Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Greenland's coastal ice is losing mass -- which is projected to raise global sea levels by a whole 1.5 inches by 2100

1). How can "coastal meltwater be filled to its capacity"?  Greenland is surrounded by ocean.  Any water added to that ocean will simply pass into the ocean as a whole.  It is not as if there is a bathtub waiting to be filled up.  The world's oceans as a whole are the only bathtub.

2). Most of the Greenland icecap is in an interior basin and has remained unmelted in past warming events.  There are however isolated blobs of ice along the coast -- and it is they that are being referred to below.  The main Greenland icecap is not affected.

3). The data is arrived at via modelling and estimation so should be taken seriously only if you believe that Greenies are honest.  Their chronic secrecy about their data and calculations make that an heroic assumption.

4). The future extension of processes in the coastal ice to Greenland ice as a whole is just a bit of speculation.  The only measurements mentioned below refer to the coastal ice

Journal Abstract and Introduction included below

Greenland's glaciers and ice caps have passed a 'tipping point' and are no longer able to regrow lost ice, experts have warned in a new study. The proverbial 'tipping point' was passed in 1997, when coastal meltwater was filled to its capacity.

Researchers predict that the subsequent melting of Greenland's coastal ice will raise global sea levels by about 1.5 inches by 2100.

Greenland's glaciers and ice caps have passed a 'tipping point' and are no longer able to regrow lost ice, experts have warned in a new study. The proverbial 'tipping point' was passed in 1997, when coastal melt water was filled to its capacity

The problem lies in a layer of snow called the firn, which lies between fresh surface snow and the ice. Normally, meltwater drains through gaps in the firn down to the ice surface. But when the firn became saturated in 1997, it froze through.

Since then, there haven't been any gaps to capture meltwater, and the ice hasn't been able to grow.

They found that, for the last 20 years, mass loss has been exactly equal to the amount of meltwater runoff lost to sea, with a frozen firn the most likely cause.

The study was conducted by researchers at Ohio State University, who looked at the glaciers and ice caps that dot the edges of the Greenland coast.

Twenty years ago, the island passed a tipping point, meaning the smallest glaciers and ice caps on the coast are no longer able to regrow lost ice.

The findings reveal exactly why the most vulnerable parts of Greenland ice are melting so quickly – the deep snow layer that normally captures coastal melt-water was filled to capacity in 1997.

That layer of snow and melt-water has since frozen solid, meaning all new melt-water flows over it and out to sea.

Fortunately, the findings only apply to a fairly small amount of ice along the coast, and not the Greenland Ice Sheet – the second biggest ice cache in the world.

Dr Ian Howat, who led the study, said: 'These peripheral glaciers and ice caps can be thought of as colonies of ice that are in rapid decline, many of which will likely disappear in the near future. 'In that sense, you could say that they're "doomed."

'However, the ice sheet itself is still not "doomed" in the same way. The vast interior ice sheet is more climatologically isolated than the surrounding glaciers and ice caps.


A tipping point in refreezing accelerates mass loss of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps

B. Noël et al.


Melting of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its peripheral glaciers and ice caps (GICs) contributes about 43% to contemporary sea level rise. While patterns of GrIS mass loss are well studied, the spatial and temporal evolution of GICs mass loss and the acting processes have remained unclear. Here we use a novel, 1 km surface mass balance product, evaluated against in situ and remote sensing data, to identify 1997 (±5 years) as a tipping point for GICs mass balance. That year marks the onset of a rapid deterioration in the capacity of the GICs firn to refreeze meltwater. Consequently, GICs runoff increases 65% faster than meltwater production, tripling the post-1997 mass loss to 36±16 Gt−1, or ∼14% of the Greenland total. In sharp contrast, the extensive inland firn of the GrIS retains most of its refreezing capacity for now, buffering 22% of the increased meltwater production. This underlines the very different response of the GICs and GrIS to atmospheric warming.


Covering a total area of ∼90,000 km2, Greenland’s peripheral glaciers and ice caps (GICs) represent ∼12% of the world’s glacierized area outside of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets1. Greenland’s GICs account for 14 to 20% of total current Greenland glacial mass loss2, although they only represent ∼5% of the area and ∼0.5% (∼39 mm SLE) of the volume of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). In a scenario of continued global warming, Greenland’s GICs may lose 19–28% (7.5–11 mm) of their volume by 2100 (ref. 3). Despite multiple in situ observational campaigns since the early 1950s (ref. 4), glacier modelling5 and satellite-based2,6 estimates, large uncertainties remain in the spatial and temporal distribution of Greenland’s GICs mass loss. To fill these gaps, regional climate models (RCMs) are often used7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15, but their horizontal resolution (typically 5–20 km) fails to resolve the steep surface mass balance (SMB) gradients in the topographically complex regions in which GICs are often situated16.

