the main factor in SLR is the melting of ice. This how the IPCC got to a roughly ONLY one meter of SLR by 2100 CE.

However, there is an obvious way to melt maybe half of the ice sheets instantaneously on a geological time scale: four degree centigrade (38 F) water is the densest, and can melt the threshold, the stoop holding them tight. Once that’s done, the water can flow down on the other side, a mile down or more.

Scientists have to be careful, because they need to be funded. In the plutocratic USA, funding varies from year to year, like carrots do for donkeys from day-to-day. The authorities funding “scientists” ultimately depend upon the fossil fuel lobby and related plutocratic lobbies which fund both politicians and private (“elite”) universities. So scientists cannot dare to roll out a half-baked theory, before we get fully baked ourselves. (But don’t worry, plutocrats want to roast us ASAP.)

Dr. Hansen, who used to work for NASA as chief climate scientist, published last Spring (2015) what he viewed as his “most important paper ever” arguing that ice sheet melting could rise sea level within a century or two by several meters. I am not that sanguine, I think it will happen much faster, and I can prove that it already started.

Indeed there is an obvious theory, full of brand new science, which demonstrates that the break-up of Antarctica ice sheets has already started: on October 30 2015, NASA published studies showing that Antarctica is actually gathering snow… And not losing it.

NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses:

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.”

This is expected as the warmer it gets, the more the air carries water, the more it snows (until it turns to rain!) “We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.”  Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.”

To deduce the “net gain”, NASA, also using satellite data, watching changes of altitude carefully computed how much the volume change:

“Scientists calculate how much the ice sheet is growing or shrinking from the changes in surface height that are measured by the satellite altimeters. In locations where the amount of new snowfall accumulating on an ice sheet is not equal to the ice flow downward and outward to the ocean, the surface height changes and the ice-sheet mass grows or shrinks.

But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years — I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”

NOW THE BIG QUESTION:

So, if Antarctica is gathering ever more snow, as NASA showed, and as Sea Level Rise is accelerating, what is going on?

Officially, no one knows.

But I do know what is going on, because I think, and, as I am not funded by fossil fuel plutocracy, and I am strongly motivated as I consider anthropomorphic climate change the greatest problem humanity ever faced.

As all other factors have been considered, and as Sherlock Holmes would observe, all is left is what we cannot see: the ice sheets are already breaking up, from below. As I described in several essays, there is evidence that the Totten glacier, the plug holding the giant Aurora Basin in Antarctica, has melted on hundreds of kilometers, much below its apparently placid surface.

How come NASA did not see it? Because, if one puts ice in a glass containing water, and keep the temperature high enough to melt all the ice, the water level will NOT change. (This can be viewed as a consequence of Archimedes Principle).

So far, so good. However, the ice sheets are not floating: they rest on the ground, until the famous “grounding line”. So one cannot apply Archimedes Principle to start with. although one has to apply it, once the ice shield has become an ice SHELF, and floats, because it melted.

The very fact NASA saw nothing, no change of elevation, means a loss of mass from the ice sheets. This is due to the fact that ice occupies more volume than water. Relative to water, ice has only .91 of the density: this is why ice floats on water (Archimedes Principle).

So the ice sheets are breaking down, MELTING FROM BELOW, and they don’t go down, because more water is coming in.

Contemplate an ice cube in a glass: contemplate the top surface of the ice cube. That is what NASA’s satellites look at. If an ice cube melts in the glass, its top surface goes down until it completely disappears, level with the water surface. This loss of altitude is what NASA did not see, and thus it claims there is no melting. However, in the case of an ice sheet, to start with, the ice is resting on the ground, and there is NO water.

As the melting proceeds, water appears below. If the top level of the cube does not come down, it is that more water has been brought in.

How would we know this is happening? Well, if the global Sea Level is rising. Not only that, but SLR is accelerating (by 30% in the last three years).

If I find time, I will draw a little cartoon of the situation, but that’s not easy on a smartphone (I don’t own a tablet…)

Antarctica is breaking up. It’s happening from below, sight unseen. It requires a bit of logic to understand it, as we saw. When the unexplained Sea Level Rise will become blatantly catastrophic, and the climate in public opinion will be safe enough to parrot the reasoning above, said reasoning will be made by all scientists. Of artful parroting, and “hiding one’s sources” a successful scientific career is made… said no less an authority than Albert Einstein. However, that’s not as bad as hiding the main source of accelerating Sea Level Rise, as all climate scientists are presently doing, led by NASA.

A “scientist” is someone who knows. When “scientists” don’t want to know, lest they don’t get a paycheck, are they still “scientists”?

