Antarctic Ice Shelves Melting at Accelerating Rate

Antarctica is pretty much covered with glaciers. Glaciers are dynamic entities that, unless they are in full melt, tend to grow near their thickest parts (that's why those are the thickest parts) and mush outwards towards the edges, where the liminal areas either melt (usually seasonally) in situ or drop off into the sea.

Antarctic's glaciers are surrounded by a number of floating ice shelves. The ice shelves are really the distal reaches of the moving glaciers floating over the ocean. This is one of the places, probably the place at present, where melting accelerated by human caused greenhouse gas pollution occurs. The ice shelves are fixed in place along their margins (they typically cover linear fjord like valleys) and at a grounding point underneath the shelf some distance form the ice margin but under sea level.

The collapse or disintegration of an ice shelf is thought to lead to the more rapid movement of the corresponding glacial mass towards the sea, and increased melting. This is the big problem right now with estimating the rate of glacial melting in the Antarctic. This is not a steady and regular process, as rapid disintegration of an ice shelf is possible. Most likely, Antarctic glacial melting over the coming decades will involve occasional catastrophic of an ice shelf followed by more rapid glacial melting at that point.

Unfortunately, the ice shelves are generally becoming more vulnerable to this sort of process, a new study just out in Science shows. From the abstract:

The floating ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic Ice Sheet restrain the grounded ice-sheet flow. Thinning of an ice shelf reduces this effect, leading to an increase in ice discharge to the ocean. Using eighteen years of continuous satellite radar altimeter observations we have computed decadal-scale changes in ice-shelf thickness around the Antarctic continent. Overall, average ice-shelf volume change accelerated from negligible loss at 25 ± 64 km3 per year for 1994-2003 to rapid loss of 310 ± 74 km3 per year for 2003-2012. West Antarctic losses increased by 70% in the last decade, and earlier volume gain by East Antarctic ice shelves ceased. In the Amundsen and Bellingshausen regions, some ice shelves have lost up to 18% of their thickness in less than two decades.

This is one of many reasons that even the most extreme of the IPCC estimates of ice loss (generally) and its contribution to sea level rise have to be seen as a lower limit. This is a substantial change, and it is very recent. It isn't just that the ice sheets have gotten thinner, but also, that the rate of melting at these margins is increasing.

Caption to figure: Fig. 1 Eighteen years of change in thickness and volume of Antarctic ice shelves.
Rates of thickness change (m/decade) are color-coded from -25 (thinning) to +10 (thickening). Circles represent percentage of thickness lost (red) or gained (blue) in 18 years. Only significant values at the 95% confidence level are plotted (see Table S1). Lower left corner shows time series and polynomial fit of average volume change (km3) from 1994 to 2012 for the West (in red) and East (in blue) Antarctic ice shelves. Black curve is polynomial fit for All Antarctic ice shelves. We divided Antarctica into eight regions (Fig. 3), which are labeled and delimited by line segments in black. Ice-shelf perimeters are shown as a thin black line. The central circle demarcates the area not surveyed by the satellites (south of 81.5°S). Original data were interpolated for mapping purposes (see Table S1 for percentage area surveyed of each ice shelf). Background is the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA).

More like this

Or so says Climate Denial Crock of the Week. There's no real text behind the headline, just a link to a WSJ video. This seems to be about Meltwater produced by wind–albedo interaction stored in an East Antarctic ice shelf, J. T. M. Lenaerts et al., Nature Climate Change (2016) doi:10.1038/…
A few days ago a team of climate scientists (Catherine Ritz, Tamsin Edwards, Gaël Durand, Antony Payne, Vincent Peyaud, and Richard Hindmarsh) published a study of “Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations.” The study asked how much Antarctic ice…
The Honshu tsunami of March 11th (the one that caused the Fukushima disaster) caused the otherwise stable Sulzberger Ice Shelf to calve giant hunks of ice. Climate scientists call this "teleconnection." I call it a big whopping bunch of whack knocking off a gigunda chunka stuff. Either way, this…
In November, I wrote a post describing research on Antarctic glacial melting by Catherine Ritz, Tamsin Edwards, Gaël Durand, Antony Payne, Vincent Peyaud, and Richard Hindmarsh (“Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations”). I had asked one of the…

Although it is a fascinating map / graph, it is extremely difficult to read and understand what it means. Sometimes more traditional graphs allow the reader to grasp the information at a glance albeit with less flash.

It truly boggles the mind to hear someone call 25 cubic kilometers of ice negligible. It really drives home just how big Antarctica is and how thick many of the glaciers must be.

By Doug Alder (not verified) on 26 Mar 2015 #permalink

Dan, it is at first. But the quick way to get it is this: Red dots are bad, bigger worse.

Blue dots are good, but there are hardly any.

On the end of a post like this, you should put: a BOO!!!

In my book says: nobody of those shonks going to Antarctic, bothered to stick a thermometer inside that ''supposedly melting ice - to see what the temp is! Then to ask the children: -''on what temp the ice STARTS melting!!!

2] floating ice melting doesn't rise the sea-level; can you put BOO!!! on that one'' cheers braves

By stefanthedenier (not verified) on 26 Mar 2015 #permalink

Floating ice does not raise sea level, but this is not about floating ice. Boo.

Its not just the iceshelf news that i scary. We keep discovering deep subglacial channels that connect iceshelves/calving fiord glaciers into the deep interior. It seems the greatest melting is occurring on the bottoms of floating glaciers that are coming into contact with increasingly warm seawater. As thinning move the sea/land contact further inland these channels may become a conduit for heat flow under the glaciers, as well as increasing the rate of iceflow.