To address this issue, we created a 1 km data set, statistically downscaled from output of the regional atmospheric climate model RACMO2.3 using regressions of SMB components against elevation estimated at the model resolution of 11 km. These regressions are then applied to a downsampled 1 km version of the topography and ice mask of the Greenland Ice Mapping Project (GIMP) Digital Elevation Model (DEM)17. The downscaling procedure also includes a bare ice albedo correction based on a 1 km MODIS albedo product to avoid underestimation of melt and runoff, especially on dark, low-lying glacier tongues. Earlier, the downscaling method was successfully applied to the GrIS16.

Here we use the novel SMB product at 1 km resolution to quantify Greenland’s GICs mass loss, assuming changes in solid ice discharge to be negligible18,19,20. The data set includes individual SMB components (precipitation, sublimation, melt, refreezing and runoff) for all GICs on a daily time scale (1958–2015), which is crucial for evaluation using irregular (in time and space) observations and to understand the drivers of mass loss. Using this product, we identify 1997 (±5 years) as a tipping point for the mass balance of Greenland’s GICs, which marks the onset of a rapid deterioration of inland firn capacity to refreeze meltwater, causing long-term mass loss

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14730 (2017)    doi:10.1038/ncomms14730

EPA Administrator: Trump Is Keeping His Promise to Deal With Regulatory Overreach

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told “Fox News Sunday” that President Donald Trump is keeping his promise “to rollback regulatory overreaches” that have occurred during the Obama administration.

“I think what's important this past week is to recognize that the president is keeping his promise to the American people to rollback regulatory overreaches that have been occurring the last couple of years. And as you know, the Clean Power Plan is subject to a U.S. Supreme Court state,” Pruitt said.

“The steps have been taken by the EPA historically. They've equally been challenged several times with respective CO2 regulation, and each of those times, the Supreme Court and courts have said that the power that has been used has been an overreach,” he said.

“And so, the president is keeping his promise to deal with that overreach, Chris. It doesn't mean that clean air and clean water is not going to be the focus in the future. We're just going to do it right within the consistency of the framework that Congress has passed,” Pruitt added.

As previously reported, Trump signed an executive order last week rolling back environmental regulations enacted during the Obama administration, including the Clean Power Plan.

Fox News’s Chris Wallace noted that the American Lung Association said half of Americans live in counties with unhealthy air. He asked Pruitt how he planned to “remove some of the pollution restrictions, which will make the air even worse.”

“Well, Chris, a couple things, we are actually pre-1994 levels with respect to our CO2 footprint. So, this country is doing far better than most across the globe. As you know, also since 1980, we've got a 65 percent reduction in those key air pollutants, SOx and NOx and particulate matter and ozone, while at the same time growing our economy,” Pruitt said.

“I think what's happened the last several years is that we've adapted to and adopted this previous administration's views that if your pro-jobs and pro-growth, you can’t be pro-environment. If you’re pro-environment, you can’t be pro-growth and pro-jobs, and that simply is not the way we’ve done business as a country,” he said.


The Flimsy Statistical Models Obama Administration Used to Justify Environmental Agenda

President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued an “energy independence” executive order on energy and climate policy.

One provision of this order pertains to the social cost of greenhouse gasses—in particular, the “social costs” of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide. The previous administration had used these social costs to justify its extensive regulatory agenda across the energy sector of the economy.

The Trump administration’s executive order stipulates that the Obama administration’s estimates of these costs should no longer be used for government policy. It also mandates that future cost-benefit analysis take into account the “best available science and economics” and specifically stipulates that recommendations outlined by the Office of Management and Budget be adhered to.

We have discussed these issues extensively in our research at The Heritage Foundation, and the Trump administration should be commended for making these decisions. The social costs of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide come from a class of statistical models that the Obama administration used to supposedly quantify the economic damages associated with carbon dioxide emissions.

There are three statistical models that are used for estimating these social costs: the DICE model, the FUND model, and the PAGE model.

At The Heritage Foundation, we ran the DICE and FUND models and found them to be inherently unsound for regulatory policy and can be quite easily manipulated by user-selected assumptions. In fact, upon recalculating the social cost of carbon under the DICE model with much more reasonable assumptions, we found that the number arrived at can drop by well over 30 percent.

In addition to arbitrariness of essential components, their results are based on very questionable assumptions regarding the climate’s sensitivity, naïve projections reaching 300 years into the future, and ignorance of recommendations by the Office of Management and Budget regarding cost-benefit analysis.

We also examined the FUND model. After finding a mistake in the model’s initial specification, we found that it is not only just as sensitive, but can even produce a negative estimate of the social cost of carbon under very reasonable assumptions.