More generally, thinkers, those who think creatively, tend not to get a paycheck, because really new ideas are unsettling to all ideas. Those have most of the money generally have no interest to unsettle the established order upon which their fortunes rest. And it is the more so, the richer the richest individuals are. This is why a state owned by just one family, like Saudi Arabia, is so “conservative”. So, do we want to think, or do we accept to drown? That is the question.

In its own press release, linked above, NASA scientists declared:

“The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” Zwally said. “But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for.”

Well, it’s coming from Antarctica. It’s your logic which is faulty.

Patrice Ayme’

Biblical Flood Starting Anew

February 23, 2016

Abstract: update on Sea Level Rise. The meat of the essay is at the end, in the section “THE SITUATION IS ACTUALLY CATACLYSMIC“.

Heard of The Flood? As in the Bible? Sea level rose 120 meters (400 feet), in the period centered around 10,000 years ago. The cause? More than half of Earth’s ice melted in a few millennia,  During the rest of the early Holocene, the rate of rise of the world’s ocean reached peaks as high as 60  millimeters (2.5 inches) per year. The melting of the ice happened because Earth’s positional and orbital parameters had made northern hemisphere’s summers too warm (most of the ice shields rested on the large continents of the north). Nowadays only two enormous ice shields are left: Greenland and Antarctica.

Those who enjoy catastrophes will love it: we have 75 meters of further sea rise to enjoy pretty soon, on our way to a Jurassic climate (the Jurassic was characterized by gigantic warm shallow seas on top of the continents). Her was the situation in the Miocene, when CO2 was at 500 ppm (where we will be at in ten years, see conclusion below).

Absent Drastic Measures Immediately, This Miocene Antarctica State Will Happen Right Away. In this picture, the WAIS, in front has collapsed, Wilkes and Aurora basins partly so. Google With my full name and the features to find out more.

Absent Drastic Measures Immediately, This Miocene Antarctica State Will Happen Right Away. In this picture, the WAIS, in front has collapsed, Wilkes and Aurora basins partly so. Google With my full name and the features to find out more.

[Even then, that picture from the U.of Mass. did not fully collapse the Aurora Basin, up right, which I expect to collapse first. Maybe they did not drill there, and are just speculating, whereas I have a reasoning on the Totten Glacier, outlet to the Aurora extremely deep basin, which is being quickly undermined as we speak.]

Says the New York Times in “Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries”:

“The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday.

Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said. They added that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling.

The increasingly routine tidal flooding is making life miserable in places like Miami Beach; Charleston, S.C.; and Norfolk, Va., even on sunny days.

Though these types of floods often produce only a foot or two of standing saltwater, they are straining life in many towns by killing lawns and trees, blocking neighborhood streets and clogging storm drains, polluting supplies of freshwater and sometimes stranding entire island communities for hours by overtopping the roads that tie them to the mainland.”

In a way, this is Biblical justice, perfectly appropriate for a deeply Christian community: America has sinned, being, by far, the most country most guilty in the burning of fossil fuels (and don’t brandish China: this is the place where global plutocrats, mostly of US obedience, have their factories, so that they can escape all regulations, including those trying to abate fossil fuel burning (all European countries have de facto hefty carbon taxes).

The USA is guilty of letting its plutocrats run amok, not just subjugating civilization, unleashing the terrorists, but also, even worse, burning their way through the biosphere. Now the USA has to pay the price. New York Times:

“Such events are just an early harbinger of the coming damage, the new research suggests.

“I think we need a new way to think about most coastal flooding,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, the primary author of one of two related studies released on Monday. “It’s not the tide. It’s not the wind. It’s us. That’s true for most of the coastal floods we now experience.”

In the second study, scientists reconstructed the level of the sea over time and confirmed that it is most likely rising faster than at any point in 28 centuries, with the rate of increase growing sharply over the past century — largely, they found, because of the warming that scientists have said is almost certainly caused by human emissions.

They also confirmed previous forecasts that if emissions were to continue at a high rate over the next few decades, the ocean could rise as much as three or four feet by 2100.

Experts say the situation would then grow far worse in the 22nd century and beyond, likely requiring the abandonment of many coastal cities.

The findings are yet another indication that the stable climate in which human civilization has flourished for thousands of years, with a largely predictable ocean permitting the growth of great coastal cities, is coming to an end.

“I think we can definitely be confident that sea-level rise is going to continue to accelerate if there’s further warming, which inevitably there will be,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, a professor of ocean physics at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, and co-author of one of the papers, published online Monday by an American journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a report issued to accompany that scientific paper, a climate research and communications organization in Princeton, N.J., Climate Central, used the new findings to calculate that roughly three-quarters of the tidal flood days now occurring in towns along the East Coast would not be happening in the absence of the rise in the sea level caused by human emissions…The change in frequency of those tides is striking. For instance, in the decade from 1955 to 1964 at Annapolis, Md., an instrument called a tide gauge measured 32 days of flooding; in the decade from 2005 to 2014, that jumped to 394 days.”

