back to article NASA blows whistle on Antarctic Y2K (+5) meltdown

The summer of 2005 saw enough snow to cover the whole of California melt from the face of our coldest continent. According to NASA, this was the first widespread Antarctic melting ever spotted with its QuikSat satellite. Researchers checked through data for snow accumulation and melt starting in 1999, through to 2005 [looking …

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Unbiased facts show ice is increasing

http://64.119.172.31/awpf.pdf

Ice in the antarctic is decreasing is some areas, but increasing in most areas. Net ice gain is about 13,0000 km per year since 1978. Look at the whole antarctic, not just the spots that show what you want to believe.

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True Evidence of Global Warming

Wow! That is clear evidence of Global Warming!

Even more alarming, according to my VERY OWN MEMORY, the daily average temperature in my part of North America has zoomed from an average of 32 F (0 C) to 45 F (7.2 C)! And that's in a time period of only SIX MONTHS!! By extrapolation, the daily average temperature will hover at 161 F (72 C) in only FIVE YEARS!!!

It's all over! Time to start stocking soy milk, rice, vitamins, and prepare for the inevitable social breakdown as the icecaps melt into the oceans, raising the sea level by over 200 feet (60 meters)!!!

(Those without a sense of humor need not reply.....)

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Anonymous Coward

Wouldn't this increase ice sheet levels?

If it melts and refreezes as ice, wouldn't this boost ice sheet levels?

The theories about the water could drip through and accelerate ice sheet flow into the water just smacks of more attempts to justify claims of predicted doom with raising sea levels, yet the evidence itself suggests it's more likely ice sheets are being replenished (and I'm sure I read something else about that).

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Is this Really a problem...

Or is it just a "warm" summer? The article said nothing about melt in 1999-2004. Has the amount of melt been increasing; or is this a fluke measurement that means nothing? Phrased more cynically: Is this a trend, or mearly scare-mongering?

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Anonymous Coward

Nay-sayers for nay-saying's sake

"The theories about the water could drip through and accelerate ice sheet flow into the water "...is EXACTLY what has been observed in Greenland over the last couple of years, with Greenland's Glaciers accelerating and decreasing in size as a consequence.

NASA's observation is an interesting one which gives us more data to understand the effects of climate change: warming seas produce increased precipitation over Antarctica, summer melts change this snow into ice.

Too much summer melting could make the glaciers move faster, of course.

So will the increased precipitation over Antarctica reach a balance with increased glacier flow, or will one outweigh the other?

Luckily there are climatologists and others out there who are looking into these questions.

I don't see the point of nay-saying the whole "Global Warming" thing. Of course nobody's going to notice an increase of 1degree. Of course journalists are incapable of reporting intelligently on any science issue (El Reg excepted, of course). What people will notice is if their own neck of the woods suffers huge changes to its climate - and that's what we should be looking out for.

Have you ever been to Brittany?

Get a map of the world and trace the latitude West from Brittany until you hit land again. Now imagine Brittany and Newfoundland exchanging their climates. Now imagine this happening in 3rd-world countries where people haven't the means/intelligence/industry to overcome a change like this: where are they going to go, and who do you think is going to pay for it?

Climate Change *is* real, it's not simple, and its effects are going to be quite shocking, even to people like us.

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What Global Warming?

This article is merely refering to a factual observation, why are there 4 denials of global warming?

Is someone feeling guilty?

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More FUD

Funny how independent research labs and scientists across the world have shown that the temperature in Antartica is actually decreasing (particularly on the eastern side of the continent).

Yet more FUD from people with an alternative agenda...

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Anonymous Coward

10,000btu

I got an airconditioner and am dissapointed by the cold weather recently, once we all get them I hope it will warm up.

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The Warming

It seems to me that people are kind of off focus on the whole Global Warming thing. The Earth changes its temperature constantly - Theres an ice age every 10k years or so. Whether the Earth is changing temperature isn't the question, it is whether it is changing temperature because of human action, with a secondary question of "Should we do anything about it?"

If this is just a simple long term cyclic climate change, then it seems like we're just stuck with it (I keep hearing that we're a couple thousand years overdue for a hot spell...)

Observation of average temperatures is only going to tell us if the temperature is changing, not what is changing it. There is approximately no accurate way to determine if increased green house gasses are at fault.

Sometimes I wish people would go back to worrying about productive things, like whether Top Gear will come back for a 10th series.

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Anonymous Coward

eastern side?

"... temperature in Antartica is actually decreasing (particularly on the eastern side of the continent)"

errr, since when does Antarctica have an eastern 'side'? All of its coastline technically runs along a northern boundary, no?

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Warming? GW?

Global Warming is a rather throw away phrase. Climate change is more accurate since we have no idea how things will work out.

Now above there are some comments to the effect that we don't know if it's human caused or just a natural variation. scientists are 99% confident it's human caused and not just because they have some weird bias, these are scientists not eco nuts. the main evidence for human intervention in climate models is without human factors the weather we see currently doesn't fit the models, factor in CO2, Methane and they get closer. factor in particulate pollution and they get even closer.

To my mind, humans are shifting variables in the climate, no question about that. the real problem is finding out what this will do to the weather before it happens.