By Omega Centauri (not verified) on 26 Mar 2015 #permalink

Omega Centaury #6

In my book also says: -''as more ice builds up -> ice expands sideways. b] a bit of water melted on the surface from sooth as anti-freeze -> that cold-water sinks and refreezes again -> by refreezing that cold-water, it expands by 11% - from 1000km2 11% is a lot-> gradually pushes some chunks of ice off the cliff - always did and always will BUT: for the ''Carbon Bashers'' that has being the biggest ''proof of global warming'' for the last 20y on TV - showing ''ice falling'' as ice melting... nobody sticks the thermometer into that falling ice; to check the temp! If is 26C - it needs the planet to warm up by 27C, before first ounce of ice can be melted from the ''global temp'' (one day you will need to answer those questions, on a witness stand, under oath! think about it, when you go to bed!

By stefanthedenier (not verified) on 26 Mar 2015 #permalink

And there, folks, is the the best argument we've seen all day that global warming isn't for real.

Case closed.

"Then to ask the children: -”on what temp the ice STARTS melting!!!"

Ah, the naivité of the child!

Stefan, put a tray with ice cubes in your (hopefully new and hence supposedly "frost-free)) freezer and store it for a few months. Marvel at the disappearance of at least some of that ice, if not all.

Majick!

In 2011, then Rear Admiral David Titley gave a TED talk, and what he said about melting glaciers is more or less in line with the findings of recent research.

“And these glaciers are starting to fall apart faster than anybody – even two years ago – thought they were going to do this.”

“...and potentially we can see the sea coming up somewhere between 3 and 6 feet in the 21st century...Is that in the IPCC? No. Why? Because if you read the report, they said, we just don't understand the ice sheet dynamics, so all we're gonna do is like just kind of figure out what the expansion of the ocean is and melt a little bit off the top. It's being shown in a variety of ways there that that is a gross, gross underestimate.”

The section on glaciers starts at 18:12.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7udNMqRmqV8

Titley was the U.S. Navy's chief oceanographer.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Titley

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 26 Mar 2015 #permalink

@stefanthedenier #4 & 7 : You claimed on another thread that you wanted a serious scientific discussion* and I'm pretty sure I pointed out there how some of your statements here such as abusing climatologist as "shonks" and suggesting they deserve to be on trial (for what offences exactly btw?) make you seem from your comments to be trolling or at minimum not responding in good faith.

Yet here you go again.

If what you say is true then just how do you account for the observed melting, the fact that it isn't in equilibrium but increasing and literally visible from space? How do you explain the graphic above and the news I linked at #11 and so very much more?

Also, you don't stick an average household thermometer into ice for obvious reasons - a thermometer being a delicate tube of glass containing a toxic metal isn't really designed to handle it like say an ice pick would be and breakage would be the likely result - instead you place the thermometer on the ice or use different varieties of thermometers to measure ice temperatures. I'm pretty sure, despite your claim to contrary that climatologists and glaciologists do in fact do this.

Hmm .. I wonder what I can find out by googling something like say, "Measuring ice temperatures in glaciers" .. lesse now ..

Aha!

Try for instance :

http://www.igsoc.org:8080/journal/14/70/igs_journal_vol14_issue070_pg23…

Excerpt :

The measurements were made with glass-encapsulated thermistors of 3 000 n nominal resistance at 0 ° C. Each thermistor was mounted at the end of its own cable in such a way that there was no protuberance associated with it, thus permitting cable and thermistor to be easily melted free for calibration and future use at the end of the experiment. The procedure for mounting a thermistor was as follows: ... (..snip ..) ... Bore holes, which were not cased, were made by 25 mm diameter electro-thermal drills capable of drilling about 8 m h - J • These were designed by Philip Taylor. On completion of a hole, the drill and drilling cable were recovered and replaced by a single thermistor-cable assembly. It was felt that additional cables in the same hole might impede eventual cable recovery. To facilitate placement, a small weight was attached to each cable with thread which was easily broken for cable recovery. All of the thermistors at the lower site, and all but one at the upper site, were calibrated again at time of placement by reading them when they were submerged to a depth of 1.5 m in the water that stood in all the bore holes. They were read again at their final position and then allowed to freeze in, which required roughly one week. Temperatures were read several times before the cables were recovered 2.3 to 13 months later. The cables were melted free for recovery by passing electrical current through a pair of conductors not connected to the
thermistor, an operation requiring 5 or 10 min. Immediately upon removal, each thermistorcable
assembly from the lower site was recalibrated in an ice bath and a triple-point cell. "

A very small part of one of many papers published by actual scientists representing years of thought and work and effort and able to be found in about ten seconds if you bother to check for it.

Do you still want to keep alleging that "nobody sticks the thermometer into that falling ice; to check the temp!" Stefan? Or will you have the decency to :

a) Admit you got that wrong and

b) Apologise to the scientists whose work you have dismissed and whose character you have defamed through ignorance and an apparent predilection for personal abuse

b) do the slightest bit of basic research before you make claims like that again?

Thinking of which, I believe I provided you with a list of what I consider excellent sources both online and in print. I don't suppose you've actually looked at and considered any of those yet or are willing to offer your own such list of what you consider reliable sources by any chance?

* One I began responding to but have since been away and not yet had a chance to check back back on - really busy week and month for me, sorry.

