Tuesday, May 13, 2014
WEST ANTARCTIC ICE MELT
Global warming is all that the article below talks about by way of explanation but bringing just a touch of extra evidence to bear alters the picture.
If warming is causing the glaciers to melt, how come the sea ice is at a record high? Is the land warming while the sea is cooling? If so we are looking at local effects not global ones.
And there IS a local warming effect that could be at work. Also in West Antarctica, an active sub-sea volcano has just been discovered. And the discoverers note: "Numerous volcanoes exist in Marie Byrd Land, a highland region of West Antarctica". See the article following the one below. And volcanoes are very hot. So it is not at all improbable that there is vulcanism elsewhere in West Antartica which is warming things up and melting glaciers.
Vulcanism is at least as good an explanation as global warming as an explanation of glacial changes for 2 reasons: 1). We know there is vulcanism nearby whereas we know that there is NO global warming going on at the moment. 2). Vulcanism explains the opposite trends in sea ice and glacial ice -- which global warming cannot do -- JR
The huge West Antarctic ice sheet is starting a glacially slow collapse in an unstoppable way, two new studies show. Alarmed scientists say that means even more sea level rise than they figured.
The worrisome outcomes won't be seen soon. Scientists are talking hundreds of years, but over that time the melt that has started could eventually add 4 to 12 feet to current sea levels.
A NASA study looking at 40 years of ground, airplane and satellite data of what researchers call "the weak underbelly of West Antarctica" shows the melt is happening faster than scientists had predicted, crossing a critical threshold that has begun a domino-like process.
"It does seem to be happening quickly," said University of Washington glaciologist Ian Joughin, lead author of one study. "We really are witnessing the beginning stages."
It's likely because of man-made global warming and the ozone hole which have changed the Antarctic winds and warmed the water that eats away at the feet of the ice, researchers said at a NASA news conference Monday.
"The system is in sort of a chain reaction that is unstoppable," said NASA glaciologist Eric Rignot, chief author of the NASA study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. "Every process in this reaction is feeding the next one."
Curbing emissions from fossil fuels to slow climate change will probably not halt the melting but it could slow the speed of the problem, Rignot said.
Newly-discovered active volcano underneath ice in West Antarctica
A newly-discovered active volcano could erupt underneath Antarctica, melting the ice from below and compounding the effects of global warming, according to scientists.
Researchers discovered the volcano underneath the ice after setting up devices to measure tectonic activity across Marie Byrd Land in the west of the continent.
Scientists had intended to use the seismograph machines to help in their efforts to weight the ice sheet - only to find that a volcano was in fact forming underneath the ice.
Volcanic activity was discovered around 30 miles from Antarctica's highest volcano, Mount Sidley, and although an eruption would be unlikely to breach the ice - the accompanying heat could have an effect on the landscape.
Even a sub-glacial eruption would still be able to melt ice, creating huge amounts of water which could flow beneath the ice and towards the sea - hastening the flow of the overlying ice and potentially speed up the rate of ice sheet loss.
'Numerous volcanoes exist in Marie Byrd Land, a highland region of West Antarctica,' said Amanda Lough, of Washington University in St Louis in the team's paper on the subject, published in the Nature Geoscience journal.
'High heat flow through the crust in this region may influence the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.'
The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the Earth's two polar ice caps and covers an area of 5.4 million square miles - around 98 percent of the continent, making it the largest single mass of ice on earth.
Although scientists have suggested that sea ice around the continent is increasing, land ice appears to be decreasing and the area is very sensitive to global warming.
Seismologists had set up two crossing lines of seismographs across Marie Byrd Land in 2010 - the first time such instruments able to withstand the cold temperatures year-round had been used.
They had hoped that discovering the weight of the ice would help them to work out the history of Antarctica's climate, but to do this needed to know how the Earth's mantle might respond to such a large mass of ice.
Software that might detect anything unusual beneath the ice surface was deployed, and in January 2010 and March 2011 this recorded two bursts of seismic activity.
When the scientists looked into what might have caused this activity they discovered what they believe to be a new volcano, forming around half a mile below the ice.
Ms Lough added: 'Eruptions at this site are unlikely to penetrate the 1.2 to 2-km-thick overlying ice, but would generate large volumes of melt water that could significantly affect ice stream flow.'
MOST HIMALAYAN GLACIERS STABLE AND IN A STEADY STATE, NEW STUDY FINDS
The Himalayan mountain system to the north of the Indian land mass with arcuate strike of NW–SE for about 2400 km holds one of the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar regions in its high-altitude regions. Perennial snow and ice-melt from these frozen reservoirs is used in catchments and alluvial plains of the three major Himalayan river systems, i.e. the Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra for irrigation, hydropower generation, production of bio-resources and fulfilling the domestic water demand. Also, variations in the extent of these glaciers are understood to be a sensitive indicator of climatic variations of the earth system and might have implications on the availability of water resources in the river systems. Therefore, mapping and monitoring of these fresh water resources is require d for the planning of water resources and understanding the impact of climatic variations. Thus a study has been carried out to find the change in the extent of Himalayan glaciers during the last decade using IRS LISS III images of 2000/01/02 and 2010/11.