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Anonymous Coward

When I look at old family photos...

I see my mom before my birth at a glacier in the columbia icefields, then myself as a little kid at the same place but further uphill and now the whole glacier is gone.

However I think global warming is not the right name. It doesn't get much warmer as we put more energy into the atmosphere. The atmosphere works like a pendulum, swinging back and forth. If we release/trap more energy in it, it will swing faster, resulting in more colder and more hotter areas and more violent storms between these areas.

ps: Nasa is worried about meltwater because even a little water can melt the ice faster because it absorbes more heat and because the refreezing water can crack the ice sheet and break up icefields really fast. The cause could be natural, but nobody would care what was the reason when we see 60+ meters of water above most coastal cities within a few years. Nobody want's to die willingly even if global warming is a natural process. We can stop it, even reverse it, but it needs more energy and more effort than we are producing right now.

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Some petrochem lobby group spotted this and organised a response, neh?

'Nuff sed.

The climate change/global warming naysayers are just as guilty as the worst doom-mongers of picking their facts to suit their agenda. They especially like to pick on old "facts" that used to cast greater doubt on the theory that gobal temperatures are rising which have since been explained. They love abusing the process of scientific validation upon which most of the scientific progress we've actually made has been based.

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Anonymous Coward

Expert opinion

I would like to see some of your reactions when a climatologist opines on a field you have studied and researched all your life.

Maybe they have strong opinions on network topoligies and transport protocols?

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Britanny

Yes I have been to Britanny. And No, if you go West from Britanny, you'll end up in Good Ol' Blighty ***first*** !!

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Anonymous Coward

It's not denial of global warming

"This article is merely refering to a factual observation, why are there 4 denials of global warming?"

Not denial of global warming (which is a fact of natural warming proven by historical evidence of 400 year temperature cycles. Yep, we're supposed to be getting warm at the moment, then it will cool down again).

However I do deny the often outrageous claims of impending doom and man's complete blame in the matter. Whilst there is perhaps blame for small contributions, we are not at fault, the vast majority of the warming is natural and normal. No problem with us cutting back on emissions of course, though I don't believe it will prevent global warming because it's a natural event.

I do believe there's a lot of politics and corporate tactics behind a lot of the attempts to cut emissions. Much of carbon neutral and offsetting denies the underlying carbon costs that the public doesn't get to hear about (e.g. switch to electric cars, but what carbon cost of generating that electricity, including the costs of building power plants, building materials for wind farms, mining uranium for nuclear plants, and then the carbon cost of building the cars, the batteries, etc). It's a joke.

The sun has far more blame in global warming than man ever possibly could and it's obvious when you compare solar cycles, orbits and seasons.

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Silver badge

Title

"errr, since when does Antarctica have an eastern 'side'? All of its coastline technically runs along a northern boundary, no?"

Technically yes, but you forget the greenwich meridian. Stand on that facing north and everything to the left of the meridian around to the international date-line is called 'west', whilst everything to the right of the meridian around to the dateline is called 'east'. It's convenient, because the continent itself is broadly divided along this meridian, with a small ice-sheet on the 'west' and a larger one on the 'east'. The larger, eastern ice-sheet is gaining mass and cooling, at least partly due to changes in wind patterns and precipitation rates. The oceans have warmed slightly, meaning more precipitation over the continent, meaning more ice forms. The shape of antarctica means that the majority of this precipitation falls over the eastern half of continent.

Now, for the record, this event is *not* similar to what was happening in greenland. That, too, was caused by increased precipitation, which increased the central mass of the ice and caused it to 'surge' outward quite rapidly. Within the last year this surge has stopped and the ice is stared to pile up in the middle again. This was very little to do with melting ice and almost entirely to do with increased mass forcing the glaciers to speed up.

Look around the world, and for every glacier that is shrinking another is growing, and two more are just sitting there doing bugger all.

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Re: More FUD

I just couldn't remember what FUD stood for, so hopped over to Wikipedia. It does give the correct meaning: "Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt", but it's the other meanings that worry me. They must be very confused in Scotland!

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Read it and weep

I'm getting bored with these armchair climatologists who claim there's still "uncertainty" and "debate" on whether anthropogenic climate change is a reality. So are the publishers of popular-science journals:

http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/dn11462

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J

Just like IDiots...

I mean, supporters of "intelligent" design.

"It doesn't get much warmer as we put more energy into the atmosphere."

With "well informed" people like that "contributing" to the debate, no wonder people who actually know what they are talking about run away screaming in desperation...

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Which is exactly what the petrochem cos and governments want...

In order to distract from the obvious truths that the world is getting hotter and that we've caused it, petrochem cos and certain elements of certain governents elevate baseless 'experts' and their 'expert opinion' to levels that somehow equate with simple, provable mathematics and long term statistical analysis. No matter what FUD we're faced with, intelligent and thoughtful people must stand firm and debate these environmental issues as often and as thoughtfully as possible. The Petrochem conglomerates have more money and will make this debate go on as long as possible until there's no fossil fuels left. At that point, they will crucify their own and cry MEA CULPA. Our job is to prove them wrong with science fact before that happens.

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