By Astrostevo (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

PPS. See :

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/03/12/lomborg-tells-bangladesh-n…

For my earlier comment and debate with Stefanthedenier here incl. the list of sources offered for him. Haven't yet had time to read and respond there but plan to do so soon.

Note that I did indeed point out to Stefanthedenier that his insulting language against actual scientists showed a lack of actual desire for a reasonable debate and politely asked him - back on March 16th - to cut that out.

By Astrostevo (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

"I did indeed point out to Stefanthedenier that his insulting language against actual scientists showed a lack of actual desire for a reasonable debate"

Yes... Stevo, look up the term "sealioning".

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

stefan: On the end of a post like this, you should put: a BOO!!!

After your name, I'd like to see "pointless comment deleted, try again when you have something to say". But that's just me.

I'm so embarrassed. I'm supposed to be on top of basic science that overlaps my field, but according to stefanthedenier, I, and every one of my colleagues, have completely over-looked that bit of grade school physics on ice. I can only Imagine how people who are directly involved in glaciers and ice must feel

What makes it even worse, we've had decades to notice it and refute this AGW stuff and become famous, and not one of us saw it. Thank goodness for the non-expert with no qualifications to point this for us....who knows where science would be were it not for them.

By Dan Andrews (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

Marco @ 9
I don't need that experiment; already says on my post: as long as there are rice paddies in countries surrounding Himalaya - there will always be ice, snow and glaciers. If they plant eucalyptus trees -> the dry heat produced will vacuum the ice, without turning into water! (in India they are already planting eucalyptus trees = Australia is exporting environmental terorisam) also: in Australia having rice paddies is treated as a crime; by the Carbon Molesters (CM)

Also; ''dry heat'' produced in Australia is destroying the WV created in surrounding waters - that WV belongs to Antarctic, for renewal of her ice AND to Indonesian archipelago. Green senator Brown and Flannery imposed ''Water Embargo'' on the Australian environment - no stormwater is allowed to be saved in a new dams. Instead, they are repossessing farmer's water, to drain it into the sea; because Pacific doesn't have enough water...?! (because; farmers irrigate when is dry and hot - water evaporates and produces humidity in the dry air, to attract extra clouds from the sea

By stefanthedenier (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

Dan Andrews#18

My book is called: ''both emperors are naked''
I'm not a bird and cannot lay an egg, but I know when the egg is ROTTEN! Climatology is rotten to the bone!... All the money squandered by those ''researchers'' will be paid back to the taxpayer, with modest interest - and honest researches will be done. Falling ''solid'' ice off the cliff... if one pushes Al Gore off the cliff - he would have fallen down also; it's called gravity, not hot ice! Have a nice day!

By stefanthedenier (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

Astrostevo@13

I've learned what's on the links you offer, long time ago - reason I got involved in exposing the scam.
2} I've challenged the ''Skeptics'' one to go there and stick the thermometer into the falling ice 2 inches (no need to waist time and drill 1,5m hole) b] if that ice was 27C - they should have informed ABC &SBS, not to put down the Carbon Molesters (CM) by constantly showing ice falling. The children would have told them, for one lollipop: -''ice falls of the cliff, because of gravity, AND: for one ice-cream those little Newtons would have advised: when ice gets warm -> ice becomes water. Mate, 1m3 of ice is 900kg heavy... Ice falling down is their ''biggest proof'' of the phony global warming. People will get correct information; how cold is the ''falling ice'' then those ''scientist'' will be called Inmates.
2] when I pointed in a letter to the editor, that: those ''scientist'' have being watching on TV, the terrible smog coming out of the cooling towers on electricity generators, not even showing the top of the chimneys, from where CO2 comes out, because is not much for scaring the Urban Sheep - scaring them with WV on the driest continent - they slowed showing and don't superimpose gray color on that terrible smog anymore - because honest people started complaining. As your friend; I'm pointing out to you: think about when the correct temp of that ice is known. Now you you are trying to make confusion, as if I'm a ''skeptic'' idiot. Mate, you can learn a lot from me; for you is good to know the truth - instead, I asked you three times to read my post and see that: if you were genuinely worried about global warming - you will rejoice, because is all proven, that doesn't exist! If you know that is all crap, as Abbott said, but you are persisting - don't argue with me - I will come to visit you in jail

By stefanthedenier (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

Astrostevo@13
From the previous comments from you - I learned that: it's bad for Egyptians having water storage for 7 years / four times more people than in OZ. In OZ, we have water storage for 9 months - if rains don't come - desalinate the same water that was drained from the land, during storms OD drink filtered sewage water. 2] Chinese know how important water is - was worth relocating a million people - in tropical australia; on a dry creeks no need to relocate a million people - to build a small dam wall 10X81m, would cost less than building a house. 2000 of those would made Australia garden of Eden.