Four feet by 2100? 1,2 meter? That would be nice; it would give us plenty of time to correct the error of our ways. In truth, we are running out of time. I think a minimum of 40 feet (12 meters) is likely. By the way, we have enough refined knowledge now to know that the “Little Ice Age” between 1400 CE and 1800 CE dropped sea level by 8 centimeters.

THE SITUATION IS ACTUALLY CATACLYSMIC. The United Nations’ IPCC did not include in its computations the possible melting of the ice shields of Greenland and Antarctica. For three reasons: first, it was viewed as impossible, before, at least a few millennia; secondly, there was no mathematical model for the melting; finally, no plausible mechanism was held to be plausible to melt said ice shields.

My reasoning is the exact opposite: first an obvious mechanism for the melting of the ice shields exists: the ice shields can up up to 4 kilometers thick. Thus they press down on the continental crust so much, that much of Greenland and Antarctica is well below sea level. Not by just a few hundred feet, but outright, by kilometers. Deeper than the Grand Canyon. In these gigantic areas, the ice of the ice shields is in direct contact with the continental crust. Those areas are protected by rock thresholds on the margins of the ice shields (where the crust goes back up, because where the ice ends, there is no more weight pressing down on the continent).

Right now, warm water, which is denser at 4Centigrades (40 Fahrenheit), eats at the “grounding lines” of the ice shields where the ice of the shields touches the rock directly. When past the threshold, warm water will be able to drop down on the other side, deeper than the Grand Canyon, and should be able to shock fracture and melt a Texas sized ice shield ice shield in a few decades. That will be found all too soon.

Scientists presently handsomely paid to strike moderates postures will be very “surprised”.

Three scientific papers published in the last two months support my, admittedly drastic, point of view. One observed the collapse of a colossal glacier in northwest Greenland, eaten by a current at one degree C. It was a miniature reproduction of what to expect for entire ice shields. Two others observed the past, and that Antarctica was unstable at 500 ppm CO2. What they did not say is how dramatic the situation was. Indeed, sounding moderate is how they get funded by a benevolent, plutocratically ruled government (and by government, I also mean the corrupt Supreme Court, not just the latest elected buffoons). The scientists who evoked the 500 ppm of CO2 omitted two significant details, where the devil lurks. They claimed that it would take 30 years to get there. That’s not correct; at the present rate, we will add 100 ppm of CO2 within 25 years. But not just that: there are other man-made GreenHouse Gases (GHG): CH4, NOx, Fluorocarbons, etc. All these gases warm up the lower atmosphere much more than CO2. So the correct measurement is not CO2 ppm, but CO2 EQUIVALENT ppm.

We are right now ABOVE 450 ppm in EQUIVALENT CO2, and will be at 500 ppm within ten years. Let’s hope there will be more boats than on the Titanic.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: If anything, the preceding is a conservative estimate. Indeed very serious scientists evaluated already the man-made greenhouse gases at 478 ppm in 2013. This means we will be above 500 ppm in CO2 equivalent within six years, in line with my previous analyses, such as “Ten Years To Catastrophe“. See:

http://oceans.mit.edu/news/featured-stories/5-questions-mits-ron-prinn-400-ppm-threshold

East Antarctica Melting

March 20, 2015

SHALLOW SEAS COMING ALL OVER:

East Antarctica Melting Could be Explained by Oceanic Gateways

Antarctica is very cold. Most of it is always frozen. So why are some country-sized glaciers there, thinning by six meters per year? Enquiring minds want to know.

This thinning was not anticipated, by common scientists. Apocalyptic considerations do not advance academic careers. However it looked ineluctable to yours truly, long ago:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/sun-cooling-ice-melting/

The naïve had bellowed that East Antarctica would not melt for thousands of years. I pointed out that vast swathes of the ice continent were below sea level, and would melt in a geological instant, if warm water got below. This is exactly was is happening.

Let me have the pleasure to present to you the outlet of the Totten Glacier, hundreds of kilometers long, and fifty kilometers wide:

Warm Water Flowing Through Narrow Red Marks (5 Kms Wide). I Melt, You Drown.

Warm Water Flowing Through Narrow Red Marks (5 Kms Wide). I Melt, You Drown.