Two thousand and eighteen glaciers representing climatically diverse terrains in the Himalaya were mapped and monitored. It includes glaciers of Karakoram, Himachal, Zanskar, Uttarakhand, Nepal and Sikkim regions. Among these, 1752 glaciers (86.8%) were observed having stable fronts (no change in the snout position and area of ablation zone), 248 (12.3%) exhibited retreat and 18 (0.9%) of them exhibited advancement of snout. The net loss in 10,250.68 sq km area of the 2018 glaciers put together was found to be 20.94 sq km or 0.2% (±2.5 % of 20.94 sq km). [...]
The results of the present study indicate that most of the glaciers were in a steady state compared to the results of other studies carried out for the period prior to 2001. This period of monitoring almost corresponds to hiatus in global warming in the last decade. It may happen that an interval of one decade could be smaller than the response time of glaciers to be reflected in terms of any significant change with 23.5 m spatial resolution of data. This point requires further studies using high-resolution data for a longer interval of time.
Currrent Science April 2014
Will the solar doldrums of the coming decades lead to cooling? A look at the latest scientific publications
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by NoTricksZone)
Seldom has the sun been as strong as we have seen it over the last 5 decades. Is it just a coincidence that the largest warming of the last 500 years occurred during this phase?
Just a few years ago the tide changed when the sun ended its hyperactive phase. Few people had anticipated this, and so it was a surprise for many. Solar physicist Leif Svalgaard of California’s Stanford University expressed it as follows at the American Geophysical Union last December:
“None of us alive have ever seen such a weak cycle. So we will learn something.”
And so science commenced to consider and think about what all this could lead to. The latest works on the subject include Qian et al. 2014 (“Secular changes in the thermosphere and ionosphere between two quiet Sun periods“), Zhao et al. 2014 (Modulation of galactic cosmic rays during the unusual solar minimum between cycles 23 and 24) and McCracken & Beer 2014 (Comparison of the extended solar minimum of 2006–2009 with the Spoerer, Maunder, and Dalton Grand Minima in solar activity in the past).
After a number of studies it has become clearer: It’s only the beginning! It is expected that the sun will continue becoming quieter over the coming decades. This has pretty much become the consensus among solar physicists. The latest studies on the subject come from Roth & Joos 2013, who assume a decline in solar activity to normal levels will occur during the 21st century. Salvador 2013 goes further and anticipates a solar minimum for the coming 30-100 years. Read the original abstract:
Using many features of Ian Wilson’s Tidal Torque theory, a mathematical model of the sunspot cycle has been created that reproduces changing sunspot cycle lengths and has an 85% correlation with the sunspot numbers from 1749 to 2013. The model makes a reasonable representation of the sunspot cycle for the past 1000 yr, placing all the solar minimums in their right time periods. More importantly, I believe the model can be used to forecast future solar cycles quantitatively for 30 yr and directionally for 100 yr. The forecast is for a solar minimum and quiet Sun for the next 30 to 100 yr. The model is a slowly changing chaotic system with patterns that are never repeated in exactly the same way. Inferences as to the causes of the sunspot cycle patterns can be made by looking at the model’s terms and relating them to aspects of the Tidal Torque theory and, possibly, Jovian magnetic field interactions.
In the Journal of Geophysical Research a study by Goelzer et al. appeared in December 2013 and also foresees a decline in solar activity.
What climatic consequences could this have? In our book “The Neglected Sun” we assume that temperatures could be two tenths of a degree lower by 2030 as a result, which would mean warming getting postponed far into the future. Russian scientists foresee an even more dramatic situation, as described in Germany’s leading national daily Bild of April 4,2013:
AND NOW THIS! Russian scientist sees next approaching ice age
It will get colder beginning in 2014 +++ Human migration cannot be ruled out”
Just a month earlier The Voice of Russia reported:
Planet on the verge of an ice age
Russian scientists are predicting that a little ice age will begin in 2014. They refute the claims of global warming and describe them as a marketing trick. Global warming is indeed happening. The earth has been continuously getting warmer since the second half of the 18th century, the start of the Industrial Revolution. This is why the process gets connected to an anthropogenic impact. Mankind increased CO2 emissions, which caused a greenhouse effect. But Russian scientist Vladimir Baschkin categorically disagrees. He claims that the climatic changes have a cyclic character and are not at all related in any way to human activities. Together with his colleague, Rauf Galiullin, of the Institute for Fundamental Problems of Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, he points out that the current warming is merely the continuation of the post Little Ice Age and that, measured on a geological scale, the occurrence of a new ice age is approaching.”