Instead: now the dry heat created in australia is destroying the WV created in the surrounding waters. That WV belongs to Indonesian archipelago, from Port Moresby to Sumatra and destroys their vegetation. b] that WV belongs to antarctic: when that cold / heavy air is puled by the earth's centrifugal force from Antarctic ''highs'' blowing foe 8-9 months north - simultaneously, to avoid creation of vacuum - lots of moist air is pulled from the north; antarctic to replenish her ice BUT: when australian produced ''dry heat'' has destroyed the WV created in the surrounding waters = no moist air goes there. Ice on Antarctic is not melted from any phony global warming BUT: is constantly melted by the geothermal heat, from below, every minute of the year. That heat is not much, but is protected by the ice, as perfect insulator, from the unlimited coldness in the air. After you read my first link I gave you - I will give you links, for you to learn a lot (now I'm in the tropics, but I grew up in a deep snow. Remember: the more you know = the more you are worth!
Instead, you gave me the ''climate denier crock''
1] he is lying that anybody ''denies'' the climate - everybody knows that: climate exist and can change for better also
2] I have proven to him that ''global'' warming is phony; he doesn't allow Glasnost anymore. They are constantly searching for some drought or floods - and ignore the other 97% of the planet, where is good weather, even though is same amount of CO2 everywhere... Do you really believe his stories?! If you people cannot learn that: climate never stop changing BUT the phony global warming is just that PHONY - but you are ridiculing the people who know that is no global warming; by calling the ''climate'' change deniers... you think for a name of those ''scientist''

By stefanthedenier (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

"I don’t need that experiment; already says on my post: as long as there are rice paddies in countries surrounding Himalaya – there will always be ice, snow and glaciers."

Ah, the frantic handwave as response.

At least stefan took a name that fits his state of mind.

@stefanthedenier :

but you are ridiculing the people who know that is no global warming; by calling the ”climate” change deniers… you think for a name of those ”scientist”

Um, Stefan, unless your last name is actually Thedenier, you have named *yourself* stefan-the-denier. And deny reality as observed by scientists and layfolk alike you have done and continue to do.

You claim to have proven that Global Overheating is "phony" but you certainly haven't impressed me or I think any others here with your "proof" and have provided no actual scientific evidence or alternative credible sources to support your position.

Yes I've now seen your "Cooling Earth' blog linked to on the other thread (O\w my eyes!) and it doesn't actually prove anything other than your complete ignorance of basic well-established physics among many other facts.

For example from there :

Because that ”cold vacuum” that constantly zooms trough the atmosphere doesn’t have friction or gravity is unnoticeable for the ”expert’s” brains.

The vacuum of interplanetary (and for that matter interstellar and intergalactic) space is a medium - it's like a solid or a liquid which can have different temperatures depending on its exact circumstances and location.

Space does indeed have gravity - otherwise, y'know, we wouldn't be orbiting the Sun and wouldn't have our Moon and various satellites orbiting us. Friction too still exists for instance when a meteor or spacecraft enters Earths atmosphere it glows from the heat of re-entry friction.

"Warmed CO2 during the day goes high up and IS COOLED DIRECTLY BY THE ”COLD VACUUM! No ”radiation” of heat out in space and albedo misleading crap!!! Warmist theology is 100% wrong! Can be proven now, easy. Therefore: CO2 is NOT a greenhouse gas!

Yeesh, where do we begin with answering the wrongness here? No part of that is actually correct. You've now outed yourself as someone who disputes the reality of flippin' albedo!? Really? (Shakes head.)

Oh and then it gets "better" :

It proves that: most of the heat that is created on the ground, on low altitude, by the time that heat goes up to 8-9-10km altitude, that heat is completely neutralized by the ”cold vacuum” which constantly penetrates into the atmosphere. Unless the science adopts my facts = both camps are wrong!! !Whatever I say is no guessing, can be proven now, no need to wait 100y and see that everybody was wrong. NO ‘’radiating’’ heat!

So only convection and conduction then? Our Sun and the other stars aren't sending us infrared along with UV , microwaves, visual light and soon? What the .. ?!

Also "Unless the science adopts my facts = both camps are wrong!!"

LOL. Are you absolutely sure this hasn't given you away as a satirist? I mean okay so much else of what you've written seems serious and certainly isn't funny or even remotely well written and readable enough to suggest that but whoah! Really dude? Did you actually write and mean that seriously?

Then we get to this last little excerpt from the blog post Stefan the denier posted as his recommended reading to show why he's supposedly right :

" the good Lord has inserted a thermometer in EVERY atom of oxygen & nitrogen – those thermometers are ordering the atoms how much to shrink / expend, and by how much to expand ”precisely” according to heat/coldness! The extra heat produced in individual day determines the ”precise” volume of the troposphere. That’s where the ”sensitivity” is guys, not your ”climate sensitivity” from the phony global warming” wrongly referred for confusion, as ”climate change” to be used for brainwashing and confusion…

Oh and, btw, I've spared y'all here the joys of Stefan's use of bolding and thus the full flavour of his blog posts awfulness.

Stefan, I'm really not sure why (or even *if*) you think as you do. You seem awfully confused and lacking in any understanding of real physics along with so much else incl,. what constitutes a scientific debate.

If you are a Poe then congrats you got us fooled, For What its Worth. Which would be? Well, I dunno, as satire and comedy you haven't really hit the mark in my view.

If you are serious then Stefan, I really think you need to stop posting and commenting and start researching and actually learning as frankly you are just embarrassing yourself. Because pretty much every single thing you have said in your comments here is just laughably and provably painfully erroneous and your credibility here is thus nil.

PS. For your information :

"All I want to emphasize is: the earth cannot warm up all that empty / cold space from here to the next star Alpha Centaury, 2 light years away."

Alpha Centauri is four light years away (4. 37 to be precise)- Proxima Centauri a red dwarf part of the system is a smidgin closer at 4.24 light years distant. Also Mercury doesn't have a "dark side" - well not a permanent one anyhow (not tidally locked) - and Venus doesn't have polar caps.

PPS. I must admit I also liked Stefan's " ’infinite zero Calvin" plus his "After sundown, CO2 loses benefit from the sunlight / cools and falls to the ground – that’s when the trees and crops are most active, after 8pm." Surely that's proof he's pulling our legs here yeah?