As I said, this is just the outlet of the Totten Glacier. As the picture below shows, most of the glacier is in the interior, and it is hundreds of time greater in area… And volume. More troubling, its bottom is miles… under water. Many glaciers of Antarctica, East or West, rest kilometers below sea level. (Much of the interior of Greenland is also below sea level; it is entirely possible that the sea could enter, too; a grand canyon was just discovered there.)

The reason is the weight of the ice. Two miles of ice press down with 3,000 tons per square meter. Over a square kilometer, that’s three billion tons. As continents float on a liquid layer which rests on something viscous, continental masses sink under the ice (“isostasis”). Conversely, 10,000 years after the disappearance of the ice, Scandinavia is still lifting up.

The euphemistically named “climate change” see even a drying California’s Sierra Nevada, going up: a drying Sierra is lighter than a wet Sierra.

So what is going on with these East Antarctica glaciers? Let’s consider Totten.

The “catchment basin” of the Totten glacier is larger than California. It firmly rests on the continent with depths as great as more than two miles below sea level (nearly four (4) kilometers!). I warned explicitly, six years ago, that it would melt soon, with the exact mechanism now revealed as being in full swing.

This Will All Melt. Map Above, The Entrance of Totten, Is The Red Rectangle

This Will All Melt. Map Above, The Entrance of Totten, Is The Red Rectangle

The coast of East Antarctica hugs the Polar Circle. Thus, it is not that far south. It is potentially exposed to warm waters. It is roughly at the same latitude as Iceland, a place where forests are growing again.

All this ice is protected by, or used to be protected by thick frozen lips, next to the Antarctic Ocean. (Reason: on the margin of the continent, there is no more ice, or then floating ices shelves; thus, there is no more weight pressing down, and the continent flexes back up, forming the lips; I made up the word “lip”, by the way).

The frozen lips used to be stuck with giant ice plugs. Those are melting, or, in the case of Totten, have melted, and relatively warmish water is increasingly circulating below. (The reason is that warm salted is denser than colder sweeter water; so warm water passes below.)

If the warm water passes the threshold, the lip, it will fall on the other side, below the giant glacier, or, as it called, the icecap.

The warm water has advanced below the Totten Glacier by hundreds of kilometers, and has lifted the glacier. The line where the glacier is still resting on the continent is called the “Grounding Line”.

The study published in Nature was the result of cooperation from NASA, ESA, USA, France, UK, Australia, and more than 100 scientists. East Antarctica Melting Could be Explained by Oceanic Gateways

 

The Grounding Line can be picked up on ice penetrating radar. Such radar can distinguish the polished ice lifted and melting, and the grounded ice.

It is known that the entire Totten basin has melted in the past. One has to understand the human species evolved in the last two million years or so, roughly coincident with the freezing of Antarctica.

Why, when did Antarctica freeze? When the CO2 density fell below 450 PPM. Now it’s 400 PPM, if restricted to CO2.

However, in truth, we are well above 450 PPM, because one has to count the other man-made greenhouse gases (which did not exist when Antarctica started to freeze three million years ago).

So now Antarctica is unstable. As a frozen continent.

The warm water is not just lifting the glacier, but melting it. From below. When the glacier is entirely melted, all the ancient water molecules frozen above sea level in the past will rejoin the oceans. And the oceans, in turn, will rise.

A secondary effect is that, as the sea level rises, the ice shelves will get pushed up. As this happen, they will fracture, and melt even faster than expected. This will have an effect especially on West Antarctica, much of it been anchored by giant ice shelves.

Antarctica, and Greenland, if they thoroughly melted, would stay melted. Forests would grow (they started to, in Greenland).

Scientists are reassuring: if the Totten glacier melts completely, it will take centuries. They look at each other, and opine. I can hear them bleat from here. They have to be reassuring, because they are Very Serious People, on whom plutocracy leans.

It is the same crowd who, six years ago, was absolutely sure East Antarctica would never melt.

Yet, it is melting.

I will not bother to roll out mathematics and compute. Take California, cover it with two miles of ice. Then direct at it cold water, with a hose, five miles wide, half a mile deep. How long? Ah, a detail that may not be a detail: it’s coming from below. With ice shelves, lifting from below induces their brutal disintegration. The same happens with flowing glaciers. The spectacle is nearly incomprehensible in its violence and gigantism.

So watch this video, of the largest calving event ever filmed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC3VTgIPoGU

This is the future of the Totten glacier, soon, and on a wide, getting ever wider, front.

No, it will not take centuries.

Decades, at most.

Melting Totten will change human civilization, forever. And of course, it will not melt alone. As I showed in detail, six years ago, there is an ever larger catchment basin in East Antarctica, with its bottom miles under sea level

Patrice Ayme’