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back to article Greenland's super-melty summer

The higher peaks of the Greenland icesheet spent longer melting this summer than any summer since 1988, according to a NASA funded study. The research revealed that enough snow melted in Greenland this year to cover the surface of the USA more than two times over*. Image of the so-called 2007 Greenland melting anomaly. Credit: …

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Ash

Click here to see a larger version of the picture...

... and click here to see where all that melted water went!

http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&q=uk%20flooding

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Anonymous Coward

Unsurprised

Well, of course the ice is melting if they use microwaves on it.

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Silver badge

At least 946 Wales

Back of a cig packet calculations: that's at least 946 Wales

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Silver badge

What does this mean?

"enough snow melted in Greenland this year to cover the surface of the USA more than two times over." To what depth? Two inches, millimetres. microns ...

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A little vague

"The research revealed that enough snow melted in Greenland this year to cover the surface of the USA more than two times over."

What on earth does "two times over" mean?

To the depth of two snowflakes? Two molecules of water?

I wonder at the quality of the research sometimes, when scientists spout such vague headline-grabbing nonsense.

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Anonymous Coward

Unfortuately more ammo for climate change fellows

Which I don't doubt persay but I do doubt man influenence and our ability to deal with it rationally.

I remember when I first read about the experiments to directly control the amount CO2 absorbed and thought, 'see this is what happens with hysteria'. We will endeavour to do what we think is right without really thinking it through.

To try and directly control the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has to be the worse idea in humanities long history of bad ideas. We have very little idea of the consequences of such actions.

I'm a bit surprised El Reg hasn't ran a story on these ideas yet, one recently on the BBC news site about some of them. Plus the advocates are getting louder. They are probably right in that cutting emissions just aint going to cut it but I seriously doubt we have the know how to carry out planetary wide climate control in a controllable manner.

But I'm a Human Induced Climate Change (Hicc lol didn't notice that) sceptic so i'll get jumped on not matter what i think :)

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Two times over?

Honestly, spread over the USA two times over indeed. Anything will if you spread it thinly enough. Some kind of thickness is required; maybe a standard should be set?

I vote for "Spread twice over the USA if stretched to the thickness of a standard custard skin"

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Different types of ice?

err, its all frozen water aint it?

And if its different and alters the global energy thingy, is this ice that we have this year a good or a bad thing?

eck I wish I learned somefing at skool now, because there was no real info in this damn piece.

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Anonymous Coward

Controlling CO2?

Well, either you're saying we can't stop putting 17 trillion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere (which would be controlling how much CO2 is going in there) or you're trying to say that we are trying to pull out CO2 atoms after the event.

In any case, that's a mischaracterisation.

And as to your codilla, of course you'll get jumped on. David Ike saying "I am The Son Of God" can be expected to be jumped on, but is that not the CORRECT thing to do?

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Bronze badge

...and statistics.

" The research revealed that enough snow melted in Greenland this year to cover the surface of the USA more than two times over."

That's nice... Is that enough "...to cover the surface of the USA (with a 1-snowflake -deep layer) more than two times over," or to "...to cover the surface of the USA (with a 10-foot-deep layer) more than two times over"?

As it stands now, that ststistic is of absolutely zero value (two times over).

(I won't even ask if they meant the entire US (9,826,630 km@), or just the "lower 48" (7.902.634 km) - a trivial 20 - 25% difference!)

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Anonymous Coward

high risk comment

at the risk of being banned from el Reg, I doubt it was the scientists who made the comment vague - IMHO these thing usually get lost somewhere bewteen the journalist reading the scientists paper and the journalist writing the article..

Of course, I'm sure it was not a Reg journalist - probably one of those AP hacks :-)

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Wales sizes

Turns out the New Scientist has something to say:

"...we can calculate that 1 UK = 8 Belgiums. Owing to an oversight, Wales isn't mentioned. Other sources for the value of Wales put it at almost exactly a Burma and a touch under an El Salvador. However, a Wales is bigger than a Slovenia."

Know thyself --- if you need help, call the CIA.

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Complex physics

It is only the lower 48. Apparently the continental USA is a unit of measurement that is widely used at NASA. Take a look at the other silly graphic in the original article. http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/190438main_trend_good_usa-full.jpg

Could one of the reg's staff of physicists to take the new unit, and let know if E = the velocity of a sheep * surface of USA squared, or if it is E = (surface of USA * number of sheep / wales residents * velocity of a sheep squared) ?

I have been working on this problem all day, and I can't figure it out.

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They haven't got a clue...

"...results came as something of a surprise, and demonstrated just how complex the environmental systems of our planet are."