By Astrostevo (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

“I’m not a bird and cannot lay an egg.”

stefanthedenier underestimates himself. He covers everything he touches with egg.

One example:

“2] the highest temp on Antarctic was recorded at -86C, but average in winter is -75C. On Antarctic NEVER even gets close to ice melting point.”
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/03/12/lomborg-tells-bangladesh-n… #71

Aside from the insanity of claiming that the highest temperature ever recorded is lower than the winter average, removing the egg stains shows this:

“The warmest temperature ever recorded on the continent of Antarctica may have occurred on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, when the mercury shot up to 63.5°F (17.5°C) at Argentina's Esperanza Base on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, the previous hottest temperature recorded in Antarctica was 63.3°F (17.4°C) set just one day previously at Argentina's Marambio Base, on a small islet just off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Prior to this week's remarkable heat wave, the hottest known temperature in Antarctica was the 62.8°F (17.1°C) recorded at Esperanza Base on April 24, 1961.”
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2944…

The difference between the bird's highest ever temperature claim of -86°C and the measured +17.5°C is a modest 103.5°C.

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

I think he's more of the 'Time Cube' style crank.

Don't bother engaging.

By MobiusKlein (not verified) on 28 Mar 2015 #permalink

@ ^ MobiusKlein : Spoilsport!

By Astrostevo (not verified) on 28 Mar 2015 #permalink

But yeah. Timecube "style" for sure.

Still not 100% sure whether he's for real or just doing a Poe. That number of comical mistakes can't be other than deliberate can it?

(Have you seen his blog , I mean its hard on the eyes and all but still ..)

By Astrostevo (not verified) on 28 Mar 2015 #permalink

What's remarkable about Stefan's comments, given the many grammatical irregularities in them, is how rarely he misspells a word. Out of curiosity, I examined his "Cooling Earth" post from July 2014. I compiled a list of misspelled words:

1. liveable
2. travelling
3. cancelled
4. aircrafts
5. ignorants
6. lonwave (page 5, only instance among multiple correct spellings)
7. misleadings
8. wooffy

So, in that entire tract of 13,850 words, only three words are actually misspelled, and one of those is arguably correct — as with the British usage "ageing". Another, "lonwave," is a simple typo.

I was working on the idea that he might be an unusually persistent Poe. But I decided he's not. He's been at it too long. He left a message on WUWT in August 2011. He ended that with: "Please help, plus keep this text for a record. I and the laws of physics, we are never wrong."

Page 19 of the "Cooling Earth" post yields a possible name: Stefan Mitich.

"My theories / ”Stefan Mitich theories” will win; because the truth always wins on the end. Spread the good news to the public, that: the phony ”global” warming is just that, phony! Both camps are barking up the same wrong tree!"

Searching on that name led me to a Facebook page. It's nearly bare, but there is an icon under favorite activities with the caption "Against global warming." So, FWIW, it looks like this is the right Stefan Mitich.

By Christopher Winter (not verified) on 28 Mar 2015 #permalink

Please, there's no reason to dig past the pseudonym and publicize the poor fool's real name. It's irrelevant.

Sealioning. Look it up, people. Sealions often are very literate. Don't be led into his trap.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 28 Mar 2015 #permalink

Knock, Knock! Coming on board! Awesome read (article and comments). Diverse thoughts and interests. For sake of transparency, I subscribe to the belief of climatic changes and warming resulting from anthropogenic origins. Caveat: always interesting to hear all sides of the equation--causes equals effect. Karma. No matter what the causes, no matter what the resulting effect, I'm open to both sides of the discussion. My interest in the Antarctic is due to my concerns of the rapid melting of the Arctic Ocean, of which, I am a lifelong resident of the Arctic Circle. As the saying goes, one can't go without the other, likewise I hope to learn more of the Antarctic ice sheet and shelf's to better compare what the future holds for the Arctic Ocean. I do understand that most of the ice of the Antarctic continent sits on mountainous land mass which are raised thousands of feet above sea level, as opposed to the frozen Arctic Ocean which is frozen water that is rapidly melting. The Arctic Ocean is not composed of any land mass but a solid piece of frozen water, if you will, except for Greenland. For me to best understand the dynamics of the melting Arctic Ocean is to compare with what is, and is happening with the Antarctic ice sheet and shelf's. The two are inseparable in such that they represent the opposite poles of this Earth. Otherwise, convince me that this is a flat earth. Given they operate under slightly different dynamics, conditions, and perhaps gravitational anomalies. So, can anyone offer any comparative likenesses or differences such as; apples to oranges, or, golden to red apples? What does anyone know with what is happening in the Arctic Ocean in comparison to Antarctic?

By Top of the World (not verified) on 28 Mar 2015 #permalink

Very Interesting article!
Out of interest ,by how much would the rate of melting in those specific margins need to increase in order for the ice sheets to deteriorate into nothing (in other words melt completely), and would this even be a possibility?

u15000304

Very interesting blog! climate change and the effects thereof appear to have gone out of media interest in the last few years and it is good to see hard, scientific evidence to prove climate change is still happening. These statistics are alarming and may need us to have a look at our safety measures as the sea level begins to rise due to the melting of the ice shelves. do you have an suggestions? or are these measures unnecessary?
u15028047

By Dean Carlisle (not verified) on 29 Mar 2015 #permalink

Although this blog contains valid information regarding the rate of change in ice shelves, I would like to know about the direct impact on rising sea levels, and what negative effects this will have on life on earth. In other words how will these changes in sea levels impact the population, civilization and economy on different continents.
@Dean Carlisle, I do think we should rather focus on the problem rather than trying to implement safety measures.
u15007970

By Celize Gomes (not verified) on 29 Mar 2015 #permalink

"This is one of the places, probably the place at present, where melting accelerated by human caused greenhouse gas pollution occurs."

