German researchers have established the height of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps with greater precision than ever before. The new maps they have produced show that the ice is melting at an unprecedented rate.
The maps, produced with a satellite-mounted instrument, have elevation accuracies to within a few metres. Since Greenland’s ice cap is more than 2,000 metres thick on average, and the Antarctic bedrock supports 61% of the planet’s fresh water, this means that scientists can make more accurate assessments of annual melting.
Dr Veit Helm and other glaciologists at the Alfred Wegener Institute’sHelmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, report in the journal The Cryosphere that, between them, the two ice sheets are now losing ice at the unprecedented rate of 500 cubic kilometres a year.
New satellite maps show polar ice caps melting at ‘unprecedented rate’ | Environment | theguardian.com
The area of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets combined is 16,000,000 km². The claim is that they are losing 500 km³/year – which would be .03 metres/per year. Yet their accuracy is “within a few metres” – which means that they are claiming precision two orders of magnitude higher than their accuracy. Both ice sheets could just as easily have been claimed to be showing gain of ice as loss, based on their methodology.
The second problem is that they are conflating claimed ice loss with “melt” The surface mass balance of just Greenland showed 300 GT of ice gain this past year, which is nearly the same as the claimed loss from both ice sheets. And even if the net balance was negative, it would be due to glacial flow into the ocean – rather than melt.
Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Mass Budget: DMI
The third problem is that they printed a map of elevations with higher elevations colored red, to fool the reader into believing that the red color has something to do with warmth or melting. It doesn’t. In fact, the red areas almost never experience any melting.
These people are either beyond stupid, or hard core fraudsters – and need to be called out as such.