Other scientists share this view as well, among them Professor Cliff Ollier of the School of Earth and Environmental Studies at the University of Western Australia:
Professor Cliff Ollier of the School of Earth and Environmental Studies, the University of Western Australia, recently presented a paper in Poznan, Poland, in which he described the sun as the major control of climate, but not through greenhouse gases.”There is a very good correlation of sunspots and climate. Solar cycles provide a basis for prediction. Solar Cycle 24 has started and we can expect serious cooling.”
H.S. Ahluwalia of the Department of Physics & Astronomy of the University of New Mexico sees it in similar way, as he describes in an article in the journal of Advances in Space Research in February 2014. Ahluwalia expects a Dalton-type minimum and reminds us that the last minimum of this kind back around 1810 resulted in a cold period.
What would climate change without politics look like?
No sooner had the White House doomsday report on climate change been released and the media had frantically sensationalized it ("No one will be spared" – NBC News) than the left said We Told You So and the right said It's All Lies.
The climate change nee global warming that everyone in America reads about, hears about and is told about is the political version of climate change.
The proof is in the pudding and the pudding is political. Politics cannot control the climate; politics exists expressly to control people.
Therefore climate change MUST be caused by people; else there is nothing for the political power elites to control.
There's no secret that the division between believers and deniers breaks down almost exclusively along the lines of political philosophy. Why is that? Why does virtually every political-left person in America believe in human-caused warming while nearly every political-right person rejects it?
Look at the solution the political left offers us as a means of combating anthropomorphic climate change: more direct government hands-on regulation of our lives, more laws, more control, more bureaucratic and political power, massively more extractions of our incomes, more loss of our individual choices and our freedoms and our property.
It just seems like an incredible coincidence that the "solution" to the "scientific fact" of human-caused climate change just happens to perfectly coincide with the coercively collectivist elitist-controlled social and cultural philosophy of the political left.
But consider what would happen if libertarians pointed out a little fact of history.
Nearly every great human achievement, in knowledge, technology, architecture, medicine, the arts, has been the result of free individuals working alone or in voluntary concert in a culture of free enquiry and free action.
If the climate change we're told about is real and therefore needs a real solution history tells us how to go about finding it: Unleash the imagination and creativity of every human being by abolishing coercion, intimidation and fraud – the prime movers behind politicized climate change – and let everyone seek solutions everywhere. Knowledge is diffused throughout society, not monopolized by the minds of a superior elitist few.
But then the left would reject climate change because it would not serve its predetermined agenda.
We will never know the truth about climate change unless and until we expunge all of the power, profit and politics from it and free the actual science.
Marco Rubio: I Don't Believe Humans Are Causing Climate Change
Of all the states that stand to suffer from climate change, Florida is facing potentially the bleakest consequences. A New York Times report noted last week that global warming was already having an effect on everyday life, like leading to flooding on streets that never used to flood.
Meanwhile, a National Climate Assessment has named Miami as the city most vulnerable to damage from rising sea levels. While a Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact paper warned that water in the area could rise by as much as two feet by the year 2060.
On Sunday, one of the state's U.S. senators, Marco Rubio (R), was pressed about the general subject of climate change, and despite the warnings outlined above, he argued that there was nothing lawmakers could or should do to reverse the climate trends (whose origins he also questioned).
"I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it," Rubio said, according to excerpts released by ABC "This Week," "and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy."
"The fact is that these events that we're talking about are impacting us, because we built very expensive structures in Florida and other parts of the country near areas that are prone to hurricanes. We've had hurricanes in Florida forever. And the question is, what do we do about the fact that we have built expensive structures, real estate and population centers near those vulnerable areas?" he asked. "I have no problem with taking mitigation activity."
The transcript does not indicate what Rubio's "mitigation activity" would consist of, but his assessment that the laws currently being proposed to address climate change won't help, and will only hurt the economy, is at odds with his own history as a politician.
As the leader of the Florida House in 2008, Rubio helped pass a law directing the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop a carbon emissions capping system. He has since distanced himself from that vote, arguing that he never supported cap and trade, only the idea that the state should look into such a system. And when the system ultimately did not pass, he cheered its failure.
But those who worked on that bill in Florida have called him an opportunist and a flip-flopper on the topic.
"For Rubio to say that all along he knew it wouldn't really come to pass is illogical," Jay Liles of the Florida Wildlife Federation, who lobbied for the bill, told the Miami Herald in 2009. "He set the stage for (cap and trade) to happen."
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Posted by JR at 4:30 PM