If the rate at which the ice shelves melt is influenced by greenhouse gas pollution, then what causes East Antarctica to continue experiencing an (overall) increase in the thickness of its ice shelves, whereas in West Antarctica the ice shelves disintegrate rapidly?

By TN Mphateng (not verified) on 29 Mar 2015 #permalink

"This is one of the places, probably the place at present, where melting accelerated by human caused greenhouse gas pollution occurs."

If the rate at which the ice shelves melt is influenced by greenhouse gas pollution, then what causes East Antarctica to continue experiencing an (overall) increase in the thickness of its ice shelves, whereas in West Antarctica the ice shelves disintegrate rapidly?

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By TN Mphateng (not verified) on 29 Mar 2015 #permalink

Antarctic has not been experiencing thickening of ice shelves.

In order to understand this, and not misrepresent it, a few things have to be made clear.

There are three kinds of ice in Antarctic: Glacial ice sitting on the continent, ice shelves, which make up only a small part of the glacial ice and mostly sit on the sea surface (but are grounded as well on rock), and sea ice.

Sea ice has been increasing in Antarctica but that is a minor factor and has nothing to do with sea level rise. The reasons for this expansion are not clear but many experts think it has to do with freshening of water from glacial melt and changes in precip in the area, but mainly wind patterns shifting which push frozen sea surface ice out away from the continent leaving sea surface behind to freeze over. It is a little like rolling out a pizza dough, but wind instead of a roller and ice instead of pizza dough.

This post is about the ice shelves. While they do sit on water and thus their melting does not contributed much to sea level rise, they are not perfectly sitting on the sea so there probably is some contribution. But that is not the point.

Ice shelves have formed at the sea-side outlets of major inland glaciers. The ice shelves hold back the glacier from moving towards the sea. As the ice shelves retreat or break up this effect is reduced and the land based glaciers are more likely to fall apart and contribute to sea level rise.

That is the main point of the post, and to repeat what I wrote already: "Antarctic’s glaciers are surrounded by a number of floating ice shelves. The ice shelves are really the distal reaches of the moving glaciers floating over the ocean. This is one of the places, probably the place at present, where melting accelerated by human caused greenhouse gas pollution occurs. The ice shelves are fixed in place along their margins (they typically cover linear fjord like valleys) and at a grounding point underneath the shelf some distance form the ice margin but under sea level.

The collapse or disintegration of an ice shelf is thought to lead to the more rapid movement of the corresponding glacial mass towards the sea, and increased melting. This is the big problem right now with estimating the rate of glacial melting in the Antarctic. This is not a steady and regular process, as rapid disintegration of an ice shelf is possible. Most likely, Antarctic glacial melting over the coming decades will involve occasional catastrophic of an ice shelf followed by more rapid glacial melting at that point."

Does sea surface temperature in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that influences an El Nino or La Nina events factor to the melting or cooling of the Antarctic Ice Shelves or sea ice? Or the degrees of separation between the equatorial belt and Antarctic a factor that does not cause any Antarctic ice melting or cooling?

Any thoughts or considerations taken how the fluctuating Ozone hole may factor into the melting of the ice? At this point, more thoughts of potential contributing factors than factual dialogue on my part.

By Top of the World (not verified) on 29 Mar 2015 #permalink

Out of curiosity, I examined his “Cooling Earth” post from July 2014. I compiled a list of misspelled words:

He left a message on WUWT in August 2011. He ended that with: “Please help, plus keep this text for a record. I and the laws of physics, we are never wrong.”

Christopher Winter #34, you are one sick fuck with waayy too much time on your hands. You have promising job security working for NSA.

By Élan vital (not verified) on 29 Mar 2015 #permalink

Christopher Winter @34
hello Chris, don't blame me; if is not enough misspellings - Mr. Bill Gates is to blame, somebody made the spellchecker...

you could have done more constructive time; to analyze my proofs instead! Grammar is bad - does it really matter to you? b] yes, that was my place on facebook - I forgot even the password, no time to waste there. - i can see some boys are arguing there about football, good on them. i like relax people that tell jokes - if you want, join them - I;m not interested in football

Regarding grammar: I look for appropriate English word in the dictionary - small dictionary, when the word is not there - i look for similar word - then needs rearranging the sentence... Instead: you speck English - you should put the text correctly! (only if you had upbringing like me: to respect the honest, and despise people that are chronic, compulsive, pathetic liars)
P.s. the day somebody made my blog - he pointed me to Watt's blog and said: this is the most popular blog - tell them what you know. I pointed to him that he is wrong, and explained why -> he blacklisted me. I realized that dishonest people are running the show, not interested in truth

Chris, when somebody tries to ''reconstruct'' GLOBAL temp from 80 thermometers data from 1660's = that person is very dishonest, even if he is your twin brother b] I remember, then: your Anthony Watts was complaining that: ''one thermometer on Antarctic was wrongly positioned'' That shocked me; because: if that thermometer was correctly positioned - CAN couple of thermometers on Antarctic tell the temp for 25% of the planet - because the next thermometers are in Australia, Chile and Hawaii = he is a con! One thermometer cannot tell correctly the temp for one room - because close to the floor is 1C colder than closer to the sealing; relying on few thermometers for the WHOLE planet - is the grandmother of all lies. When he is presenting himself as a ''skeptic'' that is double con!!! cheers!

By stefanthedenier (not verified) on 29 Mar 2015 #permalink

"Chris, when somebody tries to ”reconstruct” GLOBAL temp from 80 thermometers data from 1660’s = that person is very dishonest"

and yet, scientists can show that around 50 well-placed stations are enough to capture the same trend as shown by 1000s. After all, it is not about the exact temperature, but the *trend* in those temperatures.

Regarding English, you should remember that gibberish cannot be understood, so if you write gibberish, we cannot critique the content of your writing, because it is gibberish and therefore the content cannot be determined.

I think it is sad how somebody can attack science in such a way, not showing respect for someone else's hard work. How does @stefanthedenier expect us to respect his work?
I would like to know more about the impact of these glaciers melting on the living beings currently inhabiting these regions? I doubt saying that global warming doesn't exist, without giving any scientific evidence, it a worthy statement at all. We have to open our eyes and realize that this in fact a problem which we have to face, soon!

By Mieke van Staden (not verified) on 29 Mar 2015 #permalink

A Short Language Lesson

Your language background largely determines the mistakes you make when using a foreign language. The greater the structural difference from your own language(s), the more mistakes you're liable to make.

Slavic languages have numerous cases, and this results in a different word order than in English. For Slavic language speakers, English word order is not natural.

Slavic languages don't have articles. Learners who speak languages with articles, e.g. Danish or French, have to concentrate on the examples where English usage differs from their own, but a and the are an integral part of their language thinking. Slavic language speakers have to learn what articles are, and how they're used.

Slavic verbs contain the pronoun and are not redundant. Italian is the same. The verb ending changes according to the person/subject, and is audible, so the verb tells you who/what the person/subject is. In other words, you don't have to say I, you, he/she/it etc., because that information is already contained in the verb. Danish avoids redundancy in another way. The English equivalent would be: I am, you am, he/she/it am, etc. The verb remains the same, so naming the person provides us with necessary information. French, on the other hand, is redundant. The verb endings aren't always audible, so you also have to specify the pronoun. For Slavic language speakers is good instead of it is good is a natural extension of the verbal structure of their own languages.

Prepositions are often a problem. Idioms too.

Most spelling mistakes can be caught by a spellchecker.

In short, if you know something about language, it's usually easy to tell the difference between mistakes that are made by native speakers and those that are made by foreigners. stefanthedenier's English is poor, but not abnormal. His pronouncements on climate change are stark raving mad.

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 29 Mar 2015 #permalink

An interesting read! Climate change is a huge problem nowadays and it is good to see people creating awareness like this.
I think a great thing to add to this blog would be the impacts of the melting of the ice shelves on the animal and plant life in the area as well as the people living in the area.
This would raise more awareness.

u15045791

The sea ice causes Antarctic to grow,but isn't it these kind off ice that smelts first as global warming increases and therefor the sea level rises?

By Su-mari Hoogen… (not verified) on 30 Mar 2015 #permalink

I would just like to state the following about glacier ice:
1.As we know ice is less dense than water and when it comes under pressure, say from when gravity pulls down layers of ice on each other from more than 10 kilometres, the pressure forces the water molecules closer to each other causing ice to melt and form water. If pressure is high enough this can happen at below zero degrees Celsius.
2.The melted ice at the bottom of a glacier is what removes friction and also carries the ice downward to the ocean.
3.If temperature increases then the amount of melted ice will increase. This will decrease friction and cause the glacier to move faster.
4.The reason why we depict the falling of glacier ice as symbolic of global warming is not directly visible and can rather be reasoned logically. As I said, when the temperature increases, the amount of water beneath the glacier increases. This water also ends up n the ocean, of course. The water also causes the glaciers to move faster due to less friction between the glacier and the surface below and also between the ice layers. This causes more ice to end up in the ocean during the same time interval. The ice taking up to months, if not years, to melt will very steadily increase the surface level of the oceans.
5.A possible reason for the large increase in surface levels is that global warming has a global result, i.e. all glaciers are affected.
UP Student number: 15086187

By Wiehan Rudolph (not verified) on 30 Mar 2015 #permalink

Pardon my ignorance, but what is up with these *U*-numbers? Are you guys enslaved in a sweat-shop and forced to pump out 'yes men' comments touting catastrophic anthropogenic climate change??

Is it some kind of license for internet access? I guess, it is the shape of things to come; But, for now, it is creeping me the fuck out.

By Élan vital (not verified) on 30 Mar 2015 #permalink

Elan, I doubt it. I'm guessing that there is a project at UP where students are asked to go out and engage in some bloggy conversation or another, and part o their documentation involves leaving their UP ID number.

Welcome UP students! You know, there was a brief time when I was on the faculty at UP.

A growing academic and environmental concern and scientific fact is the increasing Ocean Acidification of the Arctic Ocean and the waters of the Circumpolar Arctic. Any thoughts or concerns that this is also happening in the Southern Ocean, or waters encircling Antarctic? If so, and how this may factor towards further warming or causing increased melting of the sea, shelf, and glacial ice of Antarctica?