Those assumptions even include regulatory standards currently suggested by the Office of Management and Budget, and which the Energy Independence Act now requires policymakers to adhere to.

Ironically, this negativity would suggest that the government should subsidize, not tax, carbon dioxide emissions.

It became clearly evident that the Obama administration was using these flimsy models to rubber-stamp its environmental agenda and to manipulate and inflate the social cost of carbon.

Beyond the social cost of carbon, we also recently published research on the social costs of methane and nitrous oxide.

We found that the models used for these estimates are also extremely sensitive to very reasonable changes in assumptions. The estimates of the “costs” associated with these greenhouse gases can drop by over 80 percent under different, yet very plausible, assumptions.

Furthermore, evidence shows that the Obama administration’s assumptions regarding climate sensitivity were outdated, and this skewed its calculations regarding the social cost of carbon.

In additional peer-reviewed research, we found, alongside professor Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph, that more up-to-date assumptions regarding climate sensitivity make it possible to take into account proper interactions regarding the oceans, which if not properly accounted for, can artificially inflate the social cost of carbon.

While these models may be interesting academically, because they are so sensitive to very reasonable changes in assumptions, they can be easily manipulated by policymakers, regulators, and bureaucrats. As a result, they can form the basis for potentially burdensome energy regulations.

Trump’s newly signed executive order is thoroughly informed by the analyses described above. The administration should be strongly commended for recognizing the flawed nature of these old models, and for rescinding the Obama administration’s estimates of the social cost of greenhouse gases.


Global warming fail: Study finds melting sea ice is actually helping Arctic animals

Proponents of the theory humans are primarily responsible for rising global temperatures long claimed wildlife are harmed significantly by global warming, and that unless mankind stops producing significant amounts of carbon-dioxide emissions, the world’s animals will not be able to thrive.

While rising temperatures have certainly put a strain on species in some parts of the world, a new study by researchers at the University of Southern Denmark suggests animals in the Arctic region are thriving as because of higher global temperatures.

According to a press release touting the study’s new findings, warmer conditions have produced a larger number of life-sustaining “melt ponds” in Arctic waters.

“Melt ponds provide more light and heat for the ice and the underlying water, but now it turns out that they may also have a more direct and potentially important influence on life in the Arctic waters,” stated the press release.

“Mats of algae and bacteria can evolve in the melt ponds, which can provide food for marine creatures. This is the conclusion of researchers in the periodical, Polar Biology,” the press release said.

The researchers said nutrients are able to reach sea creatures in the Arctic more easily because of the melt ponds.

“Climate change is accompanies by more storms and more precipitation, and we must expect that more nutrients will be released from the surroundings into the melt ponds,” said Professor Ronnie Glud of the Department of Biology at SDU. “These conditions, plus the fact that the distribution of areas of melt ponds is increasing, can contribute to increased productivity in plant and animal life in the Arctic seas.”

Recent data released by scientists at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center reveals sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are at their lowest recorded point since 1979, when satellite data first started estimating sea ice.

About 2 million square km of Arctic sea ice are estimated to have been lost since 1979. Current data suggest about 14.28 million square km of sea ice remain.

USA Today recently declared the loss of sea ice “terrifying,” but global warming skeptics have long suggested these claims are overblown when put into perspective.

As reported by Anthony Watts on his influential climate-change website Watts Up With That, the president of the Royal Society in London reported in 1817 significant reductions to arctic sea ice.

“It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated. … this affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”


Greenies using paid protesters for Australian campaign

THE Adani coal mine is already creating an employment boom – but for “professional protesters” based in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Stop Adani campaign is the latest green group to hire employees or contractors as part of a campaign to block the $21 billion central Queensland coal mine, which is expected to create thousands of jobs.

The group is advertising for a “digital ninja” and “basic-level meme-slinger” to be paid up to $65,000 for working fulltime on the campaign against “their dirty coal mine (which) is the fight of our times”, to be based in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, according to the ad.

It follows US-backed hiring professional protesters in Sydney and Melbourne.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said “online inner-city activists” needed a reality check. “Here we go again, with professional protesters wanting to trample on jobs for regional Queenslanders,” he said.

“It’s a bit rich for a so-called ‘digital ninja’ to attempt to manufacture opposition to resources jobs in regional Queensland, all from the comfort of a Sydney office.”

He said eight regional mayors representing 500,000 ­people travelled to India last month to encourage the Adani board to sign off on the mine.

Despite the advertisement, Stop Adani Alliance spokesman Peter McCallum said the organisation had no paid fulltime or part-time employees.  “This position is for a consultant, paid for by the Alliance,” he said.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


No comments: