A reader has been spamming the site today with claims that Greenland is rapidly losing mass, which was based on a spectacularly incompetent study out of the University of Texas
Climate Change: Are the Polar Ice Caps Melting Slower Than We Thought?
Those are scary numbers, but a new study published in the September issue of Nature Geoscience suggests that the true melt rate might be much slower than that. (Access a PDF of the study here.) A joint team of American and Dutch scientists took another look at the GRACE data and found that Greenland and West Antarctica may be melting just half as fast the earlier studies estimated. As researcher Bert Vermeersen, a professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, told the AFP, the earlier estimates failed to account for glacial isostatic adjustment—the rebounding of the Earth’s crust after the end of the last Ice Age:
The experts who did the original study should be banned from future publication.
Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.
All spaceborne techniques agree that Greenland is losing mass. Want me to post references?
There is no way that satellites can measure land ice accurately because they can’t see the bottom surface of the ice. You are spamming the site and not using your brain.
If your premise is true how long would it take for Greenland to lose 50% of its mass?
Just a guess, about 500 years!
Gravimetry measures mass, altimetry measures height and SAR interferometry measures ice flow. With all of these three methods it’s possible to measure the mass-balance – that’s what glaciologists do. Greenland recent mass-loss is amply documented – this landmark Nature-paper is a good starting point for studying the issue:
No, if you don’t know what the land surface under the ice is doing, you can’t measure changes in ice. Period. I don’t care how many idiots have tried.
Greenland is relatively small and there are rocky outcrops all around it enabling fixing GPS-units to the rock. Therefore it is certainly possible to figure out what the glacier-bed is doing, and assess the related errors. Antarctica is a tougher nut to crack but the situation in Greenland is not in dispute (mass loss that started in the 1990s’). im actually interested in the science, and this is what it says.
That is ridiculous. I fly over Greenland all the time and there are very few rock outcrops in the interior. With an ice sheet that varies by 3,000 metres in thickness, isostasy is a huge issue which makes the S/N ratio much less than zero.
The studies you are citing are exercises in confirmation bias.
Steve already replied two years ago:
Greenland Hype Meltdown
I have access to published research and opinions of the top scientists in the world – Steve’s blog does not invalidate that research. Greenland in losing mass due to increased surface melt during the summer but also due to warmer subsurface waters melting glacier-faces and ice-streams from below. This is well documented, see for example:
Balancing an equation requires that you know both sides. You have no idea how much snow is accumulating.
Gond has been to the mountain to receive the sacraments from the enlightened ones!! Throw yourself down and pray for forgiveness!! Using your brain is heresy!!
Yeah, look how Gondo (wait, it’s Gond now) says “opinions of the top scientists in the world”. Opinions, and top scientists. Thanks for nothing Gondo.
From the abstract of the paper:
As more glaciers accelerate farther north, the contribution of Greenland to sea-level rise will continue to increase.
You can always tell a good climate change paper by the unsubstantiated speculation tacked on at the end.
Well, the acceleration did move towards the North during the study-period. I wonder waht the scarcity of sea ice will do to Northern Greenland
oops, in Science, not Nature.
Greenland is not that wide and geologists know quite a bit about how rock and the mantle behave. Besides, the increase in surfacfe-melt and ice-stream speed are both directly observable, as is the elastic rebound of the rock happening as the ice-sheet gets lighter.
I am curious as to how “…the ice-sheet gets lighter.”, when the interior of Greenland is shaped like a bowl. Can you tell me where all of that melted ice went? Does water become lighter as it become a liquid?
It mostly flowed off the ice-sheet as meltwater and icebergs. The vast majority of the changes is happening at the margin, below 2000m altitude.
Bullshit. The recently dug airplanes up which were buried 200 feet below the surface after 50 years of snowfall.