By Top of the World (not verified) on 30 Mar 2015 #permalink

Randolph brings a thought of gravity and frictional forces (#2) at play between the glaciers and underwater land surface. Where the melted glacier water becomes the frictional fluid to allow the glacier ice to fall into the ocean or sea water. So, overtime does the underwater land surface becomes sloped where glacier ice slides downhill by the pull of gravity? I too have to engage in a blog conversation relevant to my studies, and have picked this site to help me compare the melting Antarctic ice with the melting ice of the Arctic Ocean. And have learned accordingly of the probable causes and dynamics contributing to the melting of the Antarctic ice. This blog conversation helps what other experiences are, and the perspectives and knowledge of contributing bloggers helps quicken the learning curve.

By Top of the World (not verified) on 30 Mar 2015 #permalink

@cosmicomics (#51):

Thanks for the language lesson. I knew that Russian (Stefanthedenier's native language, apparently) doesn't use articles; this is apparent from hearing anyone pretending to be a Russian speaking English.

Certainly a spell-checker can fix misspelled words. But it cannot fix the homonym problem (e.g. using the wrong one of [to, too, two].) Stefan manages to avoid misusing homonyms as well as making ordinary spelling errors. Maybe he's using Microsoft's grammar checker as well as its spell-checker. Or maybe he spends a lot of time referring to that dictionary he mentioned.

@Stefan: I think the fact that you avoid these mistakes when writing English is a good thing. If I tried to write in Russian I wouldn't do as well.

But correct grammar is also important. Without it, getting your point across becomes difficult to impossible. That said, a certain amount of error can be forgiven if the writer is not a native speaker of the language he's using.

Your bigger problem is that you misunderstand the subject you are writing about. I realize now that it's an honest misunderstanding. You are still wrong about climate change. No matter how unpleasant the prospects it brings, it is a fact that this planet is getting warmer because of what we humans are doing.

By Christopher Winter (not verified) on 01 Apr 2015 #permalink

Environmental changes caused by human factors, including the release of high amounts of green house gases will have a great impact on the marine organisms, ecosystems as well as on humans. The melting of glaciers also impacts polar bears and the rise in sea levels poses a great threat to human settlements. It would be a good idea to research the extent of the rise in sea levels in different areas so that different countries can prepare in advance for such dramatic changes. This is part of safety and precautionary measures. What safety precautions should be taken by the leaders of the countries at this stage? How can we reduce the extent of environmental changes and counter-act the problems we have already created to minimise the after-effects such as the rise in sea levels? Thank you for your time! u15007473

As seen in the picture above the effect of global warming is not to be taken lightly! The area that is effected mostly by global warming is the Articercle and just a handful of people live their and see the effects of it! Because we do not yet see consequences of global warming in our own back yard people are not concern about it. That's the sad thing about people today if something don't effect them directly they don't really care about it.

By Heinrich(14124506) (not verified) on 08 Apr 2015 #permalink

We cannot say that global warming isn't real due to all the evidence pointing straight at it. The map for one is a clear indication that global warming cannot be ignored. This planet's temperatures are rising and we cannot ignore it just because people doesn't see the effect it has on the bigger picture but they choose to rather live in their own small world.

By H van Eeden 15009085 (not verified) on 08 Apr 2015 #permalink

The fact that the rate of melting ice shelves is accelerating is really concerning. This just highlights the extent to which global warming is affecting the Earth. It saddens me too see the severity of of the effects human life has on this planet. U.S. As humans need to do something to better the situations at hand or the Earths future is bound to be a dull one.

By Varaidzo Sabeta (not verified) on 11 Apr 2015 #permalink

The fact that the rate of melting ice shelves is accelerating is really concerning. This just highlights the extent to which global warming is affecting the Earth. It saddens me too see the severity of of the effects human life has on this planet. U.S. As humans need to do something to better the situations at hand or the Earths future is bound to be a dull one.
U15036962

By Varaidzo Sabeta (not verified) on 11 Apr 2015 #permalink

This is a very concerning problem and I feel that if something is not done about this soon, that severe problems will occur. The problems might not seem that alarming now, but am I correct in saying that there will be severe problems in the future?

I would just like to know what systems and measures are in play that are aiding this problem, and why has it taken so long for this to be notcied and addressed?

Has Global warming and the ice shelves melting not been occuring for quite a while and due to human interaction accelerating at speeds that i think if not changed soon will be to severe to handle.

Please can people get back to me on my questions and shed some more light on this serious topic.

By Ethanne Liam S… (not verified) on 12 Apr 2015 #permalink

It's really ridiculous how the rate at which the glaciers are melting has increased. We all know what effect rising sea levels has on the environment and yet little is being done to stop this.

The result of glaciers melting has a big effect on the sea level which also leads to further implications. In my opinion global warming is the main reason for this problem. Why have we not noticed this earlier? As the melting of the glaciers increases so does the tempo of the melting so in other words the melting process speeds up. This is a big concern and solutions have to be found.
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By Andre Kolver (not verified) on 15 Apr 2015 #permalink

I believe that we have to act really fast so that we can try and fix the mess we made! Not just for us but for sea life and animals living in those areas. 15055940

How is it that that the ice is melting at an accelerating rate yet the winters we experience here in South Africa seem to be getting more excruciating as the years go by?
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By Gontse M. (not verified) on 17 Apr 2015 #permalink

The melting of the polar ice caps is probably the most concerning effect of global warming. I find it interesting that the rate of thickness change is predominately worse in West Antarctica. Is there a reason for this?

By M.R Revolta (u… (not verified) on 17 Apr 2015 #permalink