No. Really? You have no idea. Even after I tell you, you'll still have no idea.

Someday, in the far and distant future, when they actually DO have a software-driven climate model that is reasonably accurate and fairly close to completion (including all known and unknown biological systems with possible global impact), I hope that someone will look back to late-2007 and realize that their Climate Model du jour was roughly ONE MILLIONTH as complicated and complete as it eventually needed to be to provide any useful output.

It's like PC speech recognition circa 1990s all over again a second time. Now that it almost sort-of works in 2007, has anyone gone back to lambast those that said it was practical more than a decade ago?

Or computer-based face recognition circa 2007. "Hey, it's a face!" works pretty good even in $200 cameras. But "...scanning the SuperBowl crowd for known terrorists..." is not working out quite as well as they claimed it would. Perhaps terrorists don't like American football.

How about the recently-proposed computer-based recognition of evil-intent micro-expressions on the subject's face to automatically determine terrorist intent. Presumably the system will be linked to automatic machine guns in airports - one false twitch of your left nostril and you'll be reduced to a pile of smoldering, and harmless, hamburger. I'm sure a False-Positive rate of 12% will be perfectly acceptable since It's For The Children (TM).

Sigh...

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Anonymous Coward

for leslie

the thing is ice is white so light is mostly reflected. water is transparent and transmits water through itself, warming slightly. this is why rainclouds are dark.

So when it's ice, most of the suns' energy goes back into space. When it's water, more of it stays down here heating the ground which doesn't escape so easily because of the greenhouse gasses.

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Anonymous Coward

Re Controlling CO2

Honest if David Ike, who is that by the way, wants to say he's the son of god who are we to judge him we can't prove either way to be fair. Biblical figures are usually doubted at the time as well :)

Yes I am saying they are looking into actively removing CO2 from the air, there is plenty of experiments being carried out on it; iron fillings to stimulate plankton and some pipe idea to move cold water up from the deep ocean or something.

Admittedly these are all indirect methods of removing CO2, but its not far away from as u put it pulling C02 atoms out of air, by the way they are molecules, collection of bonded atoms, not atoms.

The plankton idea scares me the most, i can imagine it quite easily getting out of control.

And just as a worse case scenario; what if we went to far and induced an ice age then we would really be in the shit.

Unless we all turn to nuclear and electric cars or something i can't see the CO2 emissions being in anyway dropped on a global scale.

The thing we probably should not have done was chop down huge, and i mean huge areas of rainforest.

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Anonymous Coward

What does this mean?

"enough snow melted in Greenland this year to cover the surface of the USA more than two times over." With what?

Water? Kisses? Roses? A thick layer of viscous black alien vomit?

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Heres Hoping

'The research revealed that enough snow melted in Greenland this year to cover the surface of the USA more than two times over*.'

C'mon Mother Nature... do it for the team

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Road Trip

So, once the ice has gone in Greenland and North East Canada, then with a few very cool bridges we could drive from the UK to California. Now *that's* a road trip.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

I think the best way to deal with this issue is to bodge a ruddy big Chimney on top of Earth so all the filth-dirty gasses can just float off into space. Genius.

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Anonymous Coward

@Re Controlling CO2

"iron fillings to stimulate plankton"

Hmmm. I prefer composites myself. Not so good at stimulating plankton but they look good and I don't really want a mouth full of plankton anyway.

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nanobots

CO2 powered nanobots programmed to combine into space rockets and blast themselves into the sun - bring on the grey goo!

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong point answered

Never said anything about doubt, veracity or otherwise. Just whether the comment "I am the Son of God" would get jumped on. It would.

"Honest if David Ike, who is that by the way, wants to say he's the son of god who are we to judge him we can't prove either way to be fair. Biblical figures are usually doubted at the time as well :)"

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Wales's

"The research revealed that enough snow melted in Greenland this year to cover the surface of the USA more than two times over."

That would be 946.966 wales's give or take a wales or two.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~kelky/sk/sizeofwales.html

^ Very Useful Site ^

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re wrong point answered

Did u not bother to read the rest then, well there is not much i can do about that no point debating :)

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Anonymous Coward

CO2 is not the main problem

Too much methane is more of problem for the environment. It is about 23% worse than CO2

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Anonymous Coward

Title

"Too much methane is more of problem for the environment. It is about 23% worse than CO2"

Methane can be burnt.

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Anonymous Coward

@title

you're volunteered to take a lit match around for every cow burp and pig fart. that'll solve the problem. Apart from the 400 Gigatons locked up in the melting arctic ice.

And its not 23%, its about 23 TIMES worse

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