I note that in an above comment you state you have access to opinions of learned scientists , a comment which I believe aptly describes the situation . Steven mentioned it upstream , comfirmation bias . The zealots that want America to return to the stoneage to salve the consciouses of the warmist , alarmist idiots have opinions ? What is new about that ? Let go of whatever you have ahold of and get a grip on reality . The ice will melt and the ice will return and the earth will go on . That is unless some fools start a nuclear exchange . If nature is allowed to continue it’s natural course twenty years from now , or more likely far sooner , people will be looking at the historical record and laughing their asses off at your comments . By the way , I’m curious as to what you do for a living .
Gondo is not real big on data from the real world. He like computer simulations. He likes opinions.
So all experts and scientists are members of the Great Climate-Change Conspiracy(GCCC)? Do have any idea how paranoid that sounds? How do they manage to pull this off in international collaborations where data and results are shared freely, I just wonder.
Can you please stop spamming?
Gond – post all you want.
Steve thinks any posts that disagree with him are spamming. He could also teach a class in confirmation bias.
And all of that cold meltwater is apparently observable around the land mass from where it melted? And the corresponding rise in sea level?
Actually we have a very good idea on how much snow is accumulating over Greenland. The surface-mass-balance (SMB) is computed by a high resolution local weather model called RACMO2 that works very well in Greenland according to validation data. RACMO2 is driven from the boundaries by the ECMWF weather reanalysis dataset. This shit has been validated and it works, and the errors can be estimated.
In high school science classes, a common problem is to measure the volume of a complex 3D object
Morons attempt to measure the volume directly. Smart kids immerse the object in water and measure the change in water volume.
Sea level rise rates have been declining for the past four years.
At the moment the influence of Greenland to sea level is minuscule, but it’s there. Got a link to that global sea-level dataset? For some reason those are updated not too often it seems..
Gondo, or Gond, or who cares,
Anyone ever call you a know it all? You probably agreed when they said it.
It has to be minuscule since the rate of sea level rise is slowing down. Which makes sense since the Pacific is cooling again, the Atlantic will follow soon also. While approx 2 mm per year is still 20 cm per century and can cause problems for low lying areas it gives people plenty of time to adapt, this has been going on for centuries. Other then adapting to reality there is not much anyone can do.
Mars and Venus are also warming, I can understand that Mars is warming that will be due to the arrival of all the space equipment we have been putting there in recent years but Venus leaves me at a loss. Natural perhaps?
Gondo, it has all happened before and it will happen again.
What is it you are afraid of?
Show me the sea-level data. Satellite altimetry datasets only please (nothing else is global).
Do you need a private babysitter?
You really cherry picked data with that:
Why not look at a trend more than 3 years instead of picking two points that show little or no change arbitrarily?
Calculating mass balance is not a simple undertaking and we only have a few years of data accumulated so far and we do not yet know what sort of decadal variability is involved. Or how reliable the measurements. I would not be making a case for or against any particular position with that data just yet. However, it’s important to clarify a major confusion here. Again, this is the difference between Global Warming Theology and Global Warming Theory.
Global Warming Theory has very little to say about mass balance. When we are looking at mass balance we are probably looking at geologic and climatic processes operating over centuries. What Global Warming Theory does have something to say about, however, is SMB (surface mass balance). However, even this is not so simple. SMB is expected to increase in Antarctica due to increases in atmospheric water vapour. (Opposite to what is expected in Global Warming Theology.) The Arctic is more complex however, as we have to deal with issues relating to black carbon, increases in SST’s and many many other factors. It’s also worth noting that you will observe big changes in SMB from year to year due to all kinds of processes going on, on short time scales. If you’re prepared to cherry pick you can present any sort of argument you want.
Still, a scientific theory is well grounded. The idea that the Earth goes around the Sun is also a scientific theory.
Evolutionary theory is well grounded, but back in the early 20th century most mainstream scientists believed it justified their racial prejudices. It is very easy to spin a scientific theory to fit into a political (or other type of) belief system.
Scientific theories should be subject to numerous criticisms before they can be confirmed.
Gond, we’re not conspiracy theorists. It’s not a conspiracy, just bad science.